Yes, why? And why blog about it?
Perhaps you want to write a mystery novel, too. My hope is that sharing my experience will help you write your first mystery.
Describing how I puzzle through the many choices and what I think of them will mean you’ll know the solution to my mystery novel, so if you want to read the book and be surprised, stop reading now.
If you want, however, to see how I work on my first mystery, join in, and read on!
I have written screenplays and sold one, but found the experience unsatisfactory. So I turned to prose fiction, and recently finished the initial draft of my first novel. It’s about cowboy outlaws and I set it in Southern California in 1877, which decision meant a lot of research. The task took four years and sprawled into a 157,000 words. When I looked at the two reams of paper that are the printed copy, I thought revising it was not the best way for me improve as a writer.
You see, the cowboy novel had showed me that plotting was my weak point.
Genre novels’ length and plot requirements would force me to plot in advance. Having flirted with the idea of writing a mystery novel, I decided to take the plunge. Here were my subgenre choices: Whodunit, Amateur Detective, Private Detective, Medical Mystery, Courtroom Drama, Suspense/Thriller, and Technical Thriller.
Here’s a webpage where you can read more about the categories and get a short list of famous authors in each:
After some thought, I chose “cozy mysteries,” which go in the category, “amateur sleuth.” To learn how and why, go to Part 2!