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Friday, May 22, 2015

Steps to Write a Murder Mystery

The first course of action is to get comfortable in your writing place. It's the chair, attic, barn or corner of a room that serves as your writing place, author at work place. Allow yourself, at least, two hours each day for writing. Select the same time everyday for writing. This is your time. Turn-off the phone, grab your coffee/tea before settling in to write. Take care of anything you need to. This eliminates the desire or excuse to stop writing. "Steps to Write a Murder Mystery" is the beginning, or a step to the next level in your writer career.

The setting and characters must interact. Show the character whose living his/her last days clashing with other characters. The character whose time is limited argues, find fault and chaos is ignited. The other characters in conflict with the soon-to-be deceased character will become suspects. 

In my novel, "Grave Street House," the killer and victim knew each other well. In fact, no one suspected who the murderer was. The murderer socialized with everyone, well known in the neighborhood. A friendly character can be a serial killer.

The unfolding of a murder starts early in the mystery. One of the characters that last had a confrontation with the deceased is his/her murderer. Provide odd, weird, stalkerizzi, information stirred in a setting that equals murder most foul. Ask some questions. Was the victim feeling a certain way? Feared someone or something? One character's behavior was different. Why? The behavior had something to do with the murder. The victim and a suspect were seen together. People who knew the victim expressed how unusual for the two, because they had issues. 

Who stumbles into the murder scene? Or, will the murderer pretend to discover the body? He/she didn't have enough time to dispose of the body. Why? The events played out differently than what the murderer planned. Perhaps, the murderer heard another character approaching. 

The police is called. They begin investigating and questioning. Is there a neighbor-know-it-all? This kind of neighbor knows the latest gossip. He/she shares the gossip with the police. The murderer gives as little information to the police as possible, even mis-directs.

The police has to sift through truths, half-truths, supplied by suspects. Show evidence to rule out several suspects. It's up to you, author at work, how the plot plays out. Keep the police looking at three suspects until the murderer is uncovered. "Steps to Write a Murder Mystery" involves a twist. 

Keep the readers interested by splashing in new information. A suspect, for example, confesses. Only, the police determines he/she has a habit of admitting to crimes. One other suspect dies by suspicious means. What does suspicious mean? This is when your creative flow takes over. Write it out. Suspicious means how your creative flow shares it.

Any question raised in the murder mystery is answered as you near the end. Some questions will be taken care of earlier than toward the end. Your mystery will clue you. A good practice is to make notes on questions. Be sure to look at them as well as answer them. Sometimes, the questions can spin-out possible new scenes.

The author at work must critique. Sit a finished writing project aside. The longer a writing project, the more time away is needed. Return in two days refreshed. You'll have new ideas and be ready to move forward with your writing project.
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Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.

She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.

She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.

Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.

Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter:

Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

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