If you are an article writer and you are looking to add a little spice and flair to your writing, doing something in the mystery genre might be a fun idea. Normally you would think of a book with a variety of different chapters but if you are writing in article format, your articles could substitute for the chapters. This way, if you make each article installment interesting enough, you'll have your readers on the edge of their seats waiting for the next article. Like any kind of writing there are steps you have to take and writing a mystery is no different in fact mysteries are unique in that they always need some sort of twist.
Before you start to write, make sure that you take some time to write down all of the key points of your story. Once you do that, your story will kind of then take on a life of it's own once you start writing the actual story. Keep your key points near by as a reference to follow while you are writing your story. They also make it a lot easier for you to do the outline of the story plot as well. You may even start seeing the plot of the story unfold when you are writing down the key points, and that's OK, let it, this will be very helpful later on.
Some ideas for your key points could be:
- What is the mystery of your story – In other words what is the theme to the entire story. You need to be as in depth about this as you possibly can.
- Hunting for the villain – All really good stories have an antagonist. However, it's what steps your story takes with the hero to find this bad guy that will make the bulk of your story. You also will need to figure out how the villain is going to try and avoid your hero.
- The protagonist or good guy – The good guy is going to have to have a name, an age, where they live,if they have a family, pets, what their goal is and more to make them come to life for your readers.
- The villain or antagonist – They too need a name, an age, where they live and what is their main reason for being the way they are, what in their life transformed them into this villain.
- Your supporting characters – These are the people that give your story color and life. They will give depth to your story whether it's good or bad. Their personalities are going to add more of a human touch to your story and make it more believable. In a mystery or any kind of a story your supporting cast can take on their own lives and just because they are considered the supporting cast of characters doesn't mean that they are not as important as your main characters.
You will then need to figure out when you want the story to take place and where you want it. These are key factors that will help to bring your story more life. The great thing about writing a mystery is that it is such a wide genre that you can have a story take place in any time period and in any place in the world. However if you are writing about a different time period and a place you are not familiar with, make sure you do some research first so that your story is more believable. Remember that your readers want to feel like they are right there with your characters.
When writing your mystery remember that you need to have a driving force for your mystery, what does the villain want to do to your hero and what are going to be the things that are going to get in the way of the hero trying to solve the mystery?
Make sure that your mystery is filled with plenty of suspense. This is one of the most important parts of a mystery. If you give away too much at the beginning you more than likely are going to bore your readers before they get to the end. You do need to bring the mystery into the forefront of the story within the first two or three chapters or articles but after that you want to only add a new clue every once and awhile and don't give an outcome until the next article or chapter. You also should throw in a few false clues as well to keep the readers off track. It makes it fun for the reader to think they've got it figured out only to find out they were totally wrong.
You should not reveal the climax of the conflict or the resolution between the villain and hero until the last article or chapter. This is where you will show how all the clues led to this point. If you give the reader a good conclusion they are going to get a feeling of closure. However; do remember that not all good mysteries have to have a happy ending, this is especially true if you plan on making this a series. So, the villain actually might get away and this would leave your readers expecting more.