For many years, mystery stories have scared young and old alike. Haunted houses, crimes, ghosts … in the end, everything is a mystery! If you've always been interested in mystery, you can become a mystery novel writer yourself, and while doing so takes a fair amount of time and effort, you do need to review your schedule before you buckle up and start writing!
Step 1. Decide the type of mystery you are going to write
I mean, think about what you are going to write, if it is going to be a ghost story or a crime novel, a gruesome haunted house or a crime scene. This is the biggest decision you will have to make in order to determine the length of the novel.
Step 2. Begin to sketch the characters in your novel
The characters will be the highlight of the novel you are going to write. You are going to need a protagonist, an antagonist, secondary characters, and a story for each of them! The amount of detail you add to your novel will depend on how many times the character appears in it. If the guy behind the supermarket counter appears only once, don't over-describe him. Make a simple description and if you want, give it a name, nothing more, but if it is a main character, include all the details you can, even if it has had a coffee and where! You can use the following model:
Name, age, height, weight, role in the story, eye color, hair color, skin tone, habits, identifying traits, past, present, future, and main theme
Step 3. Start writing the plot and if you want, you can build on the characters you already have
Or else, you can base your characters on the plot. A strong argument has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning should be a presentation of future events and the life of the main character. The intermission should be based on the problem facing the main character as well as making an important decision, which will be the climax (or climax) of the novel. And the ending should cool down the plot and tie up loose ends leaving readers eager for your next great work!
- If you've been stuck trying to find a plot, you can get some ideas by reading your favorite mystery novels. Also, you should keep your eyes and ears open for new ideas and topics to write about.
- Make a scheme of ten scenes to order your argument. Write each scene separately and join them with some pages between them. The first scene should be an opening scene. Scenes two, three and four should develop the problems and conflicts. Scene five should be the point of no return in the conflict. Finally, scenes six, seven, eight, nine, and ten should resolve the conflict and tie up loose ends.
Step 4. Include some clues
Whether it is a crime novel or a ghost novel, you will need to include some clues about what actually happens in the novel. In crime novels, the clues must be very subtle, such as a cigarette butt at a crime scene or an out of place item that cannot be moved. In a ghost story, the clues should be powerful, like a missing person in the dark or a ghost's hand on one shoulder. Read some news on true crime scene events to find out what details you can offer your readers.
Step 5. Write a first draft
It doesn't have to be perfect as it's just the framework for your story. You can go back and start filling in the story with details, but in the meantime, focus on the framework! Let the writing flow easily, don't filter it. You just have to start writing your own ideas.
Step 6. Go back to the beginning and start editing it
Review your work and retype it over and over until your head hurts and your hand goes numb at least twice! Do the best you can and get ready for the next step, publish it.
Step 7. Submit it to a publisher
Prepare to receive no for an answer! Nobody gets their first mystery novel published easily! Getting it takes a lot of time and effort. Try again and after being rejected four times, make some changes and try again.
- Set a schedule each day in which you just write, without surfing the web or checking your email. Just to write.
- Take your time and don't rush! Many of the best novels ever written were written in “at least” a year!