Worlds of imagination by Sara B. Gauldin
Will the girl fall for the right guy? Will the alien kill the human? Will the idiot teenager work through her pubescent angst? Will the protagonist find the murderer before she herself is killed?
I just released Robbed of Soul, an adult mystery that combines a modern-day murder with the 150-year-old legend of Montezuma’s treasure in Utah. While this is the fifth novel I’ve published, before writing it I boned up on some elements of writing an effective mystery. Here are six of my favorite:
Point #1: A mystery is really a collection of smaller mysteries with one “biggie” that carries through the entire book. For example, there may be a murder investigation going on, but don’t forget about the unsigned note, the threatening phone call, an unidentified skeleton, a missing person, etc.
Point #2: Once you know your plot, make a list of clues you can use in your story. And don’t forget the one “crucial clue” carefully hidden so readers will remember it only when the reveal is finally given.
Point #3: You have to have red herrings—bits of information designed to mislead readers. If you don’t, your reader may figure out the mystery mid book. The is the kiss of death to any novel.
Point #4: Motive, motive, motive. For Robbed of Soul, I interviewed a veteran police investigator. He said in real life there are only a handful of reason people commit crime (besides mental illness). These are: revenge, jealousy, self-protection, personal gain, and love (or hate).
Point #5: Have the “right” number of suspects. Some say no more than six or seven serious suspects. Any more than that and you lose your reader.
Point #6: Unlike an “action” story, mysteries must contain promises to reveal more information. These “promises” are what make your reader turn the page. Not the car chase or the fist fight. Don’t forget that once you make a promise of information, you must deliver or incur the wrath of your reader and collect bad reviews.
Do you like books? Do you like Zions National Park? Join the ROBBED OF SOUL book launch giveaway and you may win 3 nights in a vacation townhome in Kanab, Utah.
(Thirty minutes from Zions.) A $450 value! (Or a $100 Amazon gift card if preferred.)
<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1aac1d6a2/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”1aac1d6a2″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_1hsua0vf”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
Rescued but psychologically damaged from a failed mission, ex-CIA officer Maria Branson takes the job of police chief in the quiet town of Kanab, Utah. Rest and relaxation are the doctor’s orders. She gets neither. Instead, a missing mayor, the spirit of a dead Aztec warrior, and the over-confident-yet-attractive head of Search and Rescue await her in a town whose past has almost as many secrets as her own. As Maria investigates a modern-day murder, she disturbs a world of ancient legends and deadly curses. Yet most lethal of all is Maria’s fear someone will discover just how empty her soul really is.
No Nonsense, Just Common Sense
your online source for awesome film, genre writing, and pop culture podcasts
Random ponderings on the state of the Universe
Sharing our past, present and future.
The Misadventures Of A Indie Author
The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!
Book and Product Reviews
My world has its own rules
Looking for the perfect combination of vintage hearts and modern hashtags
Just another WordPress.com site
Judging books by their covers since the 90s
A Blog On Writing
Believing In The Unbelievables: From Aspiring Writer to Published Author
Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool
Preparing students for lifelong learning
Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
A Real Life Blog on Faith, Homeschooling, Natural Health and more!
Writing & Publishing, e-Books & Book Marketing