Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mystery 101

Mystery 101 Course Syllabus

Objective: Students completing this course will be able to identify at least three key elements needed to write a mystery.

READTop 10 Rules for Mystery Writing” by Ginny Wiehardt This post is a great introduction to mystery writing.
READ “Twisting the Plot for a Great Mystery” I like this article because it gives the novice some great tips for creating a plot using the notion of a timeline and inserting twists.
READ "Taking the Mystery Out of Writing Mysteries" by Dennis Palumbo This is a super post about character development. Think about your own protagonist and antagonist. The characters are every bit as important as the plot when it comes to writing a mystery.
READ"Understanding the Essentials of Writing a Murder Mystery" Don’t let the title fool you. This post is all about strategy. I have often thought that charting the storyline of a mystery can be likened to solving a maze. Hint: Start with the end. The twists and turns and dead ends are what make the story interesting.
WRITEYour assignment is to draft a short story mystery. Play with it. Have fun. Roll the idea around in your brain and let it spill out onto paper. It belongs to you. No one needs to read it except you.  But….

...If you want to polish your idea a bit, you may want to enter it into the Whodunnit U Flash Fiction contest.

Flash Fiction Contest Details:
·      Write an original mystery/suspense story to be eligible to win.
·      All stories must be 1000-1200 words long. Stories need to be “family friendly” meaning no foul language, graphic details, or erotica.
·      All entrants will be eligible to win a $5 gift card to Target.
·      Stories will be judged by visiting faculty member, Lillian Duncan
·      The winning author will receive a “basket of books”- an ebook collection by Lillian Duncan including, Geese Mate for Life; Serenity Springs, Ohio; Dark Alleys; and Until Death Do Us Part. The winning entry may be selected as a post on Ms. Duncan’s blog, Tiaras and Tennis Shoes. Authors of other stories of merit may be contacted to include on A Novel Creation. All stories posted on blogs are subject to editing.
·      Stories may be submitted anytime during the Whodunnit series but no later than December 3, 2014.
·      Submit your entry by emailing it as an attachment to

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