Mystery usually is a genre that has suspense in it. It can involve anything from a murder to a robbery to a disappearance to a stolen cookie.  These are only some of the many types of mystery. These types of mysteries also (sometimes) involve a detective.

This genre can also be called detective or crime novels.

Key elements in a mystery story:

  • The beginning must be unusual; something the detective will have to solve
  • The protagonist must be a detective
  • The other characters are suspects in solving the crime
  • There must be an alibi to help solve the case
  • There are many problems all along the story
  • At the end of the book/series, the case must be solved, or they got a step closer

Fun things to add in a mystery story:

  • Dramatic tension
  • An accomplice who helps the detective solve the case

Writing mystery can be hard, because you don’t want to make the plot sound cliché. For example, you do not was to have there be ‘hidden notes’ to help the detective. If that was you plan, this is how you make it more interesting: Have there be a twist. Instead of having the clues be on something like a sticky note, make it more interesting. For example, you could make the detective have to find the clue out of a person… but not literally. Have them try to talk the clue out of the person. The detective should try to get a clue from someone without them noticing. This is hard, so it will have to be very planned out.

If your story is involving something like a robbery and you have to find out more about a suspect, a good way to make it NOT cliché, is to have to story be directed to someone who knows them the most. Make the suspect’s most known person (like friend or sibling) be the detective’s accomplice. This will add a spark to your story.

One famous mystery author is Sir Arthur Connan Doyle, creator of the Sherlock Holmes books.  The detective, Mr. Holmes, doesn’t reveal very much of his thinking until after he solves the crime.  The reader, and Mr.Holmes’s accomplice, Mr. Watson, are surprised after by his correct reasoning.