Monday, June 13, 2011

The Magic of Mystery

Mystery Monday

A mystery author is a magician. Magicians know how to entertain and draw attention away from what they are actually doing to make people think they are doing something entirely different.

Brain cramp, right?

It's really very simple. 

There's the actual plot and then there's all the other "sleight-of-hand" plots that throw off readers so they don't see the truth that's right in front of them.
Actual plot...
This is the plot that all other plots swirl around. This answers everything: who died? who is the killer? what was the weapon? when did it happen? why did it happen? and how did it happen?  It's the truth of your story. 

Sleight of Hand plots...
These plots are the ones you dazzle your readers with. They may answer some of the who, what, where, when, why and how, but not all of them. Some of these plots may sputter out quickly, some may last for most of the book, but they should all logically conclude.

All you have to do is pick up your "what-if" wand and start plotting.

What do you enjoy about reading/writing a good mystery? 


  1. I love cleverness. Wish I had some. Rowling's red herrings were awesome. I mean a murdering rat masquerading as family pet for three books?

  2. Donna,
    I've seen your blog. You're full of cleverness.

    You're right, Rowling did a masterful job of planting red-herrings.

    I'm sure you can do it, too. :)

  3. Oh yeah, easy. Right. I'm going to begin plotting my next before too long. Did I say I'm not a logical thinker? Could I have chosen a more difficult genre to write in? Ack. I need some plot magic :)

  4. I love your descriptions of mystery plots! I LOVE mystery - it's so much fun! And your comparison to a magician is fantastic! Thanks for a great post! :)

  5. Carol,
    Sometimes not being a logical thinker can work to your advantage, because it opens your mind to other possibilities. Pull out your magic "what if" wand and have some fun.

  6. Brenda,
    You're very welcome! I'm glad you stopped by and left a comment. I love mystery too. You never know where the story is going to take you. :)

  7. I enjoy it when I am surprised. It is rare for it to happen to me. I tend to figure out tv shows, movies and books. I love to be stunned, shocked or surprised~

  8. Hey1 I like not knowing what really happened until the very last much fun. I'm not sure how to comment back to you when you comment on my blog. do you?

  9. Ella,
    I know what you mean. My family hates to go to movies with me because I can usually tell them what's going to happen. I love it when I can't.

  10. Cindy,
    It's a great book that will take you to the last page and surprise you. :)

    I usually just post a comment to answer comments on my blog and then if there's a return email I send my comment there also. Probably double posting, but I want people to know I've read what they say. Good luck!

  11. I agree - I'm in awe of the plotting power of mystery writers.:-)

  12. A 'what-if' wand? I have one of those. I didn't realize it was so easy! ;)

  13. Michelle,
    Well, there you go. Now, pick up that wand and make some magic. :)



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