Writing a mystery novel might not be as easy as it seems, it is not easy to develop memorable characters with which the readers can identify even later on after the reading part is done, there is the need of an exciting plot that would be based on the author’s ability to use any of the structures that are used in mystery writing. What makes this writing a Herculean task is the need to show the story instead of telling the audience a story. The reading itself should be revealing of the components of the story without unnecessary explanations. In this regard, it is important to discuss some basic elements that influence a good mystery novel.
The plot of a mystery novel should be focused on the crime that has been committed. The development of characters in the initial stages of the novel can be said to be introductory, but the story should be focused on the roles that all the characters pay towards the common theme in a mystery novel which usually involves the commission of a crime. They can either be part of the criminal activity; they can be victims, or they can be part of the solution to the problem. Mystery novels often have the criminal trying very hard not to get caught while the investigator or detective is working towards apprehending the criminal. These two individuals always have to be embroiled in a puzzle that each attempts to fix towards his solutions through consideration of the clues although the reader is always left to unravel the mystery by himself.
Characterization is also an important element in mystery novels. Character development is expected to ensure that each character is built to fit certain roles, for example, a former navy seal getting involved in solving the murder in a town, or a police officer becoming a killer to revenge his being fired, using his knowledge of the town he successfully hides his victims in alleys. The author is required to develop the characters while anticipating their roles in solving the mystery in the novel. For instance, the main character in a mystery novel typically solves the mystery by finding the killer or involving others who end the murders. The traits of the main character have to be designed towards being a problem solver based on a particular trait in their lives.
The motive of the murderer should also be exposed. It could be revenge, jealousy, greed or any other motive and at the same time, it is important to develop a sleuth who eventually solves the mystery. This will increase the confidence of the readers and their hope that the mystery might be solved at one point. However, it is important to give subtle hints that direct the readers towards the killer and these hints should be spread all over the book. This heightens the tension and keeps the reader engaged as he or she hopes to get more information on what happens. Writing a good mystery or murder requires patience and skill especially in the development of the story so that you don’t reveal too much too soon.