I have carried around the idea for my new murder mystery for such a long time that I have lost the chance to walk away from bringing the story to life. But every time I try to get the story going I am unsatitfied and feel as if I’m ready to give up, again. Frustrated, I give myself a few days to clear my mind before I make a new attempt.
At the moment, I don’t intend on including a lot if any of the murder scene in my novel. Not because I can’t do it, but because this is simply how the story is building up in my mind and in my notes. The big problem with not including the murder is I don’t know the details or clues I could leave available for my detective to find. I started to build up a mystery puzzle only to realize I didn’t have all the pieces. Thankfully, those middle of the night thoughts put it all together. If there isn’t a murder, then why do we care about the detective’s story?
I don’t think I’ll have the murder scene in my novel, but I do think I’ll need to write the scene up. Before I start writing my novel, I am going to write how the crime is committed with as much detail as possible. This way I will know what details I need to include while telling the story outside of the crime. It will make writing the main story of solving the crime much easier than going in blind.
A lot of people reading this are probably thinking, How can you write a murder mystery without including the murder in the book? Simple. I won’t write the crime as it occurred, but reveal how the crime was accomplished as the detective pieces it together. It’s how crimes are solved every day, so it actually makes sense. In a way, the reader will be walking through each page in the detective’s shoes. Maybe they’ll reach the answer before him, but there’s always a chance they’ll be learning it at his pace. In fact, I think this will make my novel more exciting. Leaving out the murder scene will leave for a bit of wonder in my readers’ minds. Who committed the crime? Why did they kill the person? Is there a chance to solve the crime? What more do we need to know? There needs to be a way for an author to make it almost impossible for their readers to put the book down. Creating questions can make a reader’s curiosity take over their ability to stop reading.
Do you read a lot of mystery? What do you like about crime novels?