The Place for Mystery Since 1995
MysteryNet Home
TV Movies

Buy through our affiliates:
•  Mystery Guild Book Club
•  Buy Books
•  Buy Games

Using Discussion

Registering (FREE—required to post)

• Subscribe   • Edit Posts   • Personal Profile

Customization & Tools (For Members)

 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Elements of a Mystery  /

In need of some ideas!!
Hello Everyone, My name is Drew Galaska and I'm a 20 year old college student who loves to write short stories. As I'm sure most of you do too, I find it to be very relaxing. Unfortunatly, I have have been under a lot of stress lately and I have come down with a bad case of writer's block. I could use the help of anyone who is willing to take a minute out of their time and offer it. I usually write short stories that would fall under a drama or thiller type catergory but I love reading mysteries and I want to try to write one. Does anyone have any good ideas for a basic plot? My least favorite part about writing is character names (I actually use numbers as names in the stories that are just for me to keep it simple), so if anyone has some neat characters names, that would be appreciated too. I will take any advice or suggestions I can get. Please dont hold back! Thanks and I hope to become a regular in this forum. -Drew

Juanita Rose Violini - 10:10pm Feb 22, 2004 PST(#1 of 10)

Get a big fat 'name your baby'book and that will cover tons of first and many last names. You could also use, street names, types of wood, or names of places or occupations for last names.

Basic plots: What's the desire, what's the obstacle to the desire, what's the resolution and, in a mystery, what's the solution.

Champagne Don Dill - 08:34pm Feb 23, 2004 PST(#2 of 10)

Write a story about a pimp who has to find a missing ho before midnight in order to save his own life

Champagne Don Dill - 08:35pm Feb 23, 2004 PST(#3 of 10)

Name the Pimp Prince Dill Velvet and the missing ho Yolanda

Brandon Irish - 06:15am Aug 26, 2004 PST(#4 of 10)

Try Sandy Peterson, Detective Ron, Kim Wagner, Nancy Pace and Joe Grey

Whispering Statue - 12:22am Jun 24, 2005 PST(#5 of 10)

Drew: If you want to write a mystery, I suggest you start by reading some. The category of "mystery" has about 14 sub-categories, like historical mystery, paranormal mystery, hard core mystery, mainstream mystery, cozy mystery... etc. Before you jump in, it might be helpful to get the lay of the land and the bigger picture.

There are some good books out there to help you. Try, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Writing A Novel by Joyce and Jim Lavene. In this book the author discusses all of these different types of mystery. This will help give you a basics idea about each category of mystery. Also, with the purchase of one book, you will have a pretty good idea if you want to write mystery at all, or some other genre.

If you decide that it really IS mystery you want. Then, select a (one of 14) category you want to write to and then read as many authors in that category as you can. After a while, your brain will start to formulate certain plots on its own once you understand the mechanics of the genre.

Good luck!

Mary Strong - 01:44pm Oct 11, 2005 PST(#6 of 10)

Drew, Don't forget the good old Sally, Jane, Bill, Frank, Joe, Tammy, Nelly, ect. Joe Smith is one I think of as super simple! -Mary

Juanita Rose Violini - 01:09pm Oct 12, 2005 PST(#7 of 10)

Read 'Writing the Modern Mystery' by Barbara Norville and 'How to Write Killer Fiction' by Carolyn Wheat. All your questions will be answered!

Timothy England - 07:35pm Aug 1, 2009 PST(#8 of 10)

Hello, my name is Tim and I would love to write a mystery book but I have a most curious question how does one commit murder that hasnt already been done yet? In other words, just about all kinds of ways to kill someone has already been used in some way or fashion.

I was thinking of using the methods of "accidental deaths" as the real murders but I am not sure if they have been done before or not. I also had one more idea allergies, people who are alergic to either meds or foods or any othe product could be how a person died.

First and foremost I am not a writer nor do I pretend to be one. I have no patience to write one. I would love to be able to sit down and write one. But I am sure nobody would read it, if'in I was a book writer that is.

The story I would like to write about is about a husband and wife detective team who solves murder mysteries. Sorta like Nick and Nora Charles of "The Thin Man" series of books, but of course my duo couple are totally different.

I just wanted to ask that question..hope yall can help. Tim

Fran Hinkel - 04:32am Aug 4, 2009 PST(#9 of 10)
You can check out anytime you like...but you can never leave!

Tim, welcome! I cannot think of a method that has not already been done by someone at some point. So, I'm thinking something to do with new technology - something that was not available in the past as a murder method - but I don't know what that would be.

Juanita Rose Violini - 06:54am Aug 4, 2009 PST(#10 of 10)

It's not the method that needs to be original as much as the point of view.

There are only a finite number of motives, methods and opportunities when you boil it down. Fresh eyes to see them through is what will make your stories stand out.

 Read Subscriptions  Search  New User Registration  Login

 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Elements of a Mystery  / In need of some ideas!!

In Association with

Support MysteryNet

Start Your Amazon
Shopping Here: