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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Generally Speaking...  /

What to Write
Derek - 10:57am Jul 23, 1997 PST

I'm just learning how to become a Writer. I would to start a discussion on the ideas other Writer's have on the subject?

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages (67 previous messages)
Barbara Bassett - 10:44am Mar 18, 2000 PST(#68 of 75)
(pseudonym of B.L.McAllister)

Hmmmmm--because I wanted a fictional place in Montana to be located in an entirely fictional place, I invented two new counties in that state. Of course, all of the three novels that use them are currently "aging in wood." But at one point it proved desirable to mention how many counties there are there (the truth is: 56), so I just added my two and announced that there are 58. I can hardly wait, now, to find a publisher, so I can find out how many busy-bodies write in to announce that they know the true number. (Actually, I'll wager none do, but it's an interesting thought.)

Steven Philip Jones - 04:01pm May 4, 2000 PST(#69 of 75)

I'd like to know what other people on this site think of this: Several films in recent years have 'sent up' their genre, e.g. Scream, Scary Movie, Last Action Hero, Galaxy Quest. How about a murder mystery that does the same thing? The murder would take place in an old English country house, the culprit would be the butler, a locked room would be involved and there would be frequent references to Murder She Wrote, Sherlock Holmes, Columbo and other murder mysteries.

Hugh Drummond - 03:12am May 19, 2000 PST(#70 of 75)
" I have a criminal mind... I see bad in everyone," (Mr. J.G. Reeder)

Fine if you can do it. The trouble I have found with TV mysteries in the UK that try to do that is that they end up being considerably less amusing than the real thing. Also, in my opinion, it is far more difficult to keep up humour for a full novel that it is to write a 'straight' story. Not that I'm trying to put you off, but warning you to be careful. If you can do it- go for it!


David Somerville - 02:33am May 23, 2000 PST(#71 of 75)

Steven I think that is an idea with lots of potential. If you have seen an episode of the British show "Ripping Yarns" called 'Murder at Moorestones Manor' yet, I highly recommend you do attempts to send up the classic murder mystery genre, and succeeds - it is hilarious. The movie Clue also did this to a certain extent in that it didn't take itself too seriously.

I think perhaps the idea lends itself more to a television genre than the movie, only for the reason that Hugh mentioned - its quite difficult to keep that 'sending up' style of humour for a full length movie. Even Galaxy Quest didn't succeed in doing this for the whole movie - the joke wore thin after a while. But I'd love to see it if its eventually written, thats for sure!

Matilda James - 01:43pm Jan 17, 2001 PST(#72 of 75)

Hello everyone, I am new to this site but it is really cool! I have a little situation that you all may be able to help me with. A woman in my office hosts a wine group every couple of months and this month she wants to have a murder mystery party, where each guest plays a different role: one or more of them are victims, one is the murderer, the others are/aren't witnesses. Do any of you know of any murder mysteries, stories or novels, that deal with wine, or could be adapted to deal with wine? Most of my favorite authors are a little too edgy for this (Michael Dibdin, Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell, and the like). Or you may have some tips on writing a short murder mystery about wine. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Plus they would make me "look good." She just happens to be my office mananger. You can email your suggestions to me, or just post them. Thank You!

sarah anderson - 06:44pm Sep 6, 2002 PST(#73 of 75)

Hello I am new to this site and I think its too good.Actually I am thinking of writing a book but I don't know how to start it and end it to make it very very intresting.And one more thing can there be duplicate in real life I mean I have read books and in some books the authors come up with few characters having the same face. Is it true or its just an imaginary thinking . Thank You.

Brandt Dodson - 08:56am Feb 28, 2006 PST(#74 of 75)
Mystery author

I would suggest that you write what moves you, and from a position of experience. That's not the same as "writing what you know". But it is the same as putting yourself in the characters' shoes. Feeling their emotions, etc.

For example, I write from a Christian worldview. So, I write "Christian" novels. That doesn't mean sermonizing, but since ALL writers impart a view point, and since the mystery is a "morality" play of good vs evil, it tends to lend itself to the Christian perspective. I've signed a 3-book contact with a major Christian publisher, with the first of the three "Original Sin" coming out in March of '06.

If you are a Christian, then this is perhaps something you should look at.

So, write what you know. But interpret that advice broadly.

Barbara Bassett - 03:53pm Jan 30, 2011 PST(#75 of 75)
(pseudonym of B.L.McAllister)

Those three novels have been published for a while now (under my and my wife's real names, neither of which is Barbara Bassett) and nobody has written in to complain about the number of counties I pretended exist in Montana. Well, maybe only two of them use fictitious numbers, and that not overly conspicuously, so it probably just means that all my Montana readers are intelligent enough to see why the fiction was useful.

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Generally Speaking...  / What to Write

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