Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So You Wanna Write a Mystery

This past Saturday I attended my first Sisters in Crime meeting. I’ve been an avid mystery/crime reader since childhood, leaving my fingerprints on the pages of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys before moving on to The Three Investigators then The Saint and The Cat Who series. Doesn’t matter if  they’re hard-boiled, police procedurals, or cozies, I love whodunits. When I found a copy of Murder Ink at my local Peddler’s Mall I was ecstatic. Every Saturday afternoon, I watch Ellery Queen match wits with Simon Brimmer. For several Sundays, my eyes were glued to PBS Mystery! particularly the Inspector Lewis and Sherlock series. To say I’m overjoyed that Sherlock is continuing is an understatement. And yes, I own the Inspector Lewis and Sherlock DVDs.

Nevertheless, despite my enthusiasm for reading murder mysteries, I’ve never written any. I have an idea for one involving an NTSB agent but so far that’s all it is, an idea. The closest I ever came to writing a crime thriller was a screenplay, Final Curtain, about a widowed homicide detective and his retrocognitive partner hunting a serial killer who dressed victims as historical figures who’d met a violent end.

Do you want to write a mystery? Perhaps this tongue-in-cheek advice from Edgar-nominated mystery writer Parnell Hall can help you get started. Warning: contains graphic violence. But of course you’d expect that in a murder mystery, right? Don’t say you weren’t warned.

No comments: