Mystery novels have become a part of literary culture through the years. In truth the mystery genre has remained a stalwart in bestsellers lists and has influenced popular culture in many facets, from TV shows to movies mystery novels have become a mainstay. But what makes mystery novels so enjoyable to read? What makes people as excited as they turn the pages and delve deeper into the intrigue? Is it the nefarious plots? The mindbogglingly hard cases? The multi-dimensional suspects?
Here are 7 things that make a mystery novel truly great.
1. The Hero
The hero is your point of view character in most mystery novels. And through the years we have seen them all. From hard bitten detectives to young but brilliant high school students. In truth the trick to writing a mystery novel hero is to make them as multifaceted as possible. Your mystery novel hero can be a hardened war veteran who has a penchant for flower decorating or a young preteen girl who has a genius level intellect and watches a lot of murder movies. The most important thing to remember when you create your mystery novel hero, is that the hero must be unique and be able to capture your reader’s attentions.
You also don’t have to adhere to the usual clichés of a morally upright hero. The hero can even be an anti-hero that has no qualms about taking the lives of criminals. Just remember that they don’t become as bad as the criminals they kill.
2. The supporting cast
When writing a mystery novel you should remember that your hero is nothing without a good cast characters. Your supporting cast offers your hero the support they need to pursue their crusade against crime. The supporting should be a cold contrast with your hero. If your hero is a rebel, then your sidekick should be a straight arrow. If your hero is a weirdo then your supporting cast should be as mentally grounded as possible. This contrast makes the relationship between your hero and sidekick a great dynamic.
When it comes to writing a mystery novel, you should remember that the devil lies in the details. The details allow you to create an atmosphere that will make the story more colorful and multifaceted. For example if you want to make your scene as foreboding as possible, you should be as detailed as possible. Write about the temperature of the place, every minute detail and the objects inside the room. Remember that the more detailed your writing the more potent the effect will be with readers.
4. The claustrophobic effects
Have you ever noticed the stifling feeling you have whenever you read a mystery novel? This is especially evident during the more suspenseful parts such as the unfolding of the main villain or a murder investigation scene. Well so has every one who has read a mystery novel. This feeling is in truth the bread and butter of mystery novels writers. This is the feeling of fear and anticipation that mystery novel readers are looking for. So when you are writing your mystery novel try to instill as much of these effects as possible.
5. The subplots
It is always a great idea to add subplots when you are writing a mystery novel. This is because it gives your novel added depth and dimension. You can use subplots in a lot of ways. You can make separate subplots that can arc over the series of the book. You can also link the subplot with your main plot. It all depends on you and how you want your novel to progress.
6. The well-paced storyline
One of the tricks to writing a good mystery novel is a well-paced storyline. A well placed story line allows you to control the chills and spills of the story. It allows you to create and lead up to an atmosphere of fear and lead up to a great conclusion. It gives your story the structure it needs to move forward.
7. The Villain
When you are writing a mystery novel one of the trickiest to create is the villain. This is because the villain has to be both unique and yet believable. His or her mentality and motives should be realistic and yet can draw in the readers to the story. This is where it gets tricky, because there has to be a perfect balance of charisma and terror. The villain should stand out from the hero and the rest of the cast and yet not too much that it overshadows the story. But once you do get the villain right you will be surprised at how popular they can be. In many ways the hero can only shine if the villain is equally good. Because the villain is the darkness to the hero’s light. And this dynamic makes great mystery novels!