I'm no murder mystery expert.
Actually, I really prefer the non-violent mysteries (thievery, forgery, etc.) But the murder mystery is the most famous (and the largest) genre of mystery, so I've decided to focus on that.
Welcome to How to Write a Murder Mystery.
Me and murder mysteries go way back. I have read all sixty canonical Sherlock Holmes stories, a goodly amount of Agatha Christie, nearly every Peter Wimsey, seen every episode of Psych...
However, I've never written a (serious) one.
Wait a minute, Lauren, you say, why are you telling us how to write a murder mystery if you've never even written one yourself??
The answer: I'm not. I won't be telling you how to write a murder mystery. Instead I'll be attempting to show you.
Yes, my readers, I have written a three-act murder mystery that will give you the formula to write a formulaic MM. I have left no trope untouched, no cliche unturned.
This three-act mystery will star our two generic heroes, Detective and Sidekick. They will be hired by Client to discover who killed Victim. And of course we'll have Bumbling Inspector, Sheltered Woman, and Heartless Murderer, as well as a good smattering of Suspicious Suspects.
It's a big cliche-fest, so get ready to gather round and prepare to predict what happens next. Hopefully you'll see murder mysteries in a way you never have before. Or at least you'll have a good time.
Either way, be prepared for next Friday, when I will present for your pleasure H2WaMM: Act One.
Are you a murder mystery fan, or more of a non-violent mystery fan? How many murder mysteries have you read? Ever written a murder mystery? What murder mystery cliches have always bugged you?