Friday, June 8, 2012

H2WaMM: the Prologue

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?


  1. Sounds like fun. Writing is all about the show not the tell. Looking forward to the cliches

  2. Love your mystery archetypes. This sounds like a blast. I'm not a murder mystery fan, but you have me intrigued.

  3. This sounds like fun! (I mean, you know, murder can't be fun..but the posts...anyhow...moving on.)

    I like mysteries, all kinds. I've read lots of murder mysteries, the plot I love best is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I love that plot, so much. Sherlock Holmes and some interesting ones too though. I also like the old mystery TV shows. Remington Steele. Get Smart. Shows like that.

    Can't wait for the posts!

  4. Jenn - yes! We want to experience ourselves what happens, not just be told what to think.

    Leslie - oh good! Hope you'll enjoy it, then. :)

    Jack - "And Then There Were None" was really great, but creeped me out a little when I first read it. :)

    Love Get Smart! My sister does as well (she's an enormous fan).



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