096: How to Build a Good Mystery Part 1

How to Build a Good Mystery Part 1

Ask the Right Question

April 20, 2018


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This episode is based on a post from Jan Fields, a ICL regular contributor. The experiences I refer to are hers, not mine.

At this point, Jan has sold well over two dozen mystery novels for adults and has written and sold mysteries for children, both as short stories and chapter books. In fact, many of her adventure stories have a strong mystery structure along with the adventure. This is because

  • mysteries are puzzling and kids love puzzles
  • a good puzzle has a clear question and a "right" answer that requires careful thought
  • good puzzles are challenging but not frustrating
  • good puzzles are fun.

But your first mystery story can feel overwhelming to plan and write so today's episode reveals how Jan does it, using a method she’s honed through all these published books and stories.

Listen to part 2 HERE.

Click here to download the show notes with extra resources!


Margaret Wilhelm
May 16, 2018

Thank you-All your comments are helpful.

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