November 30th, 2011

ISeeYou2

Writing Excuses 6.26: Mystery Plotting

Writing Excuses 6.26: Mystery Plotting

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/11/27/writing-excuses-6-26-mystery-plotting/

Key Points: Mystery plots are when you don't know what's going to happen, and you're waiting for the revelation. How do you write a plot that is about finding out information? One trick is to bury the important information: for example, in the middle of a list. Add extra people and details to make it harder to see the important part for the trees. Start with the solution to the mystery, then work backwards, adding red herrings and other distractions. How could someone misperceive this? Break your information and clues into small chunks and reveal them slowly. Plan how to dole out the information, how to bury it, how to obscure it with other bits of information. Make your red herrings lead to something else, something extra. Separate learning a bit of information, realizing it is a clue, and realizing who it implicates into different scenes -- spread out the revelation.
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[Howard] Whichever. No, that's good. That's good. It's a puzzle box, and the answer to the puzzle is someone's soul is in this box. Now start building your way back to the beginning of the mystery so that the people who are trying to find out the actual contents of the box are deceived into thinking that it's anything but a soul right up until the very end.
[Brandon] That's very nice. Way to roll with our stupid comments, Howard. Well done.
[Howard] You called me Mister Brilliant, I had to execute.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.