Here you will find my daily journal of small stones and inspiration!
|red herring - something, especially a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting.
More info can be found in http://literarydevices.net/red-herring/
The prompt for June 2, 2015: In writing a mystery is it essential to have a red herring?
I don't believe a mystery needs to contain a red herring, but the author had better do some damn good writing. I think the red herring keeps the reader interested. Without it, the author needs to have other 'hooks' to keep the pages turning. The misleading clue make the reader think they have figured the mystery out and when the author discredits this clue the reader in enthralled. The mystery becomes larger and more engrossing. The author has duped the reader and now the reader wants to know the truth.
So, you go ahead and write your mystery without the red herring, if I wrote mysteries I would have the red herring or at least the smoked kipper....