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Mystery: February 10, 2021 Issue [#10610]

 This week: Just a little mystery
  Edited by: Arakun the Twisted Raccoon
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

Quote for the week: “The mystery story is two stories in one: the story of what happened and the story of what appeared to happen.” ― Mary Roberts Rinehart.

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

A mystery story doesn't have to be a complete novel. Some mysteries, including many that have been published as novels, would work much better as short stories.

If a story has a simple plot and relatively few characters it might be an excellent short story, but might not have enough "meat" for an entire novel. That does not mean it isn't a good story as it is. Resist the temptation to add filler and unnecessary subplots or characters to a good short story to bring it up to novel length. Unless the additions improve the story, you are better off without them. There is nothing more annoying for a reader than a good 1000 word story stretched into a boring 350 page novel.

Occasionally the opposite situation occurs, and a writer tries to force an entire novel into a 1000 word story. Some stories aren't complete without several intertwined subplots or a large cast of characters. If reviewers keep telling you that your story seems rushed or your characters are underdeveloped, you might need to flesh it out in some way.

When you start writing your story, you may not always know what length will fit best. Don't be afraid to cut a longer story or add to a shorter one if you feel it will work better that way.

Shorter stories often begin in the middle of the action. For example, the story might begin with the detectives at the crime scene instead of opening chapters that set the stage. You might need to show the characters' personalities and relationships through brief dialogue exchanges and action scenes instead of longer narrative description.

Examples of good short mystery stories include those that were presented on the old "Twilight Zone" or those still published in "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine" or "The Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine."

Something to try: Write a mystery story in 1000 words or less.

Editor's Picks

Murder by Numbers   (18+)
A Rebecca Brookes novel
#2221825 by Odessa Molinari

The Heroes of Corvus: Roulette (Preview)  (13+)
A contract villain investigates the cause of a former opponent's death.
#1261888 by Patricia Gilliam

Pygmalion, a serial killer's weblog (1)  (18+)
First chapter: The Man
#2087300 by WakeUpAndLive

Star Trek: The Collaborative Story  (13+)
I co-wrote this story with Narnia3 for The Collaborative Contest.
#587858 by Maryann

Malaco Malone  (18+)
A young girl is abducted, but then... - 2nd Place Distorted Minds Contest April 2017
#2116501 by Robert Edward Baker

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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

Question for next time: What subjects would you like to see in future mystery newsletters?
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