This week: The Mystery Is...Edited by: ember_rain
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Mysteries are all around us, working to expose who we are as people. In this newsletter, we take a look at the origin of the word and how it lead to the most important questions any mystery writer can ask. Who, What, When, Where, and why... Or if you prefer: Who, With What, In which room.
Have you ever stopped and Googled the word Mystery? If not then please take the time now to do just that. We will wait. ... Done? Good!
I don't know what your list showed but mine starts with a Wikipedia entry then moves on to PBS's Masterpiece Mysteries. What caught my eye though was Websters Dictionary definition. It's to long to post here, so I will give you the link. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mystery
What I expected to find was references to Murder She Wrote, Poe, Agatha Christie. What I found instead, as you can see if you follow the link, Were references to old religion. I had forgotten, after all of these years, that religious non mainstream groups of Greece and Rome were refereed to as mysteries. People we think of today as the scientists and mathematicians that gave us the answers to the universe were once members of such groups.
The word mystery evolved from the word Minister. Minister... Ministry... Mystery.
This is one of those words whose evolution fascinates me. It does so because the evolution makes sense. How often does that happen? These groups, cults if you will, were formed to answer the great mysteries of the world. Many of those mysteries remain... well mysteries. Even more have been answered by the dutiful explorations of the scientist.
At some point in time a writer put pen to paper and wrote about the ultimate mystery. What is it that drives a person to steal, kill or even just disappear? It was, at least from my perspective, the last great question. Today, mystery stories, be they TV Drama's, Psychological thrillers, or just a story about a little girl who makes new friends and finds an old mansion full of newspapers left behind by an old man she couldn't understand, continue to try and find the answers to why humans do what they do.
We owe a debt to the first human ever to ask, who, what, when, where and why. Without them, there would be no mystery. Without the cults of the past searching for answers, the mystery writers of today would have nothing to write about. So when you sit down to write your next mystery, think of them and maybe pay them some homage. If for no other reason, than to give your readers a mystery to ponder of why you included them in the first place.
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