Read some mystery short stories to get the feel of the pace. You can even find some of their short stories online at Project Gutenberg see Resources. Decide what crime has been committed.
What is a Mystery Short Story? I think of a short story as a piece of fiction less than around 20, words in length usually between 2, and 5, words.
It often focuses on one event, one problem, and one character or a small set of characters. Others have defined it in more simple terms. Wells said a short story is any piece of fiction that can be read in half an hour, and Chekhov said a story is a problem a writer must solve for a reader.
Those definitions are also accurate. Now, what is a "mystery" short story? It's the same thing, except that a crime of some kind is central to its plot. By that I mean the crime is a significant part of the story, to the point that if you remove the crime from the story, the plot has no meaning.
Be aware, however, that some mystery markets consider a short story to be a "mystery" if it merely involves a crime, or even the threat of a crime. If a crime plays an important part in the plot, the story should be considered appropriate for submission to short mystery markets.
Of the seven stories I've sold to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, only two were true whodunits, where the identity of the murderer is withheld until the end. The other five were just regular tales about characters directly involved in some way with a murder, robbery, burglary, etc.
And only one of the nine stories I've sold to Woman's World they buy word "mini-mysteries" was a whodunit. Again, if you build your story around a crime of some sort, it can and should be considered a mystery. You should know, however, that there are different categories of mystery stories.
This is important for two reasons: What are these different categories of mysteries? Enough types for you? According to Sue Grafton in her introduction to Writing Mysteries: I think all of us know what a police procedural is, and a PI story, and most of the others.
The terms that always confused me were "cozy" and "hard-boiled. The hard-boiled has a professional detective, violence, and sex, and takes place on the mean streets. The cozy has an amateur sleuth, takes place among 'regular' folks, progresses through ratiocination rather than physical action, and sex is not something people do, it's what they have secrets about.
Or at least it used to be. The fact is, though, I really doubt you'll need to bother too much with trying to categorize your mystery. Just create a story about a regular person faced with a hostile or threatening situation of some kind, have him suffer a bit in the process, and then have him win.
That should do the job. Some Short Fiction Basics Because of its abbreviated length, a short story must be focused and compact.
It should contain no more information than absolutely necessary. This is extremely important to remember.Readers of short mystery fiction look for instant gratification.
They're not interested in complex philosophical ideas about good and evil or the nature of the human mind. That doesn't mean, though, your imagination has no room to play. Here's how to write a successful mystery short story.
Read some mystery short stories to get the feel of the pace. Mississippi writer John Floyd has sold more than short stories and fillers to + publications, including Strand Magazine, Grit, Woman's World, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
His stories have been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and the Derringer Award. Readers of short mystery fiction look for instant gratification.
They're not interested in complex philosophical ideas about good and evil or the nature of the human mind. It’s my pleasure to share with you some fun, quirky, story ideas for writing mysteries.
(This is the fourth in my series of story ideas, by the way. If you’re interested in the others, check out 20 fantasy story ideas, 20 sci-fi story ideas, and 20 romance story ideas. HOW TO WRITE A MINI-MYSTERY. with short brown hair, green eyes, lots of freckles, and dimpled cheeks.
a piece of jewelry, a locked room, then have them write a story about the picture. Set out the game of Clue and have small groups write a mini-mystery involving the characters, rooms, and weapons in the game.
8. Share the finished mini. Detective Stories - Intriguing Tales of Mystery, Suspense & Detective Stories in the tradition of the original Strand Magazine (), The Strand features a wide array of Detective Stories reminiscent of the Golden Age of crime writing from cozy whodunits to hard- boiled detective stories, suspenseful thrillers to humorous mysteries.