Brainstorming Tips for Better Mystery Plots

A huge number of mystery novels are being published yearly, making it a competitive genre. And for your mystery book to stand out, your plot must be incredibly unique that will set your book apart from all others of its ilk. What captivates readers to a mystery book is not just the characters and the settings but also the plot. A good mystery plot has the potential to become the next bestseller book in the industry. Therefore, brainstorming is necessary for your creative work. The lack of authenticity and strong mystery ideas is the biggest problem of most writers trying to break into the business. Most writers follow the basic mystery plots and formula of a dead body turning up, someone goes missing, or something puzzling is begging to be solved, which are overused. The reader will probably know what happens next and who is the actual suspect. JB Clemmen’s Mystery At Pima Point uses the disappearing formula. Still, she gave the basic formula a sense of originality and charm that you can’t find in other books through a different execution. 

It seems as though all mystery plots are taken and rehashed, giving you no new concept of what to write. Brainstorming ideas will inspire you to form outstanding ideas. Brainstorming is more than just thinking; sometimes, you need to try various brainstorming techniques. Thus, this article will provide you with amazing brainstorming tips to help you explore and fuel your creative mind. 

Read Other Mystery Novels

What better way to form ideas other than through reading? May it be classic or bestselling mystery novels, you can find writing advice and ideas if you pay close attention. Read various books in the genre and find something, whether it be a small or big detail, that you can use and reconstruct as your own. Altering is not plagiarizing the copyrighted work. If you read mystery novels, most of them have similar ideas, formulas, and structure but how they reform it to make it uniquely their own is what makes it different from the rest. You have to acknowledge that all stories are a product of tributary influences, making everything a source of influence and inspiration. Actively seek inspiration from the stories you’ve consumed and cultivate creativity in your narrative. Digest the good part of the stories and explore them. Strip away components you don’t like to create your own plot. 

Understand the Theme Mystery

Understand that the definition of mystery is not only about murder mysteries. It can involve crime, whodunnits, and secrets. Writing a mystery novel is creating a puzzle, then solving it in the end. Most mystery novels feature a detective, policeman, or private eye solving a case, similar to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Recognize that mystery fiction is often, but not always, crime and murder-related. Mystery has branches on the genre tree. It can branch out to traditional mysteries, hardboiled, caper, cozy, domestic, noir, and procedural. There are many more to mention and to discover, so better keep your eyes open as you might be the one to create it. Study and research of these subgenres to understand the overall theme of mystery. As a result of clearly comprehending mystery’s meaning, brainstorming a better, authentic plot will be uncomplicated. 

Form a Central Mystery

From what you’ve read and understood from mystery, you are now capable of forming a central mystery. If not, you can look for writing prompts online to help you out. With a central mystery in place, you can formulate connections, clues, notions enabling you to build a great plot. Great mystery novels have plots that include multiple levels of secrecy and revelation. This is an example of an effective plot. This central mystery may or may not be your plot after creating your mind map. They can be mere core elements that thicken your plot. Brainstorm connections and secrets at the heart of your mystery, and you’ll end up with a bestselling plot. 

Pay Attention

Many of the best story ideas come out of nowhere during unexpected times: while driving, while in a park, or when you’re in the shower. Inspiration hits anytime, and you have to pay attention to devise a concept for your mystery novel. The art of observation is the keenest tool to help the greatest artists, even authors. Observing the world around you, such as people, places, and things, can provide you with the idea you need to jumpstart your story’s plot. Keep a pen and paper beside you all the time to take note of the ideas. This will serve as an idea box of your secret treasures that you can rummage through. 

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