The Essential Rules for Writing a Good Detective Story
Do you like reading stories full of cliffhangers, twists, and puzzles? Are you a fan of crime-solving mysteries? If yes, then detective stories are perfect for you! Essentially, detective fiction is a subgenre of crime and mystery fiction in which a detective or an investigator (either amateur, professional, or retired) investigates and tries to solve a crime, which is often murder. Detective fiction is very popular among teens and adults alike.
There are plenty of good detective stories out there. Death in Sequence by JB Clemmens is a great example of this kind of stories that can leave you on the edge of your seat. Its story revolves around the character of Detective Mitch Jenkins who is investigating random killings in the D.C. When his fiancé, mathematics professor Ginny Munsen, is kidnapped, things just get more intense and personal for the detective. Before being able to locate and rescue his fiancé, Detective Mitch Jenkins finds a bomb in the Supreme Court chambers, which indicates the number of victims. In general, Death in Sequence by JB Clemmers is an exciting and compelling tale of crime, mystery, and love.
If you are not contented with just reading and you want to write your very own detective story someday, then this article is especially for you. Below are some of the essential rules for writing a good detective story that you should keep in mind.
Your characters should have interesting motivations
Your characters play a vital role in determining the effectiveness of your detective story. In essence, they are the driving force that moves your story toward its ending. In writing a story under the genre of detective fiction, you should always pay attention to how you craft your characters. Their natures and motivations, particularly, are very important, as they mostly decide how your story will turn out.
As an author of detective fiction, you need to pay attention to how you create both your protagonist (detective) and your antagonist (culprit). Your protagonist should possess strong characters that fit the definition of a true detective. He or she should be someone whom the readers can admire and be invested in. Similarly, your antagonist should also be interesting enough to hook the interest of the readers. His or her motivation, particularly, is one of the most crucial and prominent parts of detective work. Oftentimes, readers of detective stories would want to know not just who committed the crime, but also why the crime has been committed in the first place.
Your story should be unpredictable and surprising
Detective stories usually hinge on mystery and suspense to hook the readers from beginning to end. With this, it is important that you write your story in such a way that it is unpredictable if you want the readers to love your work. Your detective story should be full of puzzles and twists. It should constantly surprise the readers after each and every chapter. To put it simply, do not make it too easy for the readers. Make your story a bit challenging to solve and bewildering. Allow the readers to think and make guesses. In the first place, readers pick up detective fiction because they want to be challenged and intrigued by a good crime-solving mystery.
The outcome of your story should not be anticlimactic
The way your story ends also plays a huge role in determining how good your story is. The outcome of your story basically answers all of the questions that your story might have posed all throughout. It decides whether or not the efforts of your characters, particularly the protagonist, result to success. In general, when writing a detective story, you should try to avoid an outcome where the readers will feel disappointed by the answers to your story’s mystery. In other words, the outcome of your story should not be anticlimactic. It should be consistent with the rest of your story, and it should follow logic as much as possible.
In summary, to write a good detective story, you should pay close attention to the nature of your characters, how your story unfolds, and how it ends. These things – characters, plot, pacing, and outcome – determine how good and effective your story is. In essence, writing detective fiction is just like writing any other genre of literature, except that it requires a bit more creativity and imagination to come up with a sense of mystery and some tricky twists. Like Death in Sequence by JB Clemmens, there are plenty of good detective stories out there from which you can get some inspiration. Just try to learn as much as possible, be creative as much as you can, and in no time, you will be able to create your very own pulse-pounding and adrenaline-pumping detective story.