by June Shaw
As we prepare for what many believe is the best holiday of the year, lots of us are also preparing for murder.
Preparing to create our next murder mystery, that is.
So many questions come into play when we are planning our stories, whether we make a long outline or basically wing it as our story comes into play:
Why will readers care about our main character?
Who will die?
Why will the victim be important?
Who will murder that victim?
By what method?
Where is this taking place?
Who else appears to be guilty?
What makes them appear guilty?
What red herrings will we throw in?
Do other murders take place?
If so, we'll ask most of the same questions as above.
How and where will the story twist?
What will happen in the showdown--the climax?
How will our story end?
Actually, once we've decided on answers to that small batch of questions, we basically have our story. It seems fairly easy.
Oh, one more question: What will we call this mystery?
Do you consider any other questions when you're planning a murder? Or when you're reading one?