It's a tricky thing to write an original and captivating mystery novel. But with research, practice, and great care, you can write a mystery that people will enjoy reading. If you are not sure what type of mystery you would like to write, think about what type of audience you want to write for. Try to write to appeal to the targeted reader that you want to reach the most. Here are some types of mystery novels and tips on how to write them.
Classic Mystery Novels
If you have ever watched Murder She Wrote or The Mentalist on television, you know what classic mystery stories are. Detective shows in the past three decades have given viewers a good idea about what mysteries are like. And this includes mysteries you might see on PBS.
Picture yourself in a horse-drawn carriage in London, and think about all the classic mystery novels during that era. You usually see or read about an older gentleman or lady, who may or may not have a sidekick.
The mature detective, professional or amateur, is usually a character. This means that you want to build a memorable character that people want to read about. If you are looking to start a series, then be descriptive about your protagonist and include a little about his or her personal life. You want to create a person that people want to know about.
Modern Crime Mystery Fiction
When writing a mystery about modern crime, involving technology and focusing on what is relevant to today's young readers, research is key. You must make the crime believable, and the story plot-driven. That is not to say that you cannot use description or go into character building. But today's young and savvy readers are interested in what types of crimes are going on in the real world today, and want more action than description.
Think NCIS, or Law and Order. Give your readers a fast-moving plot that takes them down surprising yet plausible twists and turns. You must do research into what types of crimes are achieved using technical and scientific knowledge. You need to know how modern crimes are carried out, and what types of clues would lead the investigators to figure out who the perpetrator is.
Mysteries with a Specific Target Reader Audience
Many readers today enjoy specific hobbies that you can incorporate into your mystery novel. For example, look in your local library at how many mystery novels involve cats. That's right, cats are solving mysteries, and there is a whole world of cat-loving, mystery-reading people out there who are tickled to be able to read about both subjects in one book.
Other types of niche writing include lawyers who become detectives while trying to win their cases, gardeners, outdoor adventurers, and so on. The list is infinite.
Do not limit yourself when thinking of possibilities for writing mysteries, but focus on one type of mystery and go with it. Write great characters with even greater plots.