OH the INTRIGUE, SUSPENSE
and MYSTERY OF IT!
Since the days of my youthful adventures into reading, I’ve identified the magnifying glass with the concept of discovering clues to solve a Nancy Drew or the occasional Hardy Boys Mystery. Although my science teacher preferred that I focus on discovering the elements of the amoeba, my English teacher encouraged the “growth of logical thinking” that these mysteries developed. Following that logic I will use some examples of just how versatile this genre can be.
Each author of the following books incorporates the elements we’ve discussed—characters who are risk-takers, secrecy of past lives and current circumstances, choices that both effect and affect every character in the book, and a puzzle-pattern of clues that must bring resolution to each thread of conflict between truth, lie and deception—unless, of course, the author is preparing Readers for the second and third books in a series.
In the first blog this month I mentioned the novel The Teeth of The Tiger by Tom Clancy. This story (and many of his other books) creates a bridge to the genre categories of the Readers who seek the adventure of Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, Spies & Politics, and Espionage/Terrorism. Today, more authors are developing their writing skills to incorporate multiple genres in their story plot/outlines. However, there are those who have a natural ability to build these complex and enjoyable stories. To all of them, I tip my hat! I want to learn from their expertise, and hope that new generations of writers will do the same.
Many Readers are familiar with the creative works of Sidney Sheldon. He is a writer of blockbuster over-the-top Best Seller novels and is considered one of the most popular storytellers of all time. His first book (yes, his 1st book) was acclaimed by the New York Times as “the best first mystery of the year” and received an Edgar Award (named for Edgar Allan Poe). Since then many of his novels have become major feature films or TV miniseries. Sheldon has always keyed-in to the benefits of writing to Readers in multiple genres utilizing a foundation in Mystery/Suspense/Thriller with a twist of Contemporary/Women (main characters) and moving forward into Action/Adventure, Spies/Politics and Psychological Thrillers (see Are You Afraid of the Dark).
Another author you’ll be familiar with is one of the greatest authors of all time: J.R.R. Tolkein. His THE HOBBIT/LORD OF THE RING series is the most widely read fantasy novel in U.S. and Britain. With the skill of a master surgeon, Tolkein utilizes each of the Intrigue, Mystery and Suspense genre techniques to the max! Plus, his books cross over into the Literature/Fiction category because of his eloquent use of words. This provides Readers with a jumbo rollercoaster ride of Mystery/myth, Intrigue and Suspense like no other author.
I cannot close this blog without reminding you of possibly the most famous Mystery/Suspense/Intrigue author of them all—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A prolific writer who not only created the characters of Sherlock Holmes, Professor Challenger and the mystery of Mary Celeste, he also wrote fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. Utilizing his own educational background and researching very specific details his collected works have bridged numerous genre groups.
What do we all learn from these gifted authors and the genre they love? Like their characters they are writers willing to take risks—or rather, willing to develop characters who take a variety of risks. They are also writers who tackle known “truths,” belief systems from ancient mysteries to present-day terrorists and their plot scenarios cover the potential for extreme profit and/or unimaginable destruction of one individual or the world. If you’re one of these author-risk-takers who is already writing a Mystery Novel, I encourage you to complete it quickly and GET IT PUBLISHED. There are multi-genre Readers waiting for you! ⚓︎
ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.