#MysteryAI. Every mystery writer needs to tack these tips on the wall over their desk for easy reference. These brief but potent insights are from author Carmen Amato‘s June 2017 “Mystery Ahead” newsletter. There’s a lot of wisdom here.
A good mystery has two drumbeats: plot twists and mounting tension.
Here are three classic ways to make both pound loudly:
1. Every character wants something and can’t have it.
2. The environment they’re in is flawed or faltering under pressure.
3. Conflict between characters is rooted in their personal relationship or competing interests.