CLUES: Use CLUE TRAIL and then Get the Plot Out of Your Head and Onto Paper!
If you have ever wondered about mystery clues: what kind are needed and how to make or hide them, this book will tell you.
Part One: MYSTERY BONES
How to Create a Fairplay Mystery Plot or Party
Anatomy of a Mystery: Plot Elements
THE DIRT: What Happens?
Decide on a Crime 3
THE BONES: Motive, Method & Opportunity 5
Motive: Why Did It Happen?
Method: How Did It Happen?
Opportunity: When Did It Happen?
THE MUSCLES: Cast of Characters 19
Characters: Victim, Suspects, Villain, Detective
THE TENDONS: Connecting Muscles to Bones 30
Circle of Suspects Chart
Connections & Secrets Chart
Basic Plot Wheel
THE HEART: What Actually Happened 46
Extra: Information about Plotting
THE MIND: What Appeared to Happen 48
THE SOUL: The Clue Trail 51
Part Two: CLUE TRAIL
From Whodunnit to Solution
CLUE TRAILS: What Kind to Use 55
Positive Clue Trail: Progressive Identification
Negative Clue Trail: Progressive Elimination
CLUES: Direct / Physical / Tangible Evidence 58
Photographs & Videos
CLUES: Indirect / Intellectual / Intangible Evidence 61
Perpetrator Manipulates Circumstances
Assumption & Deception
Unexplainable / Out of Character
PLANTING Clues 70
The Keystone Clue & The AH-HA Clue
TWISTING the CLUE TRAIL 74
Red Herrings: False Clues
Detecting: Looking at Clues from the Other Side
CREATING Clues 84
Motive Clues: Why Did It Happen?
Method Clues: How Did It Happen?
Opportunity Clues: When Did It Happen?
BUILDING the STRUCTURE 86
The Complete List
Clue Chart: Positive Clue Trail with Scenes
Bonus Material: OTHER MYSTERY FORMATS
Live Parties & Locked Rooms
EASY MYSTERIES for Children 107
Clue Chart: Negative Clue Trail – Two Part Clues
MYSTERY Scripts, Parties & Events 113
Types of Scripts
Cast Your Mystery
LOCKED ROOM Mysteries 119
READ CLUE TRAIL and find out how to stump your audience / reader and gain their respect and admiration.
and after you have read the book:
Dear Mystery Fans,
Now that you know how it’s done I wish you luck in paying attention to that tingle in yourself that tells you what you just read or heard is worth paying attention to. Matching wits against the detective is one of the most engaging challenges there is, but one of the least satisfying ones to win. If you find you are constantly figuring out ‘whodunnit’ before you get to the end of the story, maybe it’s time to write your own.
This book has been a labour of love for me and I hope it gave you as much pleasure to read it as it gave me to write it.
At Your Service