Writing a mystery novel is an exciting experience. A writer can introduce readers to a world that may only live in his mind, or create his version of how some historical event may have actually occurred. The mystery writer can inform the world of new evidence for pre-existing mysteries. Through the use of a likable hero, he can sway the masses into a devoted following of his stories. A well-crafted piece of fiction can become a story that is cherished through the ages, but how does a mystery writer come up with good topics?
Other People Are Reading
Researching current topic trends in newspapers, magazines and books may spark some ideas for mystery stories. Many famous books and television shows pull their ideas straight from the headlines. Of course, it is important to use these sources for inspiration only. Never copy the specifics of cases, or you may find yourself in legal trouble. Murder in a big city, small town injustice and foreign espionage are good topics with which to start. Tabloids also work well for inspiration. Even some of the most fanciful articles located within their pages can make interesting mystery stories. For example, where did batboy come from or what really happened at the Presidential Inauguration? Just about any story can be twisted into another creation.
History and Mystery
Some of the greatest mysteries concentrate on themes drawn from real life past events. Conspiracy theories such as who murdered JFK, the Abraham Lincoln assassination, or theories about King Tutankhamen have all been subjects of great historical controversy. Historical events are the perfect background for a mystery novel, and the farther back in history a writer delves, the more liberties she may be able to take with historical accuracies.
The archives of your local library can be a rich source of fascinating topics from your own town's past. A wealth of information can be drawn from old headlines of local publications. Perhaps your town had a terrible murder mystery that gained less notoriety than some of the more infamous murders, such as the Lizzie Borden case. These past events can be recreated in fiction with just a little research. Accurate research will help to authenticate your story.
Conducting interviews with family members or genealogy hobbyists may uncover a great family history that you can solve through your fiction writing. Topics of interest might include firsthand knowledge of a famous gangster, family histories of notorious people, or even mysteries that might have occurred on the Mayflower. Family history can be a great source for exciting topics. The wonderful thing about mystery writing is that you can elaborate on all the missing details and even rewrite events so they turn out differently.
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