Adding clues for you to find

One of the fun parts of revising a mystery novel is planting clues for the readers to find.

One of the tenets of the mystery novel genre is that the solution can not be a surprise, a “clever reader” should see it coming, these rules have been written and studied (and broken) since the genre was popularized in the mid to late 1800’s by Edgar Allan Poe, Wilkie Collins and Arthur Conan Doyle.

From: http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/gaslight/

“The truth of the problem must at all times be apparent — provided the reader is shrewd enough to see it. By this I mean that if the reader, after learning the explanation for the crime, should reread the book, he would see that the solution had, in a sense, been staring him in the face-that all the clues really pointed to the culprit — and that, if he had been as clever as the detective, he could have solved the mystery himself without going on to the final chapter. That the clever reader does often thus solve the problem goes without saying.”

by S.S. Van Dine (pseud. for Willard Huntington Wright)

(Originally published in the American Magazine (1928-sep),
and included in the Philo Vance investigates omnibus (1936).

So, I’ve been hiding little clues into the manuscript for my readers to find.  There are even methods to hide clues to the “clever reader” doesn’t see them.

Writing notes: 1891 words added.  2 scenes revised (clues added!) and 2 scenes created.

Hawaii notes: 2 nene at 750.  Where are the rest?  Maybe I just didn’t see them when I was so busy writing!  Sunny and clear, not many tourists.

Have a great Fourth of July!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Great suggestion to drop clues throughout the novel. Some red herrings, too of course.

    1. mskriswolf says:

      Thanks Nancy,

      Dropping clues and red herrings here and there..a sprinkling!

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