C for Cozy and Clue


I love cozy mysteries and find them totally addictive.  So, following the write-what-you-know maxim, I knew that’s what II wanted to create.

Cast of characters: write down a small bio for each. Plot: plan according to a composite of screenwriting and novel advice.  (Shall look for links and update later,) Motivation: Lots of murderous motivations to call upon. Don’t we all have them ? 🙂

And conflict–perhaps this should have been C for Conflict. Conflict is not people having cantankerous quarrels. Conflict is created through internal and external character goals which seem irreconcilable but must be reconciled before story end.

But when it came to clues, I was clueless. The deceptive facility of the genre caught me out.  The solution: read from back to front, noting what clues might be needed, what clues are missed. They can then be inserted and hidden as appropriate earlier in the novella.

The Importance of Clues

Readers love puzzles, like looking for motivations and wondering how conflicts can be resolved.  Without this reader involvement, without reader identification with the main character or characters, novels fail.

Whatever we’re reading, we are always, consciously or not, on the lookout for clues to know what we’re supposed to be understanding from a book.

Today’s Tips: Author Resources

Canva: a great photo design site which makes it easy to create your own images. Free photos and design tutorials.

Calibre:  wonderful free software for converting a book into the reading format you need for various platforms and devices. Invaluable for reader re views as you can convert files into pdf. mobi. epub. Extra tip: I still find it best to convert a word file into pdf. before uploading. So pleased with it, I even donated…and I’m a Scot. We’re very canny with our money. 🙂

Images courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Chicken fdpnetI could say I used C for Chicken as I am such a coward when it comes to sending manuscripts for editing. But it’s here because I like chickens.

8 thoughts on “C for Cozy and Clue”

  1. Great post! Thanks for the tip to read backwards and add in clues. I’ve kinda avoided mysteries because I didn’t really know where to begin.

    1. Did you see the other reply which mentioned wrapping the story round the clues? It didn’t work for me but I can see how it could.

    1. And another Calibre fan. Hurrah. I should, of course, be spelling it cosy mystery in the UK 🙂 Perhaps I should revise blog to add a teeny definition–but not tonight. Too late. Tomorrow is another day…

      Anne at Author Support

Comments are closed.