Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Learning from mysteries #amwriting

Once again I've been gleaning from How To Write Mysteries by Shannon O'Cork. This time it's looking at Motives, Means and Opportunity. How do they apply to other genres, not only mysteries.

Motives are important to what every genre you're writing. Motives are what drives a character to act. Without having a reason to reach a goal, there is no reason for the character or the story. So no matter what you write motive is important. In mysteries, it's the reason someone decides to kill, strsl, cheat or lie. In other genres it's  same because it's the driving factor behind what a character decides and how he goes after his goal.

Means works great in mysteries. This is about developing the plot and sometimes a writer has an idea that brings the factors into play. This idea forms the basis of the means. Means is the plan a person develops for reaching a goal.

Opportunity works for nearly all genres. Being in the right place at the right time. The heroine discovers a way to meet the hero. Some of these can become cliched but finding the right one works. In a mystery when the opportunity occurs, the killer or the detective acts.

So if you look at each of these items with your characters in mind, you can construct a plot or a map that will carry them to the end.

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