Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Planting Clues #amlearning

While re-reading How To Write Mysteries by Shannon OCork, I came across a bit about planting clues and thought about how the methods also apply to writing most if not all genre fiction. These clues or absence of them can stir the reader's curiosity and push them to reading ahead in the story. So what kind of clues can do this.

There is the omitted clue, something the writer knows but holds back from the reader. Doing this can be tricky since the writer doesn't want the reader to cry foul. I'm using this in a current story in more than one way. After an accident the hero has amnesia and almost all of his memories have returned except one scene that wakes him often but makes no sense. The heroine also has a hidden memory. She knows what the words were but she can't remember who said them. In her case she wants to put the time behind and she doesn't want to remember.

The hidden clue. This may be more important to mysteries than other genres. Since this is something hidden in plain sight but not recognized as the clue. In this case the viewpoint character and the reader may know the clue, but the other characters don't and may never know.

Real life clues are those that are evident to the characters and the reader but finding what they mean and where they point is up to the reader to show.

1 comment:

Melissa Keir said...

I think it is important to have something that the reader is trying to puzzle out.