Sunday, November 28, 2010

Unraveling Mysteries

Yes, I'm on a roll today. Two blog posts for the price of one.

As many of you already know, I don't write fluffy romance or Disney fairy tales. I'm not a Young Adult author either. Why? Because I'm just not any good at it, and no other reason than that.

To use the boring, mass-market term, I write Thrillers. Don't get me wrong, I'm not Tom Clancy and I'm not trying to be the next Tom Clancy. I'm just Lily. I write intricate stories for the modern reader full of intrigue, suspense and mystery. Sometimes there will be strong Horror elements, sometimes just looking at the darker side of human nature. The subject will vary. My characters could be anything from humans, ghosts, zombies, even fairies – all with a strong human element.

Up until this point, I had been focusing on not doing any Big Reveals for the mystery of a story until toward the end. However, the novel I'm working on is rather complex. There are A LOT of intertwined mysteries in a post-apocalypse fictional universe. For Chapter 12, I decided to start revealing some mysteries rather than continuing to build up mysteries. The time was right to start revealing, so I did.

I was very concerned about revealing mysteries at roughly the half-way point in a story, mainly because I had never done that before. I wrongly thought revealing a mystery long before the end would lose the suspense of the story. And I'm so glad I was wrong.

Here's what I've learned: Unraveling mysteries can be as intriguing, sometimes more so, than building up mysteries.

Seriously, no suspense was lost at all. I'm very pleased with that. And now I know. Sometimes revealing mysteries much earlier than toward the end can be a very good thing.

I can't help but wonder if this is what goes wrong with various Thriller novels that end up being a disappointment – waiting too long to reveal mysteries can render the suspense useless and make the story boring and repetitious. And we can't have that in my writing, goshdarnit. *nods*

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