Mystery writers need to respect the intelligence of their readers. Mystery fans have a natural interest in solving puzzles. Don’t spoil their enjoyment of sleuthing by explaining everything they should be allowed to discover. Here are 5 ways to show you respect your readers’ intelligence.
- Don’t insert yourself into the story by explaining the meaning of what’s happening. Allow the reader to respond to the characters and action on their own.
- Don’t overdue the use of adverbs in an effort to describe actions. Verbs should carry the weight of the description. Use the most vivid verbs you can find.
- Don’t overdue adjectives an effort to describe places, characters and feelings. Add just enough description to provide a sense of the whole character.
- Don’t tell your readers how they should feel. Provoke emotion through character reactions and interior dialogue.
- Don’t reveal your own personal biases through your writing. Better to write factual descriptions rather than explicit emotional direction. Better to remain invisible. Let your readers’ own emotional and psychological backstories and personal, intimate temperaments dictate how they respond to your characters and events.
Have faith in the intelligence of your mystery readers. Their personal input based on their own life experiences will increase their enjoyment of your mystery novel.