#NaNaWriMo – Plotting Your Mystery Novel

Thanks to all of you reaching out about wanting to take the challenge. It’s easy. Go to www.nanowrimo.org and set up your profile and create your writing project and word count goal. You can find my profile here…send me a buddy request —> https://nanowrimo.org/participants/trulynerissa/

If you need additional coaching to stay on task…my offer of live sessions is still available… Check it out here…https://nerissagolden.com/naji/coaching-writing-tips-to-make-it-to-the-end/

A young woman recently asked me about starting her first book. She loves to read mysteries and thought to give the challenge a try. However, she needed some guidance as to where to start. Here’s the plot outline I wrote off the cuff on developing her mystery.

Take a look and adapt it for your novel genre. As you write you will find the places you want to evolve and that some sections may have a bigger impact coming later or earlier in your story. Most importantly, start and stick with it. It’s only 30 days :D!

Plotting your Young Adult Mystery Novel

Read this article again as a guide. https://nerissagolden.com/2019/10/28/write-a-book-in-30-days-this-november/

Now here are a few questions to get you started.

Work on the book blurb
It should be three sentences long at the most. So what is the mystery, who has to solve it and who wants to make sure they don’t?

Think of your book like a good movie
It needs a good set up. A solid middle and a rip roaring end.

So the opening chapter needs to introduce us to the mystery and the main characters.

Chapter 1
Who is the hero or heroine or is it more than one? How old are they? What do they do when they are not fighting crime or causing trouble?
Who is the bad guy or bad girl? Even if it is an organisation, they must have a lead bad girl.
What is the problem that the bad girl is causing?
How does this grab the attention of the hero?

Chapter 2
Is she reluctant to get involved or has she been waiting for a new mystery to solve?
Who does she need to team up with or investigate to find more clues? Or is she a lone ranger?

Chapter 3
The bad girl is causing trouble. Why is she so intent on doing this?
Did she have a troubled childhood or did she get caught up in a world she doesn’t know how to get out of?
Let’s either hate her a lot or have a bit of compassion. We need to see our bad girl/guy as human.

Chapter 4
Hero and Bad Girl meet or do they? Make the hero get really close to uncovering the truth but it turns out not to be what she thought.

Chapter 5
Let’s get to know our hero. Why does she like mysteries? Who is she when she’s not playing detective. Show her lighter side as we still move the story forward.
What’s the bad girl up to while she’s out having a good time?

Chapter 6
This bad girl is just causing trouble at every turn. Our hero is overwhelmed and wonders is she cut out for this world? She’s hit another roadblock. Another misdirection.

Chapter 7
Our bad girl is having her way. She thinks she’s won.
Our hero has to find the will to get back in the game.

Chapter 8
Help Arrives.
Our heroine remembers something from her past or she calls on an old friend or trick to find a way to go after the bad girl. What does she discover?

Chapter 9
The confrontation. Who is going to win? Unveil more of the bad girl and her organisation.

Chapter 10.
Did the bad girl escape but the hero stopped her plans? Is she in jail?
Does our hero feel happy? How does she celebrate?
Is this going to be the start of a series? What can you tease about the next story here?

Have fun with it.

I love telling stories. I help my clients from the private and public sector to leverage traditional and digital media to increase their visibility and make more money. I am a mentor, business strategist, a certified Business Continuity Specialist and the author of seven books, including the In Plain Sight and the Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth. Follow me on LinkedIn, FacebookInstagram and Twitter for more great tips and ideas to help you grow.