Quick Tip: Writing Mysteries

by Ann Marie Williams © 2020

When the answer to a mystery is finally revealed, I think the audience’s reaction should be: “Oh my gosh, WHAT!?” followed by, “Oh wait… of course!”

In other words, a story should be laid out so that audiences can try to solve the mystery, don’t, but after the reveal they realize they could have solved it.

This means that the clues need to be present, but included in a way that the audience doesn’t realize they’re clues.


Screenplay Competitions book front cover

Screenplay Competitions has received endorsements from Dave Trottier (author, The Screenwriter’s Bible, www.keepwriting.com), Professor Richard Walter (former Screenwriting Area Head, Associate and Interim Dean UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television), Professor of Film John Bernstein (Boston University, College of Communication), Matt Dy (former Director of Script Competitions at Austin Film Festival), Professor Harry M. Cheney (Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts), script editor Lucy V. Hay (www.bang2write.com), and Emmy-wining writer Ken Levine (Hollywood and Levine).

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