Colonel Mustard in the Library with the...Cell Phone? Updating Traditional Mysteries with Erica Obey

Genre Colonel Mustard in the Library with the...Cell Phone? Updating Traditional Mysteries with Erica Obey

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Level
Mixed
Category
Characters, Description/Setting, Dialogue, Genre, Plotting, Worldbuilding
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Is there still a place in mystery-writing for those of us who grew up loving Agatha Christie? Long considered an outmoded, escapist genre, traditional mysteries are making a comeback – arguably because readers could use a little escapism right now.

This will be a hands-on workshop during which you can expect to complete a skeleton draft of an updated traditional mystery novel. I will provide a suggested bibliography as well as a brief overview of the history of golden age puzzles, but the core of the workshop will consist of worksheets on the basics of novel structure, with special attention given to how these “rules” differ in a golden age mystery, as well as how a contemporary writer might want to use or alter these “rules” in their own work.

For example, we will begin with the central conflict that drives the plot and the question of internal versus external conflict. In the traditional mystery, internal conflict and character development is customarily sacrificed in favor of the puzzle.

The workshop will encourage the participants to consider the benefits of this approach as well as how they might choose to violate that “rule.”

Other topics will include:
  • Necessary scenes and story structure (using Carolyn Wheat’s excellent templates)
  • Limited cast of characters
  • Closed setting/society
  • Rules for a resolution
We will finally consider the issue of genre-bending and how crossing a traditional mystery with science fiction, fantasy or romance might benefit your story.
Author
Erica Obey
Start date
Sep 11, 2020 at 9:00 AM
End date
Sep 13, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Registration end date
Sep 13, 2020 at 6:00 PM
Rating
5.00 star(s) 1 ratings

Latest reviews

A short but fun class with responsive and helpful feedback.
The powerpoints were a nice touch.