Diversity of Mystery
Shane P. Carr
Suspense and Mystery Moderator
Shane P. Carr
the past month I thought long and hard about what mystery topic I could cover
for this issue. As I pored over various books and novels, it occurred to me that
the 'genre of mystery and suspense is a very diverse one.
most readers and writers consider the mystery and suspense genre, Agatha
Christie, Patricia Cornwell, or Lawrence Block come to mind. Yet this is only
the tip of the iceberg. If we look
closely at just about every piece of fiction we read, we can find mystery and
suspense. It is something that can be found in every time period, on every SF
world, and in every characters life.
take a look at George Lucass original "Star Wars" trilogy. Most
will quickly define it as science fiction or space opera, yet we are confronted
with the mystery of who Luke Skywalkers father is, and what actually happened
to him. This mystery not only adds suspense to the story, but it gives us a plot
point that is crucial throughout the original trilogy, and became the entire
basis for the next episode one movie. Now granted it was by no means a complex,
mind-bending mystery, but it was a mystery, nonetheless.
we look into many of our favorite stories, we can usually find some form of
mystery. One theme found in many fantasy stories is "The Power Behind the
Throne," which adds a dimension of political suspense and intrigue. Even in
classic mythology we can find underlining mystery. In the King Arthur mythos, we
have mysteries involving adultery, the true motives of Merlin, the mystery of
who "The Lady of Lake" is.
Lisle did an excellent job of adding mystery to her "Secret Text"
trilogy. We were given the mystery of "The Mirror of Souls." Who made
it and why? What were the motivations of the Dragons? How did the
"Scarred" come to be? Each
of these questions is a mystery to the reader, and the answers are revealed at a
suspense-building pace that enhances Hollys story and adds a lot of depth to
the history of the world she created.
overall is flawed by being forced into "genre" classification. We have
seen how mystery shows its influence in many diverse stories. The next time you
are in your local bookstore, look for the various forms of mystery. It can be an
obvious source, like the latest Robert B. Parker Spencer novel, or an epic
fantasy like George R. R. Martins "Sword of Fire and Ice" series.
As a writer, look at your current work in progress. Think about how a bit of
mystery would enhance the story and
add a twist to your plot. Youll find that it adds a great deal of depth and
suspense to your story.