Tag Archives: cozy mystery writing

Things to Avoid in a Cozy Mystery

A caution sign shows a stick man slipping and falling and the post title, "Things to Avoid in a Cozy Mystery" is superimposed above it.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Believe it or not, there are ways to make cozy mystery writing complex.  And I think cozies are fairly easy books to write.

At first I titled this post “Cozy Mystery Mistakes,” but I don’t think these things are all necessarily mistakes–they’re just elements that could make for potential problems.

Looking at my list, I’ve done nearly all of them at least once. Continue reading Things to Avoid in a Cozy Mystery

Writing the Cozy Mystery–Points to Consider

By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraigfile6851297891836

This is the last post in my series on cozy writing. (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  6.) Today I thought I’d wrap up a few things that are, mostly, specific to cozies (where some of the earlier posts could have been applied to other subgenres of mysteries.)

Murder method.  If the method is gory, the state of the victim’s body isn’t explained in great detail. There isn’t a focus on forensics in cozies.  If you’re using guns, be accurate but move away from a lot of forensic detail…keeping it simple.  In a cozy, the focus is on the puzzle itself.

There tends to be a lot of blunt force trauma, suffocation, strangulation, stabbing, poisoning, and victims being pushed down staircases. Continue reading Writing the Cozy Mystery–Points to Consider

Writing the Cozy Mystery–Common Pitfalls

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraigfile6881312030155

If you’re just joining us, I’ve been running a series on writing cozy mysteries. (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  Today I thought I’d cover a few problem areas that we might run into when writing a cozy mystery.

Slow pace, story seems weighed down.   Is the story too basic and formulaic? What’s going on with your sleuth in her personal life? What background can we discover about the suspects? Is there a subplot we can develop that sheds light on one of the recurring story characters? Are there recurring story characters (they are common in cozies).  Can we tie in the subplot with the mystery somehow?

The issue could be mechanical, too. Try for shorter sentences, more dialogue, and shorter chapters.  Try changing the sentence structure around a little. Continue reading Writing the Cozy Mystery–Common Pitfalls