11.25: Elemental Mystery is Everywhere

Per our Elemental Genre theme, this week we further explore elemental mystery. Elemental mystery can be found in any work in which our curiosity is what keeps us turning pages. The type of satisfaction we feel at the reveal may also reveal the elemental genre in which the element of mystery has been embedded.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson. 



Put a mystery into whatever it is you’re working on. Look at what your character knows they need, and then remove that knowledge. Force the character to figure out WHAT they need.

Thud, by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Stephen Briggs

2 thoughts on “11.25: Elemental Mystery is Everywhere”

  1. I think that part of the reason that mystery is so common as a subgenre is because linear storytelling is inherently mystery. What’s going to happen next? Even nonlinear storytelling tends to be mystery driven – how or why is it going to happen?

    Why segues nicely to my question which it’s probably too late for me to ask for the Q&A – how do you keep a mystery engaging for rereads?

  2. What was that sound? Did you see a shadow over there? When you were a kid and ate that worm, what happened?

    All the little mysteries of life… and writing! Keep your reader asking questions and looking for answers, and they will keep turning pages. So, the fearless foursome probe the riddles, secrets, conundrums, enigmas, and downright puzzles that lurk in good stories everywhere. The answers? Well, read the transcript! Available now in the archives, or over here


    And remember. Red herrings and distractions may confuse things, but a good tantalizing clue is…

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