Why I Write Mysteries

It’s time we writers just came right out and admitted it: we have no control over what we write.

Okay, maybe we have a little control over what we write, but not much. Ask most writers, and they’ll tell you that they write what they love to read. 

And that’s true. I know I tend to write in the style of the books I happen to be gorging on. But the truth is, we write the stories (starring the characters) that pop into our brains. Most of those stories might be in a genre we enjoy, but not always. We may mull over the ideas for days, weeks, months, even years, but when we finally put our fingers to the keyboard, the genre chooses us. Not the other way around.

I didn’t read a ton of mysteries before I started writing mysteries. I read a ton of them now, but over the years I’ve tried to analyze why I write mysteries instead of, say, historical fiction. But I stumbled across a line today that finally answered my question and put everything into perspective. It said, “The essence of mysteries is that reason triumphs over evil.” 

And just like that, I finally understood why I write mysteries.

Reasoning is my wheelhouse. Give me a problem, especially a social issue, and I’ll be up all night trying to solve it. I love Escape Rooms and puzzles. I can’t get enough of analytics, everything from the love lives of my friends, to political intrigue, to the quadratic formula (okay maybe not so much the quadratic formula) is fair game. 

Thrillers have heroism triumphing over evil.

In romance, it’s true love that triumphs.

And in mysteries, it’a all about the main character figuring things out to triumph over evil.

It’s nice to think about reason defeating evil, especially if this day and age. So now I’m off to write more mysteries. 

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