Are you writing a murder mystery, crime novel or other type of mystery? Sometimes it’s hard to tell when to drop hints and when to hold them for later in the story.
I like to read a mystery and not know who committed the crime until the climax. I like to guess, but I don’t want to be sure. There is a balance between knowing who done it and only having an idea.
Too many hints and the answer is obvious, and I feel let down by the book. Too few hints, and I feel cheated.
So what do I do to avoid this problem?
I have readers that only look for the guilty party. I ask them to read my novel but not correct any errors. I want them to concentrate on who done it.
I have them mark the margin every time they suspect a character. I ask them to put the character’s name in the margin along with a note of why they think the character is guilty.
Do you have a method for finding out if your hints are in the right place?