How to Make Sure Your Mystery is Satisfying

Drew Chial

1. Shadow Glass

How the Lost School of Storytelling Blurred the Line Between Intriguing and Confusing

I love writing mysteries with vast casts, layered subplots, and dozens of twists. My favorite mysteries contain elements of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. They’re the everything and the kitchen sink approach to storytelling. The TV show Lost inspired much of my love, and apprehension, for this facet of the mystery genre.

Lost has taught me a lot about what to do and what not to do when writing mysteries. It featured emotionally involving character arcs with themes like regret, the wages of sin, and crisises of faith. It set up intriguing plot lines about psychological manipulation, international conspiracies, and time travel. Lost successfully followed through on its character arcs, but fell short of bringing its plot lines to completion.

In the end Lost had little to do with psychological experiments, quantum physics, or philosophy. It was…

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