Alida and Kathryn welcome cozy mystery author, Sara Rosett, back to the show to discuss plotting mysteries. No matter the genre you write, plotting is integral to your story craft, as are twists, hooks, and suspense. Enjoy this conversation with Sara Rosett!





What makes a mystery plot different from other kinds of genre plots? When should your body show up? And how do you finesse the art of keeping readers in suspense? When and how should you craft your twists, and how do point of view and genre limit your mystery plot points? And how do you keep your protagonist from just calling the police?

Find Sara at

What we talked about:

What makes plotting a mystery special or different from any other plot? (2:13)

What are the pieces that are critical to mystery but not to all other genres? (4:56)

At what point does the body have to show up? (6:55)

What do cozy mysteries require that is different from other mysteries? (10:39)

What is the art of keeping the reader in suspense? (11:26)

What is the importance of plausibility and verisimilitude? (14:45)

How do you craft twists? (16:02)

What about when the reader knows the killer from the beginning? (18:15)

What are the limitations of point of view and type of mystery? (22:44)

What about motives? (23:33)

How does technology factor into plots? (25:15)

How do you get your protagonist into an unavoidable confrontation with the antagonist? (26:25)

How do you keep track of which plot devices you have used in a mystery series? (30:36)




Things we mentioned:

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
A.S. Byatt 

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 004: Mystery Characters 
Flash Time: Verisimilitude 

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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