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Author Topic: Mystery-Romance  (Read 14751 times)

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Kelly K.

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Mystery-Romance
« on: June 14, 2008, 07:36:16 PM »

I'm working on a mystery-romance.  I know the mystery and the romance have to be tied in together, and I know the story has to follow the rules for both mysteries and romance, and I think I'm doing these things.  Anything else about the "genre" that I should keep in mind while writing?

-- Kelly
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Lynette

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2008, 08:20:45 PM »

Welcome back, Kelly K. Glad you came back.

Good for you in getting back to your writing. It looks like you have a good take on the type of book you want to write. I also write mystery/romance. The only advice I  have is if the book is listed as a mystery then make mystery the focus of the book and let the romance be secondary. Reverse if it is to be listed as a romance.

Lynette

Kelly K.

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2008, 10:24:21 PM »

Thanks, Lynette.  The mystery is definitely the focus; I'm glad to hear that's not a problem  ;)

-- Kelly
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Kathy Wendorff

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2008, 07:23:28 AM »

I have no good advice to offer, just interested -- is this a stand-alone, Kelly, or the potential start of a series? And is it on the darker or lighter side? (psycho stalkers vs Elizabeth-Peters type mystery?) Boy, to me, there's no more satisfying read than a good mystery-romance.

Kathy W.
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Kelly K.

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2008, 12:04:18 PM »

It would be a stand-alone.  At least that's what I'm thinking, though, now that you mention it, it could grow into a cosy series.  I hadn't considered that.

It is definitely on the light side, with very little blood and gore or CSI. 
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B L McAllister

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2008, 03:39:53 PM »

It saddens me that some publishers want writers to conform to rules that amount to fill-in-the-blanks outlines.  I just read a mystery (well, a cliff-hanger: not the same in my view, but I'm part of a small minority) that ought to qualifyalso as a romance--except: it didn't adhere to the boy meets girl, girl hates boy for no reason, roles reverse, boy and girl get together after all formula.  The writer could otherwise have sold in the romance market as well, and be even more widely read (and well  paid).  Byron
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Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

pabrown

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2008, 10:41:48 PM »

I write mystery/suspense/romance, but my characters are gay so I have an added genre issue. Do I label it gay and seriously limit my audience or do I hope that straight readers won't care if the hero is gay? I sold my first book in the series in 2006 and heard from straight readers (mostly women) who loved the characters. But I'm having trouble getting much interest in the second book, which I think is better than the first.

Pat
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Elena

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 10:50:32 AM »

Hi Pat,

Tough question - ultimately I've decided to let the publishers work that one out.  Therefore I now have a mystery that has been turned down by a lesbian publisher for being too straight, whereas the same book was turned down by a mainstream publisher for being too "gay". My vote goes for writing the very best book you can and focus your synopsis on what makes it a great book.

Elena
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B L McAllister

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 06:41:25 PM »

Hi Pat,

Tough question - ultimately I've decided to let the publishers work that one out.  Therefore I now have a mystery that has been turned down by a lesbian publisher for being too straight, whereas the same book was turned down by a mainstream publisher for being too "gay". My vote goes for writing the very best book you can and focus your synopsis on what makes it a great book.

Elena

I doubt if the "reasons" publishers give when they decide to reject a ms are usually the real reasons, which they'd be embarrassed to mention, since they suggest a certain bias on their part.

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Byron Leon McAllister.
Books by Byron and Kay McAllister can most easily be obtained as e-books or in print from the publisher at http://www.writewordsinc.com/ For "Undercover Nudist," the print version is an improved version of the ebook version. The others are the same in both formats.

Brenda B.

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2008, 01:34:06 PM »


Hi.
Been a while.

While I think Byron's comment about the pattern of romance has been true, it is changing. At least from what I've been reading. Take Sandra Brown for instance.
While there isn't always the animosity between the two characters, there usually is tension of some sort, after all who wants to read a story when everyone gets along just fine the whole way through?

And I really don't see, in her work or Linda Howard's, that one or the other genre takes precendence. Their books are a good melding of the suspense and romance. Maybe that's the difference, they're considered suspense instead of mystery.

It's what I'm poorly attempting to do at this point in my life, so I've read just about everything these ladies have written. I try to stay away from how to books and just read what's out there to see what's selling. And of course I have yet to finish a book much less try to sell it, so I could be totally whack, as my son would say.
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2008, 03:29:37 PM »

Brenda,

Re your comment below

And I really don't see, in her work or Linda Howard's, that one or the other genre takes precendence. Their books are a good melding of the suspense and romance. Maybe that's the difference, they're considered suspense instead of mystery.

What do you regard as the difference between "suspense" and "mystery?" 

I've always thought of "mystery" as the generic term, and terms like "suspense," "police procedural," "hard-boiled private eye," "cloak and dagger," "thriller," etc., as specific types all operating under the mystery umbrella.

And certainly, publishers have tended to use the terms "suspense" and "mystery" interchangeable ever since the '50's when Harper and Row named their mystery line the "Harper Novels of Suspense."

When you say "mystery," do you mean "whodunit?"
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 11:30:27 AM by JIM DOHERTY »
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Tony

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2008, 03:57:31 AM »

Forget the rules.  Write from the heart and think about its genre in the edit.

Tony... :)
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Kathy Wendorff

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2008, 10:56:08 AM »


What do you regard as the difference between "suspense" and "mystery?" 


Jim, those two authors write books with a lot of threat and personal danger, and that seems to be what the current "romantic suspense" market demands. Romance inextricably entwined with thrills and suspense and "will they survive?" (but not much of a who-dun-it puzzle) is okay. Romance inextricably entwined with a straight fair play mystery (but lacking a dark "will they survive?" atmosphere) -- too tepid. At least that's my impression. Brenda? You're probably way more up-to-date on this.

Anyway, as I see it, suspense is indeed generally a subset of mystery, but in suspense the emphasis is on "who will survive?" and in mystery, the emphasis is on "who did it?" or "why did they do it?' or "how did they do it?" And in the romance market nowadays, they're not particularly interested in romantic mysteries -- they want romantic suspense. Gut emotion over intellectual puzzle.

Kathy W.
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Elena

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2008, 04:11:40 PM »

Nicely put Kathy - I'm with you all the way.  I enjoy reading and writing mysteries and have found very little to read in the last few years because I find suspense upsetting.  So, I've been revisiting Erle Stanley Gardner and Ellery Queen. They spun many a good yarn.
Elena
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Mystery-Romance
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2008, 07:25:51 PM »

Kathy,

Re your comment below:

Anyway, as I see it, suspense is indeed generally a subset of mystery, but in suspense the emphasis is on "who will survive?" and in mystery, the emphasis is on "who did it?" or "why did they do it?' or "how did they do it?" And in the romance market nowadays, they're not particularly interested in romantic mysteries -- they want romantic suspense. Gut emotion over intellectual puzzle.

I see your point.  I just find it confusing when people use "suspense," not as if it were a sub-set of mystery, but as a wholly separate genre.  When I'm talking about a story in which the identity of the villain is concealed until the end, I say "whodunit," not "mystery," precisely to avoid the confusion.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2008, 11:43:57 AM by JIM DOHERTY »
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