Mysteries are so much fun, not only to read but to write. Yet to write a great mystery, you’ve got to plant your clues at the perfect time and the right place and this is trickier than it looks.
As I began writing my tween mystery set in a French castle, I realized that there was so much going on and all in within my main character’s week vacation.
To keep track of the characters and their contribution to the mystery, as well as when I was setting my clues, I decided I needed to write it down in a chart. And not any chart, but a massive one.
The picture you see here is the chart I drew up for Princess and the Pen and it’s a piece of butcher paper the size of my queen sized bed (actually a little bigger). I divided my story up by days. Then I color coordinated my characters so I could see at a brief glance who was doing what in my story.
Not only did this give me a clear picture of which days the clues were placed and discovered, but it also shows me who did the planting and digging!
After I was done, I taped it to my wall and was able to see a clear picture of what was happening and when in my novel.
Give it a try! Of course when guests come over, you might want to shove your new ‘wallpaper’ under the bed. They might not appreciate its beauty like you do.