How to Write Cozy Mysteries
4.4 (63 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
316 students enrolled

How to Write Cozy Mysteries

Mystery writing requires compelling mysteries. A light, gentle touch is the best way to reveal the darkness beneath.
4.4 (63 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
316 students enrolled
Created by Harry Dewulf
Last updated 4/2018
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $41.99 Original price: $59.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You'll be able to design your own cozy mystery. Writing it is up to you!
  • You should be able to both write and read in English!
  • You should know the basics of writing a story.
  • It will help you if you have already written at least one full-length novel, but it is not essential

"Mystery writing can be summed up as starting with the discovery that something is lost or that something is found; usually what's lost is a life and what's found is a corpse."

Cozy Mysteries are the ones where there's a body (usually in a library), a small group of suspects, each of whom has something to gain or something to lose, and a great detective who, by chance or by design, is there to solve the conundrum of... Whodunnit?

Of course, today, writers are more diverse, and that once dominant format has flourished into wild variety. But underneath, it feeds the same appetites: for mystery, for suspense, for danger... but without the need for terror, gore, or pessimism.

The cozy mystery is a special balancing act that forces the author to get really good at mystery - because the shock tactics of horror and the adrenaline of thriller is not available.

This is a course designed to teach some of the core principles of storytelling, and teach you to focus on creating and delivering a strong mystery, by teaching you how to write a Cozy Mystery.

In this course you will learn:

  • What makes a Cozy cozy

  • The basic structure of a cozy

  • The various types and styles, and

  • How to put the types and styles into practice

  • How to build stories around "Revelation" in a way that will satisfy readers

  • ... and be sure your story is classified as a Cozy Mystery, so that everyone who loves the genre will buy your book.

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone who wants to learn to write books.
  • Anyone who wants to make money writing books.
  • Anyone who wants to know how to write the kind of mysteries readers want to buy.
Course content
Expand 9 lectures 50:57
+ Cozy Mysteries
9 lectures 50:57

The introduction is about how writers approach story design in general and how this relates to genre-fiction, and in particular to Cozy Mysteries.

"Mysteries are not about what the truth is. They are about how the truth is uncovered."

Preview 04:01

What is a Cozy? What is a mystery? Understanding and choosing the type of mystery to write.

Preview 04:57
The best mystery often skirts the edge of a precipice. The greatest mystery writers will even go over the edge - Agatha Christie's masterpiece, "And Then There Were None" (originally entitled 'Ten Little N-----s' (after a rather creepy children's rhyme of the time) definitely goes over the edge.
The Right Sort of Mystery
5 questions

A mystery plot is essentially a puzzle to be solved. This lesson explores the three main ways to approach puzzle creation, their advantages and pitfalls.

Preview 08:33
Of course, everyone can use all three. It can be revealing to discover how the plots you invent differ according to how you approach them. Softly, softly...
Three Approaches to Plot
3 questions

Cozy Mysteries consist of several layers of story. The most important of these are the "mystery story" - the underlying plot or the puzzle itself, and the "discovery story" - how the mystery is unravelled.

Mystery Story and Discovery Story

What happens when all the layers are brought together, is that a "main story" is created. Sometimes it's about solving the mystery, but sometimes it isn't.

The Main Story

'In a mystery story, it's revelation, not suspense, that keeps the reader reading.'

Preview 07:19

Who are the main characters in a Cozy Mystery? This lesson deals mostly with the main character of the story.

Cozy Characters
The detectives in Cozy Mysteries have a special status. It's one of the rare situations where the story is not about the main character. Often, the detective is a sort of personification of a narrator...
Cozy Characters
4 questions

There are a few universal features of cozies... but there are ways to deviate from them and to create variation and originality.

Cozy Styles

A summary of the main points of the course, and a conclusion about how to repeat the recipe for success without creating a predictable formula.

Conclusion: A Successful Recipe