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Online Class: Mystery Writing

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Course Description

This course is perfect for those who have an interest in either Creative Writing or the Mystery Genre. If you love to write and want to move into this popular genre, or you love to read a great mystery and have often thought you could do it, this course is for you.

Taking you through the processes of creating your Mystery Novel, this course begins by looking at the mystery genre itself and examining this type of writing attribute. We'll then move on to helping you become inspired and motivated as you get started. We'll also focus on some of the important elements of a good mystery--the setting, the characters, the plot, etc.--and help you to become familiar with all the tools the mystery writer uses to create multi-layered, addictive mystery fiction that a reader just cannot put down.

Our innovative writing exercises will get your creative juices flowing by bringing out the writer in you and sparking new ideas. Additionally, there are questions after each lesson which will allow you to recap what you have learned and test your knowledge.

The entire course is designed to offer you great information in a way that will get you thinking about your own mystery and personal writing practices. Whatever your age, experience or level of ability, this course constantly challenges and informs you so that your writing can't fail to improve and you will learn how to stay motivated and inspired through the entire writing process.

For new, aspiring writers--become the mystery writer you have always wanted to be! And for seasoned writers looking to expand their horizons--we'll help strengthen your writing abilities with this very informative course. So join us today!

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Instructor Feedback
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

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Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating: (1264 votes)
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
9/19/2017 12:57:20 PM

Lesson 1: The Mystery Genre

This lesson looks at what makes a story a mystery and defines the crucial elements of this genre. 31 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Mystery Writing Resources; Yahoo Group - Mystery Fiction Society
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 1: The Mystery Genre

Lesson 2: Starting Out

This lesson aims to look at how you can find and collect ideas that inspire you, moving on to give practical advice on getting that pen to paper for the first time -- planning, plotting, and brainstorming. 27 Total Points
  • Review Article: Writing Prompts
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2: Starting Out

Lesson 3: Research

This lesson gives practical tips on where to find your research and how to write about real-life mysteries. 27 Total Points
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3: Research

Lesson 4: Storytelling -- Plot & Sub-Plot

This lesson gives practical advice on how to develop a plot that works. 25 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Article on Thickening the Plot; Information on the Sub-Plot
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 4: Storytelling; Plot & Sub-plot

Lesson 5: Storytelling -- Characters

This lesson shows how characters can be developed and getting to know your characters so they can be well-rounded and three-dimensional. 23 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Articles on Creating Characters; Tips on Creating Memorable Characters
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5: Storytelling; Character

Lesson 6: Storytelling -- The Narrative

This lesson gives advice, not on how a mystery should be narrated, but on what a writer's options are in terms of telling the story. 24 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Information on "Show, Don't Tell"; Tips on Writing Dialogue
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6: Storytelling; Narrative

Lesson 7: Mysterious Elements -- The Red Herring

A red herring misleads the reader, takes them on a wild goose chase. It is a staple of the mystery genre. 24 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Information about Mystery Fiction; Mystery Writers of America
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 7: Mysterious Elements; The Red Herring

Lesson 8: Mysterious Elements -- Violence and Murder

This lesson looks at how a writer can avoid isolating the reader by taking things too far. 22 Total Points
  • Review Article: How to Create Tension Through Misdirection
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 8: Mysterious Elements; Violence and Murder

Lesson 9: Mysterious Elements -- Suspense

Suspense is how a writer keeps the reader reading their mystery. To achieve that un-put-downable effect, it is essential that you get the pace of the story just right, so the reader is kept involved and interested. 25 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: 9 Tricks to Writing Suspense Fiction; Basic Elements of Writing Suspense
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9: Mysterious Elements; Suspense

Lesson 10: Mysterious Elements - Realism

This lesson aims to help writers convey a sense of the real world by helping them identify and banish any unrealistic, overly contrived elements in their mystery. 25 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Tips on Writing Emotions; Taking the Mystery Out of Writing Mysteries
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 10: Mysterious Elements; Realism

Lesson 11: Mysterious Elements - Revelation

It is difficult to decide, and every story is different, but this lesson offers some great advice on how to resolve the mystery and satisfy your readers. 25 Total Points
  • Review Article: Writing the Cozy Mystery
  • Review Video: Author Video on Writing Fiction
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 11: Mysterious Elements; Revelation

Lesson 12: Redrafting a Mystery

This lesson gives professional advice on redrafting, editing, and maintaining the mystery for writers of mysteries. 10 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Information on the Editing Process; The Purdue Writing Lab
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 12: Redrafting a Mystery

Lesson 13: Overcoming Mystery Writer's Block

Overcoming writer's block can be a nightmare for any writer of fiction, but this lesson offers practical, useful advice for the writer of mysteries who may be lacking in motivation or inspiration. 40 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Exercises for Writers; Tips on Overcoming Writers Block
  • Take Poll: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 13A Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 13B Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 13: Overcoming Mystery Writer's Block
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Mystery Writing
Course Number: 7550292
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: Professional Development
CEU Value: 1.2 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Melissa Behrend
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $90.00

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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the mystery genre.
  • Conduct research.
  • Describe storytelling essentials--plot and sub-plot.
  • Define characters.
  • Define the narrative.
  • Define the red herring.
  • Know violence and murder.
  • Create suspense.
  • Demonstrate methods for creating realism.
  • Demonstrate techniques for the final revelation.
  • Show how to redraft a mystery.
  • Know methods for overcoming mystery writer's block, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Student Testimonials

  • "Overall a great experience!" -- Jean P.
  • "This was one of the most enjoyable classes I've taken in my memory. I've been reading mysteries all my life, but never knew how to construct one. There were so many facets I've never thought about until now. The instructor is extremely encouraging!" -- Tricia S.
  • "The whole course was informative. I have taken previous courses with this instructor and can't say enough about her attention to every details and her instant response to grading and reviewing assignments." -- Patricia F.
  • "All of it was helpful. All of it was helpful." -- Cherie T.
  • "She's a keeper!" -- Megan F.
  • "I really appreciated your prompt replies. You were ON IT!" -- Terri B.
  • "Ms. Merritt is an excellent instructor. She is very helpful and encouraging." -- Donna N.
  • View More Testimonials...

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