The inverted detective story approach.

Huge thank you to Patti Henderson who encouraged me to consider the inverted detective story approach on Molly- a true crime analysis.  I thought I needed to restructure my rough draft fully when she suggested this Columbo style, but as I review my manuscript, I realize only minor tweaks are needed structurally- especially the opening sequence.  All along, I have been using the inverted detective story approach— not a surprise, I was OBSESSED with Columbo as a kid.

An inverted detective story, also known as a “howcatchem”, is a murder mystery fiction structure in which the commission of the crime is shown or described at the beginning,  usually including the identity of the perpetrator.  The story then describes the detective’s attempt to solve the mystery.   There may also be subsidiary puzzles, such as why the crime was committed, but those are cleared up along the way.  This format is the opposite of the more typical “whodunit”, where all of the details of the perpetrator of the crime are not revealed until the story’s climax.  SOURCE


This is absolutely the approach that works for me.  Interestingly, it was somewhat alluded to in the “rejection” letter I received from a publisher the other day:


Katarina’s project is fascinating, but the feedback I got was that even though it investigates a mystery, Katarina has essentially solved the case [well- that certainly remains to be seen] and answered the one question that needs to be answered…

In the meantime, I keep snooping…


Ok- I have been at this kitchen table since 10 AM and it is now 5:20 with no break.  Time to transfer myself to the tub.


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