Building Mysteries in Writing



To start off this blog, we are going to take a look at a well known example of literature, Harry Potter, and see how J.K. Rowling formed it into a mystery series. Us Navigators will begin with this genre because I believe that every story needs to have a small amount of mystery in it to stimulate and engage the reader. Let’s discuss!



This video essay is from a YouTube channel called “Just Write”, one of the many channels we will be using as guides and cure focuses for discussion topics. While watching the video, take notes about the elements that you agree with, the ones you disagree with, and how this knowledge will impact your writing.



This video makes a point about hiding clues within your story to immerse the reader and allow the piece to be re-readable.  By hiding clues in plain sight with vague descriptions and clever word play, the readers don’t typically pick up on it until they are cued by the story to look back to when the clue was introduced. That feeling of being tricked out of a foreshadowing element is what creates respect for the writer for their clever story building. There are many ways to entice readers to question what they are reading.

To help you plan out elements to add into your story, here is a list from the video to achieve that goal of reader engagement:

Clever descriptions

Muted culprits

Buried clues

Signature descriptions


Captain KT story time:

I had always wondering what made the Harry Potter books so special to me but after introducing them to my younger sister and encouraging her to ask questions throughout, I gained a new appreciation for them. It was enjoyable to see how her mind was churning all the time, seeking out the answers and becoming speechless when they came. I even experience this high when I’m writing out ideas for my current 5 book series as I find out ways to hide clues pertaining to the ending chapter even in my first installment. Just thinking of the shock on my reader’s faces when the truth comes to light at the end is what inspires me to keep writing.


Questions for fellow Navigators:

Do you believe that all stories should include a bit of mystery?

What do you think the most important aspect to a mystery-infused novel?

How will this impact your writings in the future?

Do you have any works that could have benefited from this knowledge?


Please leave your reply below and let’s discuss!

Published by

Captain KT

Aspiring writer plus a big fan of analyzing literature and films. Writing is a hobby of mine that hopefully could become a career. I feel that writing is an output for working through questions I have about myself and the world.

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