Oh, I have a LOT of boundaries I need to let go! :) I'm not quite ready to with my writing, but that's okay...I'm writing a genre with some boundaries of its own.Elizabeth mentions writing in a genre that has boundaries. In case you don't know, she writes Cozy Mysteries. Mystery writing, of course, has its own basic boundaries...or does it?
- Elizabeth Spann Craig
1. The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow.
2. All supernaural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course.
3. Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable.
4. No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.
5. No Chinaman must figure in the story.
6. No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right.
7. The detective must not himself commit the crime.
8. The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader.
9. The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal any thoughts which pass through his mind; his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader.
10. Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them.
Golden Age of Detective Fiction, which speaks specifically to those writers of the 1920s and 30s. These authors include Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, John Dickerson Carr and Ellery Queen.
According to Knox, a detective story "must have as its main interest the unravelling of a mystery; a mystery whose elements are clearly presented to the reader at an early stage in the proceedings, and whose nature is such as to arouse curiosity, a curiosity which is gratified at the end." I think we can agree on that!
What defines your genre?