Mystery Writing

Using vivid examples from bestselling mystery novels, this course will teach you the techniques you need to become a successful author.
Picture of Mystery Writing
AUD$269 RRP $499

Quick Facts

  • Delivery Method Online
  • Professional Certificate
  • 24hrs Suggested Study Time
  • 8 Weeks Access
  • Tutor Support
  • Mobile and Tablet Friendly
  • 2792 Students

What's it all about?

What makes a mystery?

If you consider the books you've read most recently, you may be surprised to discover that many--if not all--are mysteries. From Dan Brown to Dennis Lehane, mysteries are hot items on today's best-seller lists.

This course will teach you the techniques you need to know if you want to become a best-selling mystery author.

Mystery Writing begins by introducing the four story types and then explains how they relate to mysteries. It then reveals the three-act story structure, which is any story's key to success. Next, it shows you how to propel the action forward to a climax, followed by a catharsis in which your readers feel the release of tension that accompanies a great finish.

The difference between story and plot is one of the most important distinctions in fiction writing--and one that many professional authors don't fully understand. But you will have mastered it by the end of this course. You'll also get a chance to experiment with viewpoints and see which one works best for your mystery. And you'll write a complete scene from your story and learn the internal structure that makes every scene feel right.

Finally, you'll delve into the special techniques that apply to mysteries, including crime scene description, MacGuffins, and the use of red herrings to misdirect your readers and create suspense.

Examples from real mystery novels will show these techniques in action. Then, following each lesson, you'll get to practice on your own story. And when you have questions or insights to share, you can join your instructor and classmates in a dynamic, interactive discussion area.

This information-packed online course combines the best advice of many writing professionals, tempered with the instructor's own experiences as a mystery writer. Follow the guidelines taught in this course, and you'll be well on your way to writing a successful mystery of your very own!

Courses are delivered to you through expertly executed lessons, online instruction and interaction with like-minded students. Our courses are designed to deliver all of the benefits of studying in a classroom whilst giving you the flexibility to study at a time and place to suit your needs. You can access your classroom 24/7 from any device with an internet connection.

New sessions of each course start monthly and last for six weeks. You’ll gain access to two lessons a week (for a total of 12 lessons) helping you pace your learning. There are no set times for you to study, you can log in and out at any time and complete the course at your own pace. Your expert tutor will guide and facilitate your course, answering any questions you have and providing guidance and feedback. You’ll complete comprehensive lessons, quizzes and assignments before submitting your final exam at the end of the course to achieve your certificate.

Session start dates are listed below. Has the start date already passed? Don’t worry, you can join a class up to 2 weeks after the start date!

Start Dates:

  • 18 October
  • 08 November
  • 13 December
  • 17 January

Who's the instructor?

Steve Alcorn

Steve Alcorn is the published author of a wide range of fiction and nonfiction works including the mystery A Matter of Justice, the historical novel Everything in Its Path, the romance Ring of Diamonds (under the pseudonym Sha... Read more

Read Steve Alcorn's Profile

What's involved?

  • Lesson 1- The Four Story Types
  • Lesson 2- Plot vs. Story
  • Lesson 3- Passion, Theme, Character, and Premise
  • Lesson 4- Character
  • Lesson 5- The Checkpoints of Mystery Story Structuring
  • Lesson 6- Act 1: Hook, Backstory, and Trigger
  • Lesson 7- Act 2: Crisis, Struggle, and Epiphany
  • Lesson 8- Act 3: Plan, Climax, and Ending
  • Lesson 9- The Story Outline
  • Lesson 10- Scene and Sequel
  • Lesson 11- Viewpoint
  • Lesson 12- The Mystery

What do others think?

‘Every person considering writing any type of fiction should take this course with Steve Alcorn. It contained concise information, writing assignments and quizzes, as well as comprehensive review by the instructor. Mr. Alcorn was in his classroom available for instruction and assistance when it was 2:00 a.m. and I was in my pajamas! The class was strikingly beneficial, fun and up-to-the-minute with instructional responses. He has my highest recommendation.’

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The Learning Environment

From the moment that you enrol in Mystery Writing you will become an integral part of our learning community. You will experience the perks of classroom studies such as chatting by the water cooler or sharing your opinion on a specific task, all in your own home.

Tutor support during your learning is flawless, friendly and encouraging. You will learn from your professional tutor who is not only knowledgeable and highly skilled but is a passionate industry expert. Our ethos is that if you succeed, we succeed. As with any studies, learning can be intense, yet you will soon realise that your hard work and commitment will be both personally and professionally rewarding.

Ready to get started?

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Why Choose Vibe Learning?

Learn Your Way

We understand that everyone works at their own pace and no two students are the same. That's why when you study with Vibe Learning we provide you with all the study guidelines, tools and support you need but leave you to set the pace. You are free to complete your assessments when and where you want.

We don't break the bank

With Vibe Learning we believe that education should be accessible to anyone who wants to learn. That's why we offer some of the most competitive prices in the industry. Investing in your future is a smart choice and doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you choose our money saving upfront prices or flexible payment plans, studying is accessible to you.

You'll get the personal attention you deserve

We are real people, providing real support every step of the way. When you study with Vibe Learning, you'll benefit from learning from professional, knowledgeable and most of all passionate industry experts.

Reap the rewards sooner rather than later

We offer a range of options from short 6 week courses through to extensive 12 month courses. Whatever your personal or professional goals, studying online with Vibe Learning provides a rewarding life changing experience which is well within your reach.

Learn real life skills

We don’t profess to know everything about every industry. That's why, when we write a course we work with industry experts who do know everything! Before delivering a course we make sure that the following boxes have big green ticks in them;

  • The course is industry Current
  • The course is Relevant to our students
  • The course is Engaging and delivers outcomes

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