Red Herrings: How To Keep Your Readers Guessing [Mystery Month]

Rachel Poli

What’s your favorite part about reading a mystery novel?

You want to try to solve the case, right? You want to help the detective, telepathically communicate with the characters and figure things out, yes?

Yeah, me too. That’s why red herrings are so important because it allows the reader to not figure things out.

Or… You know, get them stuck for a little while.

Red Herrings: How To Keep Your Readers Guessing [Mystery Month]What are Red Herrings?

Red herrings is a something that appears to be a clue, but it’s not. It’s fake and it’s just there to throw the characters off the hot trail. It allows the characters and readers alike to go in different directions as they frustratingly try to solve the mystery.

Red herrings can be in the form of anything:

1. An innocent character – An innocent bystander can have motive and reason to go about the crime allowing your detective to suspect him of…

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3 thoughts on “Red Herrings: How To Keep Your Readers Guessing [Mystery Month]

  1. The trouble with red herrings is that although they need to have something fishy about them, they don’t always swim. If they have been introduced, the writer owes it to the reader to explain them away at some stage.

    Liked by 1 person

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