Mystery Writer

Write intriguing books to keep your readers in suspense.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $109,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Mystery Writers do?

As a Mystery Writer, you craft stories with plots so puzzling and intriguing that the reader must keep reading to see the riddle solved. With twists, turns, and trapdoors, your novels as a Mystery Writer, are the type of page-turners that keep the reader up at night wondering, “What happens next?”

A woman is dead. It has been confirmed that no one entered or left her home during the hours of the murder. The suspects are limited to the guests of a masquerade she was holding in her parlor, and each one of them has a motive for murder, be it love or money. The story you’re writing as a Mystery Writer quickly becomes a game of clue that even the best Sherlock might have trouble unraveling.

It might seem easy to imagine the beginning to a cliffhanging chiller, but you craft your plots carefully so that they also have satisfying endings that keep readers lining up at the bookstore in packs to pull your books from the shelves. You research your topic, setting, and time era thoroughly. Often, you spend more time reading up on masquerades and parlors and outlining your perplexing plot than typing up your manuscript.

Once you’re published, there will be more to your job than simply holing up with a pot of coffee in a continuous stint of writing and editing. You may get a chance to leave your desk to go on book tours and sign copies for your devoted fans. Mystery novels can sell like hotcakes and usually control a few spots on the bestsellers list. Who knows, if you’ve written a worthy whodunit, you might find your plot traveling to Hollywood to become the next big thriller on film.

Should I be a Mystery Writer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • How to become a Mystery Writer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Mystery Writer-related education!
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