aka The Frazzled Mom
What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?
My favorite genres are mystery and SciFi. So what do I think the best characteristics are of each?
The Puzzle: In regards to mysteries, it’s like solving a puzzle. I have more of an analytical mind than a creative one, so solving problems is something that comes naturally to me. It doesn’t mean I can solve everything, but rather that I enjoy the process. That’s probably why I was ok with sitting through 3 hours of The Batman, because of the riddles. And that’s also why I really enjoyed the escape room with my family.
But mysteries aren’t just about the puzzle, the whodunit. I’m not going to get into the mystery unless there’s a good hook. What would get my attention? In the case of The Relic, it was the mysterious death’s where the victims were all missing a small portion of the brain. Sure that could be classified as a monster or horror book, but to me it definitely falls into mystery. They wrote in a modern day Sherlock Holmes (i.e. Special Agent Pendergast).
Keep the Reader Active: Mysteries also need to keep me guessing. When I’m constantly trying to figure it out before the detective, that’s the author keeping me entertained and active as a reader. But good gravy, don’t go overboard and through out a million red herrings. I think that’s why I never got into reading Agatha Christie.
The Dialogue: Another aspect of love with a good mystery is the dialogue. I want it to be suspense, but also witty at times. Which is why I love movies like The Thin Man. Give me good dialogue and I wouldn’t care if that was all that was going on in a chapter. I don’t need filler of them walking about or sitting down or picking up a glass. But if the dialogue is boring or does nothing for the story? Then I might fall asleep or worse, put the book down and forget about it.
Element of Danger: Now I also mentioned SciFi. And as far as I’m concerned, I like that SciFi that deals with a problem needing to be solve, similar to a mystery. But in this case, there’s more of an element of danger for everyone involved, typically. If the SciFi has an element of horror, then it might just become a favorite. I remember enjoying Aliens so much that I got a copy of the film novelization and read it in one night. I couldn’t put it down. That rarely happens.