Write Better. Right Now.


Starts January 15th, 2024

Mystery Mind: Writing Whodunits Your Readers Can’t Put Down


Before You Proceed

MYSTERY MIND is geared towards serious writers and covers a significant amount of detailed Content and Exercises

As part of this course, you will be expected to read and provide feedback on the writing of your fellow students. Just like a virtual writing group, we all work together to develop ideas, explore themes, and elevate skills. Interaction is key and you should understand that engaging with the course, through assignments and discussion, is a necessary part of the process.

If you’ve got what it takes to join our intrepid investigators, read on to discover what’s in store.

Your Host

Mystery Man

Daniel Kaplan

Hosted by writing tutor Daniel Kaplan, this 4-week interactive course includes weekly live streams packed with additional topics and class interaction. Ask questions, get answers, and work your way through the most frustrating storytelling blocks with the help of your tutor and classmates.

Live session dates and times are:
Session 1 - Monday, January 15th, 7:30pm ET
Session 2 - Monday, January 22nd, 7:30pm ET
Session 3 - Monday, January 29th, 7:30pm ET
Session 4 - Monday, February 5th, 7:30pm ET

If you can't make it to a session, don't worry recordings will be uploaded for you to enjoy at your own pace alongside the rest of the course! 

Photo of Daniel
the case is on...

Weave a Web of Intrigue with Expert Guidance

connect every dot with the most comprehensive Mystery writing experience you could wish for.

Recommended Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced

From foundational practices to specific, scene-based methods, you’ll explore the core techniques behind page-turning mysteries that leave readers guessing until the very end.

Craft a compelling puzzle, build conflict, master the art of plotting and characterization, and ratchet up the tension as you immerse yourself in every essential element of writing a successful mystery novel.

Whether you're a veteran writer looking to refine your craft or a newcomer to the world of mystery novels, Mystery Mind's live interactive sessions and wealth of assignments will give you the tools and techniques you need to craft compelling stories that readers won't be able to put down.

Mystery Mind

Explore the Full Curriculum


In this foundation-setting introductory module, we’ll :

  • Learn how to brainstorm interesting hooks to make your mystery novel stand out above the rest.
  • Explore why worldbuilding matters, even in the real-world settings often used in the mystery genre.
  • Dig into the psychological motivation behind crime solving and why audiences are so drawn into this captivating genre.
  • Practice making a compelling and interesting mystery premise without painting yourself into a corner from the start.

Even though mysteries tend to be plot-centered stories, you don’t want to bombard your audience with a bunch of overused tropes. In this module, we’ll :

  • Discuss how to make everyone stand out individually and avoid flat characters.
  • Learn simple techniques to help you determine motivations behind the criminal, plus red herring motivations in supporting characters.
  • Talk about the basic motivations that drive all characters and how to dramatize them effectively in your story.

At the center of all great mysteries lies a puzzle for the audience to solve. How can you make it interesting and challenging without being confusing or impossible? In this module, we’ll :

  • Uncover simple tricks for setting up clues where the audience least expects them.
  • Explore methods of misdirection to keep the audience on their toes (this can sometimes be completely brazen – yet you’ll still get away with it!).
  • Look at how to connect the dots of your mystery in ways that feel natural, avoiding contrived setups and unbelievable coincidences.

Even with a great mystery at the center of your tale, you’ll still have to plan the flow of scenes and how the detective will unravel the case. In this module we’ll:

  • Explore what makes a compelling scene, versus a flat one that will leave audiences cold.
  • Practice writing a mystery beat sheet, forming a cohesive plot skeleton for a riveting mystery novel.
  • Learn how pacing can have a powerful impact in how the audience reads your story, and how you can tune into that to orchestrate the storytelling experience.
context from real-world books

See How It's Done For Real

Alongside your course materials and worksheets, you'll also find extensive excerpts from real books.

See how the concepts, tips and techniques you'll explore throughout the course are implemented in the context of real-world books that readers are buying right now...

So you know exactly how and when to use them to make your own mystery storytelling shine.

Mystery Solved

Write Mystery Better Than Ever Before

Mystery Writing

4 complete modules of whodunit delight, featuring video lessons, live classes and module assignments.

Creative Supplements

Access to supplements and examples for key learning.


Access to notecards that you can place right into the AutoCrit Writing Desk and have handy as you write your next novel.

Writing Prompts

50 amazing writing prompts to fire up your imagination.

Class Discussions

Connect with like-minded authors and discuss course content.

Access to AutoCrit

Enjoy complimentary access to AutoCrit! Our comprehensive planning, writing and editing platform that will help fine tune your terrifying tales!

Writers Love Our Courses... And You Will Too

Daryl M.​
Daryl M.​Author
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The guest speakers alone are worth the price of admission. It’s like a writer’s convention in your home. Well worth the time, effort, and investment. ​
Joseph P.
Joseph P.Author
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I’ve never felt so welcome and valued in a course before. Both teachers and students were so graceful towards one another from start to finish.​
M.R. Hartman
M.R. HartmanAuthor
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Excellent quality, filled with recommendations, advice and content, as promised. There was a LOT more added into it than I was expecting to receive. What an eye opener this was for me!
Jared S.
Jared S.Author
Read More
These courses are helping me build my confidence and skill as a writer. I love that I keep access to the materials after the class is finished.
Megan L.
Megan L.Author
Read More
Love the efficiency and value of the course. The offline work paired with the lessons, then reinforced by the live class, in addition to real-time instructor/student feedback.
Tools for you

Enjoy AutoCrit Writer's Desk with Your Purchase

Also included in your Mystery Mind course access is a membership to the AutoCrit Writer's Desk.
Plan, write, and perfect your new story ideas with this world-class suite of tools.

Activities, Guests, And Hours Of Content

The AutoCrit Community

Alongside the Mystery Mind course content, you’ll also receive access to our members-only community forums.

Chat about all things mystery, share your work, engage in creative writing activities with like-minded authors, and more.

Get involved, ask questions and get accountability with weekly check-in events, as well as checkout our genre clubs and member only events.

If you miss an event, don’t worry – recordings are posted for community members, offering hour after hour of expertise for you to enjoy as soon as you log in.

our promise to you

100% Money Back Guarantee

Mystery Mind is a deep, thoughtful, and jam-packed course with a complete look at this popular genre.
We think you'll love it.

But if you don’t believe that anything you’ve encountered throughout the course has helped make you a better mystery author, we’re not going to lead you down a dead end. Your purchase is an investment in your skills as a writer – so it’s only fair you expect an improvement in your abilities.

If you feel that hasn’t happened, just let us know within 60 days of purchase and we’ll be happy to offer you a full refund.

Register Now: Course Begins January 15th