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Mystery Writing Diploma Course

10 Modules | Lifetime Access | Study Group Access

Centre of Excellence


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£49 inc VAT (was £127)
Offer ends 21 October 2091
Study method
Online, self-paced
150 hours
Access to content
Lifetime access
No formal qualification
150 CPD hours / points
Additional info
  • Exam(s) / assessment(s) is included in price
  • Certificate of completion available and is included in the price
  • TOTUM card is available to purchase separately What's this?

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All you need to know to start planning the perfect crime… fiction, that is!

From cosy mystery to hardboiled detective fiction, the mystery genre remains eternally popular. If you’ve been reading whodunnits and now feel like it’s your turn to lay the trail of breadcrumbs, the Mystery Writing Diploma Course will guide you through the process of writing a mystery novel.

Through a mixture of theory and practical exercises, this course explores the genre inside and out and, using a number of writing techniques, you will be able to build your own mystery novel – creating a story, taking your drafts to the next level, editing your work and polishing it; ready for submission or self-publication.



150 CPD hours / points
Accredited by The CPD Certification Service

Course media


You’ll start by learning about the genres, subgenres and tropes that make a mystery story what it is – and what it is not – helping you to find your own area of focus and preparing you to write your own novel – laying a trail of clues, red herrings and plot twists.

With suspense being at the heart of any mystery, you’ll discover how to build tension and intrigue, how to pace your novel and how to keep your readers guessing all the way to the end. You’ll learn how to create believable characters; from a sleuth your readers will get behind to a villain they’ll be rooting for them to catch.

Planning the perfect crime is a skill, so you’ll learn how to create a crime scene, layer clues and build a trail. Research is key – mystery readers know their stuff – so we’ll look at how to ground your work in reality, using targeted research to ensure your work is believable.

You’ll be taken, step-by-step, through writing the first draft in a 4-act format, before preparing your novel for potential publication.

By studying this course, you will:

  • Become familiar with the genres, subgenres, and tropes of mystery writing
  • Learn how to lay a trail of clues, red herrings, and plot twists
  • Know how to create believable characters and crime scenes
  • Follow step-by-step guidance in the four-act structure of mystery novels
  • Understand how to ground your stories in reality
  • Be able to create and edit a novel – ready for potential publication

Who is this course for?

Designed to help you to develop your writing and editing skills, this course will guide you in mystery writing as a hobby or a potential career – taking you from introduction to preparing your novel for possible publication.

Packed with theory-based work and creative writing exercises, this is an introductory course for those who are new to writing mysteries but assumes you have read mystery fiction and have some familiarity with the genre. It’ll help you to build your writing and editing skills and work towards creating a piece of mystery writing that will keep your readers guessing all the way to the big reveal.


There are no prerequisites, just an eagerness to learn and an internet connection.

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What does study method mean?

Study method describes the format in which the course will be delivered. At Reed Courses, courses are delivered in a number of ways, including online courses, where the course content can be accessed online remotely, and classroom courses, where courses are delivered in person at a classroom venue.

What are CPD hours/points?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. If you work in certain professions or for certain companies, your employer may require you to complete a number of CPD hours or points, per year. You can find a range of CPD courses on Reed Courses, many of which can be completed online.

What is a ‘regulated qualification’?

A regulated qualification is delivered by a learning institution which is regulated by a government body. In England, the government body which regulates courses is Ofqual. Ofqual regulated qualifications sit on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which can help students understand how different qualifications in different fields compare to each other. The framework also helps students to understand what qualifications they need to progress towards a higher learning goal, such as a university degree or equivalent higher education award.

What is an ‘endorsed’ course?

An endorsed course is a skills based course which has been checked over and approved by an independent awarding body. Endorsed courses are not regulated so do not result in a qualification - however, the student can usually purchase a certificate showing the awarding body’s logo if they wish. Certain awarding bodies - such as Quality Licence Scheme and TQUK - have developed endorsement schemes as a way to help students select the best skills based courses for them.