By Karen Wills
My adored one and I have been discussing elements most found in best-loved fiction. We came up with the following: mystery, conflict, suspense, doubt, implied or real sex, implied or real violence, and resolution.
Mystery to me is that haunting element in a character, situation, place, or series of events that eludes easy explanation. It’s the thing that keeps us reading to grasp or comprehend. We don’t want to be hopelessly mystified. We do want to be endlessly intrigued. It’s why we want to talk about the book afterwards with other readers. It’s something that made an internal shift in our thinking and feeling and awareness. My mystery is an element, not a genre centered on crime and murders. The mystery I mean can exist in any genre.
It is to literature what outer space is to the physical world.