Why I Like Mysteries
Anyway, back to the action:
I like stories that have mysteries at the center of them or at least play a big part in the grand scheme of things. I like it when the author plants clues, hints, and red herrings, making us think and try to put it all together and see if we're right at the end. I like the whole mysterious feel that most mysteries give stories. It makes it feel epic, which is good, especially if it is a fantasy or sci-fi story.
I'm not necessarily talking about whodunnit mysteries, though those can be good as well, in a different sort of way. I'm talking about the kind of mysteries in BIONICLE, for example, or in Harry Potter or Kingdom Hearts, sometimes even Heroes as well. The kind of mystery where it seems like someone or something is doing something or is about to do something, but no one knows what is going on, except for usually the villains or some third party group that sees itself above the others.
Like, let's take the Plan from BIONICLE, for example. It was a mystery for a while. Like, we didn't know what Teridax was up to, what he was actually planning to do (though we could guess), what the exact details were, etc. And when we found out what it really was, it made the whole thing worth it, in my opinion. Not that I approve of what Teridax did, but I felt that Greg did a job hinting at it and stuff. Of course, there are other BIONICLE mysteries, but that's the one that sticks out to me at the moment.
I like it when the characters run across some mysterious ruin or dead body or some strange inscription that makes no sense until much later. I like it because not only do we get to see the characters think and ponder about it (something I enjoy as long as it is in moderation) but it gives us something to theorize and think about, giving the story a whole new level of depth in my opinion.
Of course, mysteries can be done badly, or the revelation is very underwhelming. I can't think of any specific example, but if you keep hinting at something big and mysterious, having black-hooded figures appearing and giving cryptic messages, and then make the final revelation something like, "Bill ate the final cookie last Tuesday!" it'll make the readers (at least me) feel very disappointed unless you're doing a comedy.
But in general, most of the mysteries I've seen are very well done or are worth all of the speculating that I or the fans did. In fact, I like mysteries so much that I try to make sure that most of my longer stories (and even some short stories) have at least one central mystery that the characters try to solve, even if they didn't know about or even care about it at first.
It also helps when the author gives hints and clues outside the story in interviews and Q&A sessions with fans. Especially if they don't answer directly, which is why I enjoy the OGD a lot. 'Course I don't ask Greg a lot of questions, but I enjoy reading his answers to other peoples' questions just the same.
And I just love when we finally see the pay off and it's something I didn't expect at all, yet if you look back and pay close attention to the story, you'll actually see that the revelation is perfectly logical, which just makes it even better. That's really awesome. I really think it is.
"Two Worlds," my original fiction series I plan to write some day, will of course have several mysteries. Not going to actually talk about them (I want to keep most of TW a secret) but I can already think of several that will hopefully make people speculate and theorize, which is something that I enjoy doing.
As you can no doubt tell, I like BIONICLE, Harry Potter, Kingdom Hearts, and Heroes, particularly KH at the moment.