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The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but m

ust not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow.
All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of cour
Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable.
No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will n
eed a long scientific explanation at the end.
No Chinaman must figure in the story.
No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccount
able intuition which proves to be right.
The detective must not himself commit the crime.
The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced f
or the inspection of the reader.
The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal any thought
s which pass through his mind; his intelligence must be slightly, but very sligh
tly, below that of the average reader.
Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been du
ly prepared for them.
It must be credibly motivated, both as to the original situation and the dnou
It must be technically sound as to the methods of murder and detection.
It must be realistic in character, setting and atmosphere. It must be about
real people in a real world.
It must have a sound story value apart from the mystery element: i.e., the i
nvestigation itself must be an adventure worth reading.
It must have enough essential simplicity to be explained easily when the tim
e comes.
It must baffle a reasonably intelligent reader.
The solution must seem inevitable once revealed.
It must not try to do everything at once. If it is a puzzle story operating
in a rather cool, reasonable atmosphere, it cannot also be a violent adventure o
r a passionate romance.
It must punish the criminal in one way or another, not necessarily by operat
ion of the law. If the detective fails to resolve the consequences of the crime,
the story is an unresolved chord and leaves irritation behind it.
It must be honest with the reader.
In describing breasts of a female character, avoid anatomical descriptions.
If it is necessary for the story to have the girl give herself to a man, do
not go too carefully into the details. You can lead up to the actual consummatio
n, but leave the rest up to the readers imagination. This subject should be handl
ed delicately and a great deal can be done by implication and suggestion.
Whenever possible, avoid complete nudity of the female characters. You can h
ave a girl strip to her underwear, or transparent negligee, or nightgown, or the
thin torn shred of her garments, but while the girl is alive and in contact wit
h a man, we do not want complete nudity.
A nude female corpse is allowable, of course.
Also, a girl undressing in the privacy of her own room, but when men are in
the action try to keep at least a shred of something on the girls.
Do not have men in underwear in scenes with women, and no nude men at all.

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