What’s the difference between thriller and mystery?


Whats up, episodians.

I was brainstorming the other day of what story genres I should write then I thought of one and I didn’t know if I should classify it as thriller OR mystery.
Can someone tell me what’s the difference between thriller and mystery?

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Mystery - finding clues, evidence, solving a mystery of something or someone.

Thriller - hm…I would say it is KINDA like a horror genre, but different…hm…



Thriller can have some horror and action mixed in but not direct horror or supernatural mentions, Mystery is just mystery, it has you on the edge of your seat and what not



The difference lies in the focus.

Thrillers are meant to have a certain intensity. Whatever the “thrill” is, whether it’s solving a high stakes crime or being pursued by a would-be captor, it should leave you in suspense.

Mysteries are a little more simple, because the focus is always on solving the mystery of the story.

Not to say that these elements can’t overlap; it’s just that finding the focus is the easiest way to determine genre.



Mystery is mainly about looking for clues and capturing the culprit.

Thriller can be similar to horror without supernaturalism, gore, zombies, ghosts etc. They also involve psychology as well.

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Thriller is full of suspense.

A suspense story would lead to an event, whereas a mystery story would take place after the event happened. Protagonist would uncover the mystery. The thriller protagonist would more likely to stop the event before it happened.



I would say thriller is more shocks, gore, scary stuff. While mystery doesn’t have to be scary, it could be solving the mystery of the stolen balloons or something funny.



Mystery: Story happens after event, solving the puzzle.

Thriller: A little bit like horror, but a little bit more action and adventure, more suspenseful.



The big difference between thriller and mystery is that in a thriller the audience and usually the MC knows ‘who dunnit’ and in a mystery that’s what you’re trying to figure out. :tulip: