How to Write a Murder Mystery


Have you always wanted to host your own Murder Mystery night? Are you tired of the boring box scripts available on Amazon? Have you secretly dreamed of writing your own? Well…now you can. Before sending out that evite here are some things to remember:

Create Characters
I know you might be thinking,“ How many characters should I be creating?”, No, you’re thinking “ I should have set Grey’s Anatomy on the PVR”. No? Oh wait, that’s what I’m thinking.
But seriously, the easiest way to come up with a number is look at how many guests are attending. In this case we have 80 people.
I always use the one actor per 10 guests, give or take. Keep in mind there might be some cancellations. You may have over two hundred people. I suggest putting the cap at 10 actors. The reason being is because all those egos won’t be able to fit in the green room or on your payroll.

People relate to characters. It’s why they attend a Murder Mystery. It’s not for the plot or to solve it. It is to play. Why do you think Hallowe’en for adults is so popular? We all want to dress up and immerse ourselves into the character. People respond to things that evoke emotion and make them feel good. If you didn’t want to have fun, you would watch re-runs of Murder She Wrote. Not to say watching Angela Lansbury question Tom Selleck isn’t fun. Is it?
Don’t make these characters too confusing. They are archetypes. Make it simple. It’s all about the “play”. In each show, the audience members will have a favourite character which they will naturally gravitate towards. Create a variety of funny and interesting characters. Ask yourself, would this character be fun to watch? Would this character be fun to play?

Step Three:
Create characters that are LOCA :
Over the top ( O.T.T.) and Interesting
Action oriented – They must be DOING something
Make each character stand out. Think about their costumes as well. If you need an accountant character, don’t make him/her a boring accountant that wears a business suit. That doesn’t stand out. Dress them as an ultra nerd with black rimmed glasses and a pocket protector. Don’t shake your head. I know I am stereotyping. Not all accountants are nerds. My dad is an accountant and he’s not a boring nerd. Just a boring accountant. Or an accountant with a love for rap music and wears gold chains under their suit. If they need to wear a business suit, then change their behaviour over the course of the show. They get drunk and everything starts to unravel. Now that’s fun! Bottom line, give your characters and edge, something interesting to play and watch.

To learn more buy my book How to Write a Murder Mystery and get away with it”. Available today on Amazon Buy book on Amazon


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