“From The Mousetrap to the new surge of Scandi-noir – let’s write a murder mystery.”
Another … great… challenge to push us out of our comfort zones. The weekend challenges are meant to be more complicated as we all have ‘so much more time on our hands’. Like a lot of the participants, this isn’t true for me.
I know what you’re all thinking – it’s really hard to write a good murder mystery in a ‘short play’ format… and I’m afraid my answer to that is – ‘who said it needs to be a short play?’
Come on – it’s the weekend! Make a cup of whisk… tea and start plotting. Literally.
Oh, and one more thing. It’s easy making this task light-heartedly, and writing some sort of silly farce. So don’t. Make this a strong, interesting, dramatic one.
Given the time pressures and my absolute lack of experience in the genre, I decided two things:
- I would base the structure and characters on a murder mystery game I designed for my English as a Second Language students (they were learning ‘it could have been…’, ‘it might have been…’, ‘it must have been…’ etc.)
- I would start at the end and use a narrator to describe the story up until this point. That way, I could skip the bits I didn’t want to write!
- I basically wrote a monologue (with some other characters chipping in, rarely) in which the narrator tells you that they are the murderer and then you spend the whole play wondering if there was a murder at all.