WHAT do you BUILD a PLOT ON?
The Mystery Bones are the Motive, Method & Opportunity
The Bones are the Skeleton, the foundation of the mystery which is then fleshed out and dressed up.
THE MYSTERY BONES
They are the core of the plot that you flesh out a mystery on.
Why did the killer kill?
How did the killer do it?
When did it happen?
Once you know the answer to those questions you are
on your way to constructing a whodunnit.
MOTIVE, METHOD & OPPORTUNITY
build a TARGET and show you
who is in the Crosshairs …
You have as many words as you need to tell your story and
not a word longer.
It may or may not happen quickly.
In murder mystery entertainment, there is a very short amount of time to get the relevant information out so you start off by making sure
that every suspect has a motive.
The Motive is always about being in control of something or someone.
In mystery stories, many characters may have a motive.
They may or may not remain as suspects throughout the whole book. They can be ruled out as it is revealed whether they also had the method and the opportunity to be the villain.
A Flowchart of Power Motives.
I have created three different flow charts to help inspire motives. The one above is for Power.
The other flow charts for Passion & Revenge are included in my book CLUE TRAIL.
For every MOTIVE you need a
PIECE of EVIDENCE
I write mystery entertainment so that EACH CLUE IS PRESENTED TWICE.
ONCE BY SOMETHING PHYSICAL, SUCH AS HARDCOPY or a PROP as well as some of the evidence is SPOKEN dialogue. Much of the evidence is covered both ways, just to make sure no one in the audience misses anything.
If the clue is verbal only then it must be included in a ‘scripted’ scene.
All scripted scenes must be on microphone.
There is nothing so detrimental to murder mystery entertainment as the audience not being able to hear what the characters are saying. Except a boring script. My scripts are never boring.
The actor who is giving out the ‘verbal only’ clue must also make sure it is relayed to every group of people as he ‘works the tables’. Mingling should take place between the scripted scenes as well as at the beginning of the evening.
Midnight at the Oasis Character Motives:
Nadia of the Night – Betrayed by the Sultan
Sheikh of Shazam – Robbed by the Sultan
Sheihk of Shyster – Blackmailed by the Sultan
Samira of the Sunset – Cursed by the Sultan
“There is nothing quite so good as a burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and
not very incriminating.”
Alfred Hitchcock (English Film Director, 1899 – 1980)