Mystery Factory

THE ULTIMATE MYSTERY RESOURCE

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Why? How? When? MOTIVE, METHOD & OPPORTUNITY

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.

MOTIVE

The Motive is always about being in control of something or someone.

The Three Sub-Motives

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

METHOD

“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)

OPPORTUNITY

HOW TO WRITE MYSTERIES
The Book CLUE TRAIL
THE CRIME
THE CHARACTERS
MOTIVE, METHOD, OPPORTUNITY
THE CRIME SCENE
CLUES & EVIDENCE
HOME



  • Thanks so much for helping us align the motive, opportunity and methods to keep the readers guessing – great system!

  • This was really entertaining and useful. Thanks so much for sharing. I got a LOT of ideas generated from this. Much thanks

  • I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with! It was great meeting you. Teachers rock. Call anytime.

  • Thank you!! I truly enjoyed the “Mystery Writing” Workshop on March 23, 2013. I am excited to teach my students “the bones” and I would love to share their work with you once completed. We are going to start the 2nd week in April so expect a possible call as I may need your assistance. Again, I certainly got what I wanted from the course as you made it interesting and easy to follow.


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