Occasion / Setting / Location
An interesting setting draws people in. Whether writing a novel or a script, it makes them feel like they are in a privileged position – privy to the dark secrets or strange inner life of something out of the ordinary. They get to participate in something forbidden, in a safe way.
In mystery events the setting refers to the place AND to an occasion that is happening in the setting.
What interesting occasion is happening when the murder occurs? For instance just having someone die at a regular house party or awards ceremony is boring. There must be some exciting reason for people to be gathered together; the guest of honor is going to prison after the party is over or to unveil a secret technology. This is a fictional event on top of if it is for someone’s birthday or anniversary.
One project I was involved in was a fundraiser for the community arts and culture centre and the local belly dance group. With a combination like that the title ‘Midnight at the Oasis‘ immediately popped into my head. Now what could be the fictional reason for the gathering? After a week of thought and trying things on I made up my own tale out of the Arabian Nights and set about using that as the raison d’être. The fictional reason for the gathering was that it was the one day out of the year that the Midnight Genie could be enticed out of his genie bottle to grant three wishes.