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How to Write a Mystery …secrets to writing a really good story Yes, you have to take notes. Yes, they should be two-column notes with a summary at the.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Write a Mystery …secrets to writing a really good story Yes, you have to take notes. Yes, they should be two-column notes with a summary at the."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Write a Mystery …secrets to writing a really good story Yes, you have to take notes. Yes, they should be two-column notes with a summary at the end. (This should be a paragraph that captures what you have learned.)

2 What is a mystery? Does it have to include a murder? Does it have to include a detective? Any story?  Any genre?  List two examples of mysteries in your notes. You can use items from class, tv, or film.

3 “A Man’s Best Friends” Which of the following elements were included? Details of Setting: Time, place, ambiance Crafty characterization:  author, narrator details;  character’s own words;  character’s actions;  what others say about the character Continued on the next slide…

4 Clear point of view  1 st person= I could see the dame… Similes  The babe looked like a saucer… Metaphors  Her face was a steel wall. Personification (or other word play)  My heart took some hurdles Allusions  My name is Colt Magnum… More literary elements

5 Adding real depth—Bonus Round Symbols:  What kind of death would we expect from a snake?  Who kills the snake? Oxymoron: figure of speech that combines contradictory terms.figure of speech Dark light Living dead Noisy silence Any examples in “A Man’s Best Friends”?

6 Imagery Visual  Her legs strode into my shabby old office… Auditory  Her venomous voice poured silkily into the room… Tactile  She slammed the door. Taste or Smell  I saw through my cigar smoke…

7 Irony Oh this is too much. They can even afford to waste alcohol. What else is unexpected?

8 Try starting at the end… What is the mystery that will be solved?  Something that is lost is somehow found.  No one knows what is behind some mysterious act…until the mystery is solved.  A crime has been committed and the culprit needs to be found.

9 Examples of Conflict You might even be able to use a story without a detective or crime as your mystery-- Generational rifts, as parents and children clash Problems with health issues Cultural misunderstandings, as children of immigrants struggle to keep or reject the values of the parents’ culture. Disagreements over food Problems with physical safety

10 More… Strife over shelter Issues with approval and esteem Misunderstandings in a friendship Fights between lovers Battles between people and nature, such as a protagonist being caught in a storm, earthquake, etc. Antagonism sparked by philosophical or spiritual crises of conscience (Rozakis 107)

11 Conflict— Internal versus External External  Protagonist versus antagonist Internal  Protagonist battles self/decisions Narratives often contain both external and internal conflicts as characters struggle with outside forces or people and with their own desires… Mark at least two examples of each

12 Another way of looking at conflict… Character versus character Character versus society Character versus self Character versus nature Character versus technology

13 Essential Elements Setting- Decide on time and place Characters with motivation— They want something and something, someone gets in the way. Plot- a problem that needs to be solved, an event that cannot be explained, a secret. Exposition- A clever way to expose the story. Foreshadowing— Use to draw in your reader (clues). What is a red herring?

14 More Elements… Inciting Incident—Event that introduces the central conflict Rising Action—Build suspense Climax—The conflict is somehow solved Resolution/Denouement—The loose ends need to be tied up for the reader Use your plot map to plan your story! Planning/research is essential to a good mystery! This type of story is PLOT DRIVEN.

15 Planning for your mystery… You can use the “Story Cards” to generate ideas or you can come up with an idea by brainstorming on your own. You can research the setting or write about something you know. Use the plot map to help plan out the story.

16 What Genre Can Be a Mystery? Adventure Sci-Fi Gothic Western Fantasy Horror Romance Drama Historical Humor Suspense

17 Where Can a Mystery Take Place? In a Car The Desert Old House The Mountains Cyberspace On the Phone Amusement Park Library Small Town The Beach On a Train Restaurant On a Boat

18 K.I.S.S. Know the length you are shooting for  Novel  Novella  Short Story  You cannot have lots of characters or twists and turns in a SHORT story and really SHOW the action!

19 Requirements words  Type in Microsoft Word Do a word count Times New Roman or Courier Double-space Start half-way down the first page Due Dates:  Rough draft due January 18 th (MLK –No School)  Computer Lab (Mon-Weds)

20 Showing versus Telling Telling:  #1 The student found out about the fight through a text message.  #2 The woman was upset when her date failed to show.  #3 The man remembered to eat his breakfast. Take one of these examples and write 2-3 sentences that show the action. Try to include dialogue.

21 Your story must include: This phrase somewhere in the first paragraph: “nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak.” These words: inquisitive, benevolent, xenophobic, mesmerize, plethora, vacuous You must underline words AND phrase!!

22 Works Cited Rozakis, Laura E. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing, Alpha Books, New York: 2004


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