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Writing A Mystery Narrative

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Presentation on theme: "Writing A Mystery Narrative"— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing A Mystery Narrative
It All Starts In Your Head

2 Elements of a Mystery Narrative
A good story idea to catch the reader’s interest Well-developed characters Effective setting descriptions A conflict with one or more possible solutions A “red herring” An element of suspense

3 Story Ideas Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open to ideas. Ask yourself “What if?” Look for story ideas… in your own personal life experiences or the life experiences of family members or friends. in the newspaper. on television. from previously read books or stories. on the internet.

4 Main Character The main character will determine the direction of the plot and how the story will grow. The main character is the protagonist. When developing characters, think about each character’s… personality traits. physical characteristics. relationship to other characters. thoughts and feelings.

5 Minor Characters Does your main character have a best friend or relative who will help him/her sort out the clues? Does the main character have an enemy who might prevent the mystery from being solved? Minor characters are usually… friends or relatives of the main character. an enemy (antagonist) of the main character. anyone who helps solve the mystery.

6 Dynamic & Static Characters
A dynamic character is a character who experiences changes throughout the story. The protagonist or main character is usually a dynamic character. A static character is a character who remains the same throughout the story.

7 The Setting The setting should fit the mood of the story. The readers should feel like they are going through the story with the characters. Think about where you want your story to take place. Should it be… a sunny day or maybe a stormy night? spring, summer, winter, or fall? outside or inside? in recent time or a time long ago? Describe the setting in detail!

8 The Conflict In a mystery story, the problem has to do with the main character finding a solution to the mystery. The story conflict could be… a crime someone has committed. something or someone lost. a scary situation.

9 The “Red Herring” Red herrings are bits of information that are designed to mislead readers by making them suspect the wrong characters. Red herrings are fun to include because they make mysteries harder to solve. Example: Maybe you want readers to suspect the main character’s little brother, who has a real fondness for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Suppose your main character finds smeared jelly fingerprints at the scene of a crime. Readers will immediately think the little brother is guilty even though he is not.

10 The Element of Suspense
Suspense is the uncertainty or anxiety that we feel about what will happen next in a story. Suspense is an important ingredient in a mystery story. Allow your characters to be scared, and your readers will identify with them. Suspense can be created by… footsteps coming up stairs. a doorknob turning. thunder and lightening. a mysterious shadow or voice on the telephone.

11 The Beginning Mystery stories often begin with action, with suspense, or with something interesting or exciting happening. You have to “hook” the readers. In the beginning of the story, the readers should be introduced to… the main characters. the setting. the mystery.

12 …and finally, The Ending
Know how your story will end before you begin to write it! Do not write yourself into a box with no way out. End it before you begin it! Remember to… think over various solutions to your character’s problem and then pick the best one. allow the protagonist to solve the mystery. It’s his/her story. make the clues you drop throughout the story lead to a reasonable ending.

13 Follow the Writing Process
Prewriting Writing Revising Editing Publishing (Final Draft) Now you’re ready to write!

14 Mystery Narrative Web (Summary of story idea including the conflict)
Main characters (w/ descriptions) Settings (w/ descriptions) (Summary of solution to the mystery w/ the ending)

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