How to write a mystery story

Creating a mystery story

Creating a mystery story involves creating a setting, realistic characters, plot, narration, dialogue, and other elements of fiction. The graphic organizers pictured below are a great way to organize your mystery story before you start writing it.


Step 1

Creating realistic settings

After you have created your realistic characters, you need to create a setting such as a house, island, courtroom, forest, hospital, or whatever setting you would like to use for your mystery story.

You might have more than one setting in your story, so as the characters move throughout the story, you need to describe what they see. Readers want to visualize the setting or settings you have created in your mystery. If it’s a house or another building, you need to describe the outside and the inside.

Step 2

Creating realistic characters

Before you start writing your mystery story, you might want to use a graphic organizer on characters. That will help you create realistic characters. It is especially important for you to do this with your main character and the villain.

After you know your character, you can use a graphic organizer on narration and dialogue. This will help you to create your narration and dialogue before you start the actual writing of your mystery story.

Step 3

Grasping the reader’s attention

Your first paragraph of your story should grasp readers’ attention so they will want to keep reading. If your first paragraph doesn’t intrigue readers, they probably won’t continue turning the pages.

After you have written your first paragraph, you need to stop and read it over and ask yourself if this is exciting and you would want to continue reading the story.

Step 4

Creating your plot

After you have created your setting and your characters, you are ready to start creating your plot and putting things together. If you look at the graphic organizers that are on the right side, you will see plot graphic organizers. Those might be helpful in putting your thoughts together, so you can begin the writing process.

As you start writing your mystery story, remember to start with a beginning paragraph that will grasp readers’ attention, and then you can continue writing whatever comes to your mind.

You start with introducing the main character and proceed with the story. It’s important to build the suspense throughout the story until you come to the climax, which is the high point where the main character (the protagonist) makes a decision as to which way he or she wants to go.

Throughout the story, you want to plan clues that may or may not lead readers to the villain. There are false clues that writers plant to lead the characters and readers astray, and then writers plant clues that will lead the characters and readers to the villain.

When you come near the end of the story, you want to make sure you have tied all the loose ends together, and the readers are satisfied with the conclusion. If you are satisfied with the story structure and how it ends, your readers will be, too.

Things Needed
• Notebook Paper or Spiral Notebook
• Post-It Notes
• Pens or Pencils
• White Outs or Erasers
• Computer and Printer

Tips & Warnings
• Create realistic characters because readers want to relate to the characters, especially the main character
• Create realistic settings and describe the settings so that readers can visualize the rooms or wherever your setting happens to be.
• Your plot should start out with something that will grasp the readers’ attention so they will continue reading


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