Can You Write a Mystery?

My soon-to-be-released children’s book is called “Tails of Mystery.” It tells the stories of a dog and his friends solving mysteries around their neighborhood. It doesn’t have a cover yet, but here’s the dog – he’s called Fred.

dog

Another soon-to-be-released volume will be the fourth edition of our local Writers’ Mill Journal. One of the headings for submissions is “It’s a mystery.”

Meanwhile, our next writing contest is titled  “A simply misunderstanding.”

So I wonder what great mysteries these misunderstandings might weave – which leads to this week’s writing game:

First, write the numbers 1 to 7 down the side of a sheet of paper:

Plot

  1. At number one, write down who is going to misunderstand something.
  2. At number five, write down the dire consequence of the misunderstanding.
  3. At number seven, write down the resolution – all is calm, mystery solved, misunderstanding corrected.
  4. Back to number three: What did your protagonist misunderstand? What incorrect conclusion did they draw?
  5. Number four: How did they act on that conclusion and how did it cause the dire consequences at number five.
  6. Number two: How did they come to hear/see/learn the thing they misunderstood?
  7. Number six: How did they come to realize they’d got things wrong, and how did they fix it to land us at number 7.

Quickwrite

Weave what you’ve written back together to make a short mystery about a simple misunderstanding.

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