Do it Yourself Murder Mystery Plot

Updated April 17, 2017

Murder mystery plots can be a great way to make a party interesting. Writing an interesting plot can also become a new hobby or even a start for a novel. The complexity of a murder mystery plot is a unique facet that you can create with some effort and a few creative ideas. After creating a strategy, creating interesting characters, determining motives for the murder and adding a few red herrings, the plot will be completed.

Determine the Strategy

Murder mysteries can be played a variety of ways. Before embarking on your own murder mystery plot, decide how the game will be played. One option is to begin with a character that was murdered and have the rest of the group act out another character that is a suspect. Another possibility is to have a plot created with clues and a few guests that are suspects while the rest of the group plays a detective trying to solve the murder.

Define the Characters

A murder mystery plot should be realistic. Most people have family, friends, acquaintances, lovers and coworkers in their life. To make the plot seem realistic, include at least one, or perhaps more, of each. Give each relationship a specific story. Maybe some relationships had an essence of mutual dislike while another acquaintance was secretly jealous. To give the plot an extra twist, remember that certain suspects will know each other. The victim's mother and brother could plot together, or two coworkers could create a murder scheme with a third co-worker as an acquaintance.

Create a Motive for Each Character

Each person who is a suspect for the murder needs a reason why he detests the victim. Maybe a childhood event still haunts one character while a bad business transaction serves as a motive for another character. Consider not only the individual relationships but also interpersonal relationships and societal relationships. Some motives can be discovered throughout the plot, discovered further during the story or even understood at the very start.

Throw in a Few Red Herrings

A murder mystery plot should not be predictable. Throw in a few red herrings, or false clues, to keep the audience wondering who the murderer is. Added drama can often distract the audience from easily guessing who a sleuth is. A few nonsensical clues can also make a murder mystery plot more complex.

Choose a Setting

A murder has to take place somewhere, but don't stop just there. Perhaps the murder took place on a vacation and the victim lived in another city. Get creative with where people live and work.

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About the Author

Erika Sivils began writing professionally during the fall of 2009. She currently works as a freelance journalist for Demand Studios. She has also been published in Travel BIGO. Sivils is currently studying and taking courses at Lonestar College. She plans to enroll at Thomas Edison State college for the fall 2010 semester to earn a Bachelor of Arts in communications.