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A MYSTERY. Is a story of SUSPENSE that USUALLY contains a CRIME , a CRIME-SOLVER , a CRIMINAL , SUSPECTS , and KEY DETAILS such as clues, alibis, and characters’ possible reasons for committing a crime. SIX ELEMENTS OF A MYSTERY. PLOT.

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A mystery l.jpg
A MYSTERY

  • Is a story of SUSPENSE that USUALLY contains a CRIME, a CRIME-SOLVER, a CRIMINAL, SUSPECTS, and KEYDETAILS such as clues, alibis, and characters’ possible reasons for committing a crime.



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PLOT

  • In a mystery the sequence of events (PLOT) may be given out of order as clues are discovered.

  • So, you MUST keep track of events on a timeline in the order they occur - NOT necessarily in the order told in the story.


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SETTING

  • In a mystery, the SETTING (where,

    when, conditions, etc) is VERY IMPORTANT

  • It will often include CLUES to solving the mystery.


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CHARACTERS

  • In a mystery the reader MUST keep track of the characters’ traits, actions, words because all of these things can be clues to explaining MOTIVE and ALIBI (in a crime situation), and to solving the mystery.

  • Information about a character can be revealed DIRECTLY or INDIRECTLY.

  • Often a mystery will have FLAT (minor) characters as well as ROUND (major) characters.


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SUSPECTS

  • ANYONE can be a SUSPECT.

  • You need to analyze each character as a good suspect or unlikely suspect based on their:

  • MOTIVE (reason for committing the crime)

  • ALIBI (excuse as to why they couldn’t possibly have committed the crime)


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CRIME

  • The “CRIME” is the “what happened to whom” part of the mystery.

  • Remember - a crime is NOT always a murder or other gory act of violence.

  • In some mysteries, the CRIME may be replaced by an unexplained occurrence.


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THE CRIME-SOLVER

  • The CRIME-SOLVER is the person in the story responsible for figuring out what happened to whom and why.

  • The CRIME-SOLVER generally has very specific, unique character traits that set him or her apart from the rest of the characters.

  • The CRIME-SOLVER is usually ROUND and DYNAMIC.


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CRIMINAL

  • The CRIMINAL is the person responsible for the crime.

  • Usually the CRIMINAL is on the list of suspects but has a weak alibi coupled with a strong motive.

  • In the end, it must be clear to the reader how and why the CRIMINAL acted as he did.


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CLUES TO THE RESOLUTION

  • NOTHING in a mystery is too small to ignore.

  • EVERYTHING is a potential CLUE to the resolution.

  • It is IMPORTANT for you to keep track of EVERY DETAIL in order to decide what are KEY DETAILS that will help you come to a logical conclusion at the end of the mystery.


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A GOOD DETECTIVE

  • Is logical

  • Keeps track of EVERY detail

  • Makes charts, graphs, notes

  • Uses the charts, graphs, notes to organize thinking in order to solve the mystery


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