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Murder Most Different

OK, so I did not write a blog post while at work today, because I spent every break working on a murder mystery.  I LOVE writing murder mysteries!  I feel so clever when I am inventing characters, deciding on their relationships and problems.  When I realize this one wants to do dirt to that one, or the other one loves this one but yet another character knows the dirty little secret of…  you get the picture.

I actually have three mysteries to write with varying requirements for each.  Today I was working on one that is particularly intriguing, because the format is different from what I am used to.  What I usually write is dinner theatre:  the actors mingle with the audience during cocktails then have an actual, rehearsed performance in which all the clues are presented.  The murder I worked on today will be almost completely interactive, with the audience seeking clues throughout several rooms.

I will have to figure out how the murder was committed and, more importantly, how somebody might figure out who did it, how and why.  What clues will be found?  Where will they be?  How did they get there?  Where do they lead?  Can they possibly MISlead?  How about a nice, juicy red herring or two?

However, for me, everything starts with the characters.  I know who will be the victim of the first murder (I think we’ll have more than one corpse during the evening, just to keep things lively).  I started thinking of who the other characters will be.  Soon I had several people identified by roles:  the guy that runs the speakeasy (did I mention that it is a 1920s theme?), the madame of the brothel, the proprietor of a rival speakeasy…   Once I had given everybody a name, things got really fun.

Soon I will have figured out what everybody thinks of everybody else, who hates or loves whom, who did dirt to whom (I do mean “whom” don’t I?  How embarrassing that I am not sure).  I write a lot of random notes then try to organize everything.

Hmmm…  I seem to be babbling on without a whole lot of specifics.  Well, I will give more specifics on these mysteries when I know more about the where, when and how you can get tickets.  In the meantime, I hope I have intrigued my local readers and entertained those farther afield.  If so, I say good work for a Tired Tuesday.


I Don’t Have a Clue

Oh, all right, I’ll admit it.  I did not write a blog post while I was at work today.  In my defense… never mind.  It won’t interest you and/or you will accuse me of whining.  No doubt you will be right.  Well, I have written many posts about not being able to write a post. Let’s see if I can get away with it one more time.

I spent most of my time at work obsessing about the murder mystery I am still working on.  Every time I mention that it is not finished, the person I’m talking to says, “Well, you’d better get going.”  I find that less than inspiring. But that’s what I get for talking about writing instead of writing.

What my script lacks is the compelling clue.  That one thing that lets the audience say, “Ah, THAT is why the killer has to be X!”  I keep thinking of and rejecting ideas.  A cryptic note?  Who writes notes these days!  A cryptic text?  What could the murderer text to the victim?  “I’m going to kill you”?  I guess it would more likely be something like “IMA KL U”.  I never text anybody (I am SO 20th century).

Maybe the victim sent the text.  Only then we would know who it was sent to, wouldn’t we?  Maybe the victim had a good reason to be all 20th century and wrote a note.

And so I continue to ponder.  I’ll have more updates on this as the event comes closer.  Local readers may like to come see it.  I must be careful not to give anything way in this space.  It would constitute an unfair advantage in addition to ruining the surprise.