Writing a Detective Mystery Brainstorm

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Writing a Detective Mystery
On your own, make a list of all the elements that are found in detective mystery stories (people, places, events, objects, ideas, feelings, sounds).
Share your list with a partner. Create a shared list of elements from a detective mystery that you agree on. Now combine with another pair and repeat the sharing process.
Report to the class what detective mystery elements you have come up with. Add to your list any suggestions you don’t already have.


Watch the video “The Mystery of the Speckled Band”.

Each time the video is paused, make a list of the facts you have learned about the case. Make predictions about:

  • Who committed the crime.

  • How it was done.

  • Why it was done.

  • What will happen next.

Base your predictions on the evidence you already have as well as your own hunches.


Use the attached planning sheet to plan your detective mystery.

Get a partner to check your plan. They should make suggestions about anything you have left out. Do the same for your partner.


Write the first draft of your Detective Mystery.

Proof read it with the help of a partner. Use the proof reading checklist on your planning sheet.

Write the final draft of your Detective Mystery (500 words).


Practice reading your story aloud with fluency and expression.

Read your story to the class.
Detective Mystery Planning Sheet

Elements you will use in your story

The crime

What, when, where, how?

The motive

Why was the crime committed?

The victim

Describe the victim – appearance, personality, employment, family, etc.

The criminal

Describe the criminal – appearance, personality, employment, family, etc.

The Detective

Who is he/she? What sort of person, etc?

The clues

What clues will lead to the solving of the crime?

The suspects

Who else is suspected of committing this crime?

The story plan

The orientation

How does your story begin?

Where, when, what’s going on – a normal life.

The Complication

How is the crime discovered?

What is the crime?

How do your characters react? What do they say, do, feel?

The resolution

How does the detective get involved?

What clues are gathered?

How do these clues lead to the criminal?

The Coda

How do your characters feel when it is all over?

What have they learnt?


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