This session at Beach we are exploring the elements of a good mystery. Our students have been crafting mystery stories and learning all about creative writing techniques, from character and plot development to using concrete details and the five senses to tell a story. We’ve been having a great time! Here are some teasers...

From: Describe a setting with the five senses.

In the woods

The woods smelled of bark. The sun shone through the trees. Birds chirped and flew from tree to tree. Squirrels ran among the leaves on the ground and ran from branch to branch. A small creek twisted between trees. Freshly fallen leaves flowed down the stream. A woodpecker pecked at a tree. Slick wet rocks poked above the water.


From: A free write with the prompt “This is one story I’ve never told anyone.” 

Bang! Thunder crashed outside the house. The house shook as if made of paper. The foundation rattled and creaked. It didn’t sound like the old place could sustain anymore wear. Drip. Drip. Drip, drop, drip. Drip, drop, drip, drop. There was a leak directly above my bed. I rolled over and tried to sleep but I couldn’t.



From: A free write with the prompt “I thought it was just a glitch in my computer...” 

I thought it was just a glitch in my computer. But that was yesterday, before I discovered that I was in a newspaper that said I was the most wanted man in the world. I went downstairs to talk to my parents, when they shrieked and called 9-1-1. I said, ‘I’m your son, not a fugitive.” They ran out of the house. What had I done?



From: How to organize a mystery around "Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?" using the prompt “It was missing.” 

Leah Weavin Mysteries Book 2 The Clue in the Note-Clock-Private-Book 

The mysterious object started floating in the air. Nobody knew what it was except me. I knew it was a note-clock-private-book. That is a notebook with a built-in automatic clock and a fold out thingy so you can write privately. People from all around town were gathering to see it. I’m Leah. Leah Weavin. I called my two best friends, Jane and Derik. I told them where I was and that they needed to get over here.



From: Change or add a twist ending to a common fairytale. 

Little Blue Riding Hood

One sunny morning Little Blue Riding went skipping through the forest all the way to her grampa’s house. On the way there she met a sly mean looking fox that acted suspiciously nice to her. Little Bue Riding Hood ran away from the fox as fast as her dainty legs could carry her. Once she arrived she quickly tossed the wine bottle to her grampa and was halfway out the door when she noticed something very weird about her grandpa. She rushed back inside.



From: Describe a setting using the five senses. 

In a damp bright place that smells like rain and dew, that has birds that chirp so soft. Your mouth is dry and sticky. You see trees and vines and really pretty flowers. You touch the flowers. They feel really soft and silky, practically perfect.


From: A suspenseful mystery

There he was the evil scientist, James P. Beciss. When I went in, I saw my six friends in clear glass tubes in animal form.

"Oh my," I said.

"I knew you would come!" said James and he put his hand out and pulled me in to his black scarred hands." (To be continued...)