"I love it!" Jenny Rose replied.
"We'll read Agatha Christies and Dorothy Sayers..." I began.
"Wait, Mom. Do you know how to write a murder mystery?" Jenny Rose looked a little worried. All of children take one year in high school to write a novel.
That is how our journey began. It seemed like a fun idea. And, hey! We're homeschoolers--we can do anything!
Little did I realize how challenging and educational (in more ways than writing) this new adventure would be.
However, we had to discover how to create clues and red herrings. No murder mystery is complete without plenty of red herrings to misdirect the reader. This meant we had so many things to keep track of. We had to learn to organize our clues and red herrings so that we could craft a novel that made logical sense. We learned to use misdirection, but still make sure that at the end of the novel, the reader says, "Oh, I should have seen that coming."
In addition, every suspect had to have a motive. Some would have to have alibi and some alibis would have to be proven to be false. Characters would have to lie to cover up suspicious behavior so they wouldn't be suspects. Those lies would have to be uncovered.
There was so much to keep track of. We ended up learning to organize and to lay out a logical plan. There was the surface plot and there was the undercover realm where every red herring and clue had to fit in and make logical sense.
In the end, it was challenging, but so fun. We ended up in a group setting and read our stories to one another. That was a blast! We were all excited to hear one another's stories and give input. It really was a great experience! I participated, too, writing Maggie King: Drug Dealer's Deadly Disguise.
If you are interested in writing a murder mystery in your homeschool, I have curriculum available: Who Dun It: Murder Mystery Literature & Writing. This curriculum is a one-credit high school English course available in print or digital.
Right now the E-book is available in the HUGE 2017 Build Your Bundle Sale in the Upper Grades #2 Bundle, along with some other amazing courses. Enjoy!