The Locked Room Mystery occurs within a closed location, such as an isolated house or island. A mystery, for example a murder, takes place and only the people known to be in the location can be the suspects. Sometimes there is the suggestion of a hidden person or presence who may be responsible for the act.
Well known Locked Room Mysteries have been written by Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins and forms many Hammer House of Horror film scripts.
Murder Mysteries are mini locked room scripts. A murder takes place and several ‘characters’ are presented as possible suspects. No characters are added or taken away during the course of the evening and the audience must decide who the most likely suspect is.
The locked room mystery can be solved by the process of elimination provided, of course, that the hidden presence doesn’t make an appearance. Often they are a diversion created by the real perpetrator to take the heat off them.
If you are new to writing then creating your own Locked Room Mystery is a good starting point. Start by choosing half a dozen characters and build them using personality archetypes. Choose a location; a spooky old house or, perhaps, an office cut off by a broken lift. Then let your imagination run wild!
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