How to Write a Murder Mystery Party

Learning how to write a murder mystery party can kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand it’s a fun night in and on the other it can help you jump-start your social life.

While it’s natural for our social lives to ebb and flow – some months they’re action-packed and other months it can feel like the whole world has forgotten about you!  – there are certain activities that seem to consistently bring people together in good spirits. One of those activities is undoubtedly murder mystery games.

These games have been popular for decades, with their origins dating back to the 1800s. They were originally known as “murder party” or “whodunit” games and were often played at social gatherings or dinner parties. The concept is simple: players take on the roles of suspects in a fictional murder case and work together to solve the mystery by gathering clues, questioning each other, and ultimately revealing the killer.

how to write a murder mystery party

Purchase my DIY Murder Mystery ebook and learn how to write a murder mystery party.

What makes these games so appealing is not just the thrill of solving a crime, but also the opportunity for fun and bonding with friends or family members. Whether it’s a casual game night with a group of friends or a team-building activity for coworkers, murder mystery games offer a unique and engaging experience.

There are many different types of murder mystery games available, from traditional board game versions to online and virtual options. Some games have pre-written scripts and characters, while others allow players to create their own storylines and characters. There are also various themes to choose from, such as historical settings, famous literary characters, or even holiday-themed mysteries.

One key aspect of these games is the element of surprise. Players never know who the murderer may be until the end when all clues have been gathered and revealed. This keeps everyone engaged and on their toes throughout the game.

how to write a murder mystery dinner
Learn how to write a murder mystery party – download my ebook.

In addition to being entertaining, murder mystery games also require critical thinking skills and teamwork. Players must work together to solve the mystery and piece together the clues. This makes them not only a fun activity for game night, but also a great team-building exercise for groups and organizations.

For those interested in learning how to write a murder mystery party, there are plenty of resources available online. Many websites offer pre-written games with detailed instructions on how to set up and run the game. Some even provide printable invitations, character descriptions, and evidence sheets.

Virtual options have also become increasingly popular, especially during the current pandemic when in-person gatherings may not be possible. Online platforms such as Zoom or Skype allow players to interact with each other remotely while still enjoying the immersive experience of a murder mystery game.

Overall, murder mystery games provide a unique and engaging form of entertainment for parties and events. With the abundance of resources available, anyone can learn how to create and host their own murder mystery party. So gather your friends and family, put on your detective hats, and get ready to solve a thrilling crime together!

how to write a murder mystery party

How I learned to write a murder mystery party

Discovering my unique way of hosting murder mystery dinners really helped me to take charge of my circumstances – I realised that instead of waiting for people to invite me out to fun, interesting events (which just left me feeling depressed and overlooked), I had to get over my fear of rejection and begin inviting them to fun and interesting events! 

It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but once I learned a few important lessons, I started turning my social life around for good. 

I learned how to write a murder mystery party after my aunt forgot to bring a box set from the United Kingdom for our Christmas holiday. My mom and I decided to create our own, and the rest is history…

How to write murder mystery dinners with a difference…

Most people are familiar with murder mystery box sets where generic characters and scripts are supplied for you to use, along with an audio narrator.  Some of you have probably even played what I call “professional” murder mystery games, where you go to an actor-led event.  But what I discovered is that the best murder mystery dinners to attend are ones where the host has tailor-made characters to perfectly suit each of their guests. 

A good custom-made murder mystery dinner host will have have taken each guest’s personality, hobbies, interests, acting ability, shyness (or lack thereof!) and quirks into consideration when tailoring their character for them, allowing each person to have the maximum amount of fun on the night!   

But in a nutshell, learning how to write a murder mystery party and hosting your custom-made murder mystery dinner (as opposed to the box-set or actor-led types) for your friends is pure gold, because there’s no better way to combine food, friends and fun and to show people that you know, care and like them!  This is the vacuum-packed, highlights package on how to do it.

1.      How to Write a Murder Mystery Party: Solidify Your Guest List

Since you’re crafting unique characters tailor-made for each guest, you need to nail down a confirmed guest list of eight to 12 people at least two weeks before the event.  Don’t take ‘maybe’ for an answer!

Part of learning how to write and host a murder mystery dinner party is handling the guests and getting everyone excited for the big event.

2.     How to Write a Murder Mystery Party: Choose a Theme

Pick a genre or theme you’d like to base your plot and characters around.  Is it a casino?  A stock brokerage on Wall Street?  Or how about a dramatic murder in a famous sports club?  Design unique characters that perfectly suit each of your guests to comfortably fit into the plot or theme you’ve chosen.  Don’t forget to create a reason for your guests’ gathering:  is it the funeral, a board meeting or a dinner party?

3.     How to Write a Murder Mystery Party: Design Your Murder Victim

Part of learning how to write a great murder mystery dinner plot is creating a fictitious character who ties all the murder mystery dinner guests together.  The more colourful the character, the easier it will be to tie guests in with them:  eccentricities allow for more interesting connections!  Each character must be linked to the murder victim and at least 1 other guest at the party.

4.     How to Write a Murder Mystery Party: Assign Secrets

This is the easiest type of murder mystery dinner you will ever play because there are no scripts!  While the game is largely improvised, each character at your murder mystery dinner party must have a secret to keep and a secret to reveal.  The only rule:  guests can make up anything they like about themselves or other characters, as long as it fits in with their character sketch and doesn’t contradict their secrets.  Once they are confronted during the game about their secret, they must admit to it.

5.     How to Write a Murder Mystery Party: Land the Plane

Once all the secrets have been revealed, direct all your party guests to accuse a guest at the table of being the murderer.  You can double the glory of a correct guess with a small prize.  You may even want to encourage them to vote on “Best Accent” and “Best Dressed”.

If the idea of hosting your own custom-made murder mystery dinner tickles your fancy, for more in-depth information on how to do it, download our ebook The Brilliant Murder Mystery DIY Guide

Pictures 1 – 3: Betty Roux

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