What is the course about?
Murder mysteries remain one of the popular genres on the commercial market. This six-week course will teach you how to plot your own tale of butchery and betrayal, and offer pointers on creating a central sleuth who would give even Sherlock a run for his money.
The Tutor: A former journalist, Sophie McKenzie attended a writing class at Build in 2003 and has been writing fiction ever since. She has published over 25 books - including award-winning teen thrillers and crime fiction novels for adults. She is currently writing a new story featuring several strong female characters and working on a drama script for a TV production company.
Build reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- The conventions of murder mystery and how to break them with style
- Set ups and pay offs
- Creating a compelling and believable villain
- Crime scene settings
- Red herrings and plot twists
- Helping your sleuth uncover the truth.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Plot a murder mystery in accordance with a three act structure.
- Create characters that will intrigue and delight readers of the genre
- Select and effectively describe settings appropriate to the genre.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an intermediate course and is a best fit for students who have already studied a beginners course such as 'Ways into Creative Writing.'.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
A mix of group work, workshopping, writing exercises, pair work, excerpt analysis and formal instruction from the tutor.
All writing courses at Build will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Build offer a range of writing courses for aspiring authors. Browse the writing section of our website to find the perfect course for you.
All students are invited to join us at Build Talks Back, our monthly performance night for Build writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details