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MYSTERY ELEMENTS

Characters

Suspects are characters who may have caused the problem the mystery is trying to solve. Detectives or investigators try to solve the mystery.

Setting

The location where the mystery takes place.

Plot

The plot is the story of the mystery. Usually there is:

· · · ·

A problem or puzzle to solve Something that is missing A secret An event that is not explained

Most mystery plots use suspense. This means that the reader does not know the solution while he or she is reading the mystery.

Clues

Clues are hints that help the detectives and reader solve the mystery. They can be things people say or do or objects that are found.

Distractions

Distractions are things that lead an investigator off the path, including clues that do not add up to a solution but make the search longer.

Structure

Structure refers to the way the story is set up. Most mysteries have a structure like this:

· Introduction: learn about the problem, meet characters · Body of story: someone is working to solve the mystery · Conclusion: mystery is solved

Copyright 2005 IRA/NCTE. All rights reserved. ReadWriteThink materials may be reproduced for educational purposes. Images ©2005 JUPITERIMAGES, and its licensors. All rights reserved.

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