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Witton Middle School



SPaG Starters 

Complete a quick SPaG starter everyday. All you need to do is complete three questions and then mark your answers. Click below to see your questions

Mystery Story Writing 

Monday - the build up

Leading on from your opening is your build up. This is where the problem arises and your victim needs Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson's help. In 'The Speckled Band,' this is the part where Helen went to see Sherlock Holmes and explain the peculiar sounds she had been hearing at night. It was when she told him about the death of her sister and how she was fearing for her life. 


TIP - If you haven't already, now is the time to introduce your main character (victim) and describe them. It might also be when the first clues are introduced.

Tuesday - dilemma and events 

These parts are the most exciting! This is when more clues are discovered and Sherlock Holmes will be faced with the mystery of what they mean. In 'The Speckled Band,' this is when Dr Roylott turned up at Sherlock's house and tried to warn him off with his threatening behaviour. Then Sherlock had to visit Stoke Moran in secret where he discovered more clues...but he kept his thoughts to himself (keeping the reader guessing).


This is the part where you could consider putting either your detective, his or her loved ones, or another important character, in danger in order to raise the stakes. In many mysteries, the detective is in danger at the story's climax - that is, at the moment when he or she discovers the killer's identity (near the end of the story). And remember  - suspense begins with great characters. The more readers care about your characters, the more they'll care what happens to them.

Wednesday - resolution/ending

It is now time to reveal the mystery. In 'The Speckled Band,' this is when Sherlock discovered Dr Roylott's plan and waited patiently in Helen's room until what he thought had happened, was proven to be right. 


Try to surprise the reader at the end, but always play fair. The clues presented in the story should logically lead to the solution, even if you distract the reader with red herrings along the way. Readers will love it if your ending makes them think, "I should have known it!"

Thursday - edit and improve

Now you have finished your mystery story, it is time to edit and improve. Read your whole story through and check it has:

  1. An opening - that grabs the reader from the beginning (e.g. action, speech, description).
  2. A build up - where a problem arises and Sherlock Holmes' help is needed.
  3. A dilemma/Events - where clues are found and the action happens - potential suspects are identified
  4. A resolution - the problem is solved 
  5. Clues throughout that lead to the mystery being solved.
  6. Suspense techniques that build tension and keep the reader interested (e.g. short sentences, weather sounds)
  7. A description of the characters and setting. 
  8. Correct punctuation and clear paragraphs.


Once you have checked your work using the list above, mark it using the feedback sheet below.


Friday - publish

Publish your story in your neatest handwriting or on your computer. Include a story title and illustrations. Perhaps you could design a front cover too if you have time. PLEASE SUBMIT THIS TASK ON EPRAISE FOR YOUR TEACHER TO OFFER FEEDBACK.