West Virginia

Whodunnit? YOUdunnit! Writing a Comic Murder Drama

Learn the elements for a good comic mystery as you work with experienced writers and other Road Scholars to write a script and take part in a live reading.
Program No. 23744RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Start with a strong hook. Plant some red herrings. Sprinkle in some suspenseful dialogue. These are some of the ingredients for cooking up a good murder mystery story. Join mystery and playwriting experts in the Appalachian foothills for a writing workshop as you enter the mysterious world of homicidal comedy and drama. Learn about developing characters and plot, building the arc of a compelling story, writing dialogue, crafting suspense, creating clues and pacing a script. And at the end of a cryptic and creative week, you'll be able to share your imaginative plotting during a live reading.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Walking to/from class. Optional morning exercise.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Study the components of a good comic mystery, from motive, opportunity, plot twists and clues, with expert writers.
  • Work as a group to write dialogue, character biographies and scenes for a short comic mystery stage script.
  • See your teamwork come to life during a staged reading with a live audience.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a single room to yourself for only $100 more (for many programs).
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Colleen Anderson
After serving as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer in Cabin Creek, West Virginia, Colleen earned her bachelor’s in English at West Virginia University and a master’s degree in Humanities from Marshall University. She has been a writer and designer since 1975, and formed Mother Wit Writing and Design in 1983. She currently lives and works in Charleston, West Virginia.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Colleen Anderson
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