Writing your own murder mystery games - Part 8 - Character Confessions

So to recap where you should be so far.   

  • All of your character packs should now be completed, apart from the character movements at the time of the murders (More details to come in Part 9)

  • You should have maps of the murder venue with temporary details of who kills who at what time

  • You should have scenario slips stating which secret number kills which, with one scenario slip for each player.

  • Your ideas file should contain all the details of every character, including brief details of who they murder, when, where, how and why.

 The next step is to write the confessions.  This is another fun part to the game where you can really let your creativity go.  I always do this before writing the actual murder scenario as often you find yourself going back to the characters information to make minor changes.  E.g. who brought the murder weapon to the party, observations of arguments, previous issues, etc.  If you do need to go back and add or change anything in the characters information packs when writing the confessions, make sure that any other character who is aware of that information is also changed to maintain the consistency.  E.g. If you add in that Mr. D and Mrs E witnessed two character arguing, you need to ensure that this is added to both Mr. D and Mrs. E’s character packs rather than just one.   


Open up your “Hosts Information File”.  As per part 6 of this guide, you should have Confession pages for each of your characters secret numbers, e.g. “1’s Confession”, 2’s Confession”, etc.  Starting with secret number 1, look up in your notes who secret number 1 belonged to, who they killed and why.  You then want to write a confession which is approximately half to three quarters of a page long elaborating on the motive and means by which they killed their victim. 


I usually begin the confession with a statement which reflects their intentions.  E.g. if it was premeditated “Yes I killed …. But they had it coming.  I was the only one who had the guts to do it”.  Or if it were an accident “I’m so sorry, I killed …. But honestly I never intended to hurt him, it was just a silly argument with got out of hand.”  Or even if the wrong person was killed in error “Yes I did it, but they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  My intended victim had always been ….”


I then go on to give a background on how the issue between killer and victim developed and the events which led up to the murder in the months, weeks, days or even hours before the crime.  Next comes details of the actual murder itself, where they got the weapon from, why they chose that location, what actually happened and what they did immediately afterward.  Finally, I finish with a concluding sentence in which the killer sums things up, e.g. “All I wanted to do was save my marriage, but I guess there’s no chance of that now.  I’ve lost my wife, my home, my job, all I have left is my prison cell”.         


Once you have completed the confessions for every character, we then need to go on to look at the “Murder Scenarios” which is an integral part to solving the murders.  We will look at these more in Part 9.