Murder, They Wrote


Amanda Charowsky

Creative Writing teacher Miss Tracy James set up a fake crime scene in the auditorium. The scene was designed to help students write the story of the crime. "The auditorium is full of possibilities," Miss James said.

When Miss Tracy James’ Creative Writing students walked onto the balcony of the auditorium, they entered the scene of a crime.

Two cut out bodies were sprawled across the floor, blood splattered the balcony railings, and items were strewn across the seats. All of the essentials for a crime were in place: a victim, a drop of blood, and evidence.

And the students had to be the ones to solve it.

This assignment is known as the “Crime Scene Story.” Miss James sets up an elaborate, fake crime scene with evidence, victims, and items that may’ve been used to commit the crime. Some of the “evidence” presented were a newspaper, a sneaker, a baseball cap, coats, backpacks, and a small, stuffed dog near the cutout bodies. The items could be used as props or plot devices in the story.  “The auditorium is full of possibilities” Miss James said.

“I liked that we were able to walk around and observe, and interact and talk with each other,” said senior Tara Allen.

Miss James uses this story and assignment to get to know the students, and their writing style. “It’s the introduction to the class,” said Miss James. “It’s interesting to see what they can come up with. It’s neat to see how creative they can be.”

Each in class assignment has no word count or page requirement, which allows to the students to write the story as they see fit. They have the option of using the evidence and setting given to them, or coming up with one entirely on their own.

“The assignment gave us the opportunity to be very creative, which is something I’ve never done before in a classroom setting,” senior Haley Tidmore said,“It was a great introduction to the class which motivated me to map out what I believed happened in the “crime.”

You can read one of the example stories here: