Free Scrivener Template: Murder Mystery Novel

Free Download for Writers: Scrivener Murder Mystery Novel Template

My next Scrivener template is now available for download: a murder mystery novel template.

This one is based on my own template that I've been using for my upcoming mystery series. It allows you to plan, outline, and draft your next murder mystery all in one project file. Plus, there's a place to write up some of your promotional copy, like your book launch press release and author bio.

Scrivener Murder Mystery Novel TemplateThe research folder contains some links to recommended research material on murder weapons (blades, firearms, and poisons specifically) as well as some links to resources covering police procedure and forensics.

There are character sketch sheets customized for your sleuth, killer, and victim, plus a more general character worksheet template you can use for minor characters. Similarly, there's a special setting worksheet for your crime scene and a more general setting sketch sheet for other settings in your novel.


Download & Install the Template

This project template should work for both Mac and Windows Scrivener users. Remember that you have to import the template; you can't simply try to open it like a project file.


* Please remember to unzip / extract the Scrivener template file from the compressed (.zip) folder that you download. You must do this before importing the template into Scrivener. Also remember that you must either copy and paste the extracted template file into the folder on your system where Scrivener templates are stored, or you must import the template through Scrivener. In the Windows version, for example, you go to your File menu and click "New Project." On the next screen, go to the Options mention near the lower left corner. Choose "import templates." Find the file you extracted, and Scrivener will import the template for you.

Don't miss the rest of my free Scrivener templates including the white paper template, single blog template, and multi-blog template.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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26 thoughts on “Free Scrivener Template: Murder Mystery Novel”

  1. This template is nothing short of brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing it – I can’t wait to start using this on the next book in my series. Would that I had this four years ago!

  2. Thank you for the wonderful Cozy Mysteries Scrivener Template! I downloaded and put it in Scrivener in less than a minute. Now, I’m ready to set up my outline! Thanks!


    • If you’re being prompted to update a driver, that has nothing to do with the file here itself. It means the software you’re using, or something else in your system, needs to be updated to work with the general file type. You would have to check into your system specs. That’s unfortunately not something I can help with.

        • A lot of things can prompt a machine for a driver update. Usually it’s related to a driver needing an actual update (happens quite frequently). There’s no virus in the file. The file itself was checked, and it hasn’t been modified in the last 2 years. It’s been tested on multiple machines and is working properly. Another visitor emailed me about it just last week after having used it, without problems there either. And just to be sure, I tested it again this morning on another machine. When imported properly, the file behaves exactly as it’s supposed to (unzip/extract the download, then go to the new project window in Scrivener and choose to import a template from the dropdown menu, and choose the extracted template file — some people try to import the .zip folder directly which would fail, though I don’t know why that would have anything to do with drivers). The problem is system-specific if it’s related to your drivers. And if you do have a virus, it came from elsewhere. The best thing to do is run a full system scan with your anti-virus software. But as I said before, that’s unfortunately not a problem I can personally help you resolve. I hope you get it sorted out.

          • There is nothing wrong with my drivers. There is a sneaky ad piggybacking on your site. It’s download button is positioned right above your download button. I simply hit the wrong download button and got the malware. It’s easy to hit the wrong download button and get the malware. Scrolling down, I simply clicked the first download button I saw, thinking it was your template. I don’t know if you can control who advertises on your download page, but I got the malware from the ad. But I did eventually get the template too, and it’s great! Thanks!

          • I’m glad to hear you got the template sorted out. 🙂

            And no. There’s no direct control over which ads are shown, and unfortunately there’s no way for me to know which one was displayed when you clicked. It can change with every page load, and I believe Google changes them based on visitors’ browsing history as well. Normally that would have to be reported to Google (should be a link on the ads), but without knowing which to report, there’s nothing I can do about that after the fact. I’m sorry. 🙁 Ads are automatically placed after a certain paragraph number, so I’ll simply disable all ads from that post if it’s causing a problem with the download button based on where they’re appearing. Ads will likely be removed from posts completely in the next few months anyway due to other planned changes here. Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  3. Am I missing something? Every item listed in the table of contents (left-hand column) is just a blank document. Even the “About This Template” is blank. I am running Scrivener Version 03 – Oct 2018. Please advise.

  4. Would love to have this but keep getting a Scrivener can’t open a file in the Scrivener template format. I have a Mac.

    Any ideas?

    • You can’t open the file. You have to import the template. Look for a drop-down in the new file window with that option. I believe the Mac version handles them similarly to Windows based on others who have used the templates here. If you’re on Scrivener 3 and they’ve changed something significantly, I’m not sure what the new process is as I’m still waiting on the Windows version before I consider making any changes as that’s what I use. In my version, the dropdown is near the bottom left of that pop-up window when you try to create a new file. I hope that helps!

    • I haven’t tested it on Windows V3 yet (just ordered it today finally), but I’ve been told by other users it works fine on Mac V3. So if you can’t open it, chances are good it’s how you’re trying to. It’s not a Scrivener project file. It’s a template file. So you don’t open it. You need to import it into your template collection. And that’s after you extract it from the compressed file (“unzip” it). Instructions on how to import the template file are in the post. And I just took a quick peek at Win V3, and it looks like that process hasn’t changed.

      Update: I just ran a test and imported this into the new Scrivener 3 for Windows, and it imports fine using the process noted in the post. Unzip the compressed folder you download. The template file is then in the folder that’s created. In Scrivener, go to open a new project and choose “import template” from the dropdown at the bottom left of the window. Choose the template file and import it. Then you’ll be asked to name your new project file.

      The only issue I’m aware of is that Scrivener replaced notes with bookmarks. They’ll still be imported. The software just puts them in a separate area for you now. That’s something I’ll update when I have a chance to go through all my Scrivener templates to check for necessary updates. But with the WinV3 version just coming out, and me only getting my hands on it today, that probably won’t be until later this spring or even early summer as I’ll need to familiarize myself with the new version better and decide what changes to make. At this time, I don’t anticipate content changing much other than the old notes feature. But I might reconsider how the file downloads are handled, as I’ve seen the compressed folder cause confusion among others here. It depends largely on how all the templates were set up though as I want to keep the download format and instructions here consistent.

      If folks think it would be helpful, I’ll also consider making two downloads available for each of my Scrivener templates moving forward — the template file and also a project file for those who don’t want to import the template for repeated use.

  5. Thanks, Jennifer.

    This will be my first mystery novel, and your template looks like exactly what I desire. Will be sure to give you Kudo’s in my acknowledgement notes when I am ready to publish! I have the latest version of Scrivener and had no problems importing the template on my MacBook Air.


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