Daily, genre-inspired writing prompts for authors, teachers, and journaling
Currently Browsing: Mystery

Mystery – April 14

New York police detective Frank Serpico was born on this date in 1936. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist realizes s/he cannot solve a problem because of official corruption.

Mystery – April 13

Robert LeRoy Parker — better known as Butch Cassidy — was born on this date in 1866. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist confronts an inveterate but lovable recidivist.

Mystery – April 12

“The prosecutor, who is supposed to carry the burden of proof, really is an author.” -Scott Turow, born on this date in 1949. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist has to explain to a dubious accuser a narrative of your protag’s trangression persuasive enough to avoid responsibility.

Mystery – April 11

“I don’t want to try analyzing what I do because I’m afraid that would lead me into some kind of formula. I think formulas squeeze the juice out of stories.” -Peter O’Donnell, creator of Modesty Blaise, born this date in 1920. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s formula for figuring out a run-of-the-mill problem creates a much more complicated...

Mystery – April 10

Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist must confront the thing or issue that most terrifies you.

Mystery – April 9

Writing prompt: Plot the rest of the story that follows this famous opening line: “Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.”

Mystery – April 8

The holder of Mystery Writers of America membership card number 1, Baynard H. Kendrick, was born on this date in 1894. His most famous character, Duncan Maclain, was a blind PI with two German Shepherd sidekicks, Schnuke and Driest. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which a person missing at least one of the five human senses surprises your protagonist with an accurate description of an event.

Mystery – April 7

James Garner was born on this date in 1928. Writing prompt: Describe what your protagonist now does habitually or professionally that is the opposite of something that once caused him/her to get in significant trouble.

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