Monday, October 3, 2011

Mystery Monday #4

It's Mystery Monday!

Welcome to our regular Monday feature, where you'll find different kinds of writing prompts and exercises. Each week, we'll give you something to help exercise your mystery-writing muscles.

This week’s prompt is a little on the wacky side. I call it Before & After and It's based on a little nonsensical doodle I did awhile back. It's very simple, take a look at the picture below, and come up with the events that happened Before this scene, and the resolution that comes After. No matter what, the scene has to be incorporated as-is.

Feel free to make time as fluid as necessary. You can go back 10 minutes before, or 10 years. Same thing going forward. Here are a couple of questions (though you're welcome to come up with your own) to get you started:

1) What's the deal with the white ink on the wall and floor?
2) What kind of book is the victim? Why would someone want to attack it?
3) Who's the detective and why's he uniquely qualified to handle book attacks?

Have fun!! Good luck solving this one...


  1. I love this exercise as a way to generate ideas, and I especially like the idea of working with specific time periods before and after. (If I don't do that, I find I freeze up). I also think working with a cartoon/doodle makes the exercise feel more fun, less pressured. After a warm up with this, it could be fun to look at more realistic photos of intriguing scenarios, and try the same exercise. (We have some photos posted on this blog in a previous Mystery Monday post; see archives on right sidebar). If anyone wants to post their results of today's writing prompt, feel free to share them in the "Comments" section! We'd love to see what people come up with!


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