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.
I thought I'd take a little space today to talk about an app I use on my iPod when I get stuck in writing: the Brainstormer. It's available from the iTunes App Store here. While technically not a mystery writing tool, it could be used as one. Either way, it's a lot of fun.
The Brainstormer, according to it's creator, is,
"...a bit of kindling for creative minds. A tactile tool to randomly combine a plot, a subject and a setting or style, the Brainstormer can provide that elusive moment of inspiration for writers, painters, or any kind of creative endeavour. It’s a great way to combat creative block, to spark new ideas for a new project or to summon up quick subjects for doodling, sketching or journaling."Basically, you click the dice to spin the slot or the wheel to come up with a combination of plot, setting, and subject. Your job then is to write the premise or the scene or the story that goes with it. (A mystery, of course, right? <-- See how I got the mystery in there? :-P)
Don't like your combo? Spin again. Cool, huh?
But maybe you're already in the midst of working on something--and you're stuck. Here's something even cooler about the Brainstormer. You can customize it. You can enter in your characters, your settings, your situations, whatever. That's right: YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN WHEELS.
So, sounds great, right? But what if you aren't an iWriter? Well, first of all, thanks for reading this far. And second, while I haven't combed the web for anything that works exactly like the Brainstormer, there are a few generators out there that look like fun:
- The Imagination Prompt Generator: journal prompts to get you going
- The Story Starter: a first sentence for your next story
- Writing with kids? Try the Story Starter Jr.: same idea, simpler sentences
Or maybe YOU have a favorite online tool that gets your writing juices going. Please--help us solve the mystery of where stories come from by posting a link here in the comments.