I can’t believe it – we’re in the tenth week of these prompts! You’re continuing to be so creative and clever and kind to each other and I couldn’t be happier with how this is going. Thank you for making it so much fun to run! Last week’s prompt was family, and you did not disappoint. I particularly enjoyed Zoe’s family team, Jess’s terrifying family fire, Trickbear’s bird siblings and Colette’s wonderful nursing home family.
I hope you’ve all seen the writing competition announcement – it’s another way for you to be creative during lockdown, and unlike these prompts there are prizes for the winners!
This week, for your tenth prompt, I’ve decided to go back to the reason we’re all here and tell you to write a murder mystery! At the moment I’m reading a lot of crime fiction, and it’s really helping me feel better about lockdown – I think there’s nothing more soothing than a well-plotted murder mystery.
As always, your murder mystery can take any shape you want – it can be historical, contemporary, futuristic or fantastic; the murderer can be the narrator or the detective or the detective’s best friend or someone they’ve never met before; there could be two suspects or a whole room of them; the characters could be humans or vampires or animals or robots!
One more note before we get on to the rules: because this is a mystery I strongly recommend you create a proper plan of the crime. Write down who did it, why, how, when, where, who else was there – and keep referring to your plan as you write your story. This is what I do, and it stops me getting confused about what happened, even when my plot is complicated!
And now, the rules …
- It can be as long or as short as you like, and take you as much or as little time as you want.
- It can be any genre (type) of story you want. If you have an idea for something that I haven’t mentioned (writing a poem! Being inspired by a song you love! Writing non-fiction!), don’t wait for my permission – just go for it! This is your creativity working!
- You are not allowed to worry about grammar or spelling.
- You are not allowed to worry if it isn’t perfect, or criticise yourself as you’re writing.
- You are STRONGLY encouraged to make a plan before you begin, to make it easier for you to get to the end of the story. This can be two words or a whole page! But if you don’t want to do this, you don’t have to.
- Get to the end of the story without stopping to go back and fix bits you don’t like. Once you’ve finished, read it through again. If you still don’t like those bits, you can edit them now!
- If you want (and only if you want!) you’re allowed to post the first 500 words of your story in the comments below. I have to moderate the comments so it may take a while for them to show up – please be patient. I don’t want to see you apologising for your story or minimising what you’ve done when you post – writing a story is a triumph and you should be proud!
- Please do not use your full name when you comment – first names are fine, or you can make up a username that you like! Also remember to stay safe online and not get into private discussions with anyone you don’t know in real life without telling an adult first.
- If you like someone else’s story, you are allowed to comment to say so! If you’d like to give them ideas that might make their story even stronger, that’s OK, but please be kind and remember how deeply we all care about our writing. A good format for feedback might be something like: ‘I loved ****! Have you thought of ****? I think it might make your story even better!’ I will delete any comment if I feel it’s critical without being constructive.
- I can’t promise to give feedback on any individual stories – I’m not marking them!
- This isn’t a competition, and there will be no winners and no prizes, though I may choose a story or two to highlight in future posts.
Good luck as always, detectives – I can’t wait to read your murder mysteries!