Time to Write Now By Julaina Kleist-Corwin

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Prompt For Mystery Writers

mystery with fingerprintThe newspapers are filled with crimes that could be used as prompts for mystery writers. The following description didn’t hit the local newspapers yet, but I heard about it today  from my friend.

Her sister, I’ll call her D., was babysitting  two young grandchildren when she heard what sounded like gun shots outside.

She went to the living room window and saw a man lying on the grass in her front yard. He didn’t move. D. called the police. They told her he was dead.  She didn’t know him.

These real life clues can be used as a prompt. Who was the victim? Who did it? Why? Why did it happen in a suburban setting? How will the police find the killer? Did they collect clues at the scene and if so, what were they?

Would it be helpful or not to follow the story in the newspapers for more information or would you want to fictionalize the rest of the story?

When I think of D., I sympathize with her feelings. Emotions in a story engages the readers and to show how she felt would be important to include in the scene. Her first thought was the protection of her grandchildren and the fear of a stray bullet that could have entered the house. What other emotions to include?

I admire mystery writers. Norman in the Painting, my alternate realities novel-in-progress, is my first attempt at mystery writing.  I find the balance between not giving enough information and giving too much is difficult.

Do you write mysteries? Have you used a real crime as a basis for your story?


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