My Detective Story Essay Topics
Dear Mr. Walker:
Two years ago, I sent a letter of thanks to my late father's brother. After Dad's passing, George reached out to me -- beginning a sequence of kindnesses that extends to this day. George has also been able to share with me his passions for theater and for reading, especially mysteries. That particular note to him was occasioned by my reading the copy of *The Resistance Man* that he had sent. Years later, I have just finished reading *The Children Return*, in the course of following the Bruno series, and its depth and empathy and shrewd but non-cynical insights into personal and political behavior prompt me to send you a letter of thanks, as well. Here are some excerpts from the original note:
"Just finished the second of the Bruno novels you last shared with me (and the most recent in Walker's fine series). I want you to know that along with my enjoyment of Walker's rich and alert insights into French customs and history, political chicanery, and human relationships, I've also appreciated how the novels have enriched my appreciation for, well, my life right now.
"As I go out to tend the goats and chickens each morning and evening (often accompanied by our red heeler, Chloe), Bruno regularly comes to mind: his chickens, his horse, his dog, his garden, his natural surroundings, his community, his ability to pause and savor where he is and what he's doing with his life. In the kitchen, I'm no Bruno -- but I've learned to make an OK lamb navarin. At work, I hope I bring some of the clear-eyed compassion that he does to the people he encounters professionally (I strongly detect the influence of Simenon's Maigret novels on Walker). And I daily experience -- and have experienced -- the family life, even with all its complications, for which Bruno longs.
"And I'm not sure I would have come across the novels on my own. You introduced me to them; heck, you've provided me with them.
"So, thanks so very much! They are not only an added pleasure and gift -- they are a means, even a discipline, for understanding and enjoying other pleasures and gifts. They do what good books do."
The goats (currently a herd of 24 with recent newborns) and chickens, by the way, are part of our menagerie on 17 or so acres outside of Lincoln, Nebraska.
So, to echo myself, thanks to you so very much, too. Bruno and his novels comprise a wonderful creation, which points to other wonders -- as the best creations should, I think. In fact, that lamb navarin of mine has been joined by a decent (if utterly non-traditional) cassoulet and a very good (and largely correct) daube provençal.
With every good wish for you and all that you endeavor,
Free Creative Writing Prompts #64: Mystery
These free creative writing prompts deal with the genre of mystery. Whether it be the childhood versions of Scooby Doo and Encyclopedia Brown or the adult versions of Sherlock Holmes and Sam Spade, the mystery and detective genre is captivating and fun to be a part of. These prompts are your opportunity to get into the game. There is little an audience likes to do more than figure out things as they're going along and that is this genre's forte. Leave a few clues here and there, create a few fantastic characters, and you'll be an all-star mystery writer in no time at all! Enjoy!
Free Creative Writing Prompts: Mystery
1. You wake up to find a post-it note attached to your forehead. This note is a clue that leads you to another clue somewhere in your house. Your roommates claim ignorance but decide that they'll help you to solve the mystery. One clue continues to lead to another, where will it end?2. There has been a murder and you are the top rated private eye in town. A mysterious woman who asks you to help with the case may also be the primary suspect. What is the evidence and how do you solve the case?
3. On a day that started like any other, your friends and family have started to treat you a bit strangely and you suspect that something is up. On a whim, you stay out a bit later then curfew. When you return your house is surrounded by police cars. What do you do?
4. You are the only eyewitness to a crime that even you don't truly understand. Both as witness protection and as an aid to the case, you team up with a special agent from the FBI. What was it you saw and how do you help to solve the crime together.5. Someone has been stealing away the puppies from your town at night. You and a crack team of investigators (concerned people from the neighborhood and your friends) have decided to figure out the crime when the police couldn't. What do you do and how do you solve it?
6. Someone in your family's household has been stealing the cookies from the cookie jar at night. You set up an elaborate surveillance system in order to nab the culprit. Talk about you plan from beginning to end. Do you catch the thief?
7. Talk about a mystery that has occurred in your life. Start the story a bit before the event and go through the future consequences. Was the mystery ever solved?
8. Have you ever been accused of a crime that you didn't commit (small or large)? Talk about the situation from both your side and the side of the lawmakers (who may be your parents or friends). What actually happened in the situation?
9. You have been transported into a world where everything plays out like film-noir. The world is black and white and there are many asides to the camera (or voice overs depending on your medium). Talk about a day in the life of the mystery prone noir.
10. You are out camping in the forest and you wake to find your lucky hat missing. You and your friends must track down the perpetrator, whether man or animal. Use the clues of the forest (tracking, etc.) to find this wonderful head covering.
When I was in second grade or so, I wrote some very bad (I'm sure not horrible for my age ;)) Encyclopedia Brown tales. They were essentially rehashes of stories that I'd already read (what a little plagiarizer I was :)) but I had so much fun writing them that it didn't matter. There are so many mysterious things in the world and in our lives that these free creative writing prompts may be able to easily inspire you to craft a mystery tale. Feel free to use the space below to share your tantalizing tale with the rest of the community. Happy writing!
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Done with this page? Go back to Creative Writing Prompts.
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Written by Bryan Cohen
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.