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! 

Related Articles to Free Creative Writing Prompts about Mystery
Free Creative Writing Prompts from the Heart, Part 1
Free Creative Writing Prompts #2: Love
Creative Writing Exercises #2: Relaxation

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 and Facebook.
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