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Mystery Writing Prompts

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Write a mystery that will keep your readers turning pages. There's only one place to start... the beginning! With the mystery writing prompts below, you can start on your next cozy, hardboiled, suspense, or murder mystery.

Sit down, relax, and give yourself some time to free write. You deserve it. Don't forget all good mystery plots need three things: a crime, a sleuth, and suspects!

Share your mystery ideas, flash fiction, or short stories in the comments below. This is a friendly, encouraging community of writers.

Mystery Writing Prompts

Mystery Writing Prompt #1

Polar Peril

Mystery Writing Prompts - Polar Peril

Write a story that includes these three things. A pair of glasses. An overzealous journalist. A polar bear.

Mystery Writing Prompt #2


Mystery Ideas - Suspect Board

Everything they thought they knew about the case was overturned by a single photograph.

Mystery Writing Prompt #3

The Missing Master

Cozy Mystery Plots - Dogs Missing Owner

A well-groomed dog with the sweetest disposition and a brand new collar shows up at the local animal shelter. A shelter volunteer is determined to find his owner but finds much more than he bargained for.

Mystery Writing Prompt #4

Ace of Spades

Mystery Plots - Ace of Spades Killer

A mysterious new criminal has emerged. His calling card, the Ace of Spades, has been found at three crime scenes in 24 hours.

Mystery Writing Prompt #5

Old News, New News

Murder Mystery Writing Prompts - Newspaper

Digitizing the old newspaper records is the most boring job ever! Until an old story connects to the recent murder of a beloved reporter.

Looking for more story ideas?

Check out 365 Awesome Story Prompts. You'll find 50+ new mystery ideas as well as a sampling of 300+ prompts from fantasy, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, and more. Plus bonus lists to help you with settings and characters. If you prefer a print version with a little space to jot notes and brainstorm, try 365 Awesome Story Prompts: Journal Edition.

Join my newsletter and get monthly writing inspiration, quotes, and writing prompts delivered to straight to your inbox. You'll also get to choose a free welcome gift, including 42 Awesome Story Prompts or Subscribe: Grow Your Author Newsletter from 0 to 3,000!


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