Sometimes, you can sit around and wait for inspiration to strike, other times you have to grab it by the scruff of the neck and shake it until it gives you something useful! In case you need some help this summer with either an idea for a novel or a short story, check out the prompts below and build yourself a mystery! You can take all the prompts from a section or none of them.



  • Summer fair
  • Carnival
  • Beach scene
  • Picnic in the woods
  • Clifftops

Cause of death

  • A piece of bunting
  • Sand
  • A fall or push
  • Poisoning
  • Sabotage

Red herrings

  • Three or more possible suspects
  • No one can be placed at the scene
  • Everyone can be placed at the scene
  • Only circumstantial evidence
  • A false confession


  • A spurned lover
  • A forgetful vicar
  • A fortune teller
  • The local busy body
  • A stranger


I’d love to know the results you come up with! Drop me an update in the comments below or send me your story! I’d love to put on the site if you fancy sharing!


Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash