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JPC Allen Writes

Inspiration for Beginning Writers

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Writing ideas for crime fiction

Monday Spark — Writing Prompts: Describe this scene using all five senses

beach-1246646_1280The ocean breeze blew my hair across my sunglasses as I sat at the table on the porch of the beach restaurant. The fragrance of grilling shrimp and garlic stoked my hunger after a morning of swimming.

“Glad you made it, Hailey,” said my younger sister Emma, flipping back her long, chocolate brown hair. “You swam so much this morning, I didn’t think you’d have the energy to climb up the steps to get here.” Her piping soprano didn’t blend well with the soothing murmur of surf and wind.

Our older brother Brandon dropped his linemen bulk into the seat at the head of the table. “Eat fast. We need to catch the ferry to Bear Island at one-thirty.”

I sipped from the glass of ice water. Then I gulped. I was thirstier than I thought, the water carrying away sea salt from my lips.

“What if we skip Bear Island?” Our cousin Logan sauntered out of the dark interior of the restaurant.

Shielding my eyes from the sun’s glare, I looked up to him where he leaned against a post.

“What’re you doing up?” Brandon placed his glass on the table. “It’s not noon.”

“I wanted to ask all of you if you want to go some place else this afternoon.”

“Where?” asked Emma, pulling at the purple T-shirt covering her swimsuit.

Logan didn’t answer. With his sunglasses on, it was hard to guess where or who he was looking at.

Then he said, his subdued voice slipping into between the rattle of dishes and bursts of laughter behind us, “How about Rook’s Cove?”

My brother and sister went rigid as chill skittered up my spine that had nothing to do with the sudden gust blowing in from the sea.

*******

Since my mind runs to crime, this scene inspired me to write about something sinister. I like the contrast between the glaring bright day and the dark, disturbing suggestion.

How would you describe this scene using all five senses?

 

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: On a dark, rainy night, someone is digging in a cemetery.

graveyardw-384604_1280This prompt is based on a real life incident a friend of mine told me about. Late on a summer night, in the pouring rain, my friend, her husband, and her sons drove home from a restaurant. She lives across from a cemetery. As they passed it, they noticed that someone had parked his car so the beams of the headlights fell on a grave. The person was digging.

There’s more to the story, but I don’t want to ruin your inspiration. You could use this first line for crime fiction, family drama, or speculative fiction. You could even use it for a humorous story. Let me hear where your imagination takes you!

On a dark, rainy night, a man digs in a cemetery and …

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: Crime Fiction

grainw-3026099_1280The photo caught my attention because it looks like a still from a classic film noir, a style of movie I love. Who is the woman? Who is the man behind her? Or is it a man? Is the story set in the 1940’s? Could it take place now? How would you use this photo to inspire a story?

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