Mystery time!

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Mystery time!

Mystery time!

It's our mystery unit in English class! Here's the catch tho: we have to write a mystery story with no blood and no murder and no guts and no gore ect. ect. What's a mystery if it's not a murder mystery? How am I supposed to make my story suspenseful but not scary??? Take it as a challenge, bc I need help!

submitted by Flamarestii
(October 3, 2022 - 5:16 pm)

Oooh, that's a hard one. This is kind of not that exciting, but you could do a robbery, a missing pet or person.

submitted by Hawkstar
(October 3, 2022 - 9:01 pm)
submitted by tippity top!
(October 4, 2022 - 8:04 am)

Ooh, how very fun~

You can definitely still have fun with mystery in a way that neglects violence and/or death!!
A scheming vassal on a mission to take control of the kingdom, a complicated web of family-related lies, a supernatural adventure in which our protagonist must figure how what's behind it all!? There's so many possibilities!!!
If you want something more specific, I wouldn't mind brainstorming with you or letting you bounce some ideas of me... Only if you're interested, of course! :) 
submitted by Jaybells, Drowning in the dark irl
(October 4, 2022 - 8:39 am)

Yeah, some family secret would be cool. After you're done, will you post it so we can all read it?

submitted by WiLdSoNg, I cOmE fRoM tHe StArS!
(October 4, 2022 - 3:56 pm)

Thx for the suggestions everyone!

@Jaybells: You always have such good ideas! I'm not decided on any one plot yet, so I might wait and think it out some more. I was envisioning more of a present-day mystery, maybe digging into the past sort of thing. Sounds boring, but that's the best I've got right now. I was thinking a journalist for a mystery-solver might be interesting: then there would be that pressure for her to solve the mystery/find a story. Guess I'll see where that goes. Let's keep brainstorming! 

My teacher let it slip that we're writing scary stories after this, so I might loop back to your web of dark family secrets in the near future ;)) 

submitted by Flamarestii
(October 4, 2022 - 7:20 pm)

oof, that's not a lot to work with...

you could do like.  you wake up in like a building youve never been to before with a few others, and weird stuff keeps happening, and like one of the others put the rest of you there and you have to find out which one?  i dunno... 

submitted by Tsuki the Skywolf
(October 4, 2022 - 2:00 pm)

It's actually a common misconception that you have to have gore or death for a story to be exciting, or that conflict is the same as violence - which it isn't! The following things are all potentially-engaging conflicts, but not all of them are violent. Feel free to take inspiration from any you want, these are just examples, and change as you will of course!:

-Jen needs to figure out what's been poisoning the members of the Guild of Swords before it gets her too.

-It's almost time for the town festival that brings hundreds to Lunshire in search of the best moon pumpkins around, and Talia needs the money it will bring if kit wants to keep kits farm. But something is happening to kits pumpkins - they're slowly turning grey and wilting. One night, many are smashed. How can kit stop this?

-Colton lost their invitation to a firefly gala, and they can't get in without it - but their best friend from school is going to be there, and they have an apology to make.

The first one has very obvious stakes. In the one with Talia, there are still noticeable stakes and there's still potential dangers as kit figures out what to do. Colton's probably has the lowest stakes, but it could still be very engaging. They all still have tension.

Tension is basically the feeling that something bad could happen, and it's one of the most important parts of a story. But it doesn't have to be full-blown, life-or-death bad things. Maybe Colton misses their friend and feels bad about what they did. If they don't apologize, maybe they will feel bad about that forever. Likability/how interesting the character is to read about is really important here. Check your stakes too! Though I guess you could make tension by having a character get something new, if there aren't really downsides to not getting it, it's not going to work as well. If they're doing fine and just want something else, they're still fine if they don't have it.

Of couse, the Colton story is likely to be less tense than the first one. If you want it to be a tense story without violence, there are still a lot of ways to do that. Just find stakes that are important without being life-or-death or including gore, and make sure the audience gets why they're important.

I hope this helped? (and made any sense XD) If you need any more explanation, let me know!     

submitted by Blackfooted Bobcat
(October 6, 2022 - 3:00 pm)

Hey everyone! I feel like I have more ideas, which is super great! I hate having writer's block.

@Blackfooted Bobcat: Your explanation did make sense and really helped! I really like a couple of your ideas. I won't copy, of course, but I might adapt some of them to fit my devious purposes as master mystery writer. Thx for the help!

submitted by Flamarestii
(October 10, 2022 - 2:55 pm)