6 May 2017 - 12:20 pm

Murder in Mind: Challenge #2

(New to Murder in Mind? Head back to our first post to get started!)

The speech has been given and the party rolls on. Let’s think about some of the attendees to this little shindig now. There are the host’s family, friends, and work colleagues. There are possibly school friends, and people who share the host’s hobbies, like the gym or a club. They might be exes, or people who have supported the host in the past.

These people from all the different parts of the host’s life mix, likely with varying degrees of success and smoothness. Some of these people may have crossed paths before; some may not have. For some, they may only know what the host has told them of the others.

Inevitably, at some point, tensions flare into outright sparks. Think about those who might clash with each other. Focus in on two specific people, or three if you’re feeling ambitious. What might they clash about? Why would it come out here, at a public event? How enthusiastic will this clash get?

Show us the confrontation and how far it goes!

Challenge #2: Tete-a-tete

Go to the next challenge!

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6 May 2017 - 11:10 am

Murder in Mind: Challenge #1

It’s time to throw a party. So let’s get started!

Who is the host of this special event? This person has invited everyone in his or her life to the party, from family to work colleagues to friends. Give them a name, an identity.

What kind of place does this host live in: city, village or space station? What is their typical day like? Do they work? If so, what sort of work? Where are they in the hierarchies of their life? Manager or managed? Parent or child, or both? How successful do they consider themselves to be?

Do they have a family? Partner? Ex-partners? Who are the people they are closest to in their life?

What are their aspirations? What’s next for this person?

Now let’s think about why they are throwing this party. The host doesn’t usually call all of these people – from the private and professional sides of their life, and from all the different parts of those arenas – together at the same time, so why now? There must be a purpose. Is it a celebration, commemoration, or announcement? An anniversary of some kind?

Does everyone know why they’re there? Has the host been up-front about his or her reasons for the party? Or has it been shrouded in mystery, or even lies and misleading phrasings? Was everyone told the same thing about the event? What did the host have to do to get everyone here?

Now let’s consider the party itself. What kind of venue is it being held in? Is it indoors or outdoors? On a boat? In space? In a lighthouse on a remote island?

How does the venue feel – is it crowded or spacious? Dim or bright? Is there music playing, and if there is, is it too loud to talk?

What is the tone in the room? Are people talking, or drinking? Getting along, or clashing? Awkward? Are they glad to be there, excited, feeling forced, coerced, or just happy there’s an open bar? (Is there an open bar?)

Let’s go to the point of the night when everyone has arrived and the party is just getting going. The host has decided to give a little speech or presentation, to let everyone know why they have been gathered there.

Walk us into the party, right up to moment when it’s falling quiet. All eyes are turning to the host. Show us the speech and its impact on the room.

Challenge #1: Welcome to the Party

Go to the next challenge!

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6 May 2017 - 11:00 am

Writers’ Asylum: Murder in Mind: Prologue

Welcome to the Asylum. Today, we’re going to commit murder.

But first, we’re going to throw a party. We’re going to climb into the lives of the host and his or her guests, we’re going to see how they tick, and why. More interestingly, we’re going to see what happens when they’re mixed together.

I’m going to give you a series of instructions and prompts. You can take these instructions in any direction you wish: your imagination is encouraged to play. When each challenge is presented, you have an hour to write. Aim for 1,000 words and see where each challenge takes you!

So, get a drink, turn up the music, and settle in. It’s going to be a fun and perilous ride!

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14 April 2017 - 6:39 pm

Writing Spark #25

(Picture from HuTui6.com)

Happy Easter! Here’s something supernatural to inspire you:

A man who sees ghosts checks himself into a mental institute, not realising that the facility has been closed for almost thirty years.

That’s bound to go well! What lies ahead for him in the haunted asylum? Where will he take you?

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7 April 2017 - 6:02 pm

Writing Spark #24

(Picture from HuTui6.com)

Something a little futuristic to play with:

A man who lives in a smart house — where everything is done for him — pines for the Wild West where men had to fend for themselves.

Where will this take you?

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31 March 2017 - 5:44 pm

Writing Spark #23

(Picture from HuTui6.com)

Here’s something frosty to inspire us:

There’s an old man sitting in a rickety wooden chair, fishing through a hole in the ice on a frozen lake. A loud cracking sound reverberates across the lake’s surface, and he feels the ice shift beneath him. He scurries, but the hole expands too quickly, and he goes into the icy water.

What lurks in the icy depths? What sort of bait was he using? You decide!

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24 March 2017 - 6:58 pm

Writing Spark #22

(Picture from HuTui6.com)

This week’s prompt is:

A corporate analyst who investigates failed colonization projects encounters the strangest case of his/her career. It’s a ghost colony with no record of anything catastrophic or any indication of what went wrong. The people are simply gone.

How will the analyst solve the mystery? Where did everybody go? Go find out!

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17 March 2017 - 6:23 pm

Writing Spark #21

(Picture from HuTui6.com)

A situation to inspire:

A man in a refugee camp for memory loss victims starts to remember his past—that he and the other refugees were freedom fighters with special abilities. But he can’t access his powers without help from his friends. Can he help the others remember?

Where will this one take you? Is everyone in the camp a freedom fighter, or did they get caught up with civillians? How will he know who his friends are?

So many questions, so much fun!

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10 March 2017 - 6:07 pm

Writing Spark #20

(Picture from HuTui6.com)

For this week’s prompt:

Whenever you look in the mirror, there is an extra object behind you. After someone discovers the body, you realise that someone or something might be trying to send you clues.

I love how intriguing this one is. Nothing like a mystery to get the mental wheels turning! Where will it take you?

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3 March 2017 - 6:09 pm

Writing Spark #19

(Picture from HuTui6.com)

Here’s this week’s prompt!

Demon incursions into the human world are on the rise. When you try to send one back to hell, the demon breaks down and begs you not to. Bind it, banish it, but don’t send it back. There’s something in hell that they’re desperately trying to get away from.

Where will it take you? To hell, or far from it?

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