Story Ideas for Mysteries and Romance Fiction

On this page, you'll find story ideas that you can turn into mystery, suspense, and romance fiction. At the bottom of the page, you'll find links to hundreds of other story starters.

Mystery and Suspense Writing Prompts

1) Your character is on vacation in _______ (choose a place where you'd like to take a vacation in your imagination). One evening, when she returns to her hotel room, she finds a dead body on the floor. She flees the room and runs down to the lobby, where the hotel receptionist calls the police. But when the police go up to her room, there is no body there, and no sign that any crime was committed. No one believes your character, so she decides to investigate on her own. Her first step will be to follow that man who keeps turning up at the hotel bar and the swimming pool and whose odd behavior has aroused her suspicions. If only she could find a way to get into his room and take a look around...

2) Twice in the last week, your character has found snakes in his/her house. On both occasions, your character fled and called the local animal control service, which was able to capture the snakes and remove them. According to Animal Control, the snakes were of a highly poisonous variety that is not native to the area. When the third snake appears, your character becomes convinced that someone is planting them there intentionally. And your character is determined to learn who, and why.

3) When your character's wife disappears, the police assume that she has simply abandoned the marriage, but your character can't believe that. Searching for clues, your character finds his wife's diary and discovers that she had a secret life that may have put her in danger. Your character is determined to find out if she's still alive and save her if he can...

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Romance Writing Prompts

1) Your character has fallen in love with someone significantly older or younger than him/her. Because of his/her age, your character knows that this person doesn't see your character as a potential romantic partner. Your character believes that the age difference doesn't matter. How can s/he convince the other person of this? And what if your character is wrong?

2) When your character's romantic partner Chris disappeared suddenly three years ago, your character believed Chris had tired of the relationship. Heartbroken, your character gradually rebuilt his/her life and now is in a healthy relationship with a new partner, whom your character loves. But then the police call your character with surprising news. They have just rescued Chris from the kidnapper who abducted him/her three years ago. Chris is in the hospital, in stable condition, and is asking for your character. Your character loved Chris, but also loves his/her new partner. What will your character do?

3) Your character has fallen in love with the hero/ine of a romantic novel s/he is reading. But your character begins to notice hints in the book that it is not a novel at all, but a window into another world where this hero/ine is actually living. And the book hints at a way for your character to pass through the pages into the parallel world. Your character is determined to try...

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More Story Ideas

1) A friend shows your character a wedding announcement in the newspaper. The announcement includes a photograph that appears to be your character standing next to a man/woman your character has never met. What is going on?

2) Your character is cleaning a full-length mirror when his/her hand passes through the mirror's surface. Your character is able to step through the mirror and finds himself/herself in a place where everything is both familiar and different...

3) Your character comes home one evening and sees his/her neighbor leaving your character's house. When your character asks the neighbor what is going on, the neighbor tells an implausible story about having smelled smoke and checking if something was burning. "But how did you get into the house?" your character asks. "Oh, the door was unlocked," the neighbor responds. Your character is certain this isn't true. Nothing in the house appears to be disturbed or missing. What was the neighbor doing there?

4) After attending a funeral, your character wanders around the cemetery and discovers a tombstone engraved with your character's own name and date of birth -- the date of death has been left blank...

5) Your character's husband has left his computer on. Your character goes to turn it off and sees an email account in the name Jeffrey Harlowe. Your character's husband's name is Ralph Martin. The content of the emails is even more surprising...

6) Lately, your character wakes in the morning to find dirt and leaves in his/her bed. The soles of his/her feet are also dirty, and his/her legs are sore as if s/he has walked a great distance...

More story ideas

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