these used to be chapters of my one-shot collection "theme and variations" but I thought this would be a more appropriate place for them.
The primary characters, of course, must be Holmes and Watson.
Select secondary characters, etc, from amongst the following. Pick three of each. Choose the first by taking the last digit of the year in which you were born. Choose the second by taking the last digit of whatever time the nearest clock to you displays. Choose the third by taking the last digit of your address. If this causes any numbers to be repeated, multiply your age by three and take the last digit of whatever this produces. If you're still stuck with Prof. Moriarty twice I'm afraid your story will have to include his good twin.
0) Colonel Moran
1) Mrs. Hudson
2) Irene Adler
3) Inspector Lestrade
4) Mary Watson
5) Inspector Gregson
6) Violet Hunter
7) Prof. Moriarty
8) Mycroft Holmes
0) Breaking and entering
2) A Stradivarius
3) Drug addiction
4) A leopard
5) A delayed train
6) A long lost sibling/relation
7) Soccer (or football, if you prefer)
8) A false accusation
9) A nightmare
So, by way of an example - my numbers ended up being, in no particular order, six, eight, and five so my prompt would include Violet Hunter, Mycroft Holmes and Inspector Gregson as secondary characters, and employ a false accusation, a long lost sibling, and a delayed train as plot devices. I'm bored so we'll see what this produces. You may all get to read it. In any case, if this proves entertaining to anyone else, I'd be interested to read what you wrote. If this ends up being a fun prompt generator, here are some subsequent lists to pick from. They may produce more challenging results.
0) Watson's second wife
1) An original character
2) Sherrinford Holmes (Sherlock's hypothetical eldest brother)
4) Inspector Hopkins
5) Holmes' "friend" Charlie Peace (see ILLU)
6) Sir Henry Baskerville
7) Wilma Norman-Neruda (the violinist mentioned in STUD)
8) Inspector Bradstreet
9) Murray (Watson's orderly from Afghanistan)
0) An unrequited love
1) A missing tooth
3) April Fool's Day
4) A deduction which should have gone unvoiced
6) A grisly autopsy
7) A manuscript rejected for publication
8) Ink stains
9) A diversion
Feel free to combine the lists or generally twist the rules however you like if it allows you to come up with a prompt you find intriguing. Have fun!9/23/2010 #1
I apologize to everyone in advance for this. I tried to do some thought-provoking ones as well as silly ones, to make up for being a dork.
Prompts are constructed using one quote from the original canon and one quote from something else.
1)"'My collection of M's is a fine one,' said he. 'Moriarty himself is enough to make any letter illustrious, and here is Morgan the poisoner, and Merridew of abominable memory, and Mathews, who knocked out my left canine in the waiting-room at Charing Cross, and, finally, here is our friend of to-night.'" (EMPT)
"Oh my God, that's my tooth. Why do you have that?" (The Hangover)
2) "The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside." (COPP)
This is a bit of an exception because the quote is the script of 'Hot Fuzz' in its entirety. Come on - murdering NWA and gun-wielding priests and florists, all for the village of the year award...somebody who's seen this movie help me out. It's the ideal case-in-point for this quote. Swan! Yarp! Two blokes with a $#*&-load of cutlery, what do you reckon? Somebody needs to write this.
3)"A hound it was, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen..." (HOUND)
"It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!" (Despicable Me)
4)"What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence," returned my companion, bitterly. "The question is, what can you make people believe that you have done?" (STUD)
"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal." (Oscar Wilde)
5) "Should I ever marry, Watson, I should hope to inspire my wife with some feeling which would prevent her from being walked off by a housekeeper when my corpse was lying within a few yards of her." (VALL)
"No, there is not a thin line between love and hate. There is, in fact, a Great Wall of China with armed sentries posted every twenty feet between love and hate." (House)
6) "'Circumstantial evidence is a very tricky thing,' answered Holmes thoughtfully. 'It may seem to point very straight to one thing, but if you shift your own point of view a little, you may find it pointing in an equally uncompromising manner to something entirely different.'" (BOSC)
"If you buy a spear gun, walk into a pub and tell everyone you're going to kill someone with it, and come back an hour later with the gun but not the spear, that's all just circumstantial evidence." (Once Were Cops, by Ken Bruen)
7) "All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers." (NAVA)
"Nothing is as important as the care of my flowers. Through your neglect, this flower has died. You've murdered a flower!...To think that for merely murdering a man I was incarcerated for six whole weeks in a filthy prison cell." - Prof. Moriarty (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1939)9/23/2010 #2
plot bunny up for adoption:
Begin with the line 'I am about to embark on a dangerous mission, Watson, and there is no guarentee that I will come out alive'.6/15/2011 #3
I have one od my own invention. and sorry, i m on a tablet, so spelling is horrible.
For Holmes: "My dear Watson, I wish to tell you that in fact I am alive-" He throws the sheet of paper with the half written sentence to the ground. He cannot. It will endanger Watson and his family should it fall into the evil hands of Colonel Moran.5/7/2013 #4
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