Writing prompts

What’s the story?

Being a writer is a damn good excuse to be nosy. There are stories everywhere and it all starts with a question.

– Why is that car parked there for the third time this week?

– Who is he waiting for?

– What set her off laughing like that?

I love seeing a scene and imagining how it occurred and recently I saw this and it immediately set off a whole series of questions. What’s the book? Why that page? Is it a message for someone? Will they meet at the baths? What will happen when they meet? A story is forming…

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Out and about…

This week, I’ve been out and about at two separate writing events. On Monday evening, I was at the inaugural First Monday crime evening (and there is an excellent picture of the back of my head), then on Wednesday, I went to a meeting of the London chapter (all very Hell’s Angels) of the Crime Writers’ Association.

These events brought together lots of people with a heart-on-their-sleeve love of books and a common enjoyment of chatting over a drink. What struck me though was the sheer diversity within the crime genre.

Across the two evenings, I heard about a story set in contemporary Lagos (Easy Motion Tourist by Eyle Adenle – surely one of the best titles around) and a story set in a gay bar. I heard about money laundering from a finance specialist who also writes crime and how an idea left in a drawer for a decade became a best seller.

It was also great to talk to students from the City Lit crime MA, a course where, over two years, you write a crime novel. They were a term into the course and about to finalise their idea, to start the serious business of writing. I’ll remember the sheer enthusiasm of all these people for fiction as a tonic for those moments when trying to fill the blank page feels just too difficult.



Cover story, part 3…

So here was the third attempt. I looked at it, thought, great picture. Then the feeling grew that it wasn’t right. I’ve always thought of myself as a reasonably articulate person but trying to explain why was hard. At the most basic level, there are no missing shoes in the story. Not sure I can explain it any better than that but sometimes you just know.

Either way, it’s being redone and the final cover reveal should be later this week…

Cover 3