Imagining good and bad

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It’s St Valentine’s Day tomorrow – 14th February – the day which has been colonised and commercialised by the hazy notion of romance. If you don’t spend, you don’t care, and if you’re not in a couple you’re nowhere and nothing. If you feel alone – even if you’re at the centre of a busy family – then the fuss around this one winter’s day can be overwhelming, making you feel worse than ever.

BUT…. turn it to your advantage! Make imagination your friend instead of your enemy, and write yourself out of those lonely feelings. Leap out of the round-and-round whirlpool of miserable feelings and leap into the limitless worlds of possibility in your imagination. Spend the day (which is, rather conveniently, a Sunday this year) writing furiously, inventing, exploring, what-iffing.

Use Valentine’s Day as a prompt, if you like. Write Mr Right… or Mr Wrong. Write your perfect romance, or the nightmare romance. Not everything that happens on 14th February is lovely – remember the St Valentine’s Day Massacre – Chicago 1929. How could murder happen on this most loving of days?

Use your feelings, feed them into your powerful imagination, and create something great with the force of love behind it. Wherever that takes you.

 

 

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Tattoo taboo

tattoo manA startling picture (see it properly here on the BBC website) of a man covered head to toe (even the whites of his eyes are blue) in tattoos made me wonder…

Could he ever commit a crime? It would be the easiest ID parade in the world. How could he get away with murder? Is there a crime he could get away with more easily because of the tattoos?

What jobs would be impossible for him? What might happen at an interview?

How does his appearance affect his personality?

Who’s attracted to him?

Who is he attracted to?

How will he feel on Valentine’s Day?

A Valentine to Brasov

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is hard to ignore.

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.
Seduce your Muse and make love to your imagination (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So use it. Use everything – the romance, the excitement, the dread, the loneliness, the togetherness or isolation… all those powerful feelings and how they make us behave. Fiction heaven.

In sixty seconds, scribble down half a dozen story ideas revolving around 14th February. [I’ll do my list in a minute, and post it later.]

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How easy was that?

Did you make the one-idea-every-ten-seconds challenge? I’d love to see your list if you’d post it as a comment…

If your brain froze and you couldn’t think of a single idea, then perhaps mid-February is the ideal time for you to spend a day unlocking your ideas factory so you never have a creative shortage again.

Come to the Where do you get your ideas? workshop in Brasov (Romania) and let those storytelling juices flow. 

It’s the day to seduce your imagination. Give in to your creative urges. Make love to your Muse. Pull up those fictional wallflowers and plant red roses. Bare your breast to Cupid’s arrow and fall in love with your own imagination.

Whether you yearn to write passion-fuelled crime, zingy love stories, gothic romances, out-of-this-world fantasy, medieval bodice-rippers or heart-stopping horror, this is where you’ll discover the key to creating your best-selling idea.

Book now! Start your writer’s heart racing… make this your year.

The devil is very definitely in the detail

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Crime writers and gritty romance writers… have a look at this story from the BBC website today. It just shows how small an act can provoke vicious murder.

An angry man, a control freak, with a knife in his hand. A woman’s petty act of annoyance. Now she’s dead and he’s doing life.

Find the story here, and let your imagination fill in the back story, the investigation and whatever else leaps to your writer’s mind.

Name that novel

Leigh Russell, crime fictionaire, says:

“We are running a competition! The prize is to have your title on the front of my next book + a signed inscription thanking you. I need your help again!”

Details are here…

REWARD OFFERED: Leigh Russell needs your help

 

Lots of questions to be asked

Husband of dead woman charged with delaying her burial. Very odd. No formal cause of death has been found. Rich family. What happened? Why? The mind boggles.

What do you think? Does it make you itch to know more? Could this be the spark you need for your new crime novel?

Read the BBC report here.

Topical bonus for crime writers

Spending cuts could banjax the justice system in England & Wales, and give crime writers a field day.

Day 38 - West Midlands Police - New Forensic S...(Photo credit: West Midlands Police)

The government, desperate to find ways to save money, is mothballing the forensic archives and putting the responsibility on individual police forces to file their own evidence for the future. Experts reckon this could put a spanner in the works for innocent prisoners, cold cases and current investigations.

How could you use this, as a crime writer, to spark off a plot, or make a crisis in the story, or furnish the book with a juicy sub-plot?

Read more…