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Author, Book update, Craig's Blog, Crime, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Book Update

man with fireworks

Hi everyone,

After a journey of almost 16 months I am pleased to announce that today I typed the words ‘The End’ into my debut novel A Step into Darkness.

This is a momentous achievement for me and a day I never thought Id witness before I started out. This road trip has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I have come out unscathed and a far better writer than when I first started.

Today I have fulfilled a life long ambition and I am excited for the future as I develop my skills in the craft of writing.

Sadly the process is not over. A short break is in order before I return fresh ready to embark on the editing process which again will be a whole new journey for me .

I will keep you updated on the editing process and any other future writing projects I embark on.

Thank you all for your patience and your kind words of encouragement. I hope I don’t let you down.

Onwards and Upwards!!

Craig x

Author, Craig,s blog, short story, Uncategorized, writers block, Writing Inspiration

Writing Inspiration No 4 – My Tips for Preventing / Overcoming the Dreaded Writers Block – Craig Wrightson

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I’m nearing completion of my first novel which has been a wonderful journey full of ups and downs. Having had to learn the craft of writing along the way I have used many different tools and resources to help me including writer blogs , tips and lessons. One of the main subjects I often stumble across during my research is the subject of writers block, those 2 little words that every author fears.

My own personal opinion is that writers block cannot be overcome by standard identified actions alone, it has to be unique to the writer and will differ from writer to writer. With that in mind I want to share what has worked for me in the hope that may help someone just starting out.

Writers block is not to feared it just needs to be overcome.

Re read your notes and research material. Is there anything that could trigger you to start up again.

Re read your previous chapter – For me this got me back into the feel of the story and my mind was ready to race over the finish line into the next chapter.

Go for a walk, blow the cobwebs away and let your mind run free. Do not be afraid to push the boundaries with your thoughts. It only needs one idea or moment of inspiration to make you want to turn around and race back to your manuscript. When your out walking take only your phone or tablet with you. You need to immediately record anything that might help. Record it on notes or voice recorder and email it back to yourself so it is sitting waiting ready upon your return.

Watch a movie or read a book on a similar genre to your story and look for prompts or ideas. By this I don’t mean for you to plagiarize. There is so much stuff out there that could easily be reworked, twisted around or adapted to suit your stories development.

Work with a story planner. I set up my story planner on PowerPoint which breaks down each chapter identifying key points and that I plan to achieve per chapter. Do this for your whole story. Revisiting this everyday and updating the planner has helped me loads.

You will know your story off by heart in your head and hopefully you will have a detailed story planner, the chances are you will have an idea on how other chapters start or how certain scenes later in the book will unfold. Write them down. Writing is writing and don’t be afraid to write out of sync.

Do not allow yourself get stalled at the beginning of the chapter, Sitting for hours and hours is just dead time, if you know the end of the chapter then write it down and come back to the start later.

When completing your target for the day, go beyond this and write one or two sentences or paragraphs into the next paragraph / chapter so that you can pick up the story straight away the next day.

Really really stuck, then leave it! work on a short story, a writing competition entry, prepare the elevator pitch for your next story. This is all writing and before long your confidence in your ability as a writer will return.

If all else fails. Save everything. Turn off your laptop, Drink a bottle of wine (for starters) and dance naked around the house. Writers block may still be there in the morning or it may not, either way you will have let of some steam.

ernest-hemingway-writing-quote

I hope this helps. Like I said this is what works for me. There loads of interesting articles out their so don’t be afraid if you encounter writers block – We all do. Why should you be any different 🙂

To continue receiving my blogs and updates please sign up to follow me at my website http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

Thanks and Take Care

Craig x

Author, Book update, Craig,s blog, Crime, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

June Book Update – Craig Wrightson

blank book bindings business communication
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Hi Everyone,

Firstly I’d like to apologise to everyone for not providing regular updates as promised. It has been a hectic few months what with the F1, friends visiting me and my UK vacation. I am now back on track and raring to go now that the finish line is in sight for me.

A Step into the Darkness is now 75% complete. I have decided to set myself a deadline of the end of July to finish the first draft and I’ve also set myself a writing target of 2hrs a night in order to achieve this. Without setting this I was worried I would become easily distracted and loose the flow of the story. I am now clear and focused on what I need to do and where I need to be so fingers crossed.

In the UK I met up with a fellow author and retired Chief of Northumbria Police who supplied me with a clear insight on not only police practices but on how my story could be improved to make it more engaging for the reader.

With this in mind I am pleased to announce my story is set in my hometown of Cramlington. It was originally called Elmdene but as all the other locations and geographical references within the story were accurate and as I was basically describing Cramlington within the majority of scenes (Write what you know and where you know). Changing the name will make it easier for readers to identify with if they know it is an actual town not a fictitious setting. The only thing I have done is made all street names, characters and character names fictitious.

Once the first draft is finished I plan to put it away for a few weeks in order to clear my mind of the story (2 years in my head now) allowing me to start the dreaded editing process with a fresh mind.

Dame Vera Baird QC has kindly arranged for me to spend some time with a 24/7 Response Officer from Northumbria Police and this is something I’m really excited to participate in and is tentatively planned for when I’m back in the UK in August.

I intend to use the experience gained from this opportunity to fine tune and clean up any grey areas within the police procedural side of the story and I will hopefully capture it all in my first few edits. Not sure yet as to how many edits I will require as I have been editing throughout when I have not had the chance to write.

A Step into Darkness was originally planned to be a standalone novel and writing a novel has always been a dream for me since childhood but since I have embarked on this project and after taking numerous writing courses I now have many other stories which I plan to write and share. Entering short story competitions, passing conversations, news reports and things I have observed have all led to a number of ideas forming in my head that I feel I can do justice to.

Once A Step into the Darkness is completed I am ready to write my second novel and It looks like I may take a few of the characters from the first story with me and see if I can develop them more in future stories. At present unless anything changes or if new ideas appear my next book is going to be about rape, betrayal and revenge set over three decades!

At the same time as this I am going to research into a second writing project which is something new for me (I love the research and planning). I’m looking to write a compilation of short stories based on the Second World War recounting tales of valour and bravery from unsung heroes focusing on all of the countries from the Allied and Axis Powers that were involved. I want these short stories to be fast paced, engaging, exciting and as historically accurate as possible. The short stories are going to be a hybrid of non-fiction and fiction with multiple points of view written in both first person and third person.

I know I have set myself a major challenge here but if all becomes too much my priority will be the second novel.

If all goes to plan my next update will be tell you all I’ve completed the first draft.

Take care everyone and enjoy your summer.

Craig x

Book update, Craig,s blog, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Eureka – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

blackboard business chalkboard concept
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hi All,

Apologies for not posting recently. I was having a wonderful vacation in the UK and got side tracked.

I will post my book update next week as a I’m now nearly finished the first draft and a few interesting things took place when I was home.

For now Id like to post a short story I wrote about Inspiration for a writing competition earlier in the year. I hope you all enjoy.

Eureka

Stubbing out his umpteenth cigarette of the day into the already overflowing ashtray, Dan pushed himself back into his leather chair, his mouth tasted foul and nothing was going to take away the feeling of decay inside.

Picking up his cup of tea, his face twisted as he spat the cold contents back into the cup.

‘Come on, come on” he forced himself.

His mantra fell on deaf ears; his plea for inspiration was ignored.

‘Give me something…anything…please.’

Glancing at the clock displayed at the bottom of his monitor Dan was gutted that only five minutes had elapsed since his last time check. He was confident that it would have been at least an hour.

Lighting yet another cigarette, feeling repulsed by the smell and taste, he started rocking himself back and forward on the castors of his chair whilst gripping onto to the front of his desk. Hey he thought, this could be a new office workout routine.

Snapping himself back into reality he rose and paced impatiently around his small office.

Yesterday had been the same. Same brick wall and same blankness.

Last night it had come to him though, deep in his dreams. Clear as day.

Why then was he struggling again today? He had entered his office full of confidence but now annoyance and frustration were starting to well up inside him.

‘Bugger this for a game of Soldiers’ he exclaimed and left the room.

Five minutes later, he was getting into a bath. Nice warm water, filled to the brim, encapsulated with bubbles from his Radox bubble bath.

He sank his head under the water enjoying the feeling of tranquillity that swept over him in an instant.

Five minutes later he leaped from the bath like a breeching Humpback Whale, water cascading over the bathroom floor.

Hastily pulling on his robe, he sprinted back to the office still soaked, trailing wet foot marks across the carpet, his unsightly bits jiggled from his exposed body as he jumped in front of his PC.

His fingers danced on the keyboard, the click of his key strokes non-stop.

Forty five minutes later, he was done.

‘Best get the bathroom tidied up,’ Dan thought to himself smiling like the cat that had caught the cream.

The End.

I hope you all enjoyed this. As always please feel free to comment and share.

Enjoy your weekend.

Craig.

#IAMDBB, Author, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Old Mrs Coe – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

Old Mrs Coe

Everyone towered above her, blanking out the light, hurrying to reach their destination.No time for manors, deeply focused on their own journey and ignorant of others.

Of course they could not see her, hidden so far down below tucked away in the shadows.

They had been late leaving today. The rain did not help either. The path was slippery underfoot, leaving her with no time to navigate a safe passage through the many puddles.

She wanted to pause to catch her breath but every time she reduced her pace she felt the sharp tug from her mother’s arm, pulling her along. To stop was to loose time.

‘No time for dawdling today darling,’ she said ‘so much to do and no time to do it all.’

They turned into the quiet road that led to her primary school. School insight her mother instinctively reduced her speed, the stress of the first battle of the day gone.

Hand in hand they walked down the quiet street lined with weeping willows and bungalows adjourned with immaculate gardens, lovingly maintained and in full bloom.

Suddenly she stopped dead in her tracks. Her mother’s firm grip unable to propel her on any further.

No. Something is not right, something is wrong today, she thought to herself.
‘What on earths up with you?’ demanded her mother, clearly not impressed.

‘Old Mrs Coe was not there today mammy.’

‘What?’

‘Old Mrs Coe was not there today. She is there every day.’

‘Who is old Mrs Coe?’

‘A kind old lady, she smiles and waves at me every morning form her kitchen window. She was not there today.’

‘Oh come on that’s ridiculous. You have school young lady.’

Her mother gripped her hand and started walking. No something was wrong. She dug her heels in and refused to budge.

‘Something is wrong mammy,’ she pleaded with her mother ‘we need to check’.

‘For god’s sake,’ her mother muttered but she led her by the hand to the house and knocked gently on the door. There was no answer.

‘Look. That’s the window she stands at,’ she said pointing to the long bay window at the end of the house.

Peering inside her mother let out a low ‘oh no,’ before turning to face her daughter.

‘You be a good girl and go sit on the wall. Mummy just needs to call for an ambulance.’

The End

Another one of my short stories. Hope your all enjoying them.

Please visit my website

http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

to follow me and receive book updates and blogs.

Have a great week and thanks

Craig

Author, Book update, Craig,s blog, Crime, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Book Update -A Step into Darkness – Teaser 1

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The first ambulance left the scene with  lights flashing and siren blazing, desperately weaving a safe route through the crowded street.  At the end of the road the ambulance turned left, immediately speeding up onto the dual carriageway, making its way as fast as possible to the nearby General hospital.

The second ambulance however did not leave the street to the same fanfare as the first. No lights flashed and no sirens sounded. The ambulance left the scene under a sombre atmosphere. The gathered crowds silenced and lowered their heads respectfully, stepping to one side to allow it to pass.

No one in the street knew who was in the second ambulance, but they all secretly prayed that it was Gary Jackson.

Sadly the second ambulance contained Faye Jackson.

Her body at the age of twenty two was so severely savaged and abused, that in the days to come; her own mother would struggle to identify her.

Despite attempts to save her at the scene Faye Jackson had died minutes after the arrival of the ambulance.

Now unconscious, Gary was blissfully unaware of her passing.

#

Hi everyone. Hope you all enjoyed that little snippet from A Step into Darkness. Any comments would be greatly appreciated

Going back to UK tomorrow for 3 weeks so wont be able to write much, however plan to do a lot of editing and research in-between drinking copious amounts of good white wine and nibbling on French cheese and pate which are the things I miss the most from England when I’m in Baku.

Not certain but I’m hoping to make an announcement on my return…. Nothing major… well for me it is…so don’t get to excited ha-ha.

As always Id like to leave you with an inspirational quote.

the first step quote)

Thanks everyone and take care.

Until next time

Craig x

 

 

 

Author, Craig,s blog, Crime, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

The Madness of Passion – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

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The Madness of Passion
My god! Had he really been so stupid? So blind and so arrogant that he had failed to miss all of the now painfully obvious tell-tale signs.
Dan looked at the message once again on Fiona’s I-Pad and shook his head in utter disbelief, his stomach was in knots and his mind was racing.
‘Look forward to seeing you tonight sexy. Soo excited! Love K xxx’
Flinging the I-Pad onto the sofa Dan stood up and paced around the living room of his and Fiona’s tiny apartment. Dan had thought that they had been living blissfully together, but this was clearly not the case.
‘You stupid, blind bastard’ he thought to himself, as the temper and rage all fuelled by jealousy welled up inside him.
It was now obvious to him what had been going on behind his back, frequent nights out with the girls, secretive text messages, coffees and catch up, the new desire to purchase fancy underwear; Fiona had always been a comfy cotton panties type of girl. Christ! How they must have laughed at him.
Grabbing his car keys, he slammed the apartment door behind him and headed to the apartment block car park. Taking the lift to clear his head and plan his revenge.
“K” could only be Dr Kilpatrick, the slimy new Dr that worked at the hospital with Fiona. They had been round to his house once for a dinner party and Dan could still recall the address.
Knocking at Dr Kilpatrick’s front door, Dan was surprised that Dr Kilpatrick did not seem phased or shocked in anyway by his unannounced appearance. Before he even spoke, Dan lashed out, punching him full on in the nose, where he fell back into his hallway with blood and snot tricking down his face and slowly staining his cream cashmere jumper. Following up with a swift kick between the legs Dan bellowed ‘Stay the fuck away from my girlfriend’, before leaving Dr Kilpatrick whimpering, prone on the floor with a look of sheer terror and bewilderment written all over his bloodied face.

#

Opening the door to his apartment, Dan stepped inside and froze. Fiona and another woman both dressed in fur coats were stood facing him. They both opened up their coats in tandem to reveal matching white silk lingerie with stockings and black high heels to complete the look.
‘Dan, meet Kaitlin,’ purred Fiona running her tongue teasingly over her glossy ruby red lipstick ‘She is going to be sharing our bed with us from now on’.
Dan looked again, blinked, took a deep breath and then smiled like a simpleton before muttering “whoops”.

lust

Hope you enjoyed my short story which I wrote for a Valentine’s Day short story competition.

Would appreciate any feedback.

Enjoy your week everyone.

Craig x

Author, Book update, Craig,s blog, Crime, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Fight with the Devil – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

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Fight with the Devil

Day one

This is easy I tell myself. I can do this…I need to do this.

Confidence emanates from my every pore. My stride is purposeful; I’m driven on by my acceptance, confident that my battle will soon be over. The thought of my new life ahead excites me. I won’t be beaten again.

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm.

‘You’ve tried before.’

‘You’re not strong enough.’

Today I won’t let the negativity of others stop me from achieving my goal. Fuck them! I know better.

I head into town, shaking my head dispassionately at the number of weak people I observe consumed by their addiction, oblivious to how stupid they look, uncaring towards the damage they are inflicting onto their already weekend bodies.

I needed this walk. I needed to see what I’d become, and what I needed to leave behind.

This is easy I tell myself. I can do this…I need to do this.

Day 2

I can do this. I want to do this.

I feel good today. I’ve had to change my routine but I’m sure I can manage. I already feel fresher…even healthier, which is an unexpected bonus.

First meeting of the day does not go well for me. My worked load has increased and I can feel my stress levels rising.

Why now?

Why when I’ve just started out on this journey?

I’m starting to feel anxious and irritable. I consume myself with work hoping to block out the darkness inside of my head.

Doubts start creeping in. Maybe the time isn’t right. What if the others are correct and I am weak, destined to always be a slave to my addiction.

I feel an emptiness burning away inside.

My phone rings, other problems to attend to. I’m snappy and end the call quickly.

I didn’t feel like this the other day. I was happy then.

I’m starting to analyse my doubts. What if they were right I think to myself?

The feeling of euphoria from the previous day is long forgotten. The doubt has now consumed my soul, my every thought.

I open the draw of my desk where I know my emergency hit is sitting awaiting my return.

Feeling like a weight has been removed from my shoulders, I reach into the draw, decision made.

I want this…they do not own me…it’s my life…my choice…I can stop smoking whenever I want…Just not today.

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Hope you enjoyed my short story which I wrote a few months ago. Sadly based on my last battle.

Would appreciate any feedback.

Enjoy your week everyone.

Craig x

Author, Craig,s blog, music and writing, short story, Writing Inspiration

BAKU Street F1ghter 2018 – Grand Prix F1

street fighters

Hi Everyone.

This week has been a slow one for me with regards to progressing A Step into Darkness. I’ve mainly been concentrating on some last minute research due to a plot change in the middle of my story that presented itself from nowhere and seemed to good of an opportunity to miss (all hush hush at the minute).

The main reason that I have been unable to write is that I am getting ready for the arrival of two of my closest friends who are flying in on Friday morning to visit me in Baku and watch the F1 Grand Prix which is now in its third year of running here.

As I’ve been present at them all, and fingers crossed I will be here to attend many others in the future I thought I would share my experiences from this fantastic and highly anticipated event.

baku-f1-grand-prix car

The F1 in Baku is set in the best parts of the city. It heads along the magnificent Boulevard and then goes off into the narrow cobbled streets of the Old City.

The streets are lined with stands and the whole length of the Boulevard is set up for the fans with everything ranging from merchandise shops (ripping everyone off), bean bags for lounging in the sun, DJ’s blasting out tunes, various food and drinks outlets and for me the best thing of all…the Johnnie Walker Cocktail Bar.

To say the atmosphere is electric is an understatement. Locals, expat workers and tourists from all over the globe convey together in full party mode.

grand prix car 2

I had a drive down the track on Sunday and a walk along the Boulevard and everything is progressing well and the place looks great.

The best thing for me about the F1 is every year after the racing finishes there is a end of day concert and so far some pretty cool Artists have played here. These have been open air concerts but this year the event has been moved from June to April and as the weather is somewhat unpredictable here just now the concert venue has been moved to the Crystal Hall which is fairly new having been originally built for the Eurovision Song Concert. I’m as yet undecided if this venue will work.

The price of the F1 tickets for me as an Expat are so cheap. I don’t know how it fairs against other circuits around the world but a 4 day ticket cost me 250 Manats which is just under 100 GBP! The cost of this ticket covers a Pit Lane walk on the Thursday, Friday Practice Sessions, Saturday F2 racing and F1 Qualifying Round, Sunday main Race AND access to all 3 concerts.

Id like to finish of this short blog by giving my expectations of this year’s Artists and my reviews of the Artists from the last 2 years . (I have add to edit this section twice to remove all traces of swearing).
2018 Artists

JK

Liked his music years ago. Sadly though he really irritated me at the same time. God only knows how I will react on Friday night.

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I couldn’t remember her at all (Shocking guys I know). After looking at her on YouTube last night I don’t really care what she signs like. Didn’t realise she had had so many hits. So should be good.

DL

Have recently heard her songs in bars out here but never knew her name. After an education from my Daughter I am now familiar with her music and think she will go down well here.
2017Artists

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Tarkan – Turkish singer. Too cheesy for my liking but the locals loved him so fair play.

Nicole scherzinger – couldn’t make out a word she said but she redeemed herself later.

The Black Eyed Peas – Absolultly rocking. Had the whole crowd wild. Will never forget the memory of having my 73 year old mother bopping away at my side singing along happy as Larry. Nicole Scherzinger joined them for the missing Fergie parts and linked with them brilliantly. One cool night.

Mariah Carey – worst artist I have ever seen. Total diva. Couldn’t sing a tune and was like mutton dressed as lamb.
2016 Artists

2016 celebs

Chris Brown – Made everyone wait for over an hour to turn up. Then came on stage and did nothing but grab his bits and refer to everyone as motherFu**er and Bitch. Fair to say he didn’t go down too well with the locals.

Enrique Iglesias – Im going to be honest. I did not want to watch him. Everyman hates men who are more good looking than themselves. I can’t tell you what my dad used to call him. Went along at the last minute and you know what…he was really really good and a genuine nice guy. Everyone loved him and his music

Pharrell Williams – closed the weekend out and was my favourite for that year. Had everyone dancing. He was lively on stage and when he brought some local children on stage for one of his songs it was emotional.

Hope you have all enjoyed my review and rest assured I will be back on track with the final run in for my book very soon.

Take Care All

Craig x

craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com

Author, Craig,s blog, Crime, short story, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

70 Days – A Short Story by Craig Wrightson

Car 1

70 Days

Stepping out from the elevator, straight into my street, I light my first cigarette of the day, drawing the warmth of the smoke deep into my lungs, stirring my body into life. At 05.50am it will be another few hours before my brain attempts to wake up and function normally.

Stepping off the curb onto the road, I nearly go over on my ankle, correcting myself at the last minute. I remind myself that the curbs here are all different sizes; some you can lightly step off, some are so high, you need a parachute to control your decent.

Walking to my pick up point, I take in my surroundings, Giant apartment blocks surround both sides of the street, entrapping the community below, blocking out sunlight but allowing the relentless wind to pass through.

Everything I see is drab, dead or dying. No colour or life is permitted to prosper in this street.

My lift is waiting for me. Jumping into the back I greet my fellow passengers and co-workers good morning. Today I’m lucky, they return the greeting. Normally it is just acknowledged with a nod of the head. After nearly 10 weeks of the same routine I can hardly blame them.

Reaching to my side for my seat belt, I panic, it’s not there. Today, the car supplied has had them removed. “Who needs seat belts” the driver says” I’m number one driver”. I doubt this, for Christ sake you can buy a licence here for less than a hundred bucks.

Just to relax me even more, my driver leans forward and kisses the religious beads that hang from his rear view mirror.

Setting off at a hundred miles an hour, we immediately bounce over three pot holes, which jar every bone in my body.

Nearing the turn at the top of a hill, the driver flings the steering wheel to the left as a car exits a side street, narrowly missing us with no lights on and proceeds to reverse down the road. A corrupt police officer parked opposite watches on in ignorance.

Once the car hits the highway I allow myself to relax a little, cars overtaking inside and outside, driving with no lights, and the constant beeping of horns tends to keep you a tad nervous.

Arriving at our destination, I exit the car, only another 70 days to go. Welcome to my world.

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Hope you enjoyed my short story which I wrote late last year. Will share others with you also.

Would appreciate any feedback.

Enjoy your week everyone.

Craig x