Uncategorized

A Step Into Darkness – October Update

clear emoji clips

Hi Everone,

Sorry for the lack of updates lately regarding ‘A Step Into Darkness.’

I received my professional editorial feedback from Jericho Writers.

The report was professional with good constructive criticism and feedback. For me, it was worth every penny spent.

I have a few scenes to re-write and I need to develop my MC slightly. I was provided with a few other pointers which I have taken on board.

I have been told that I have a really nice and strong central idea with the potential to really create a page-turner.

The statement above has truly lifted my spirits. I did expect to receive such praise and encouragement when I submitted the first MS as my first ever novel.

I think a month or so of hard work shall have the story ready for re-submission.

All part of the process which I am loving.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to like or share this post

Craig Wrightson 16th October 2018

http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

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

A Step into Darkness September Update

silhouette photography of people near body of water

 

Hi everyone. Sorry for the decline of my blogs and updates, August was a crazy month for me.

I’m pleased to announce that the editing of my debut novel is now complete. This has been submitted today for a professional edit.

My next step will depend on the feedback I receive which may take up to six weeks. I promise to keep you updated.

During this 6 weeks downtime I intend to start the planning and structuring for my next book.

Also during this time I intend to self publish some short stories I have been working on. These are in a complete new genre at the opposite end to the spectrum from my current crime thrillers. I’m going to publish under a  pseudonym which I don’t intend to disclose. This is merely for fun and I’m keen to see where it takes me.

Don’t panic though I have a growing list of crime thriller ideas that I intend to do justice to.

Thanks again for your support and patience.

Craig

P.s I know I have been trying to push everyone to write there own story….if this is not for you then I encourage you to read. Read as often and as much as you can. Trust me, the escape does you good.

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

A Step into Darkness September Update

silhouette photography of people near body of water

 

Hi everyone. Sorry for the decline of my blogs and updates, August was a crazy month for me.

I’m pleased to announce that the editing of my debut novel is now complete. This has been submitted today for a professional edit.

My next step will depend on the feedback I receive which may take up to six weeks. I promise to keep you updated.

During this 6 weeks downtime I intend to start the planning and structuring for my next book.

Also during this time I intend to self publish some short stories I have been working on. These are in a complete new genre at the opposite end to the spectrum from my current crime thrillers. I’m going to publish under a  pseudonym which I don’t intend to disclose. This is merely for fun and I’m keen to see where it takes me.

Don’t panic though I have a growing list of crime thriller ideas that I intend to do justice to.

Thanks again for your support and patience.

Craig

P.s I know I have been trying to push everyone to write there own story….if this is not for you then I encourage you to read. Read as often and as much as you can. Trust me, the escape does you good.

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

frustration 1-2838945_1920

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

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

Book Update -A Step into Darkness – Teaser 1

drugs-1276787_1920

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

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.

pexels-photo-808908.jpeg

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

Author, Book update, Crime, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Writing Inspiration Part 2

face-3189819_1920

In one of my previous blogs I shared some information about a humorous tale that highlighted the fact that inspiration can and will appear unexpectedly and how as writers / story tellers we must learn to identify this moment and act upon it immediately before it is lost for good.

This incident which I am going to share with you is about being prepared to act, it also reinforces what I said in my Author Bio section of my website Laughcryandwrite.com about having the right tools at hand such as notebooks, post it notes, camera, dictaphone etc.

In one of the earlier chapters of my book I was introducing my second protagonist (in this case a local police detective) I wrote what I thought was a rather entertaining scene. In this scene my protagonist encounters a somewhat unique character. I wrote about this character with the intention that my readers would feel sorry for him. In this case he was caught up in something rather seedy and disgusting to say the least.

After reviewing this section of the story a number of times it just didn’t feel right to me. For my readers to truly identify with the character I felt they needed more depth in order to visualize him in his true glory by engaging all of their senses.

No matter how many times I rewrote the character description I just didn’t feel that I was giving the character and my readers the justice they deserved.

Honestly this took up most of writing schedule for a week and was slowly starting to drive me insane.

I knew I would be disappointed with myself I didn’t get this right, even though it is such a small part of the story. If I accepted second best now early in the story I was worried that I’d be tempted to do this again in other sections if I started struggling.

I always knew my first novel was going to be a learning curve for me anyway, so I was happy to keep chipping away at it confident in my writing ability.

For me it’s not about blasting out a story out as quick as possible, it’s about finishing a story knowing you have put your heart and soul into it, where I the writer am confident that the story is a good as it is ever going to be.

That Saturday I was a work and a colleague whom I had not seen for some time wandered into my office for a coffee and chat. I was engrossed doing something but the second I looked up from my desk I immediately thought ‘Here is my pervert.’

As I looked at him, everything I wanted to portray in my character jumped out at me. I half listened as he chatted away; concentrating instead on describing everything I could about him, noting his height, build, wacky hairstyle, walk and voice. I made a mental note of his facial expressions and all of his individual mannerisms.

The minute he left my office I put all of this down into my note book that I try to carry with me at all times and when I got home I had the character completed just as I wanted within twenty minutes. Result.

This just goes to show you even the slightest moment can trigger something. Be prepared to embrace every encounter and experience and utilize them in your story development.

I would just like to point out that my colleague who allowed me to visualize my character properly for the first time is in fact a very decent, down to earth guy and in no way a monster. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I won’t name my friend after my character assassination of him but thank you anyway. It does bring a smile to my face now every time I see him now as I can’t but help picturing him up to all sorts of seediness.

I’d like to finish this blog off by sharing my top 5 Stephen King quotes that I found both dark and thought inspiring.

e718406b4ceb7687183d046aa0225bf6

quiet-people-have-the-loudest-minds-stephen-king-quote

6834-Stephen-King-Quote-The-scariest-moment-is-always-just-before-you

maxresdefault

s king 3
I hope you have all enjoyed this blog and I look forward to the next one.
Take Care
Craig x
craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com