Author, Book update, Crime, halloween, horror, short story, Thriller, Writing Inspiration

The long Awaited Update

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Hi everyone…. before I start with this blog I need to apologise to everyone for the long gap between my last post. All I can say is that things have been very hectic on the writing front for me during the first half of 2019.

I set myself a demanding writing schedule for this year, and touch wood I have stuck to it.

The picture above is of me writing in the mountains of Azerbaijan in the soaring heat, where I had a great few hours with the crazy and talented photographer Sasha.

As well as writing I have also surprisingly found time to discover two amazing authors who series of books have been keeping me very entertained in between writing. I hope my writing can be of a similar high standard one day. The authors are:

LJ Ross – Author of the DCI Ryan series set in Northumberland and Newcastle.

Chris Carter – Author of the Robert Hunter Series.

If you are looking for something new and fresh to read I highly recommend these two authors.

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A Step into Darkness – Update – July 2019

As I updated last year, I received some very promising feedback on ‘A Step into Darkness’ which is my first, stand-alone crime thriller set in Northumberland UK. He recommended I rewrote a few scenes, however, once I started my rewrite, I realised that my writing in the later part of the story was far superior to the writing I made in the first half. I didn’t want to let anyone down, let alone myself so I have painstakingly gone through the story page by page. I believe it is now a much more polished story and I hope my readers will also too.

The book is now back with my editor. I should have feedback by the end of summer so wish me luck and watch this page.

Further Writing of 2019 from Kids stories to Horror

January, February and March were horrendous this year in Baku, with ice-cold temperatures, rain and lots and lots of wind (it is nicknamed the windy city). For some strange reason, as I knew I was going to be cabin bound for some time, I got it into my head to try another genre in order to improve my writing skills.

Remembering how I used to enjoy writing stories even as a child, I decided to try my hand at writing a children’s book, aimed specifically at 3-6-year-olds. The planning and plotting stage was really fun (it wasn’t so difficult to take my mind back to that of a child’s 🙂 )

Anyway, after much deliberation, I came up with my character – ‘The Adventures of Horace the Hesitant Hare.’ My first Horace story is planned to encourage youngsters to eat more fruit and as well as having a simple storyline it is colourful with the odd rhythm inside to keep the kids entertained while reading. I wrote this on Powerpoint and really enjoyed the experience. I have enlisted the help of a local illustrator and not really sure how this will pan out just yet.

In May I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo which is an international writing competition where you set your own target and have a full month to complete. After enjoying my first taste of horror writing last year I decided to start a compilation of short horror stories that I hope to be ready for Halloween. In May’s competion I surpassed my 12K word target and wrote the first two stories.

I am now in the second week of Julys Camp NaNoWriMo and plan to complete a further two spooky short stories. I’m progressing well with 4K words down so far and have my plan prepared for both stories.

I have a few ideas about what to do with the compilation once complete but I will let my followers know. I can promise though that it will be available in some format.

The Compilation is called When Darkness Beckons’ and the stories completed/planned so far are about:

  1. Victorian Grave Diggers
  2. Subhuman Soldiers of the SS during WW2
  3. Devil Worshipers and Human Sacrifice
  4. Chemical Fall Out

Inspiration

That brings me to the end of my blog. I just want to share one message. As you can see from my update, writing can take many shapes and forms and there is a style to suit everyone. Never be afraid to start, do it for yourself and do it for fun.

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Hope you have all enjoyed this blog. Please don’t hesitate to leave some feedback or ask any questions (I promise to answer).

I am happy for this blog to be shared and if you haven’t already – please sign up to my website http://www.laughcryandwrite.com to receive regular updates.

Enjoy your summer everyone and as always …. one love

Craig Wrightson

P.S I have also just updated my website… check it out and see what you think

http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

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A Step Into Darkness – October Update

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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

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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

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

June Book Update – Craig Wrightson

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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

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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.

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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

 

 

 

#IAMDBB, #massiveattack, #mavericksabre, #petshopboysftexample, #texasftmethodman, Author, Crime, music and writing, Thriller, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration

Writing Inspiration Part 3 – Writing and Music – My Current Top 5 Tracks when Working

 

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There is a long standing debate in the writing community as whether you should listen to music whilst your writing. Some are all for it and some totally disagree. Sure there is no hard and fast rule that must be obeyed and I’m in the middle with this theory.

Those who are in agreement with the music and writing collaboration working well together claim that the music promotes inspiration and enhances the mood of the writer. I can see the logic of this, I know that sometimes when I’m watching an epic movie, the soundtrack behind it if chosen correctly will conjure up all sorts of thoughts and memories. No one can argue that the music from Jaws does not provoke a sense of fear within them and will continue to do so no matter how many times they watch the movie. Listening to my favourite music in the car often causes the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up as it is so empowering to me as an individual.

My own personal thoughts on the matter is if a writer is fully immersed within his / her story, plotlines and characters then he / she will have already evoked all of the required senses and feelings required to do the story justice and if like me, he / she will already be living with the plot and characters fully embedded in their mind 24/7 during the whole writing process.

For me on my journey I have tried both options, writing with music and without music and I have to admit that I feel I write better without listening to music.

I like to write on a large table or desk with all my notes laid out in front of me and my chapter planner at hand. Before even starting to write I quickly jot down a list of what I want to achieve that day (What is the status at the start, what needs to change in the middle and  what needs to happen at the end I also note what do I intend to portray to the reader). Once all this is done it’s a quick refresh of the notes and Im off! I don’t like interruption or distraction though I can tolerate a small amount, I wont stop writing until I have achieved everything  identified on my list.

Music is a big NO NO for me when it comes to editing. I have to do this alone in total silence, first checking the text on my screen quickly rectifying any glaring errors and typos. After printing out the section I plan to edit, I read it out aloud, very slowly. This can be highly painstaking as it may take 2 or 3 attempts to satisfy me that everything is good and how I want it to sound. By this time, the print out is littered with numerous scribbles , notes and cross outs which I immediately transfer onto my laptop to make the last edits before saving.

Now one part of the book writing process where music does work for me is at the Planning Stage. I use an assortment  of playlists stored on my Spotify App and the type of music I select depends on what stage of the story I am planning. For example when planning a sad scene I will listen to something completely different than if I was planning a fight scene. Like I said at the beginning of the blog at this stage of the writing progress the correct music will inspire me and enhance my mood making me feel more in touch with my story. I can often be found strutting around or mincing around my apartment writing down snippets of ideas (not a nice thought).

Now at the end of my blog it seems that my statement of improved writing without music is correct but I do embrace music in my writing process. Hence that is why I sit on the fence on the whole debate of writing and music. Each to their own and if it works for them then that’s great.

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I have went through my Spotify playlists and have identified what music I have been working to for the past 2 month. It’s a bit of an odball list but I want to share my current top 5 musics tracks with you – My readers and my friends

No 1 Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy


No 2 – Texas ft Method Man – Say What you Want


No 3 Pet Shop Boys ft Example – Thursday


No 4 – IAMDDB – Running


No 5 – Maverick Sabre – Come Fly Away

 

Hope you have found this fun.

Till the next time

 

Craig x

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

Breaking News – Site Update

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Hi All,

Hope you all had a great weekend and that your Monday hasn’t beaten you just yet.

Just to announce that over the weekend I have further updated my website http://www.laughcryandwrite.com

After reading my Author Bio page I was shocked to discover how sad I had portrayed myself. Therefore I have taken the massive step of sharing more information on myself such as hobbies and interests (Scary thought) and added some further photographs and pictures to stop all my readers from falling asleep.

Small update on the book progress as well.

Please feel free to visit my site at your leisure. I would be grateful if you can send me your comments on the site and blogs so I can find out what you like or don’t like and identify what works for you – the valued reader.

Don’t forget to click on the Follow Me button to receive further updates and blogs.

As usual I will leave you with another inspirational quote.

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Have a great week everyone. See you all soon

Craig x

craigwrightson@laughcryandwrite.com

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

Writing Inspiration Part 2

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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.

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

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