Humping a friend’s horse’s manure into a bucket the other day, I wondered if there might be a story in it.  The poo-picking, not the bucket.  Black Beauty and My Little Pony must have started somewhere, I pondered.  A sunny day, an isolated farm... was this the beginning of a crime novel I saw before me?   Would we find a body under the wood shavings?  Maybe it would be the Horse What Done It, so there’d be no case to answer - unless said horse had been led astray and those powerful hooves were in fact the murder weapon - and that put me in mind of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected. What a fabulously Victorian turn of phrase.  And then that put me in mind of Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids.... and then Goosebumps.... and off I went, down a very dark and worrying tunnel of thought, popping out in to the light of human psychology and what it is that drives us to read or write about dastardly deeds.  

Returning from the farm and washing away that aromatic tanginess that only horse manure brings, I sat down at my computer and had a go at writing a crime short story - it was bloody awful.  No, really.  Too much blood.  Certainly not my finest piece of work, so for obvious reasons won’t be sharing it here with you.  Like any good detective, I came to a conclusion - I cannot write crime.  However, having since read many articles by those who can and have, for anyone thinking about going into this area of fiction writing, you may find the below links of helpful. 

Naill Leonard - author tips

Read those? Now have a go at this!

The Crime Writers Association Short Story Competition  (Deadline 16th March) I have a strong feeling that it may be the horse what done it after all...