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The Mystery Of Your 10-Word Novel

theakston old peculiar bottle angled

This pic I took a few years ago. It does not happen to be of my tipple of choice.

I learned the hard way at the underground yet committed Camra (campaign for real ale) nights. When the only attendees (all male) were students (like me) and those ‘oldies’ with big bushy straggly beards. Far removed from being the forerunners of today’s craft beer hipsters.

You could stand a spoon up in the stuff.

For the record my fave back then still exists today; Old Hooky.

Anyway, Theakston’s Old Peculiar maintains a devoted fanbase. Which seems to coincide with readers of crime fiction.

They sponsor a leading get-together, as well as once running a pr-baiting competition around it; write your own ten-word crime novel.

By way of instruction, six famous writers created their own. And would duly crown a winner.

The Festival the year of my photo was 2010. The winner;

Corinne Cirkovic:
Only their photo remained. Ellie’s face blood-spattered, Kirsten’s smiling.

So. Desire piqued in ten words. A decapitch, perhaps?

I was taken with how this carves away at one of the ‘present to stick‘ pillars. Namely set out a mystery at the very beginning. Your audience will remain engaged, awaiting your reveal of the outcome.

Could a tale of intrigue and marvel emerge from how your clients’ routines are changed for the better?

Is this something that could apply to your team of literary minded sellers? If it does, then you could be on to a real, setting apart winner of an angle as you drop that second slide….


theakston 10word crime novel label

As inspiration from the published esteem, here’s the full sextet of the judges;

Simon Kernick, Dark House:
Picked off one by one. Four…Three…Two…It’s You!
Simon Beckett, The Case of the Killer Cliché:
“Good grief!” exclaimed Bertie. “The butler really did do it!”
Stuart MacBride, The Cold Embrace:
The dead never leave you. That’s why I love them…
NJ Cooper, The Day Lonnie Went Too Far:
The coke hit. Lonnie smiled. Then came pain. Lonnie died.
Val McDermid, Hannibalism:
“Would you like your kidneys with fava beans and chianti?”
Mark Billingham, Two Birds:
She loved me. Then her. Now, neither can love anyone.
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