>Tools and Tricks

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After a wonderful writing summer, my imagination and creativity seem to have been hibernating since November. Before Christmas I got stuck – in two works-in-progress.

But this week I have made a few tiny steps forward with my second cosy manuscript, The Halloween Murderer. I thought Rhapsody´s life was in a rut so I planned to send her off to the local pub for lunch. Not bad, perhaps, but today I changed the scene. On her way to the pub she comes across her new friend, April Hellifield, who is having a loud argument with another woman over a missing painting. Right there on the pavement. I already feel more optimistic.

Another new idea: Rhapsody needs a cross-point screwdriver so she knocks on her new neighbour´s door. A girl has to get out a bit, hasn´t she?

So now I just have to pull myself together and get writing.

The Naming Game
Thank you for your kind words about my blog and my flash stories in your anniversary cum competition emails yesterday. One participant asked me how I came up with the funny names in my stories.

It is much easier if I can come up with a theme for the story or novel. In The Cosy Knave most characters have family names which are related to sweets, biscuits and other brand names.

In my new work-in-progress, The Halloween Murderer, the women have flower names, and all the family names of the characters from ´Aldburgh´ are Yorkshire villages. So in this case it is just finding a list of those names (wonderfully imaginative; thank you Yorkshire) and pick a name which suits the character.

An important point to remember: don´t make up too many similar names. In The Cosy Knave I had female characters called Evy and Elvira. Fortunately my beta readers told me it was confusing so I first tried to rename Evy, but she wasn´t very cooperative. Then I tried calling Elvira Olivia, and I think Olivia Cadbury-Flake was quite satisfied with that.

And some time last year I participated in a flash fiction challenge: make up characters with brand names. Perhaps you´d like to revisit Tea for Ten ITea for Ten II to see my little name game.

And Shots is a Knavesborough flash story that suddenly came out of nowhere.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in cozy mystery, Gershwin & Penrose, Halloween Murderer, The Cosy Knave. Bookmark the permalink.

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