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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > March 2016 > Inspiring words

Inspiring words

Ideas can come from just about anywhere, suggests Lynne Hackles, in the third article on randomly generating ideas


Pick a card. Any card.’ We’ve all heard this said by magicians just before the magic happens. Now change one word – card to book – and see if you get a magical result.

Pick a book. Any book.

Do you have a list of favourite authors? Do you prefer one genre? Have you ever considered what choosing a book at random could do for you? Every time I visit the library I pick one book at random. Sometimes I may choose one because I like the title but mostly it’s a case of choosing a shelf, running my fingers along it and selecting a book. Any book. There’s no reading the blurb and deciding it’s not for me. That would be cheating. Whatever is chosen gets read, or sometimes only partly read. If it’s really not grabbing you after you’ve given it a fair chance there’s no point in wasting time reading to the end. Life’s too short. But often I find an author who gets added to my list of favourites.

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Slow down! Why word counts and targets aren't always good for your writing Synopsis secrets: The single page that will sell your book Top tips for every genre:- • Crime: Perfect pacemaking • Five ways to grow creatively as a children's author • Explore the new trend for genre-blending fantasy Masterclass: Study the style and stories of Henry Fielding, James Thurber, Rudyard Kipling and Roald Dahl Star interview: Anne O'Brien, the challenger to Philippa Gregory's crown WIN! A PC worth £600

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