Keeping an eye on the media

Perhaps the richest sources of ideas are newspapers, television and radio. Keep your eyes and ears open for the unusual stories and quirky programmes tucked away between the major items. All kinds of things can capture your imagination.

For example, a BBC Radio 4 programme about the potentially dull topic of making a will inspired me to write a short story for Bella magazine's 'Mini Mystery' page. The programme highlighted the legal pitfalls facing people who wish to make unusual wills and the idea captured my imagination.

Having gleaned the necessary technical legal information, I soon had the protagonist, beneficiary and terms of the will clearly formed in my mind. From there, it was a short step to writing the story, sending it off to my editor and seeing it in print.

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