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Embarrassing Handbag Contents

Giant Handbag seen at WelshpoolPhil: The 5-page challenge is going well. I’ve knocked out the basic story for the scene. Now it needs a few more laughs injected into it. So I’m asking for your help.

In the scene, a handbag is dropped and it’s contents spill out. If this happened to you, what could be the most embarrassing item on display ?

A few rules:

My scene featured two female characters, so we are looking for something that you (assuming you are a lady – dressing like on at the weekend doesn’t count) would be ashamed for another women to see.

  • No sanitary products. There are a couple of reasons. The first I won’t tell you but it relates to the place all this is happening. The second, men can find tampons embarrassing but not women (If the mere mention of a tampon makes you snigger, you are a teenage boy. This blog, and our book,  is not for you, please go to your newsagent where you will find magazines with ladies showing their boobies. Bye-bye). On the other hand men don’t understand why the wrong colour lip-gloss is a major disaster. It’s a gender thing.
  • No electric willies. That one’s been done a million times. Boring.
  • No gimp masks. See above.
  • Whips. Seriously, no one carries these in handbags do they ?

Please drop suggestions in the comments section below. The authors decision is final. If we really like your idea, perhaps we’ll sign your copy of the book for free at a major launch event in the future. We might even let you have a photo taken with us. If it’s absolutely brilliant, so funny it gets us a publishing deal, we’ll buy you a cake at the same time. A nice one too, not some supermarket multi-pack jobbie.

Note: For those wondering why I don’t just ask Nolan to come up with an idea, I’m sure she has never carried anything embarrassing in her handbag and if she has, it might be better for our friendship that I stay innocent of its contents. Anyway, at the moment all I’d get suggested would be fake tan – “I wouldn’t want anyone thinking my healthy glow wasn’t real, would I ?”


Filed under Phil, Writing

The 5 page challenge

Gingerbread ManPhil: I don’t quite know how it happened, but out of our post-festival discussions, we decided that The Book needed more than just a good “hook” at the start. What it needs is a whole chapter to grab the reader by the (metaphorical) balls. Autumn Barlow suggested many months ago that we ought to try a prologue and that sounds as good a way of doing the job as any.

So, because Nolan is on holiday (Again. Yes, I have been left to look after the writing shop while she swans off to sunny parts. Do I complain, of course not. I mean it’s not like I can’t remember the last time I took a proper break. Well, it is but I don’t worry, hard work brings its own rewards. I will take a bit of pleasure from making sure the country is still running while she tops up the tan and drinks strange, exotic cocktails by the pool. I digress) which leaves me with a week to try to come up with something. It’s not like I have to go to work or anything…

My mission, is to write 5 pages that could be described as “kick-ass”.

They need to throw the reader into the middle of one of our more uproarious passages but in a way that allows us to return to the scene later on without anyone experiencing a great big unpleasent dollop of deja-vu. As well as this, I have to introduce some mystery by dangling snippets of plot that will be resolved toward the end of the book but without giving any important details away. No pressure then.

I can’t even remember how we decided that this ought to be 5 pages long. Perhaps someone mentioned it at the event, but it does seem a reasonable length. If you can get the reader to page 5 with a suitably sore bottom then they will presumably stick with the rest of the book to find our what the hell you were going on about.

All this is like being back as school – teacher will summon me to her desk, and I will be expected to present my homework for approval. After I say “What a lovely tan you are sporting” at least, or no gold star for me.


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Filed under Phil, Writing