As well as the neat categories mentioned below, we had plenty of other ideas from the members of Birmingham Writers Group.

Index cards, and if you look carefully you can see yesterday’s credit card bill – for £666

Self contained chapter headings

Here are the entries that are irresistible as chapter headings by themselves. If we have the energy, some of them sound like whole novels.


Mr Clovenhoof…
has the final word
versus the Yorkshire Terrier
is not amused
went there
talks to the hand
makes no excuses
saves the wrong whale
sorts his shit out


Do we call them inspired, random, or just plain odd?
Some of these might be harder to work with. But you never know.


Mr Clovenhoof…
hosts ‘Have I got news for you?’
kicks a pigeon
and the mystery of the inexpicably cheerful grandmother
the day of the petulant budgie
the canonisation of Kevin
a hangover and an unexplained pot
the governor of the sands
and the full English fry-up fandango
Ben’s wasp goes AWOL
The flight into eternal trepidation
The sinister lump in the carpet
The secret of the china chamber pot
Who shot the Cuckoo Clock?
Mrs Flowerdew’s corsets
The tragedy of Miss Potter’s knickers
Who Slew the Aspidistra?