Thursday, 3 January 2013

A New Challenge

A New Year – and time to kick this blog into life again. For the last couple of months, the majority of my blogs have been for Six Sentence Sunday. However, the SSS blog hop is sadly ending this month, so I’ve been giving some thought to my future blog posts.
I’ve signed up for the 100K words in 100 days challenge (on Facebook) – not sure I’ll manage it, but hey, it’s worth a try! Sally Quillford, the instigator of the challenge, recently listed some possible ‘prompts’ for writing.
One of these was:
Go to and click on Random Article. Write something inspired by the post that appears. Feel free to keep clicking till you find something that inspires you.
Okay, that sounded interesting – so I decided to have a go, and set myself the extra challenge of writing about the first article that came up, rather than searching for one that immediately inspired me. I also decided I would try to link it in some way to romance writing in general.
So the first ‘Random Article’ was about a book entitled ‘Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry’. Gulp! I haven’t done any biology or chemistry since I was about 14, but I read the article anyway
The book deals with the “translation of discoveries in life sciences to therapeutic and diagnostic products for the benefit of mankind” which includes things like stem cells and tissue engineering (and a lot of other things about which I didn’t have a clue!)
As I’d set myself this challenge, and didn’t want to admit defeat on the very first attempt, I started to think of all the discoveries that have happened during my lifetime. Without knowing a lot about medical advances, I could still list quite a few basic ones: antibiotics, the eradication of smallpox, the development of vaccines, the amazing advances in heart surgery (I remember the first heart transplant in 1967 – it seemed nothing short of miraculous then!), the many advances in cancer treatment, and IVF treatment.
Linking a topic like this to writing in general would probably be fairly easy for someone with a medical background – doctors and surgeons are always popular heroes or heroines, and someone involved in medical research could also provide an interesting story. The nearest I’ve got is a veterinary surgeon in one of my current ‘works-in-progress’ but there are other possibilities that might provide the basis for a story, even for a non-medical person like me.
Here are a few that have jumped into my mind:
- Hero and heroine meet at a clinical trial for a new medication.
- One character donates bone marrow or a kidney to another, or to the child of another.
- Character , after discovering a possible new treatment of a disease, has to decide whether to allow his (or her) spouse/partner/lover or parent or child to be the first recipient of this treatment.
- Parents disagree about treatment for their sick child.
- Heroine gives permission for her husband’s heart to be donated after his tragic death, and then meets the recipient of the heart.
Have you other ideas you could add to this list?
Next week I’ll do another ‘Random Article’ search and see what comes up! Watch this space…


  1. I am a holistic health person, haven't taken any medications in twenty-five years other than Tylenol for a bad headache. Once.
    My next WIP will be the story of an herbalist and a doctor and their clash of views on health and healing. It's outlined...

  2. Next WIP sounds good, Ana!
    The only thing I take is paracetemol (our equivalent of Tylenol) to forestall a migraine.

  3. Recipient of donor organ/part recovering and then displaying likes or traits they never had before, and then finding out that these new things were what the donor liked.

    I became interested in this side of medicine after reading numerous articles about such instances. It also became apparent that a person's personality is not just in their heart or brain tissue but in every part of their DNA, therefore every bit of you, from skin cells to major organs, comprises what makes you 'You'.

    I think I saw a film set along these lines some years ago. A convicted murderer had been cut up and donated to a number of people in need.His ghost or whatever returned to reclaim all the various bits to make himself whole again.

  4. Ooh, that's an intriguing idea, Jackie! It could give a whole different meaning to a story entitaled 'A New Heart'.

  5. My brain is fairly dead today, so I couldn't come up with an idea of my own, but I love this list of ways to jump start writing!

    Good luck with your 100K words! If anyone can do it, you can Paula...

  6. Thanks, Debra. Yesterday I was 600 below target total for 4 days, so I have some catching up to do!

  7. I admire your willingness to embrace the new challenge, Paula! I still have too many projects on my own list to be written or finished so I'll be giving that challenge a miss. But what a lot of ideas you've come up with already.

  8. I'm not saying I'll end up writing any of those ideas, Rosemary, but using the Random Article on Wikipedia is an interesting prompt!