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#Youdunnit – the crowdsourced crime stories

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youdunnitWhat do you do if you’re a crime fiction lover but you just can’t write? Well, one idea is to get a top crime fiction author to write a story for you. Recently, Penguin invited readers to do just that with its #youdunnit Twitter campaign, drafting in Tim Weaver, Nicci French (aka Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) and new author Alistair Gunn to craft stories based on ideas tweeted online. The project has resulted in the free #Youdunnit book, which you can download free on Amazon.

Here’s how it worked: Penguin and Specsavers asked crime fiction fans to tweet plot ideas, murder weapons, characters and so forth using the #youdunnit hashtag. These suggestions were combed through by the authors, who selected the best of them and assembled them into the bare bones of their storylines. Then they set about writing one crime story each – The Following by Nicci French; Disconnection by Tim Weaver; and Hashtag, Bodybag by Alistair Gunn. Each writer has used the same main character, Lucinda Berrington, and across the three tales she solves crimes in the British countryside, in Cape Town, and in the world of professional cycling.

Twitter followers even suggested what would go on the cover – a broken bicycle. The result is a 100-page book that Penguin has printed, seemingly for promotional purposes, as well as a Kindle book which is free on Amazon. It’s all a big, fun experiment. See what you think following the link below.

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