I killed my husband with my bare hands.

Those are the opening words to a story I want to write.

These days I find it easier to start writing with the first few words rather than a title or the entire plot in mind. Changes are welcome along the way.

Then there is the struggle with characterization. The art of making each character memorable and sympathetic.

So, I have been thinking of writing a story birthed from a think thank. I supply the skeletal plot and y’all get to help flesh it out ūüôā

Returning back to the opening words: “I killed my husband with my bare hands”.

A murder has just taken place. A man is pronounced dead by the paramedics in his home and his wife is the prime suspect.

No, this is not your NCIS LA, blood and guts murder. The husband dies after eating a meal.

The paramedics rule for food poisoning, but that isn’t the cause actually. Well, nothing deliberate.

This couple are newly married and absolutely in love. “Who cares if my wife can’t cook?” The husband often says.

Let’s just say her in-laws did not take this well and accused the wife of starving their son.

She enrolls in a combination of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school (her choice) and Iya Basira’s kitchen (in-laws’ choice).

This is the story of the ill-fated dish that became her husband’s last meal.

Where do you come in?

Characters: Let’s build her husband. What is his age? His profession, temperament, physical appearance, and any additional detail that would matter. The same goes for the wife. What is her educational background? Profession? Do these play a role in her inability to deliver in the kitchen? What kind of culture is this newly married couple part of? Does the go-and-marry syndrome reflect here. Then the cantankerous in-laws.

Elements: It’s already been established that this story doesn’t have a happy ending, so comic relief along the way is needed. Think of catastrophic recipes and what can go wrong in the learning how to cook process.

Plot: Is more action needed?¬† Even if the “murder” gets the story started, is it enough to sustain the plot and its characters through to the end.

Let’s get our imaginations and keypads clicking here. There is a story to be written.

Sign up to receive news on art, literature, and travel in Nigeria and select world locations.

Take the first step and sign up! Don't delay.


  • September 29, 2015 at 2:21 am

    I will be sending my thoughts on this one…sounds interesting and fun!!!

  • September 29, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    The Husband is a Nigerian and the wife from Asian countrie. The meet while schooling abroad feel in love came back to Nigeria to get married and settle down.

    The boys perants are wealthy and preferably would have wanted there first son to be married to a Nigerian, but with the way things are , They are ready to let go if the woman there new daughter inlaw can Nigerialis. This means making sure that the woman can make Nigerian food.

    That’s all for now.
    Nma you can edit this for now.


  • December 14, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I had made a mental note to comment on this later but I just never got round to it.

    The husband and the wife are both Nigerians, upper class, the girl is an artist and the husband is a medical doctor. The kind of guy who is confident in his abilities and his looks. He would automatically prescribe some thing when you complain of an illness, hardly the type to sympathise, just take the drugs and get better, he sees a potential patient in every illness, cold, methodical, effective, and very good at what he does. She is a featherbrain, disorganized, forgetful, absent minded. Horrible at fashion, never remembers to make her hair, bespectacled, the only thing she is brilliant at are her paintings. She is so good at painting, she breathes life into her work, she gets lost in her work, it’s her safe haven, it’s her fairy tale world, and once she is there, she forgets every other thing…

    Until she met him, she had clumsily cut herself again, she would have ignored it if it wasn’t on her left hand, she is lefthanded. She rushed to the hospital, get it taken care of so she can get back to her latest painting “hypnotised”. When she stepped into the consulting g room, she was not paying attention as usual, until he spoke, his voice pulled her in, and he was struck by the lost look in her eyes, he could see them beyond her glasses, he just wanted to rescue her, and she just could not look away, thus began their love. Not a conventional love, no one believed he was marrying her, she was so not his type, and no one believed she was getting married, no one belived she would ever get married, but they were in love, he was the only one that could drag her out of her painting world, and she was the only one that could get him worried, make him cry, like when she had to have her tonsils taken out, and he hid his tears at her pain.

    It was their wedding anniversary, she had forgotten for the previous 3 years, but what with the recent tension in the house following her mother in law’s visit, and her subsequent 3 months cooking course, she wanted to surprise him, make dinner! She decided on groundnut soup.she didn’t even know what his favorite was, he always took care of their meals, he was the efficient one, he remembered everything. But groundnut soup sounded good. She set about making it, got all the ingredients … (sorry supply comic relief, I don’t feel comical right now)


    He was so surprised and pleased that he did not enquire as to the content of the meal, “my wife made me dinner!”, he kept repeating that. He sat down to the sumptuous meal, best meal he ever had. An hour later, he clutched his throat wide eyed look, and fell to the ground, she came running to the sitting room, he looked bloated, his face, his neck, his hands and legs, all swollen. “What…was in the…soup?” “Nothing, it’s just regular groundnut soup like I was taught” “I’m…alergic to…groundnut!” Those were his last words.


Let's hear your story

%d bloggers like this: