Some time ago I woke up with a story almost fully formed in my mind. This was inspired by a lady I had got to know very well online. She told a very interesting life story. Of course it is possible that as it was an online association, she may have been exaggerating or making things up. I don't let such things bother me. The scenario for the story was that she was a socially isolated person who had suddenly come to the attention of the intelligence services because of her unconventional relationship with a man who was suspected of committing a major crime. This man disappears from her life in the first cahpter. For the story to work she needed to have made contact with various people via a relationship type forum. At least one of these people would be based in Ireland and would arrange for her to be sneaked out of the country in a fishing boat. So for this story to work she would have to have made friends with a number of people who could not be linked to her directly by work or social contacts. While I did lay a lot of this one out and start writing out sections, I eventually abandoned it as I felt that the use of an online forum as a plot device felt just a bit too contrived. As I could think of no other way for her to have made friends with strangers, one of whom was in a different country, I have done no more with it. So, is using forums as plot devices corny? Should I resurrect it? It did have some beautifully visceral bits in it.