Ready for a Holiday #writerslife #writing #amwriting

Sick club…

I’ve not been well for a few months now with a cold and then a cough that just won’t go away. But this is my last week of work and then I am taking a three week holiday. Really looking forward to a nice relaxing break….Okay, and maybe just a smidgen of fun 😉

Back to the blog…

So, I’m well and truly fed up of the sick club and can’t wait to get back to blogging. I have some fun blog posts queued up and will get cracking on them while I am on holiday! So pull up your chair and get the popcorn out!

Happy holidays…

I’ll be in Brisbane for Christmas and New year, and I will also drop a couple of posts of our travels while there. It’s been over five years since my last visit and I expect it will have changed a fair bit. It’s a long flight from Perth, too, so any scifi or fantasy reading recommendations would be appreciated!

Writerly stuff…

When I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself I was busy writing my new book series. I’m into editing now and happy with the way the book turned out. I usually aim for 100-110k and then cut about 10-20%. This time I didn’t quite make 90k in the draft and it’s tracking at around 80k after the first editing cull. I normally struggle to keep the word count down so this is a new experience for me! I’m comfortable with the storyline and will see how it feels as I read. Sometimes gaps become obvious later, but I would rather it was a good 80k than try and pad it out!

Book 2 for the Divided World Series should be coming out in print soon. And Book 3 just needs a final read, so lots coming in the new year!

Let’s get creative…

I’ve had a lot of fun writing the new book. It was nice to get back into the creative side of writing after so long editing and tweaking the last series. But now the draft is done, I do enjoy the editing 🙂

Happy reading and writing! 🙂

Why writers should ‘think’ a little evil #amwriting #writerslife #writing

I thought I would take a little time out from my WIP to talk about writers, and more specifically their evil nature.

Now, I realise that being a writer doesn’t make you any more disposed toward a life of crime, or even being unkind because it certainly doesn’t. Although please never check a writer’s search history because you will soon be convinced we are plotting an assassination attempt and looking for ways to hide the body!

What I am talking about is conflict…because every good book needs conflict…and the only way to think up conflict is…you guessed it…to think a little evil.

Planning evil

Right in the very earliest stages of your novel’s development, when it is no more than a twinkling in the dark pit of your mind…there is conflict bubbling up to the surface.

Without conflict or challenge there is only a…millpond.

I’m going to let you in on a secret…nobody wants to read about a millpond because it’s BORING!

What we need is stormy seas and howling winds, and a few pure evil key plot points to screw our character’s lives up!

Spontaneous evil

So, you kick off your story and you feel you have a goodly smattering of conflict going on when. …WHAM! It just pops in there, another totally evil thing you could do to your characters that will stir things up even more!

You rub your hands together in glee and immediately get down to the nefarious deed.

Barely have your characters got over that little challenge when…BAM! Oh yes, you guessed it, another nasty plot point has hatched in your very evil mind.

Evil Conclusion

Are writers quintessentially evil? Do we take to writing as a way of nurturing evil thoughts that are already there? Or do we develop and hone our evil plot point radar as we write and write some more?

I guess we may never know, but one fact is very well established, a little evil thinking will go a long way to help your writing!

Read a book. Be Happy :) #Writing #amwriting #reading #books

I am going to confess something…I love reading as much as I love writing…and I love writing an awful lot.

So I thought I would share some excellent reasons / excuses to read a little more.

It makes us better writers.

When we read we consciously and subconsciously pick up all kinds of amazing tips whether it is impactful word placement, a descriptive style, or story flow, reading a good book will help it all.

Expands our vocabulary and intelligence.

When we read we expose ourselves to new words, new ideas, and new perspectives. Every time we read a book we have an opportunity to learn.

It fires up our imagination.

When we read we meet new characters and travel to amazing places that can fire up our imagination.

It reduces stress.

Reading is known as a flow activity. This means that when we read we let our worldly troubles go and submerge ourselves in another world. Time passes swiftly…it’s a great way to make things like a boring daily commute bearable.

It makes us happy.

I think this goes without saying, but if you have a book with you adventure is only a few pages away.

“A writer is a world trapped in a person.” #writing #amwriting #writerslife

There is no better curse than to be a writer.

Why constrain yourself to one world and one life, when you can build thousands for yourself?

With imagination you can climb impossible mountains, fly dragons, and win wars.

You can die, and be reborn.

You can solve great mysteries, or create them.

Make people, and then make them hate one another or fall in love.

Send them out on perilous quests that they might, at your whim, win or lose.

You can go with them, or decide to watch them from afar.

Yes, there really is no better curse than to be a writer.

Writing: The Fate of Unfinished Drafts #writing #amwriting

Every writer has a cupboard or computer full of unfinished drafts.

But what if something were to suddenly happen to us and those embarrassing or poorly thought out scribbles were let out into the world?

I’m not a famous writer, so I don’t need to worry just yet about my estate getting into a wrangling about selling on my work, nor with publishers creating thousands of knock off novels based around the characters I created, but for some writers this is the case.

For all of us, our drafts are precious potentials, but just that and nothing more. I expect we can all compare our draft to our finished work and see the vast gulf between those early scratchings and the polished product at the end.

Even finished drafts can been difficult to let out into the world where we prefer our trusted few to read them with an expectation that they are still rough work.

A part of me is horrified that Terry Pratchett chose to crush his unfinished work, and another part applauds him.

Worth a read if you haven’t seen it already No wonder Terry Pratchett wanted to avoid the Stieg Larsson treatment (Link)

Is your writing frivolous?

A good read 🙂

Write Now!

I am basically an angry person.

To be clear when I say ‘angry’ I mean the buttoned-up version that’s woven into the tweed fabric of an Englishman of my age. I’d never actually show my anger, I couldn’t punch a face, complain in a restaurant or even wag an accusatory finger…no, I’m angry in the way that means I smile as my blood pressure rises and my chance of a heart attack increases year on year.

Anything can set me off. The national shame that is Brexit, the international injustice of Yemen, cats looking at me in a funny way….pretty much anything can be a trigger.

This week it was a twitter conversation (is that what you call a string of tweets) with the author Mary Carter last week (@mjcarterauthor).

She was saying that she resented having her writing branded as a frivolous hobby…. that she had been told to get…

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This is the only guide you need to help get your writing wriggle on! #amwriting

Are you stuck in a writerly rut? Struggling to to find motivation?

Look no further, this is the only guide you need to help get your writing wriggle on.

 1.The epic desk tidy!

We all know that taking the time to create a tidy desk is the road to writerly success!

Isn’t it?

Hmm…Well, maybe not in all cases…

writing is fun

2.The writer ritual!

Don’t have a writer ritual? No wonder you’re not meeting your target word count!

Because playing paticake with yourself is a sure fire winner!

The writer ritual

3. Enlist the help of your pets!

Ah…Is this even legal?

Pets helping writers

giphy-2

4. Hire a professional speed writing coach!

Phew! I’m exhausted just watching him…

ktpng

5. Prepare nutritious snacks to keep you going

The writers guide to snacks-d38jkap

Ok, maybe not…

writer nap

7. Take a course

If nothing else has worked so far this course will set you up for writing success!

Procrastination for the writer

Happy writing 🙂

Writer at work! A guide to acceptable writer interruptions #writing #amwriting

Writers know all about the writing zone.

About how easy it is to get distracted.

About how hard it can be to get started.

About how difficult it is to keep going.

And about how annoying it is when our nearest and dearest interrupt us in the middle of our writing flow.

So, for those who are unsure what constitutes an acceptable writer interruption, here is a handy guide.

To bring snacks or beverages!

Please drop snacks off promptly. Do not engage the writer in conversation or otherwise interrupt while leaving the treats. Definitely do not lean over the writer’s shoulder while dropping the snack off and speak the last sentence on the page in the voice of a pirate (as my husband does)!


The house is on fire!

First make all efforts to ‘deal’ with this before interrupting the writer. Only once the fire truck has arrived and you have ‘official’ confirmation from a trained expert that this is in fact an emergency should you interrupt the writer.


A medical emergency

Ask yourself – What would I do if the writer was not at home? – go with that.


The apocalypse has arrived

In the unlikely scenario that zombies or aliens are about to overrun your home, it’s okay to check in on your writer and see if they are at a convenient stopping point…

I am a prisoner in a book #writing #amwriting #writingquotes

Once I dive into these pages

I may not come out for ages.

Books have powers over me.

Inside a book I am not free.

I am a prisoner in a land

of print on paper in my hand.

But do not worry. Do not fear.

I am a happy captive here.

 

Captive by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

You know you’re a writer when you’ve found a million ways to procrastinate #writer #writing

You know you’re a writer when you’ve found a million ways to procrastinate…here are a few tips to help you spot the procrastination pitfalls.

Reading really is the perfect excuse for any writer because you can convince yourself that it is actually helping you to become a better writer. Yes, it certainly is, but sometimes you do need to put the book down and get back to your keyboard and write.

Snacks. If you want to keep your writing brain in tip-top working order you need a snack, right? Yes, until you realise you’ve eaten enough food for a small party, and then it’s time to explore the possibility that you might be letting procrastination creep in.

Daydreaming is the birthplace of all good plot ideas. But maybe if you’re daydreaming about ‘fetching another snack’, it’s time to get on with actually writing the book!

Editing! Is the worst form of writer procrastination. You know you need to start the next chapter, but it’s so enticing to pop back to what you did yesterday . . . just for a quick check. The next thing you know, you’ve taken a bulldozer to it . . . and you’re not making any new progress on the book!

Desk tidy. Yes, we have all been there and done that, but after your 23rd pencil readjustment, you know you really need to get back to your book!

What’s your favourite procrastination habit? 🙂