Author: Sacha Black

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills. Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son. When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules. Sacha Black's website is devoted to: Books Business and Bad Words

I’ve Moved…

For everyone who has followed me recently, thank you, but this blog no longer exists or has any content on it. So, this is a note to say I’ve moved and if you still love me, which I hope you do, you might wanna come see my new gaff.

If you’d like to continue to get my writing tips straight to your inbox, hop on over here: www.sachablack.co.uk and follow me there.

Hope to see you there

SB

x

Writespiration #97 52 Weeks in 52 Words – Week 1

writespiration-2017Welcome back folks. I stopped Writespirations back in November, a few short of 100, and I knew then I couldn’t just leave it 3 short. But the break did me good, and now I am ready to rock and roll with a whole new challenge this year.

This year there will be 52 challenges over 52 weeks and your challenge is to write your story using the theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less.

The art of being concise is nothing if not a muscle flexing ‘write’ bicep curling device. But I wanted to add to that challenge which is why, you have to be exact too. Because there are 52 challenges over the year, THAT’s I want you to write your entries in EXACTLY 52 words.

Each week I will give you a prompt of some variety and then you submit your entries and I post them the following week with the new prompt. You’ll have until Sunday to enter each week. (more…)

A Writer’s Journey To Self Discovery – aka The Intervention

self-discoveryI’ve been interventioned. Intervened? Whatever. I’ve been told to back away from the keyboard and sit my plump ass down.

You know when you watch movies and a group of friends actually stage an intervention and you laugh because you’re like HAHA that shit never happens, and it would definitely not happen to me.

Well it did.

Believe me, post its and actual man sized flip charts were involved.
But before I tell you the story, let me explain… as the year draws to a close, I’ve been getting a wickle bit reflective. Especially because next year is going to be a big year.

I hit the big 3.0, I’ll publish for the first and hopefully second and third time, and there are some other BIG secrets I can’t reveal yet.

But for now, another year has past and while lots of things have been achieved, my dreams have not been met… YET. But instead of being disheartened it force fed me petrol and made the fire inside me burn hotter than a million Kelvin.

Let the reflectioning begin…

My friends, lets call them Black Hole (yes there is a story behind this, no I will not tell you…today ever. Cough.) and Tasmanian Devil (TD) for short.

Black Hole and TD were concerned. (more…)

Please Your Readers – 3 Trope Tactics

tropesI’m a genre whore. 70% of what I read is Young Adult fantasy or dystopian fiction. I’d make it 100% but I actually want to read my friends books and occasionally I like dipping my toes in other stuff like (thrillers, crime, literary fiction) and then there’s non-fiction business, marketing and mindset books and of course, my other love, conspiracies.

But the point is, I’m a big slutty slut slut when it comes to YA fantasy/dystopian. I gobble it up like a starving orphan. Why?

Because I love that shit. I love it so much I’d motorboat them books all night long and carry a caffeine drip to work because I stayed up so late reading (happens a LOT).

But, having read a lot of books in the same genre I can confidently say, they are ALL the same story. No really, they are. But its the familiarity that drags me back.

And it’s the familiarity that drags other readers back too. We actually want to be told the same story, over and over and over. It’s just that we want to be told it in a different way, so it doesn’t feel like the same story.

That’s where tropes come in. Tropes give your readers the familiarity they crave, which is why they are so important to you if you’re a genre writer. (more…)

6 Ways To Organise Your Beta Reader Feedback

beta-feedbackForget the fountain of youth, no one needs to live forever. I mean, can you imagine the botox bill? and not just for your face… EWW. Moving on.

Beta feedback is a gift from the holy fountain of book perfection. 

For some, it makes them face plant into a vat of sludgey self-loathing and bookpression. But for others it turns their sleep deprived eyes into glinty, sparkling ones accompanied by feverish hand rubbing and villainish cackles.

Your book, if you listen to your beta readers, will be oh so much better. That word-turd you vomited out over months of sleepless nights, will finally become a polished glitter covered book.

But receiving beta feedback can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if like me, you don’t do detail.

I’ve finally managed to get on top of the beta feedback and have almost finished going through it.

This post is dedicated to my amazing beta readers, there are no words to quantify my gratitude.

Here are 6 ways to manage and organise your beta feedback.
(more…)

Writespiration Round Up 2016

writespiration-round-upWritespiration Wednesdays have been around since October 2014. I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of entries, and I’ve read each and every one. It’s been an honour and a privilege to read them, but with the end of the world  year nigh, I’ve decided to take a wittle pause to both, reassess my plans for next year, and catch up with some post scheduling, so I’m not living in a state of perpetually chasing my ass.

See, I have this delusion about myself, that I’m super woman, and that I can do everything and all the projects… ALL AT FUCKING ONCE… because who the fuck needs sleep anyway? Just pass me fuck bucket of caffeine, and I’ll beeeee fineeeee! *twitch* *twitch* *heart tremor*

Wrong.

Apparently I didn’t pack my lycra because I couldn’t find my glitter covered super girl cape and the quantity of caffeine I drank landed me an appointment with the cardiac specialist.

Sigh. Let’s move on.

Next year, I have some plans for Writespiration Wednesdays. It will be back, slicker, quicker and even better. I mean, I can’t get to 96 and stop for god sake. Who stops at 96? Everyone likes a round number. It will be back on 4th January next year.

For now, to round off the year, here are your entries from writespiration 96 – Write a Fairytale set here.

If you want to see any of the previous writespirations, have a look here. (more…)

Forget #Halloween Here’s 6 Reasons The Publishing Industry is Terrifying

industry-fear

I hate Christmas because it’s eye-twitchingly expensive. Mostly we spend it in the car or feeling bloated from greed. I don’t eat meat and honestly, I don’t really drink either, so the prospect of Christmas does not fill me with fluffy tinsel covered unicorns of joy. When I think of Christmas I think of the Grinch and smirk.

But Halloween, I don’t just like, I love it. And not for its real purpose of remembering the dead, or its meaningful roots derived from Irish mythology and Christianity, but because it’s filled with the weird and wonderful.

Halloween is the one time of the year when judgement stops and everyone is free. Ugly masks and unusual make up suddenly become acceptable, celebrated even. Fancy dress is no longer an oddity served with a raised bushy eyebrow, it’s compulsory.

Halloween has never been scary to me, but the writing business is and so is the publishing industry. 2017 is nearly upon us, and that means, that by hook or amputated butt cheek, I will be publishing next year.

So in a salute to Halloween, here’s 6 things I find terrifying about writing and the publishing industry  (more…)

10 Things Every Writers Needs To Know About Conflict

conflictConflict – the foundation of every novel bled onto the page.

Without it, your book flatlines harder than the grim reaper. No self-respecting book doctor will even attempt to resuscitate it. And yet, you need to, because conflict is the god of novels.

If you’ve been a good little girl then conflict will dip its mighty hand into Santa’s sack and bestow heavenly book treasures on you, like: pace, tension, plot line and well-rounded characters with enough depth to drown a reindeer. But without it we’re talking dead Kipper slaps to the face.

And no body wants a stinky dead fish face mask.

But when you love your precious little bundle of baby hero joy more than life itself, torturing them with a bout of – villain/antagonist/insert other form of conflict shaped nappy rash can be rather more difficult than one expects.

Here are 10 tips for shaping your books conflict. (more…)