creative writing

Got A Writing Problem? Let Me Know

Writing problemYou there, reading this…

I need your help.

I’ve had an idea. I know. I know. Finish the chuffing books you’re working on first. But you know I can’t help myself. Besides, this is for research purposes only…I won’t write a word until at least one of my other books is finished…honest.

Have you ever, or do you currently have a problem with your writing?

It could be ANYTHING. From pesky crutch words, to not being able to blend between scenes or chapters. Maybe you just can’t get your character arc right. Or perhaps its dialogue that plagues you. Is it the outline? The synopsis? Or just plain old fight scenes that bug you.

Whatever your writing woe/s, I am desperate to find out.

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Writespiration #80 Utopia

Write About UtopiaI have an obsession with the concept of dystopia. Always have. I like the cloud darkness that comes from chaos and disorder. I like it in an almost sick kind of way. It pushes people to their utmost limits, and I want to know what happens when they get there. I’m practically voyeuristic about it.

Do they break, crumble and fail? Or do they rise up from the ashes of society and become a hero? (more…)

F*** Fermi – I Never Liked A Paradox Anyway

Fuck FermiI get questioned a lot on whether or not I believe the stuff I write in my weekly wonders. Mostly, I just like writing controversial or thought provoking stuff. But primarily, I research it cause it inspires my own stories.

But, one thing I don’t mind admitting, is that I am 100% certain we are not alone.

You can’t tell me in that infinite void we call the universe, no one else climbed out of the primordial slime. No chance. I mean, does anyone actually believe that any more?!

But then, if there’s life out there… where the hell is it?

And that’s the question Fermi tries to answer with his paradox. (more…)

You Need To Try This Guaranteed Method of Creating Depth In Your Writing

More DepthOne of my favourite quotes is a juxtaposition, pitting perfection against failure.

“I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.” Yohji Yamamoto

There are a million juxtapositions I could have used as examples, even ones as simple as: light and dark. But the point is over the last few books I have read, I have discovered what an extraordinary tool they are and, one that should be in every writers’ bag of tricks.

Here’s why, and how to use them more effectively.

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Everything You Need To Know BEFORE You Start To Edit

Before EditingI finished the first draft of my novel in August last year. I was B.U.Z.Z.I.N.G I’d finally done what I said I’d do – write a book… Ok, I finished a draft.

I listened to the advice you gave on what I should do next, which was… Nothing – Lock the manuscript in a dark cupboard and throw away the key for months. I did. Sort of. I may have peaked at the first few chapters.

That was a mistake.

It was of course, total shit. More than shit, I wouldn’t have wiped my butt cheeks with it. Seriously. I may have cried, ok, I didn’t cry. But I did shed some tears on the inside. All those months of sweat and tapping, for what? A massive steaming pile of turd. A twitch formed on my eyelid as a heady mix of panic and fear set in. How was I ever going to rectify this mess? I hated editing. I can’t do detail and didn’t know a comma from a bloody apostrophe. So how I was ever going to be a writer? I was blocked. Big Time.

Then, I had a realisation. (more…)

Evoking Memories – A Writers Must

Evoking Memories - A Writers Must Have ToolI spoke a little about evoking memories recently in my post: 5 Reasons Why Writers Should Be Secret Agents. But I wanted to delve a little deeper into the science behind how senses and in particular smell can evoke memories, why it can be so powerful and more importantly, why writers need to exploit the use of smell in their work.

Do you have a smell, or ‘thing’ that makes you recall an incident or memory vividly? If so what is it? Let me know in the comments. Is it a sound? Or smell? Or maybe the feel of a certain fabric? (more…)

8 Top Tips To Prevent Insanity When Resting Your Manuscript!

8 Top Tips For Resting Your ManuscriptIt took precisely 5 days and 23 hours after finishing the first draft of my novel before I lost the plot and felt like a rudderless ship. I know (stamps foot and pouts) I need to rest my manuscript. I’ve heard it said enough times to know it’s wise advice and that I have to do it (for as long as I can, which wont be that long).

But how do I cope in the mean time? I mean WHAT DO I DO NOW? I have spent the last year of my life pouring my soul into 400 pages of what is probably utter drivel. I have bled, cried and got finger blisters over this manuscript. So now….What am I meant to do now? It’s all over. The hard copy of the manuscript is sitting in the corner of my livingroom collecting dust whilst I try and be a good girl and not touch it…. LET ME EDIT, LET ME EDIT, LET ME EDIT.

Ok. Fine. I’ll behave. I guess I am not the sort of person who is able to… you know… rest, relax… do anything other than burn the candle at both ends and in the middle. So here, are my top tips for preventing insanity while you rest your manuscript. (more…)

Writespiration #50 Light vs Dark

Light vs Dark

Can you believe we have reached 50 writespirations already? Before we get into this weeks inspiration, I wanted to take a moment to get all slushy and thank all those wonderful bloggers that have contributed to making these Writespirations so fantastic. The more you contribute the more humble and grateful I feel that you have taken the time to visit my little blog and share with me a moment of your time and some of your undeniably extraordinary talents. So from me to you, a big thank you.

Enough gooey trite – to business… (more…)

5 Top Tips for Writing Chapter One – Lessons from the YA genre

5 Top Tips for Writing Chapter One - an examination of YA fantasy/dystopian fiction

There’s something wrong with my opening chapter. I’ve edited it eight times, two of those were major overhauls, the rest tweaks. But still… just plain wrong, and the closer I get to the end of draft one (and I am real close now) the more preoccupied I become with the first chapter. I figured the best way to work out what was wrong, was to study the masters. Examine the books in my particular genre that have made it, and see how they do it. And you know what… They have a formula. They all have a set of things in common. I’m not suggesting I need to follow their formula exactly, I still want to be unique, but I can at least learn from it. (more…)