writing

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…)

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…)

Calling All Writers – A Villainous Survey – I Need Your Help

villain-surveyCan you help me? If you don’t know, I am in the process of writing a non-fiction book that aims to help writers create the best villains possible.

In order to make sure the book is as helpful as possible, I want it to capture everything that would be useful to a writer, so I’ve created a survey, if you have a few minutes I’d be super snog your face off grateful if you filled it in and if you have another moment, shared the survey with a fellow pen-rat to fill in.

Ta muchly, SB xx (more…)

Write a Fairytale Set Here – Writespiration #96

fairytale-writespirationFairytale retellings are going through a big come back. They’re the latest trend, with books like Cinders, or the plethora of other books on this Goodreads list. I’ve read Cinders, it’s quite good, I liked the twist on it, although for me, the joy of writing is in creating something entirely new. And sure, no story is completely unique, but lets not bicker about trivialities.

This week your task is to write a fairytale, or a part of one, or a fairytale poem set in the photo. Maybe it’s a nightmare tale, or perhaps a happily ever after ending, or maybe a prince’s love monologue. Write a fairytale in less than 200 words. Leave it in the comments or use a pingback so I find it. Due by 23rd October.


(more…)

The Power of Stop. Breathe. Write On.

stop-breathIf we’re honest, us writers tend to be a little on the obsessive side. We get an idea, a character forms, and before we know it, we’re tits deep in 30,000 words of wordish vomit. We swim in it like it’s a jacuzzi with naked waiters continuously handing out glasses of champagne. No one wants to get out of that jacuzzi, I know I sure as shit don’t.

But sometimes, after you’ve been chucking up the good kind of word vomit (the one that’s rough round the edges but makes pretty pictures in the middle) all of a sudden it stops. Then you’re pouring out illegible turds, minus the glitter and shine.

Something’s broke. Really broke. It’s not writers block, because the words still come. Only now they’re turd-words instead of smothered with genius literary butter.

Now, no matter what you do, the pretty word vomit won’t come back. So what do you do? If you’re anything like me, you either:

  • Beat yourself with a pen chain and spiral bound notepad until your face is pitted with imprints or
  • Fall into a deep pit of self-deprecating writerly hatred

Neither of which are particularly effective at producing anything other than obscure shaped bruises. Trust me.

I had to try something new… So today, is less of a crazy lesson with bookish explanations and crude examples, and instead a lesson I’ve learnt through experience on my writing journey. (more…)

The Secret to Making Your Characters Memorable

memorableWe readers are fickle beasts.

If you have a shit book cover we won’t pick up your novel. Sloppy blurb and we chuck the book on the NBR (Never Be Read) pile. If we get past all that and find forgettable characters buried in your pages, well… fuck you author, here’s a one star review.

A couple of weeks ago, I was lording it up in Paris with the girls for a cocktail fuelled weekend… I still have a hangover!

The thing is, I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t take advantage of any and every opportunity to spew some more of my hyperbolae into the world, and Paris has provided me the perfect opportunity to do just that.

I have a terrible memory. Like ,really bad. But my substandard brain cells got me thinking about books and specifically, about characters.

Without memorable characters, your book is worthless. Why?

Because books are written about characters. If your characters are boring, your books boring. But how do you make them memorable without turning them into the equivalent of a glitter covered literary drag queen? (more…)

5 Things to Remember When Designing Your Book Cover With @AuthorhelenJ

5-book-coversToday is the last instalment from my lovely friends, who have been keeping my blog stocked with juicy tidbits in order to give me time to finish my book. A huge thank you to everyone who helped out, without you, I wouldn’t have had time to finish it

You can check out the other posts here:

3 Things You Need to Create The Perfect Gothic Story

11 Must Do’s When Creating A Podcast

4 Top Tips For Self-Publishing Your First Novel

But today, I welcome the lovely Helen Jones, to talk about book covers. I recently talked about mastering your genre’s book cover. But Helen goes into a tone of useful things you need to consider, that I hadn’t even thought of. So her post was super useful for me this week, because I just sent off my cover design brief! *squeal*. Without further ado…. Helen…
(more…)