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The Perfect Time of Day to Write

Previously on the blog, we've spoken about the perfect writing environment. The impossibility of finding that ideal setting to sit down and let your imagination run free. But how about the perfect time of day to write? I've been thinking about this a lot lately, so let's decide shall we...? First thing in the morningSome… Continue reading The Perfect Time of Day to Write

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Your Top 10 Posts from the Past 200! (200th Post – Milestone Achieved!)

Blogging to you this morning, lovely writers, from post number 200! Wow, it feels like quite a milestone, and I can't believe I've had that much to say! I thought it'd be an idea to reflect back on the posts that led to this point, and so I'm re-sharing your 10 favourites from the past… Continue reading Your Top 10 Posts from the Past 200! (200th Post – Milestone Achieved!)

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The Importance of Self-Care For Writers

We are all too aware of how tough times are right now, and self-care has never been more important. Not just for writers, of course, but for everybody. However, this is a writing blog, and so it is the importance of self-care for writers I am focusing on here today. Discussing burnout, relaxing, and getting… Continue reading The Importance of Self-Care For Writers

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Character clothing; fashion tips for writers

When creating characters, appearance is just one aspect to consider. And within appearance there are numerous ways to describe your characters. One of which is their clothing and fashion sense. It can tell a lot about a person, so take a look at the tips below. Only mention clothing if relevantAs with most aspects of… Continue reading Character clothing; fashion tips for writers

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Novel writing: tips for faster first drafts

First drafts are an emotional rollercoaster. They include your deepest, rawest thoughts and feelings, they fill you with excitement, they make you mad and stress you out. And, of course, they are the birth of novels, the starting block of your story. Getting through the first draft fast is the best way to get your… Continue reading Novel writing: tips for faster first drafts

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Reasons to try your hand at writing for children

When it comes to writing, you're likely to find your preferred genre, and find yourself writing for a certain audience. Of course, genre is a fairly loose term and there are sub-categories within each one, but let's strip it right back. For example, I predominantly write thrillers. But there's a lot to learn and enjoy… Continue reading Reasons to try your hand at writing for children

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6 things writers need to consider when writing character emotions

Emotion. It's the heart of any story, fiction or otherwise. Stories trigger emotions in their readers; joy, fear, excitement, sadness, nostalgia....Likely, the reader's emotions will be a reflection of the emotions displayed in the book. As such, writing our characters, making them believable, relatable and real, means getting to the heart of their feelings. That… Continue reading 6 things writers need to consider when writing character emotions

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Don’t lose your novel! 5 ways to backup your writing

Writing a novel is a huge deal. It is tough and exciting, long and rewarding, emotional and powerful. Those words you produce, those characters you breathe life into, those worlds you create, are more valuable than gold. And nothing could be more heartbreaking than losing it all. So, while it may sound like simple advice,… Continue reading Don’t lose your novel! 5 ways to backup your writing

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3 things your book needs to be before you send it to an agent (and 1 it doesn’t!)

I've spoken quite a lot about the submission process on the blog. It's a terrifying and exciting part of the writing journey. Deciding your novel is ready to send out to agents isn't easy. You'll always doubt yourself. That's why I'm sharing three things your novel needs to be before you submit, and one it… Continue reading 3 things your book needs to be before you send it to an agent (and 1 it doesn’t!)

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5 things you need to know about your characters before you write your novel

Creating characters is one of the most exciting parts of novel writing. Getting to know your heroes, your villains, your story's main players is a lot of fun. You'll learn more about them as you write, at that exploration is the best way to understand them completely. But before you start writing, there are five… Continue reading 5 things you need to know about your characters before you write your novel

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Five must-try methods for beating writer’s block

Writer's block. We've all been there. Be it due to a lack of inspiration, motivation or too much procrastination. It slows us down, makes us feel guilty, and halts our progress. Luckily, there's a number of ways to beat it. Take a look... Read After writing, reading is what we do best. Not only is… Continue reading Five must-try methods for beating writer’s block

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5 Ways A Timeline Helps You Write Your Novel

Some writers are plotters. Others are pantsers. There's no right way to do it. There are pros and cons to plotting, and it's up to you to decide what works best. Personally, I'm a plotter. Typically, my plotting consists of a basic outline and little else. It worked for two novels. But on my third,… Continue reading 5 Ways A Timeline Helps You Write Your Novel

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The Do’s and Dont’s of Writing What You Know

It's one of the most common pieces of writing advice. Write what you know. But what does it mean? That you can only write about crime if you're a police officer (or a criminal?!)? That you can only write about falling in love with a stranger in Paris if you've been there, done that and bought the… Continue reading The Do’s and Dont’s of Writing What You Know

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5 Reasons To Get Involved In The Writing Community

The writing community is a vast and vibrant place. Thanks to the internet, we can connect with people all over the world, and where better for a writer than a space filled with other writers? Be it through blogging or social media, here are five reasons to get involved. To be inspired When I got… Continue reading 5 Reasons To Get Involved In The Writing Community

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4 reasons to carve out designated writing time

Writing required commitment, but it's not always easy to find time in ourbusy lives. Yet, if it's something we want to pursue, it's something we have to do. Recently, alongside fitting writing in whenever I can, I've set aside designated writing time. Two hours on a Sunday, when I shut off from the world and… Continue reading 4 reasons to carve out designated writing time

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Novel Writing: What To Do If You Miss Your Deadline

Deadlines are two things; fantastic and terrifying. Deadlines are important in writingas they keep you on track, help you form habit, and lead to productivity. But it's also important not to let those deadlines make you miserable, take the fun out of writing, or stress you out. I'll be the first to admit, I don't… Continue reading Novel Writing: What To Do If You Miss Your Deadline

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Writer’s block? Relax! Do something else.

Writer's block is a somewhat contentious concept. Some believe it is a real hurdle in the writing journey, others might say it is simply procrastination. I guess, as with many elements of writing, there is not right or wrong answer. Each writer is different. Personally, I think it's a thing. A block in the mind,… Continue reading Writer’s block? Relax! Do something else.

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Two Writing Projects at Once – The Pros and Cons (revisited)

This is a bit of a throwback today. I originally posted this almost exactly 3 years ago to the day. How strange that I should be in the exact same predicament 3 years on! In a nutshell, I am torn between two novel ideas right now, both of which are compelling to me for different… Continue reading Two Writing Projects at Once – The Pros and Cons (revisited)

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5 Quotes To Spur You On While Editing Your Novel

Editing is an essential part of the journey for any writer. It's the stage I'm at with my work in progress, and so has been a bit of a theme on the blog recently. I've discussed questions you should ask yourself while editing, as well as sharing my step-by-step editing method. It's not always easy… Continue reading 5 Quotes To Spur You On While Editing Your Novel

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Editing a Scene/Chapter: Step by Step

Editing a novel is a bit like building a house. Brick by brick, bit by bit, word by word. There are so many methods, and different ways to do it. For me, I do it chapter by chapter, focusing on one at a time. This is the method that I use, I hope it can… Continue reading Editing a Scene/Chapter: Step by Step

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How To Use Mood Boards To Inspire You While Writing Your Novel

Mood boards are brilliant. There's something so pleasing about the aesthetic of it. And more importantly, mood boards can be a really useful tool to inspire you, and motivate you, while writing your novel. Here are just four ways to use them: Character Mood Boards Character mood boards are great fun to make. They enable… Continue reading How To Use Mood Boards To Inspire You While Writing Your Novel

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5 things I learned finishing a story I almost gave up on

The book I'm working on now has tried and tested me. I only just made my way through the stubborn first draft, and am now trying to put together its fractured pieces. But before the draft was finished, I considered giving up a number of times. These are some of the things I learned through… Continue reading 5 things I learned finishing a story I almost gave up on

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Questions to ask yourself while editing a chapter/scene

Editing is such an important part of the novel writing process. And each chapter or scene needs to be treated with care, examined closely, and made to shine off the page. And to do so, there are some questions you need to ask yourself. Take a look... Is there a sense of place? There's nothing… Continue reading Questions to ask yourself while editing a chapter/scene

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5 writing quotes to inspire and encourage you

I love a great quote. I always have. Quotes from books and movies, quotes from inspirational people...anything! I think most writers feel the same. We have a love of words, and little brings us more joy than seeing words arranged into such a sentence that moves you. Of course, quotes about writing resonate on a… Continue reading 5 writing quotes to inspire and encourage you

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4 Ways Writing Helps You Relax

Life can be stressful, perhaps now more than ever. I'm in full encouragement of people practising self-care and doing all they can to relax. Writing is my very favourite distraction from the world, so I just had to share those 4 wonderful ways writing can help you to relax. Writing is an escape from reality… Continue reading 4 Ways Writing Helps You Relax

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Lock-down tips for writers who prefer to write away from home

We are living in crazy times! And for many people in many parts of the world, that means lock-down. I'm lucky to be in the 'key-worker' category, which means my routine is mostly unaffected. But one thing I do miss, is going out to write. In libraries and coffee shops and train stations.... If you're… Continue reading Lock-down tips for writers who prefer to write away from home

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How helpful are books on writing?

There are loads of books out there on the subject of writing. Famously there is the memoir by Stephen King aptly named On Writing. But amongst all the How-To-Write-A-Novel's and How-To-Get-Published's out there, how helpful actually are these books? For a long time I didn't read books on writing. I worried that I'd find them too rigid, too… Continue reading How helpful are books on writing?

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How to Handle a Stubborn First Draft

Writing isn't easy. My current work in progress is being really stubborn. By that, I mean it's taking a long time to write, and constantly filling me with doubt. Recently, however, I've started making some progress. So I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned that are helping to keep me on track.… Continue reading How to Handle a Stubborn First Draft

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Interview with author K.M. Allan

Earlier this year, author K.M. Allan released her debut novel into the world. Blackbirch: The Beginning, a mystery packed young adult story, with terrifying twists along the way. As a huge fan of the author and her work, I quickly pounced on the opportunity the interview her, to find out more about Blackbirch, and the exciting series… Continue reading Interview with author K.M. Allan

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Reader, I married him (and the impact this has on my writing)

To quote Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Reader, I married him. I've been absent in the online writing community for a few weeks while I focused on my wedding and my honeymoon. Thank you all for still being here now I'm back, I can't wait to catch up with you and hear how your writing journeys… Continue reading Reader, I married him (and the impact this has on my writing)

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How to know when you’re ready to send your novel to an agent

Sending your novel to an agent/publisher is a big decision. And as writers are often self-critical it can be hard to take the plunge. But if you are thinking of sending yours out, here are some things to consider first. It's finished (with editing!) It sounds silly, but it's not uncommon for people to send… Continue reading How to know when you’re ready to send your novel to an agent

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3 things to take from the rejection of your novel

Earlier this year I had a full request on my manuscript. It was followed a few weeks later by rejection. Honestly? It hurt like hell. Rejection hurts, and there's nothing wrong with allowing yourself to feel it. But it's important to take more from it than that. After some reflection, these are the things I've… Continue reading 3 things to take from the rejection of your novel

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5 ways to make writing a habit

There's no doubt that amazing things happen when you make writing a habit. But how do you get to that point? With all the things that can get in the way of writing, particularly when life is busy, it's not easy. Here's some tips to get you started. Write at the same time each day… Continue reading 5 ways to make writing a habit

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The pros and cons of having multiple narrators

I'm yet to write a novel that features only one POV narrator. I've written short stories with only one consistent POV character, but when it comes to writing longer stories, I always end up with at least two. I've been thinking a lot recently about the pros and cons of books with multiple narrators, so… Continue reading The pros and cons of having multiple narrators

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What studying literature teaches us about writing novels

Learning is important to all writers. And the exciting thing is that we learn all the time. Every word we write, every word we read, brings us more understanding and knowledge and skill. It is a game of practice and discovery, being a writer. I'm a uni student, and in studying English Literature and Creative… Continue reading What studying literature teaches us about writing novels

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6 things to do when you’re feeling disconnected from your story

Writing a story is exciting, it's fun and it's full of exploration. But it's also hard, and it's not uncommon for writers to reach a point where they feel disconnected from their story. Perhaps it's a particularly bad case of writer's block, or you've simply wound up in a slump. Whatever it is,, it sucks.… Continue reading 6 things to do when you’re feeling disconnected from your story

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Getting to know a new cast of characters

Writing a book is a long and personal process. You spend huge lengths of time with your characters, discovering their deepest secrets and desires. So what happens when their story ends, and you take the leap into a new world, with a new cast. But this isn't easy. It can be hard to leave behind… Continue reading Getting to know a new cast of characters

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Unglamorous writing confessions

Being a writer, published or otherwise, is amazing. Writers are world builders, character creators, storytellers, daydreamers! We live in a haze of ideas and inspiration and intrigue. But let's be honest, despite the perfect writing environment non-writers may think we live in, there are plenty of unglamorous times. That's right. It's not all tidy desks… Continue reading Unglamorous writing confessions

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5 Writing Achievements from 2019

As the year comes to an end, and a whole year of fresh opportunities arises, I am reflecting back on 2019, and the achievements I've made. It's a little self indulgent, but I want this blog to represent my writing journey, so I can look back on it as the years pass. Not only that,… Continue reading 5 Writing Achievements from 2019

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5 Books that made me a better writer

The end of the year is always time for reflection. I've had a rather slow couple of months in terms of writing, but I'm still persisting and am excited for what the new year will bring. As I look back, there are a number of things that have helped me, and continue to help me,… Continue reading 5 Books that made me a better writer

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Questions to ask when choosing an agent

Querying a novel is challenging. It takes a considerable amount of courage, determination, thick skin and, most importantly of all, research. Don't waste your time or disappointment by sending your novel out to agents who aren't in the slightest bit interested in what you're writing. It's so vital to choose agents that are a great… Continue reading Questions to ask when choosing an agent

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Things to do when you’re stuck in the middle of your novel

Have you ever been there? Perhaps, like me, you're there right now. You've been hastily writing the exciting start of your novel, powering through as your ideas flood the pages. But then...the middle. Suddenly things slow down. And before you know it, you're completely stuck. You may have an idea for the ending, but not… Continue reading Things to do when you’re stuck in the middle of your novel

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Things to do Post-NaNoWriMo

The first of December is upon us, and National Novel Writing Month is over for another year. If you took part, and are wondering what next?! here are a few tips for you: Celebrate (whatever your word count!) NaNoWriMo is not all about the word count. Despite the 50,000 word target, the real aim is to get… Continue reading Things to do Post-NaNoWriMo

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Things to remember when writing a first draft

Writers often have an odd relationship with the first draft. It's that mixture between excitement and fear, motivation and doubt. It's easy to pile on the pressure, putting ourselves under a certain level of strain and expectation. That's why I wanted to share this things to remember while you're writing a first draft. The writing… Continue reading Things to remember when writing a first draft

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Reasons to Stop Planning and just WRITE

NaNoWriMo is a great form of motivation for many writers. And getting words down on a page is so important while writing the first draft, even if those words aren't the best. That's what editing's for! The project I'm working on is the one I have planned the least. I'm very pro-planning, although there are… Continue reading Reasons to Stop Planning and just WRITE

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How to Find Writing Events Near You

Last week I posted about things you should do at a writing event. So this week, I thought I'd offer some advice on how to find writing events near you, should you want to attend one. Google Of course, this tends to be everyone's first option, and why not? It's probably the quickest and easiest… Continue reading How to Find Writing Events Near You

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Things You Have To Do At A Writing Event

On Friday I attended a writing event in Cardiff. I've been to a couple of events like this now, and have spoken on here before about reasons to attend one. But this time I'd like to discuss the things you must do while at a writing event - to ensure you squeeze the most out… Continue reading Things You Have To Do At A Writing Event

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How To Fit Writing Around Your Full Time Job

Writing can be hard to fit in to your day, and many creatives are prone to procrastination. But sometimes the excuses are valid; work, school, children, housework...these are all things that need to be done. I started a new job 2 weeks ago, and the past fortnight has been mostly focused on settling in there,… Continue reading How To Fit Writing Around Your Full Time Job

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The Pros and Cons of Prologues

Prologues can be a contentious issue. Everybody has a different opinion on them. I've known of readers who love them, agents who hate them, and everything in between! The last novel I wrote started with a prologue, even though as a reader I'm not a huge fan of them. Sometimes you just have to do… Continue reading The Pros and Cons of Prologues

book reviews

5 Mothers Day Reads – Fantastic Fictional Mums

It's Mothers Day in the U.K.! Which seemed like the perfect day to recommend these five amazing books, that all focus around motherhood in very different ways. I am always drawn to a great parent/child dynamic in stories, and these five stand out amongst my favourites: The Light Between Oceans - M.L. Steadman This beautiful,… Continue reading 5 Mothers Day Reads – Fantastic Fictional Mums

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Your Queries on Querying – Answered! Guest Post for author Susan Shiney

Earlier this week, my guest post Your Queries on querying - Answered! was posted on the website of author Susan Shiney. Be sure to click here to read the post and check out her wonderful blog and website.

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Writing Events – Online vs In Person – Which is Better?

Over the past year, almost everything has moved online. School, job interviews, concerts, even doctor's appointments. It's certainly been inspiring to see the way people and companies have adapted to these times, and there's been so much creativity involved. As someone who used to try and attend writing events regularly, I was eager to sign… Continue reading Writing Events – Online vs In Person – Which is Better?

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Who should you write for first? You, or the market?

It may sound like a simple question, of which most would answer they'd write for themselves first. But subconsciously, if your goal is to publish, you might find yourself bending your story to fit with the market you wish to publish in. This can shape your plot, your characters and even your settings, as your… Continue reading Who should you write for first? You, or the market?