Blog

author, creative writing, writing

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.

author, creative writing, writing

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)

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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?

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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 pounded on the opportunity the interview her, to find out more about Blackbirch, and the exciting series… Continue reading Interview with author K.M. Allan

author, creative writing, writing

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)

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

Uncategorized

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

author, creative writing, writing

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

author, creative writing, writing

Places All Writers Should Keep a Notebook

Notebooks, notebooks, notebooks. How many have we filled? And how many have we bought and not used yet?! As writers, notebooks are so important. They're great for jotting down observations and inspirations, for keeping ideas safe until you're ready to grow them, for moving your novel forward. As I writer, I'm obsessed with notebooks and… Continue reading Places All Writers Should Keep a Notebook

author, creative writing, writing

Writing a Query Letter – A Step by Step Method

For the past couple of weeks I've been focusing on query letters, and they've been the subject of my previous two blog posts. So now we've discussed things to include in a query letter, and things to leave out, I thought I'd share my step by step approach. Please note, as with my synopsis writing… Continue reading Writing a Query Letter – A Step by Step Method

author, creative writing, writing

Things You Shouldn’t Say In A Query Letter

Query letter writing isn't easy. Last week on the blog I spoke about some of the things you should include in a query letter. So today, I thought it'd be neat to write about some of the things you shouldn't include in a query letter. Remember, the letter should be a product of your own, and different… Continue reading Things You Shouldn’t Say In A Query Letter

author, creative writing, writing

Things to Include in a Query Letter

This week I've been spending a lot of time on query letters. They're an essential part of your pitch to an agent/publisher, because it'll be their first impression on who you are, and what your book is about. I'm by no means an expert on this subject, but I have been doing a lot of… Continue reading Things to Include in a Query Letter

author, creative writing, writing

Things You Need to Know to Write Your Synopsis

Writing a synopsis is often dreaded by writers. While some love it, others loath the process of condensing down their story into a page (or less). I use a step by step process to write a synopsis, and I still find it difficult. I've been working on my synopsis for novel 2, Vanishing Act, this… Continue reading Things You Need to Know to Write Your Synopsis

author, creative writing, writing

How to Stay Motivated During Edits

Edits. Edits. Edit. Editing a novel is a long process, and it can be all too easy to become disengaged. Maybe a new exciting idea has formed, and you want to work on that, instead of the novel you've read through already 100s of times. But you have to stay loyal to your work in progress. Finishing… Continue reading How to Stay Motivated During Edits

author, creative writing, writing

How to Handle ‘Writer’s Guilt’

Writer's guilt. We all get it, right? That feeling that we should be writing, or we should be writing more, or it's been too long since we last wrote anything. It's a horrible feeling, that niggles in the back of your mind and sends a flare of anxiety to your gut. One of my favourite, and most relatable, writing quotes ever… Continue reading How to Handle ‘Writer’s Guilt’

author, creative writing, writing

The Perfect Writing Environment

Recently, I've been craving particular writing environments. A book shop in Edinburgh, a cute tearoom in a historic village, a bench by the sea... It's so easy to think of these places as the perfect writing environment, and sometimes I even find myself thinking I'll wait to write until I'm there, so that I have… Continue reading The Perfect Writing Environment

author, creative writing, writing

Introducing my WIP: Vanishing Act

A big thank you to Lorraine Ambers for nominating me for the Round Robin game. Check out her blog post where she shares her own WIP, Mischief and Mayhem. The aim of this game is for writers to share some of their Work in Progress, and then encourage others to do the same. So at the… Continue reading Introducing my WIP: Vanishing Act

author, creative writing, writing

10 Reasons Unpublished Writers Need Social Media

Social media. It's fair to say that this area of the internet has the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm only here to focus on the good, but within a very specific part of the social media world; the online writing community.  So, why do I believe that, like me, unpublished authors should be… Continue reading 10 Reasons Unpublished Writers Need Social Media

author, creative writing, writing

4 Reasons to Read When You Have Writer’s Block

Writer's block. We've (probably) all been there. The words won't come, the ideas fall flat and your motivation falters to a halt. How to combat it? There are plenty of ways. One is simply to write anyway. You could try freewriting, or find a great prompt or go for a walk. And you could also… Continue reading 4 Reasons to Read When You Have Writer’s Block

author, creative writing, writing

Things You Notice When You Print Out Your Novel

This week I printed out 'Novel 2' for the first time. It took me right back to early last year, when I printed out 'Novel 1' for the first time. I posted a blog back then sharing reasons to print your work in progress. This time I'd like to focus not so much on the… Continue reading Things You Notice When You Print Out Your Novel

author, creative writing, writing

Travelling: It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

I have always adored this quote from Ibn Battuta. Let's see it again: “Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” - The Travels of Ibn Battutah As somebody who loves to write and loves to travel, this has always been something I think is entirely true. And I know that not everybody… Continue reading Travelling: It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.

author, creative writing, writing

5 Reasons to Write in a Library

Writing time can be sacred, and it's not always easy to enjoy uninterrupted time. When I'm in need of dedicated writing time, I head to the nearest library. Here's five reasons why you should too. 1. Surrounded by published novels There's nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by published works. Imagining your own book sat… Continue reading 5 Reasons to Write in a Library

author, creative writing, writing

Finding Time to Write While on Holiday

"A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing." - Eugene Ionesco I love that quote. It's so true! As it happens, I am on vacation. And I'm taking most of my time to enjoy and appreciate the amazing things I'm seeing. It's completely, 100% okay… Continue reading Finding Time to Write While on Holiday

author, creative writing, writing

5 Songs for Writers

Music can provide a great source of inspiration for writers. But some songs simply resonate with writers, the words speaking right to their soul. I'm still away at the moment, so for time reasons I'm keeping this blog post nice and simple, and a little fun! It's a little different to what I usually post,… Continue reading 5 Songs for Writers

author, creative writing, writing

Ways to Remain Loyal to your Novel, When Inspiration Strikes

Writers find ideas everywhere. They pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and you can often find yourself brimming with inspiration. When this happens, it can be hard to focus on your work in progress. It's so easy to become gripped by the excitement of a new idea. As such, I'd like to share someways to… Continue reading Ways to Remain Loyal to your Novel, When Inspiration Strikes

author, creative writing, writing

6 non-writing hobbies that can still inspire your writing

If you're a writer, you probably have, amongst others, two main hobbies; writing and reading. Though, for many of you, writing is not just a hobby, but a career. A lot of us are still thriving to get there. But we all have other hobbies and interests too, and these can be just as important… Continue reading 6 non-writing hobbies that can still inspire your writing

author, creative writing, writing

How to Fix a Fractured First Draft

Writing a novel comes in stages, first drafts to seconds drafts to third drafts, and on it goes. The first draft is always a challenge, and often a mess. So if your first draft is fractured or all over the place, here's some tips to fix it. Create a timeline A timeline is a great way… Continue reading How to Fix a Fractured First Draft