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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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’

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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Things Writers Should Take on Holiday

Yesterday, I set off on a 3 week trip to see various parts of Europe. As such, I had to plan carefully what I was going to take with me, especially for writing. Vacations should be time to rest, relax, have fun and experience new things, and you may choose not to write too often… Continue reading Things Writers Should Take on Holiday

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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

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5 Reasons to Finish your Writing Project

Inspiration and ideas can strike writers at any time. They're always lurking, those little moments in life that spark the plot for a novel or short story. And that spark is electric, it's exciting, it pulls your pen to paper until you're fizzing with the sheer need to tell that story. However, although it's hard,… Continue reading 5 Reasons to Finish your Writing Project

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Writing Clichés and How to Avoid Them

Clichés are something I'm still coming to terms with as a writer. I used to think that clichés were mostly common phrases; "As blind as a bat." "In the nick of time!" "You got up on the wrong side of the bed." And while these are examples of clichés, they're not alone. A cliché is essentially… Continue reading Writing Clichés and How to Avoid Them

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6 Lessons From Studying Creative Writing At Uni

Almost three years ago I began my degree, a part time course to fit in around my work. I'm studying English Literature because it is my passion, and it's a combined course that included Creative Writing. With just one assignment left for the year I am three years down with three years left. Here's what… Continue reading 6 Lessons From Studying Creative Writing At Uni

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Using Internet Resources to Add Depth to the Scenes in your Novel

Writing is all about imagination, and as writers it's amazing what we can build out of a small, initial idea. And readers are imaginative too, which is why the whole process of reading/writing is so enjoyable. However, it's still important to provide realistic descriptions, to help immerse the reader in the moment. I've spoken before… Continue reading Using Internet Resources to Add Depth to the Scenes in your Novel

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How to Cope with Silent Rejections

When I first started the submissions process the thing I found the hardest was the 'silent' rejections. These are not the explanatory-rejections that highlight specific flaws in your work, not the generic rejections which are copied and pasted to every unsuccessful applicant. No, these are the ones you never receive at all. The ones were months… Continue reading How to Cope with Silent Rejections

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Reasons to Seek a Critique Partner

Writing is a solitary art, but there are times when we need to reach out to others. I've spoken before about the importance of seeking feedback. Finding a critique partner can  have a huge, positive impact on your life. What is a critique partner? A critique partner (CP) is essentially somebody you share work with,… Continue reading Reasons to Seek a Critique Partner

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What Short Stories Can Teach You About Novel Writing

This year for uni I've been writing a lot of short stories. It's been a bit of a shock to the system, and is something I still need to practice to get right. Ever since I was young I've always written long stories, enjoying building the world or setting up character arcs. I've been in… Continue reading What Short Stories Can Teach You About Novel Writing

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Ways To Get Your Writing Into The World

Whether you write novels, short stories, non-fiction or poetry, your goal could be publication. If it is, you'll experience the long journey of seeking an agent and securing a publishing deal. There are some great ways to get your writing out there in the mean time and, if successful, could provide you with some accreditation… Continue reading Ways To Get Your Writing Into The World

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Writer Worries and How to Beat Them

Writing can be tough and it's not uncommon for writers to doubt themselves and doubt their manuscripts, whether they're published or not. In this post I'm addressing some of the worries we face, and how to beat them when they get you down. 1. What if my writing is rubbish? All artists find fault with… Continue reading Writer Worries and How to Beat Them

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Reasons To Go Out To Write

Most writers experience procrastination. It's so easy to get caught up in all the other things you need/want to do, which leads to putting writing to the side. However, I've found that a great way to stop that from happening is to go out and write instead. Here's why; No home distractions Yesterday I tidied… Continue reading Reasons To Go Out To Write

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Reasons to Love Editing Your Novel

Many writers have a love/hate relationship with editing. My favourite writing quote, and one I refer to often: “I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” - Shannon Hale I love the idea of shovelling your words onto a page… Continue reading Reasons to Love Editing Your Novel

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Writing The Ending

The End. All stories work towards those two words, whether they are physically written to mark your success at a finished draft, or simply sung aloud in your mind. But writing an ending can be a really tricky task, with a huge pressure to get it right. If you're writing a book and thinking about… Continue reading Writing The Ending

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Key Publishing Lessons from a Writing Event

Last week I attended a writing event and shared key writing lessons on this blog. As promised, this week I'm focusing on the publishing lessons, which formed a huge portion of the day. This insight was delivered by author Sarah Juckes and agents Hannah Ferguson, Imogen Pelham and Sandra Sawicka. I hope you find it… Continue reading Key Publishing Lessons from a Writing Event

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Key Writing Lessons from a Writing Event

Yesterday, I attended an incredible writing event hosted by Jericho Writers. It was a fantastic day, with talks from amazing writers, authors and agents. I just need to state that I would 100% attend one of their events again, and recommend them to other writers hoping to gain huge insight into writing, getting an agent… Continue reading Key Writing Lessons from a Writing Event

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Using Setting to Develop Characters

I've been reading a lot recently about setting and how important it is to a story. I've spoken before about finding the perfect setting for your novel, and the impact it can have on the plot. But the main topic I've been focusing on recently is how writers can use setting to develop their characters.… Continue reading Using Setting to Develop Characters

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5 Ways To Find Out More About Agents

Querying agents is daunting, exciting, difficult, wonderful...there are so many ways to feel during the process. Each submission is different (or at least it should be), because each agent is different. One thing that should be consistent is your research. You're looking for the best person to represent your novel, all your hard work. It's… Continue reading 5 Ways To Find Out More About Agents

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Writing: Ways to Learn the Craft

Writing is a skill, and like all skills it cane be learned and honed. Some people have a natural talent and flare for certain things, others have to try a little harder. Wherever you stand, if you love writing you should write. And if you'd like to improve and grow there are plenty of ways… Continue reading Writing: Ways to Learn the Craft

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The Things You Realise When Writing Your Second Novel

Writing is a journey, and each project you work on is its own adventure. Deciding to write a novel is a huge choice, and when done it's a huge accomplishment. You learn so much...and before you know it, it's over and it's time to write another one. These are some of the things I realised… Continue reading The Things You Realise When Writing Your Second Novel

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5 Things To Do When You’re Doubting Your Manuscript

Good morning world-builders and inspiration seekers! I hope you've had a great week. I've come from a week of writer's doubt myself, and I'm sure you all know that crushing feeling. All those questions; what if I'm not good enough? Is this all a bunch of rubbish? What the hell am I doing?! So I thought… Continue reading 5 Things To Do When You’re Doubting Your Manuscript

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10 Things to do When Your Novel has Been Rejected by an Agent

Morning all, I hope your week has been full of success and happiness. I'm querying at the moment, which means I am receiving rejections in interludes, from agents I've submitted to. It's such an odd experience, and I wanted to share some tips of how to handle your novel being rejected. 1. Allow yourself to… Continue reading 10 Things to do When Your Novel has Been Rejected by an Agent

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Synopsis Writing: A Step By Step Method

Morning writers, I hope you've had a lovely week. A couple of weeks ago I started writing a synopsis based on the early draft of my second novel. Like many writers, I find synopsis writing tedious, difficult and frustrating. However, they are a necessary evil, published or unpublished. The method I ended up using this… Continue reading Synopsis Writing: A Step By Step Method

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How to Achieve your 2019 Writing Goals

Happy New Year, writers! We're almost a week into the New Year, and I know that everybody has been setting amazing goals, ahead of a fantastic year of writing, editing and hopefully publishing! I wrote a post last year, on how to achieve your 2018 writing goals, so it seemed only right to offer some… Continue reading How to Achieve your 2019 Writing Goals

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7 Writing Achievements from 2018

Morning all. It's that time again, the brink of a new year. Last year, I posted a similar post, highlighting my writing achievements from 2017. It may a bit out of my usual blogs, which aim to share tips and inspiration, however I've said before that I also want this blog to be a record… Continue reading 7 Writing Achievements from 2018

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5 Tips For Writing the First Draft

It's been an exciting week for writing! Perhaps the most exciting one of all... ...a huge factor for this was that I finished the first draft of my second novel; Vanishing Act. It's a VERY rough first draft, that needs not only editing but re-writing. But it's a first draft none the less. When I… Continue reading 5 Tips For Writing the First Draft

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5 Useful Things To Do While You’re Waiting to Hear Back From Agents

Morning writers, I hope you've had a lovely week! It's been a busy one here, and set to get busier, but nothing will ever stop me finding the time on a Sunday morning to blog. I submitted my first novel to agents in September. And it's a long old wait for rejections and feedback. It's… Continue reading 5 Useful Things To Do While You’re Waiting to Hear Back From Agents

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3 (More) ‘Must-Have’ Books for Writers

Good morning wonderful writers. December is upon us! I hope it is a great month for you all. Around this time last year I shared a list of three 'must-have' books for writers. And this year, with Christmas looming on the horizon, it seemed  a good time to share three more! Take a peek: 1.… Continue reading 3 (More) ‘Must-Have’ Books for Writers

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5 Ways To Portray Your Characters

Morning writers! I hope you've all had a good week. As my first draft for novel 2 plods along, I am realising that I need to do more work on portraying my characters. My revisions, re-writes and edits will focus heavily on the characters and how they are portrayed to the reader. So, I've already… Continue reading 5 Ways To Portray Your Characters

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The Pros and Cons of Plotting

Good morning writers, hope you've had a wonderful week. My writing has been going well. I am on track with NaNoWriMo, and I think it's because I plotted my story this time. It's worked really well for me, although I know it's not for everybody. That's why I thought that this week I'd speak about… Continue reading The Pros and Cons of Plotting

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3 Things That Should Be In Your Writer’s Notebook

Good morning day dreamers and world changers, I hope you're all well and having a great week. This morning, I'd like to talk about those oh-so-precious writer's notebooks that we all own. (If you're anything like me you own too many!) What do you use yours for? Until recently I've used mine for quips of… Continue reading 3 Things That Should Be In Your Writer’s Notebook

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3 Positive Effects of Writing Fiction

Good morning wondrous writers and wandering world builders, I hope you've all had a great week. I had a very different blog post in the plans for this week, but I've had to change it. I always promised that this blog would offer advice and insight, while staying true and relevant to the current stage of… Continue reading 3 Positive Effects of Writing Fiction

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Using Freewriting to Beat Writer’s Block

Good morning wonderful writers, I hope you've had a great week. Mine has been exhausting. I started my new job, and it's extremely full on and quite a large step out of my comfort zone. I am really enjoying it though! While I get used to my new routine (which includes a four hour round… Continue reading Using Freewriting to Beat Writer’s Block

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Naming Your Novel: Finding the Perfect Title

Good morning creatives, I hope you've all had a great week. I have been messing around a little with some mock book covers for my NaNoWriMo project. It got me thinking about titles. Do you find that titles are either blissfully easy or impossibly difficult? Sometimes, the title of a project just comes to me...just… Continue reading Naming Your Novel: Finding the Perfect Title