My Return to Writing: An Excerpt

As promised in a previous post, I'm excited to share the results of my recent burst of inspiration. This is a rewrite of the first chapter in a project I began years and years and years ago, which has sat, undisturbed, in my files ever since.  I've no idea what drew me back to this story specifically, but I'm more than happy to indulge in this long-forgotten project. I've found it quite interesting, given this is a YA project. I've been drawn to my Adult Fiction works for a long time now, so rediscovering a YA voice has been a fun experience. Anyway, without any further ado, I hope you enjoy reading this little excerpt as much as I liked writing it. And as always, feedback is welcome.

The Quagga: Literary Magazine

This semester at uni, I'm enrolled in The Publishing Project, a paper designed to guide us into the world of publications, how to navigate it and succeed. For my production, I am partaking in a group production and together we have decided to found a literary magazine, building from the ground up our very own publication. I … Continue reading The Quagga: Literary Magazine

A Short Story: The Cupid’s Dilemma

Thought I would share with you a piece I wrote for a fiction writing class at Uni last year, about a teenage cupid-in-training. My teacher wasn't happy with it, but hopefully y'all will be at least mildly entertained.   The Cupid’s Dilemma   Being a teenager is complicated enough. Leslie thought it was wholly unfair … Continue reading A Short Story: The Cupid’s Dilemma

New Projects: Cardinal Sins

I know. I know. I already have plenty of projects on the books. Why in gods name would I start another? You ask good questions. The short answer is, it's for my audience. This year I intend to write a series that I do NOT intend to eventually publish and sell, so that I can … Continue reading New Projects: Cardinal Sins

When You’re Failing at NaNoWriMo

Look guys, NaNo is huge. It's a massive undertaking that thousands of writers tackle every year. Many find success - hell, I've heard legends about people completing double-NaNo in November (I know, I struggle to comprehend it too!), but more importantly, there's also hundreds (thousands?) of us who don't reach the 50,000 word goal. And … Continue reading When You’re Failing at NaNoWriMo

Why You Should Consider Completely Scrapping Chapter One

Let's talk about the first chapter of a book and the reasons why I scrap chapter one. Chapter One: The Beginning. The first words of a story, the first scenes and events - for me - are equivalent to dipping your toes in the water, a temperature test, an experiment in preparation. Obviously, this will … Continue reading Why You Should Consider Completely Scrapping Chapter One

NO ADVERBS: The Reason Behind the Rule

Going Verbal

If you’ve read any guide about improving your writing, you’ve heard the “No Adverbs” rule. Cross them out, delete them, take a tiny lighter and burn a hole through every –ly word that dares rear its ugly head until your manuscript looks like Swiss cheese, but don’t you ever, under any circumstances, ever use an adverb!

… Really?

Come on, folks. Adverbs are perfectly functional members of language society. It’s not their fault they’re so easily misused.

Adverbs are descriptors for verbs and adjectives, just like adjectives are descriptors for nouns. They tend to end in –ly, though there are adverbs that don’t (fast, regardless, seldom) and other non-adverb words that do (lovely, imply, gravelly).

(To quote a certain pirate movie: “Hang the code, and hang the rules. They’re more like guidelines anyway.”)

The problem arises when you use an adverb to support a word that’s not pulling…

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Filter Words and Phrases to Avoid in Writing Fiction…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Filter words act like a veil between the reader and the character

by Kathy Steinemann  on Anne R. Allen site:

This article provides a list of writing filters, with practical examples of how to replace them. You’ll also find exercises that can double as story prompts.

All words exist for a reason. Use them wisely to create engaging narrative.

Why the fuss?

Filter words form a barrier that distances readers from a story.

Bertie felt the warm sand between her toes as she walked.

Bertie’s experience is relayed secondhand. When word economy is critical, this approach works. However, wouldn’t you rather become so involved that you almost feel it yourself?

With a few tweaks, we can strengthen the sentence.

The sand trickled between Bertie’s toes, radiating warmth with every step she took.

Strong verbs, trickled and radiating, amplify the sensory impact.

Five senses? Six? Twelve?

Most people can name…

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7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

I’ve read multiple times that blurbs are things people struggle with. Here’s some tips and a useful formula!

Writers After Dark

7-tips-to-write-book-blurbI’m here to help stop the madness. You know the one. The insanity that accompanies the “fun” of writing a book blurb. Attacking is more like it . . . I could stab it upside the head if it had one. But alas. Don’t let my bitterness get to you. In fact, use it to rise above me . . . with my own help, ironically. So let’s just get straight to it:

What on earth is a book blurb and why do you need one?

A book blurb is an important tool in convincing your readers to buy your book. Essentially, it’s a sales pitch. And you want it to be KILLER.

A reader will browse the shelves (or Kindle), and will find themselves intrigued by that amazing book cover of yours. Yay! You caught their attention. But you need more than that. You need to make…

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