Books and Reading Thursday: Two birds, one stone…

So, as you might have read, I have currently been reading and completing the first practical writing craft book on my TBR list.

And I have to say it’s brilliant! The confidence it has boosted in me as a writer is amazing, and it’s really helping me to see what I’m capable of.

In fact, it has been so awesome I have made the decision to always have a writing craft book on the go.

Now, I have said before that I’m not very good at reading two books at a time, but seeing as I will be reading a fiction and non-fiction, I think I can probably manage that. It will also mean I will be able to get through my TBR list a little faster!

I will also be doing it this way partly so as I can get back to reading fiction, which I am really missing! I will be reading the next book on my list, which is The Woodcutter by Kate Danley, which I will do a post about another week.

To any writers reading this, I highly recommend trying out some practical writing exercises either by finding them online or by getting a book. My word, I cannot begin to say the amount of confidence in my abilities it has given me!


Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft again, finally!
Word count: 2523

Books read towards challenge: 1/50
Currently reading: The Creative Writing Workbook by Matthew Branton.

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

It’s Romance Weekly time!

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Welcome to all those joining me from the awesome Dani Jace’s blog, author of White Doe.

This week’s question came from Sarah Hegger and was about opening lines:

A great opening line draws the reader in, makes them want to know more and compels them to read further. Share a great opening line, can be a classic or a more recent novel, tell us why you like it and then share the opening line to your newest WIP.

I was going to go the classic Pride and Prejudice route, because, well, it’s a classic and it’s one that pretty much everyone will have heard.

But, when I thought about it, there was another one that struck me.

It’s actually from a book I haven’t finished reading, and started years ago.

‘Burn this book.’

A striking line, right? 😀 It’s an opening that really caught me because of it’s sharpness, and has made me remember it for years, even if I never finished the book (which I will at some point!).

It’s from Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker.

As for the opening line of my newest WIP, well, as I stated last week, I have restarted it. So, this is very, very much a work in progress!

“Tut tut, Dr Murphy, nobody likes a coward.”

This won’t be the final version, but it’s something written so as the first page isn’t a stark blank page! 😀

So, there you have it!

Now hop along to Fiona Riplee’s blog and see what opening line catches her attention!

Is there an opening line you remember? What’s your WIP’s current opening line?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Planning.
Word count: Eh heh…

Books read towards goal: 1/50
Currently reading: The Creative Writing Workbook by Matthew Branton.

Back to the beginning…

Do you ever read a manuscript or piece of work you’ve written and think, ‘Something’s just not right…’ Then spend weeks trying to work out what it is, and usually it’s one small thing, but you know that one small thing means you will have to re-write the entire thing?

Well, guess what…

It’s happened to me 😀

I have been struggling and struggling to finish my current manuscript. I knew it wasn’t the characters, it wasn’t the story, and it wasn’t the setting. Everything was great, in fact, I am really proud of what I’ve come up with.

But it was how I had laid out the story.

It was wrong, and just wasn’t working.

So, although it’s hard to get rid of over 50,000 words of work, I’m going to have to do it.

I will be starting from scratch, working out a better plan and beginning again.

It’s going to be tough and hard work, but it needs to be done. Deep down I know how amazing this story will be with this one change, even if it means starting over everything again. Back to the beginning for me!

But, it’s going to be worth it!

Now to hit that, ‘Delete’ button… Urgh!

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Going back to the beginning! – Planning.
Total word count: 0.

Books read towards goal: 1/50
Currently reading: The Creative Writing Workbook by Matthew Branton.

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovechatwrite

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It’s Romance Weekly blog hop time!

If you’ve hopped over from A.S. Fenichel’s wonderful blog, then welcome!

So, this week, we’ve been asked- What quirky habits (superstitions, must haves, etc.) do you have while writing?

It’s an interesting question as I’m quite a compulsive person. A lot of the time I do need to have things certain ways in order to do them.

But I have to admit, I’m pretty easy going when it comes to writing. I will write pretty much anywhere and on anything 😀

I suppose it’s possible because my brain is constantly on writing, so it has to explode out no matter where I am or what I’m doing as it can’t contain it anymore!

Though, now thinking about, I do generally always have to have a cup of tea nearby!

Now pop on over to see what habits and quirks Eden Ashe, author of Ever Mine, has whilst writing!

Do you have any oddities or must haves during writing or the creative process?

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Daily word count: About 400 – Handwritten.

Books read towards goal: 1/50
Currently reading: The Creative Writing Workbook by Matthew Branton.

I have a confession to make…

So this week was my first week back after my long break- a break which was much needed and I was glad I took.

But I have to admit after such a while away from writing I was seriously nervous about getting back to actual writing.

At the beginning of the week I wasn’t even been able to look at the manuscript I’d been working on before Christmas.

Why?

I have no idea 😀

I was just really nervous about starting writing again. I’m sure a lot of it was to do with the fact I had such a long break, in which I only did tiny bits of writing here and there, all of which had nothing to do with the story I’m currently working on.

The thing is, it wasn’t even as though I had to start from a blank page. I am nearly finished with my current manuscript, it’s just the last few chapters that need doing, and I know exactly how they are going to go.

But mid-week, I pushed myself past the irrational worry of writing again and got out the folder with all my plans and inspiration sheets.

Well, it was an almost instant reaction.

I flicked through my chapter plans, my character sheets, my pictures and BAM! The excitement flooded back to me!

That intense excitement and passion that came flooding back to me in that moment drowned out any worry I had about writing after such a long break, and I opened up my manuscript and got straight back to it!

And it has been so good getting back to it! I forgot how much I need to write 😀 It was instant relief, and I got so into it I looked up at my clock a while after and three and a half hours had whipped by without me noticing!

Next week I will go back to having my status reports beneath my posts, as they always helped me keep focus and see if I was achieving my goals. My daily word count target during weekdays will still be 2000 words, and as with last year I will be taking weekends off.

So here’s to another great year of writing for us all!

Have you ever had trouble getting back into writing? How do you get your writing skills back into shape? Have you set yourself any daily word count goals?

*This is a scheduled post and I will be back on Monday to reply to comments and emails. Have a great weekend!*

On to 2015!

So, here we are- The beginning of a fresh New Year.

I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas and a great start to 2015 🙂

I thought about doing a round up post for 2014, but when I look back on it I was pretty overwhelmed. Not only did I achieve so much that I’m proud of, but I met so many incredible new friends and authors!

In December I did sit down and think about where I was heading in 2015, and how I was going to get there. 2014 was great, but I will admit I was all over the place. It was my first year at writing, blogging, publishing, reviewing, etc!

This time around I feel a little calmer and organised about it all 😀 I have a good plan going forwards.

Last year I got caught up in trying everything and, though it was great to learn so much, I need a more streamlined approach going forwards.

I have a new blogging schedule planned, a better timetable for publishing my books, ideas for improving my writing, but the main thing that caught me last year and gave me unbelievable amounts of stress…

Marketing.

Ah, yes. Marketing.

It really was a hate/hate relationship. I didn’t like doing it, you guys don’t like reading or seeing it 😀

So, this year, I have decided to take a different strategy for it. I realise it has to be done, but why should it give me such intense grief as it did last year? So, I have a much better plan in store for that, which involves focusing much more on reviews and visual marketing, trying to make it more fun rather than a chore.

Before this turns into an essay, I will just say that I am back and raring to go for 2015! I think it’s going to be an excellent year for us all!

I am gradually catching up with everyone’s blogs, which I have missed reading 🙂

So, whilst I catch up and try to get back into the routine, I hope you all have a fantastic start to the New Year and have already made great progress!

How was Christmas? Did you have a good start to the New Year?

Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovechatwrite

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It’s Romance Weekly Blog Hop time!

If you’ve joined me from Susan Scott Shelley then welcome! 🙂

This week we were given a sentence starter and had to finish it.

This year I am thankful for… the support I’ve received.

It’s amazing to think I started this blog and writing journey at the beginning of this year. So much has happened and time has flown by, I look back and am amazed at what’s been achieved!

But I also know it’s been such a great experience due to the unwavering support I’ve had from my family, friends, and from the amazing bloggers and writers I have met over this past year.

When I started this blog, I was really nervous, as you hear not such great things about what the internet can be like. But instead when I joined the writing and blogging community, I found an amazing group of people who were all supportive of one another and incredibly generous with their time and advice.

So yes, I am thankful for the support I’ve received and to all those who have helped me come so far in such a short amount of time. I will be forever grateful, thank you 🙂

Now why not go check out what Leslie Hachtel is thankful for!

Also, don’t forget to check out this month’s Romance Weekly Giveaway!

What are you thankful for this year?

Flaws aren’t always bad…

Lately I’ve been going through an older piece of writing and editing it and rewriting it. It’s not writing anyone will ever see, it’s simply a piece I come back to often for my own pleasure of writing.

Anyways, it’s been quite some time (over a year) since I’ve worked on it and as I progressed I realised my main character is incredibly selfish.

Often, when other characters experience emotional pain, she will become upset herself, but not for the same reason most of us would when watching a friend be sad. Instead, she worries about being upset herself at having to watch them go through the emotional trauma!

Well, I was a little more than put off by her, I have to say! 😀

I was determined to take out this flaw I had written into this character, and was about to do so throughout the entire manuscript, but stopped myself.

It might not be a flaw I like, but it’s obviously how I’ve written this character throughout the whole story. And if I take out her flaws, she’s not exactly going to be very interesting, is she?

So, even though I don’t like the trait, I’ve left it. Characters need to feel real and, I have to admit, it does round her out as a character when it’s left in. Throughout the rest of the story I have written other characters noting it about her, so it’s obviously something I’ve noticed before.

It might be nice to have her grow out of that trait, and change as a person.

That’s all part of the fun of writing, isn’t it? Letting our characters grow out of some their faults and become stronger for it 🙂

Have you ever given a character a trait you didn’t like? Do you enjoy writing their flaws as well as their strengths?

Surprising Discoveries…

As I’ve been writing whatever I want lately, I’ve realised something about what I choose to write.

Apparently it’s either romantic, fluffy scenes or… full on fight scenes 😀

It was a bit of a surprise to discover just how much I enjoy writing battle scenes and fight scenes, yet also to find the other thing I adore writing was the sweet romantic moments.

The two couldn’t be more different and require very different skill sets when writing, but there you go, it was the thing I have noticed about my writing lately.

I write romance all the time in my books, and some do involve fight scenes as well, but I make sure to keep them at a minimum. But when left to my own devices to just write what I like, the small fight scenes I start can turn into epic battles!

Still, it’s all writing practice, right? And that’s the main thing I’m going for over the next couple of months 🙂

Have you discovered anything unusual about what you like to write? Are there particular scenes you enjoy writing more than others?

Yay for Friday!

Hey everyone, this week has felt like it has dragged really badly, so I’m thankful we finally reached Friday! 😀

Just a quick post today.

I had an awesome interview over Lit World Interviews, by RonovanWrites, why not go check it out? 🙂

http://litworldinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/mishka-jenkins-interview-prophecy-of-stones/

Hope everyone has a great weekend and I will try to be around more next week! 😀