Romance Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

Just before I hop to the Romance Weekly blog hop, I just wanted to say sorry for the lack of blog posts last week! I was pretty ill, and couldn’t get onto my computer, but thank you to everyone who commented, I’m sorry again for not replying! 🙂

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Welcome to all those joining me from the lovely Elizabeth Janette’s blog, author of Redemption for Liars.

This week’s question is- What would you say your writing strengths and weaknesses are?

It’s kind of difficult to decide my strengths to be honest, because I’m very critical of my own work 😀

But I do think character interaction might be one of my strengths. I’ve had quite a few comments from people who’ve read my books and enjoyed the way I write dialogue and interaction between characters, as I’m able to show their relationships well and in a way that is easy to read.

As for weaknesses, well, probably my top one has to be description, or lack of it 😀 When I write I tend to see it like a movie in my head, and sometimes I forget that the reader doesn’t see what I see, that they don’t know the scene is set in a dank forest or a bright room. So yeah, I need to work on that!

Also, my over use of commas, but thankfully my readers do pick up on that in editing!

What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are?

Now hop on over to the amazing Jeana E. Mann and see what she has to say about her writing and maybe check out her latest release, Vindicated 🙂

Progress Report:

Status of sixth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 16,846 (+14,323 since last check-in).

Books read towards challenge: 2/50
Currently reading: Thyme in a Flask by Glen Quarry

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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.

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.

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!*

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?

October 2014 Round-Up and November 2014 Plan

October was certainly an interesting month. I spent most of it trying to figure out my new schedule of less social media and more writing.

I did OK to start with, but then I found my hours creeping up again on social media. I am certainly going to have to be stricter with myself.

October:

– Didn’t exactly keep to schedule. Got most things done on time, but not others.
– Started my new Books on my Bookshelf series.
– Got my first reviews for The Magic Spark.
– Didn’t meet my reading target. Though I was only off by about half a book 😀 Forbidden Quest by Alaina Stanford, Reunion of the Heart by Elaine Jeremiah, and Hands of Evil by Melissa Barker-Simpson.
– Attempted to cut my social media right down and concentrate on the writing. Started well, but hasn’t been so successful towards the end of the month.
– I did some marketing using photosets, but still not enough.
– Managed to connect with bloggers regularly, and share their posts and news on Twitter and FB more consistently.
– I didn’t manage to sort out my Pinterest boards.

November:

It’s all change for November yet again to what I intended last time.

Unfortunately, there will be no Christmas novella. As much as I want to write it, I am just not in a place to do so at the moment. There is a lot of upheaval at home and things moving around, which will eventually result in a writing space of my own. But until then, I don’t really have anywhere that I can go to focus on writing.

I am one of those writers who needs quiet and peace to write 😀 And I just can’t get that at the moment, and my writing is suffering for it. I don’t want to put out a book that is less than my best, so I’ve decided to wait (though I will probably do the Christmas novella for next year because the characters and plots are just too awesome to forget!).

Instead this months goal is: To write 500 words a day.

Doesn’t matter what it is- short fiction, long fiction, fanfiction, poetry, as long as it’s something. I may not have the space to concentrate on a full book, but that doesn’t mean I have to stop writing altogether, I love it too much to do that 😀

November will be about writing practice, which is just as important as anything else! But it will also give me more time to help at home and eventually get this writing space up together, which I am VERY excited about 🙂

As for reading this month, I plan to read three books: The Masked Empire by Patrick Weekes, Asunder by David Gaider (re-read that one, as I’ve read it before!), and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients by Rod Raglin (for review group). Those are the only ones that I will definitely be reading, and any extra will be a bonus 😀

That means no reviews except my review group one this month, and none in December either. My normal reading and reviews will resume in January 2015 (a scary thought to think that’s not so far away!).

So, there you have it. This post was a lot longer than intended, sorry!

**TL;DR – No Christmas novella due to a lot of stuff going on. Tons of writing practice instead this month! Back to book writing in the New Year.**

Other things that happened around the writing/blogging community this month:

Callum McLaughlin released his new book, False Awakening!

Topaz Winters has a beautiful new look to her site.

EclecticAlli has been hosting a brilliant set of posts for her Masquerade Ball Blog Party.

Natacha Guyot announced an exciting new project she’s working on!

Island of Glass by Ruth Nestvold is at a lowered price until Mid-November!

My Creative Flows blog had a great post on tips for those participating in NaNo and how to get through it! 😀

Oh, also, to all those actually participating in NaNoWriMo this month- Good Luck! 😀

How did your October go? Do you have many plans for November?

It’s Worth The Struggle…

I have a couple of links this week that really inspired me.

I think all writers, especially new ones, go through that down time of not progressing fast enough or not being where they want to be. It’s inevitable and can sometimes stop a person writing, but these posts really gave me a boost in confidence and motivation; to remember my dream and, even though it’s hard, it’s worth all the struggle to fight for!

They reminded me to write for the love of it, to work towards where I want to be, and not focus on the negative!

http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/build-your-writing-career/#more-4734

http://callummclaughlin.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/never-give-up/

Hope you enjoy them too!

Have a great Sunday everyone 🙂

Do you have any advice or tips? Have you ever felt a bit negative about where your headed in your writing? How did you deal with it?