Thursday 24 January 2013

Books I highly recommend

I post a lot about writing but not much about what I read so I thought I'd share with you my recent reads;

First and foremost Memory of Light the last instalment in the Wheel of Time series. I've been reading WoT for the best part of 14years and it has been a huge part of my life the books traveling with me through everything. This last book was thrilling emotional and a journey I can't possibly begin to explain unless you have followed the characters through. For those that haven't discovered the magik of Robert Jordan sadly with his passing he could not complete the series but was picked up and masterfully completed by Brandon Sanderson.

Which links me nicely into the Mist born trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. A richly woven and fast paced fantasy trilogy a great introduction to his writing style. A wonderfully different spin on the worlds and ways of magik.

Patrick Rothfuss is my next author one I discovered just by browsing through my local book shop (something that can't really be done on line) The king killer chronicle I picked up and just couldn't put down. You are wrapped up in the characters world so deeply that you live and breathe every moment with them. Dark, violent and deeply moving another rich world of fantasy to discover.

My three recommendations for now, happy reading


Friday 18 January 2013

Been a little while but back in the saddle

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. Had a severe attack of my ME and fibromyalgia which knocked me totally off my feet. Slowly getting back there and resuming writing. Can't do as much as I'd like which is frustrating but at least it's coming along. It hasn't been all bad had ideas for a new trilogy to work on after me first is completed. That on its own is up lifting.
I find when my writing comes in fits and starts like it does at the moment it's easier to keep a note page scribbled how ever you wish that tells you what your characters are doing or have been doing up to that point in the story, helps avoid the dreaded writers block.
It's a short post today but will be doing smaller and more often over the coming months
Happy writing

Friday 21 December 2012

Method in the madness

While blogging, networking, tweeting and generally browsing the Internet I've found so many different people telling me how writing should be structured and planned. Now all of these methods are great don't get me wrong but I prefer to follow my muse and do the surgery during the edit. I'm not here to te you how to write each has their own style that works for them and sometimes it takes time to find it but here I thought I'd share my tips for getting a those over flowing ideas down if they are used or not it doesn't matter but I find nothing worse than something interrupting me mid flow.

1) use the margins if you write something and mid sentence want to add more but don't have the flow or the complete idea scribble a few words in the margin as a reference when you come back to it.

2) Don't worry about spelling that's not important and can be sorted out during the edit.

3) Not sure you have the right word but don't know the exact one you are looking for box it off or put it in brackets and come back to it when you have finished that session of writing.

4) Make sure you have something with you at all times to capture those random ideas that appear from no where you never know when they will come in handy.

These tips can make your work look at little crazy but it will help the ideas. Hope your writing flows and the word count keeps growing


Wednesday 12 December 2012

Magik in writing

Its been a while since my last entry I'm afraid I've been rather unwell but I'm back in the saddle and here with a new entry.

After reading Mark Lawrence's blog today I felt inspired to write along a similar subject. Magik in books the back bone of all fantasy what ever the type. We create our rules and weave our way but it is easy to get bogged down explaining the systems of how it works. In my opinion magik should have an element of the unknown about it, this engages the reader saying that it should not be without some set of rules. Contradicting myself a little I admit. I take Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and his magik system he slots in pieces here and there, explains a little about the male and female aspects of magik and briefly how it's channeled. It makes it more a part of the story rather and makes the reader feel that it is real and they are witnessing the act and without a full blown explanation, for example he says that a character channels and forms fire but doesn't say more than that this leaves the readers imagination to take a hold and paint their own picture.
I look at this aspect of my writing after the initial draft is done and the second draft begins that's when I can pick up and the little details that make sure not only the magik makes sense within the story but adds mystery and for the want of a better word magik to my writing.

My tip for this is look at your manuscript and if your magik needs to much explanation or your work is bogged down with it look at how it can be refined or broken down can parts be slotted in to different sections of the story. It takes practice and something I'm still learning to do myself. May your magik and your writing flow.


Thursday 29 November 2012

Getting feed back and writing the second novel

Like all writers out there I quite regularly seek feed back from anyone who reads my work but nothing is as valuable as a good honest review with constructive critique. I've found a great community of readers and writers on a website run by harper Collins called authonomy. You up load as much or as little of your work as you like and people can review your work and you theirs. I've had some great pointers about characters point of view and tips on how to improve the flow of my work just by adjusting and looking carefully at the punctuation. I can't recommend this site highly enough. There are some amazing and talented writers on there. Another thing I like is though the feed back is honest it's not slating so you don't need such a tough skin but always remember now every person is going to enjoy your work as much as others. I have to keep this in mind as it is easy to forget when you get a 1 star or poor review.

The second thing I wanted to talk about is writing the second novel. I'm currently working on Wings of Fire the follow up to Blades of Shadow and I must confess I'm finding this one harder to writer than the first. Difficult to pin down why exactly but I think it's down to the cross referencing and looking back I do to avoid continuity errors and to see how my characters have developed and how they may react to their new situations. I find a flow chart helps with this. It also helps me trace my ideas forward but I don't plan to hard as with all art no single idea is set in stone and parts can be rewritten etc.
Happy writing all


Wednesday 21 November 2012

Writing with medical problems

It's been a while since my last blog entry. I apologise for that its been a roller coaster of a few weeks. But I'm back on the preverbal horse as it were and ready to ride.
Like all of us I find writing a great joy and often a great escape from the world. Now so more than ever as I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well as ME. I thought I'd share my tips for when writing isn't so easy be it illness or problems etc and concentration can be shot.

1) Pace yourself easy to say difficult to understand. Write a page or so take a break for ten mins then have another go.

2) If you can't write don't be hard on yourself scribble your ideas down.

3) Take you're emotions, pain and note the descriptions of them down it can add the extra dimensions to your writing

4) Get someone to read your work just to point out those little proof reading errors that are easy to miss when you can't concentrate.

5) My final tip is don't be hard on yourself some days it will flow and other days it won't. Go with the flow and be gentle with yourself.

Love and creativity


Friday 2 November 2012

Hints on submissions

I've seen a lot of questions and seen a lot of confusion about submissions and the guidelines for publishers so I thought I'd share some tips and lessons I've learned along the way.
I often get asked why it is so important to double line space, margins a certain distance etc and I explain it like this. When you go for a job interview you want to look your best the same applies to your manuscript. If you take the time it shows you are serious about what you are doing and make a good first impression.

1) Always always always read the guide lines they can vary from publisher to publisher.

2) Get used to typing in double line space it's what most publishers as agencies want.

3) Before you send any work proof read properly sounds simple but you will be amazed how many writers don't.

4) A good covering letter short sweet and to the point. This is another chance to make a good impression.

5) A synopsis needs to be short and concise no more than around 600 words. Include major plot points and the ending tell the story without telling the story.

I'm still learning the craft but these are tips I wanted to share.
Good luck with your writing and finding a publisher.