Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

How to Write a Novel: Magical Gothic Adventure Story

August 18th, 2012

I wish someone had told me some of these writing tips before I started to write my trilogy. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way and maybe they can help you in your writing adventure!

* If you think you have a book inside you, just begin, it doesn’t matter if you change it later, at least you’ve started.

* There are no rules about when to write…. only the ones that suit you.

The Old Dark House of Secrets at Winderling Spires

* Write the book you want to write, anything else is too much like hard work – Writing must be fun!

* There are many books on how to write fiction but two that helped me are :

Sol Stein “Stein on Writing”    Strategies/dp/0312254210/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345134804&sr=8-1

Celia Brayfield “Bestseller: Secrets of Successful Writing”

* Always stop when you have more ideas in the “creative pot”, then coming back to the work will be easier.

* Keep reading lots and lots of books! Look at how writers write their books, their use of dialogue and plotting. Watching movies is an excellent way to learn your craft. Screen writers have to get an idea over very quickly, they may only have 90 minutes to tell the whole story so observe their techniques – their spare use of words, how the actors communicate with one another, how tension is built. This “intense watching” of a movie will make you more critical and you will begin to see when a plot line works and when it doesn’t. It’s the same with writing, once you lose the reader they’re gone, they’ve stopped believing in your make-believe. So keep it real, reduce the number of words you use and imagine yourself as the reader… would you be hooked on this character or this scene? If not change it or cut it.

* Don’t give up, even when you’ve had a bad day, remember how good you feel when the writing just flows… you and only you have created that!

* Never be satisfied with the first draft!

* If something jars with you then it will jar with your readers. Listen to your gut instincts and cut it out!

* When you get an idea, sit with it and let it brew inside you like a delicious potion, until it is time to experiment and write it down.

Finally, enjoy the writing process, it’s the best fun ever!

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Posted in Being An Author, books for 9-14 year olds, Creative Writing Process, Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing | Comments (0)

How to Improve Your Search Engine Optimisation: Getting Your Book Blog Out There

August 7th, 2012

When I started writing my book I just thought I’d write it, polish it and edit it a few times then post it on Amazon and that would be it!

How wrong I was. Writing the book was fun and easy compared to the marketing and PR needed so that people ( beyond your friends and family) find it. Even then that’s not enough.

The Black Hound from Ragging Brows Forest

So you’ve uploaded your fabulous book on to Amazon, you’ve had some sales then you realise that your book is a tiny little needle in the huge Amazon haystack. How will anyone ever find the book I have written? That’s the BIG, BIG question. This is what some of what I’ve learned so far:

You’ll need a website and it must have interesting content; you’ll need to blog on a regular basis to attract people to your site. You’ll need a blogging plan that covers all the things you want to say to your readers.

How will anyone find your website… you’ll have to increase your SEO (search engine optimisation) How will the google spiders find you? How will you increase your presence? By adding your site to blog directories. I have just started doing this so I’ll see if it makes a difference. This takes a lot of time working out which URL they want in the format they want it.

You must reply to the people who take the time to comment on your blog. You then need to understand google analytics and feedburner, to see what sort of website traffic you’re attracting. Then experiment with different posts. What do your readers like? How much traffic have you got? Which countries are they from? Do they stay on your pages? Which pages? Do they blounce off again…

So you see I didn’t know I had to be a marketing, IT, social networking, analyst. I thought I’d just write my children’s fanatsy adventure and the rest would be history….. how wrong I was!



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Posted in Being An Author, Better Blogging, Creative Writing Process, Improving your SEO, The Morrow Secrets, Writing | Comments (0)

How to Self Publish

August 4th, 2012

The first thing is you have to get over the embarrassment of publicising your work. You have to network; talk about it and enthuse people

Use Facebook; twitter; and all social media. This is something I am still learning about.

Winderling Spires

The great thing is that you’re in charge of everything. No one can make you change anything in your book, a character’s name or a plot line.

But the kindle is still in it’s infancy … it will grow bigger and bigger. Many people don’t own a kindle so they need to download one of the many kindle apps

You will need help. Invest in marketing, a decent website with a blog. You may also need help loading the book on the amazon self-publishing site. It isn’t straightforward as the book needs formatting in the kindle format.


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Posted in Being An Author, Self Publishing Tips, Teen Fiction, The Morrow Secrets, Writing | Comments (0)

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction!

August 1st, 2012

I had a gap between finishing The Morrow Secrets and starting the second book in my trilogy… about a week! Then I got caught up in my website, how to do a blog, self -publishing and all the other things you have to do by yourself to be an indie-writer! I didn’t know there was so much stuff to do apart from write my books. Now of course I know differently and try to divide my time between actually writing book two in the series and publicising book one… and that’s hard.

So now book two is underway, which tips would I like to remind myself of? Here are some of my favourite ones.

* Sometimes you have to kill off your favourite children… that means at times you may have to write a character out of the story because he/she doesn’t work anymore.

* Don’t give up writing, even when you’ve had a bad day just keep going and it will come right… write more, not less!

* Read books all the time in your genre and outside of it. Observe what writers do – how they write dialogue; build tension and create great characters that leap off the page

* Good dialogue flows from knowing your characters inside out, how they will react in any situation. You don’t really know them until they begin to inhabit your head space !

* Continuity is key. You don’t have to remember every one of your character’s idiosyncracies … keep note cards on each character, different themes, any activity that is repeated ( for me it was Tallitha’s trances) and key events that you refer to in the plot.

* This is a good one. Take no notice of the criticism people you don’t respect. But take notice of the criticism from people you do respect. Have a thick skin, you’ll need it.

* Defend your work. You know best how it was meant to be. It’s your story, your characters, just love them! That’s why self publishing is so good – no one can tell you to change a character’s name.

* Most importantly – write the book you want to read. If you don’t love the story, no one else will.

* Writing is never a quick win. It takes a lot of time and patience. If patience doesn’t come easily …try and acquire some.

* Characters will grow and evolve as you write the book.. be prepared to change them!

Most of all, enjoy yourself! When the writing really flows being an author is the best ever.. it transports you to a magical world all of your own creation. Treasure it…


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Posted in Being An Author, books for 9-14 year olds, Fantasy Trilogy, How to Write a Children's Novel, Magical Adventure, Self Publishing Tips, Writing | Comments (0)

Writing “The Morrow Secrets”……

May 29th, 2012


The Old Dark House of Secrets at Winderling Spires

So here I am on a sunny day writing my first book blog…..   I just had to do this thing! As I began writing ‘The Morrow Secrets’, (although it didn’t have a name in the beginning), the story and the characters tumbled out of my imagination, in an unstoppable way…. But they were always in there, lurking around, waiting to pop out. I think I’d stored away all the things that fascinated me …. just so I could write this book. Anyway I think it’s a gripping story, with a great plot line and some pretty  weird characters… some that you’ll like and others…. they are mean and nasty!  I just want lots of people to enjoy it as much as I have loved writing it…….

The story is finished but the editing has taken forever…. writing this book hasn’t felt like work… Being able to write when I’ve wanted to, anywhere, even on my blackberry when an idea has occurred to me has felt like magic….a joy…. creating the characters, thinking about the right word to use, doing the research, has all been tremendous fun….. a million miles away from work….

I started to write because, one day in 2011, I remembered how much I enjoyed reading as a child, getting completely lost in the wonderful stories of Narnia, the Borrowers and the Wierdstone of Brisingamen. I spent hours in those magical worlds so I guess I decided to create a world of my own…….

It had to be about Tallitha, a headstrong girl… in a weird, scary house, with a secret to unearth and a journey to a mysterious land…., and so it began. As I created a character, their name would jump into my head…. with details about how they looked and what they thought. Some of the more unusual names I researched. I have piles of research……

Anyway, this is the beginning….. trying to reach my audience…. although the book is for children, adults who love tales of make-believe and fantasy will also be captivated and transported to the world of Winderling Spires and beyond……..

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