Category Archives: writer

Putting Theory into Practice – 13 Steps To Evil Workbook Launch

How do you become the best writer you can?

Is a question I constantly ask myself in my quest to write full-time.

One of the most obvious answers I’ve discovered is by continuing to learn lessons and develop your craft.

But lessons only take you so far, right?

Why?

Because you have to put them into practice. Continue reading

Villain Clichés That Work – Four Lessons From The Dark Tower Movie #MondayBlogs

Original Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

It’s been a while since I saw a film that was so good I practically combusted over it. But I just saw the Dark Tower, and oh my sweet, sweet deliciously-evil villain heaven was it bloody amazing.

Now before anyone whips out their red pen and corrects this post:

Two caveats:

ONE – This post will contain some spoilers, if you haven’t watched the film and intend to, please don’t read on.

TWO – I have not read The Gunslinger by Stephen King, that’s the book the film is based on. Therefore all comments are in relation to the movie the Dark Tower only.

I lied, there’s a third caveat, this is all my opinion. If you don’t like the Dark Tower movie, I can’t do anything about your bad taste in films. :p

Why am I talking about Dark Tower? Because it had a villain that was off the chart. And you know how I swoon over a good villain. But Walter (the villain) was also a total cliché, and yet, despite that, he worked. Like really, REALLY well. So well, that I was salivating literary story joy all over the screen.

Which means the film provides a cracking lesson on how to make a clichéd villain work:  Continue reading

Should Authors Publish Wide or be Exclusive to Amazon?

If you want to sell books, then it’s not enough to just be good at writing anymore. In fact, being good at writing doesn’t really mean shit, (something I hate, but I can’t argue with the truth).

I watched a Chandler Bolt from Self Publishing School tutorial and he recounted a quote, from (I forget who), some big named best-selling author who was talking to a newbie about to publish.

This young author asked how the best selling author did it, how he sold so many books. To her disgust, he said it wasn’t about writing good books. He freely admitted he wasn’t the ‘best writer’ in the world. His accolades didn’t say “Best Quality Writer” or “Most Like Shakespeare” oh, no. His accolade said “Best-Selling Mofo” the only thing he (and subsequently the newbie writer) needed to be good at was selling.

I’ve talked about Author Earnings before, it’s a report on the whole book industry from Data Guy and Hugh Howie, something that I like to ponder on regularly. If you’re taking book selling seriously, then I think studying the industry is important. You don’t want to establish yourself as a writer and then get side slammed because one of your platforms for selling books closes. I look to the future a lot, and I talked about the debate between the indie and traditional publishing routes back in September, but today I am pondering the latest Author Earnings report, and what it might mean for us writers. Continue reading

The Power of Stop. Breathe. Write On.

stop-breathIf we’re honest, us writers tend to be a little on the obsessive side. We get an idea, a character forms, and before we know it, we’re tits deep in 30,000 words of wordish vomit. We swim in it like it’s a jacuzzi with naked waiters continuously handing out glasses of champagne. No one wants to get out of that jacuzzi, I know I sure as shit don’t.

But sometimes, after you’ve been chucking up the good kind of word vomit (the one that’s rough round the edges but makes pretty pictures in the middle) all of a sudden it stops. Then you’re pouring out illegible turds, minus the glitter and shine.

Something’s broke. Really broke. It’s not writers block, because the words still come. Only now they’re turd-words instead of smothered with genius literary butter.

Now, no matter what you do, the pretty word vomit won’t come back. So what do you do? If you’re anything like me, you either:

  • Beat yourself with a pen chain and spiral bound notepad until your face is pitted with imprints or
  • Fall into a deep pit of self-deprecating writerly hatred

Neither of which are particularly effective at producing anything other than obscure shaped bruises. Trust me.

I had to try something new… So today, is less of a crazy lesson with bookish explanations and crude examples, and instead a lesson I’ve learnt through experience on my writing journey. Continue reading

Master The Outline – 12 Methods For Plotters & Pantsers – Part II

OutlineingLast week I confessed all kind of Pantser secrets. Like the fact I’m a filthy dirty  cheating hybrid and I actually sit somewhere in the middle of the plotter-pantser hot tub party.

One of the biggest differences between plotters and pantsers is whether or not they outline. In last week’s post, I talked through the first three of twelve outlining methods, including:

  • Chapter Outlines
  • 7 Point Plot Plan
  • 3 Point Plot Plan

Today I am going to run through the rest of them. Continue reading

Bye Bye Bash 2016 HELLO to the 3rd Annual Bloggers Bash 2017

ABBA 2017*Wipes brow* PHEWWWWW, it’s all over. Can’t fricking believe it. The bash consumed me for the last couple of months. So much so, I actually took an entire week off the blog… AN ENTIRE WEEK WITH NO POSTS… I KNOW. Try not to fall over. I was shocked too. I didn’t even put up a fight!

It was spectacular. I loved every minute and wanted to do a little reflecting on the event before I swiftly force ask the committee to start work on next year’s do. (I gave them one day off. I’m nice like that!) *snigger*

But it’s all over, I really can’t believe it. First and foremost, a massive thank you to all of you, we had an enormous 6331 votes cast this year, and that is all down to you, the bloggers for helping to share the awards. So thank you <3  Continue reading

Flash in a Flash – Writespiration #87

Flash FlashApril brings another of those months where there are challenges coming out your ears and the usual pressures of Camp NaNo. That means time is limited. So I thought we would go old skool and do a challenge we haven’t done for a while.

Get a timer, set it for 120 seconds and when and ONLY when you are ready to do the challenge, scroll to the very end of the post to see the one word prompt. Write hard and fast until your time is up. 

If you want to join in, post your flash in the comments or in a post and link back here. Mine is at the bottom under the word.

You have until 1st May to respond.

Please note, I do read every entry, but as I am taking a breather of sorts from the blog, in order to finish my book, it will take me a few days to read and reply to all your entries.
Continue reading

Grab Your Readers Attention – 5 Tricks To Kicking Down The 4th Wall

Grab Readers Attention - 5 Tricks To Kicking Down the 4th WallWhen I heard about Deadpool’s use of the 4th wall, I raised a skeptical eyebrow, checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t May, and braced myself for some kind of Marvel comic pornstar love fest between Obi Wan and Asimov. I was disappointed, there was no need to call social services. The hybrid love child was not to be.

Instead, I discovered it was one of those literary techniques I knew, but didn’t know I knew.

Have I lost you yet? I have, haven’t I? You’re thinking Sacha’s pulled one too many all nighters, lost her shit and fallen into a caffeine induced hallucinatory coma.

Okay, let me start again… I had one of those, mythical childless evenings the other day. So the wife and I hot footed it to the movies before my mother came to her senses and promptly brought the terror tot back. We watched Deadpool, the latest Marvel comic hero movie and in my usual style, I dissected it in order to bring you some kick ass (did you see what I did there?) lessons. Continue reading

Bloggers Bash 2016 – Venue Announcement

ABBA 2016The Bloggers Bash Committee said this year would be bigger and better – and trust me, it will be. We, the committee, have plans afoot to make it a cracking day.

If you don’t know what the bash is, it’s an annual get together for bloggers everywhere. The bash is open to everyone, whether you blog about writing, cooking, parenthood, beauty, fishing or anything in between, this is the event for you. AND irrespective of blogging platform – so if you have friends from other platforms please let them know.

The event is open to any blogger from any blogging platform – and please, if you aren’t a wordpress blogger – share this post.

This is the chance for you to meet (in real life) all those firm friends you have made through blogging. This year, the bash is on Saturday the 11th June, in London, England.

I said we had plans. We do. The first of those plans is the exciting news that we have secured a venue. And boy is it amazing. Continue reading