Category Archives: Writing Tips

5 Ways Twitter Helps You Become a Better Writer @sarahbrentyn #MondayBlogs

Sarah Brentyn is a master of flash fiction. For real. I adore her, but a little part of me hates on her just a TEENY bit because she is THAT good at flash. If you haven’t read her book or checked out her flash fiction blog, you need to. You’ll learn more than a lot. You’ll see DaVinci crafting helicopters out of words, or Michaelangelo painting a wordish Sistine Chapel.

In summary, she’s good. Fucking good. GO.READ.HER.BOOK.

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AmazonUK

In celebration of her book, and that June is flash fiction month, her book is on sale. Check it out.

But today, Brentyn is teaching us all about Twitter and how to use it.
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12 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Writing A Trilogy or Series by @rogersonsm

Today I’m delighted to host Suzanne Rogerson, Suzanne and I met through this blog and we’ve shared many a tweet and comment since. Today Suzanne launches the first book in a series called The Lost Sentinel: Silent Sea Chronicles. To celebrate, she’s here talking us through 12 key questions we should ask ourselves before launching into a book series. Continue reading

Young Adult Writing Tips With Oathbreaker Author @ShelleyWilson72

Today I am super excited to have Shelley Wilson with me on the blog. Shelley is a fellow Young Adult and non-fiction writer. She’s also a long time Bloggers Bash attendee.

I’m always sniffing around Shelley’s blog to see what Young Adult book she’s reviewed this week because I love her recommendations. But today, there’s something FAR more exciting.

Today she’s spilling the beans on her own new YA werewolf release Oathbeaker (out today) as well as giving us hot tips on writing Young Adult fiction. Which you can get here:

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Amazon US

Without further ado, Shelley… Welcome.

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Last Chance To Get 13 Steps To Evil For £1.99

It’s been quite a launch week, I’ve been astounded and humbled by the support and love shown by so many of you, so thank you, truly.

In a couple of weeks, (around mid-July) I will return to blogging, full force sarcasm and odd metaphors to fill you in on all the lessons, fuck ups and ‘how to’s’ I’ve learned from publishing 13 Steps. I promise you it will be interesting!

But for now, launch week is nearly over. If you haven’t got you copy of 13 Steps To Evil, now is the time. Because tomorrow the sale ends and the price goes up to 2.99. Get your copy here by clicking your reading device logo or regular bookstore.

Why should you get 13 Steps To Evil? Continue reading

13 Steps To Evil – How To Craft Superbad Villains Is HERE!

I know, I know. I can hear the groans of  ‘about freaking time, Sacha. What took you so long? It’s not like you’ve been writing for 7 years straight, Sacha, I mean Geeeez.’

All I can do is raise my weary eyebrow, wipe the sweat off my brow and down my glass of champagne.

FINALLY, today is the day I take the first steps toward fulfilling the dream little nine-year-old me had. Because right now, at this very moment, I get to put on that shiny gold badge I’ve been lusting after for an eon.

Today I become an author.

Fuck yeah, I do, people, Fuck YEAAAAAH I DOOOOOO!

I’m actually doing this dance. No, really.

The time for talking is over. 13 Steps To Evil – How To Craft Superbad Villains, is here.

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The London Book Fair, Decisions & The Ultimate Sacrifice #MondayBlogs

Last week saw me visit the London Book Fair 2017, the UK’s largest book fair. Over 25,000 people attend to negotiate rights, deals, have agent sessions, attend insightful seminars and network with author services as well as meet fellow authors.

I spent two days there and frankly, I think they have to be the best two days of my entire writing career to date. I learnt so much, mostly unexpected things. But also things about myself, things about the industry, and things I didn’t even know I didn’t know.

But all that’s led me to one stark conclusion and one that’s resulted in me taking quite surprising action. 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

50 Shades of Mistakes That Sell Books #MondayBlogs

I warn you now, this post is for the open minded.

There are some books that are bound to cause controversy. 50 Shades of Grey is one of those books, so it makes sense that I don’t know many people who actually admit to liking it. But I don’t get it. There have been at least a hundred million copies sold worldwide, which puts it in the realm of the top ten selling books of all time. And that 100m figure was the from two years ago, with film releases it’s only going to boost book sales.

So somebody has to be buying it and reading it.

Most people I talk to are vehemently against the book.  The trilogy seems to ignite more ferocious battles than all the recent political Brouhahas. Most argue their dislike is because it’s written badly, or the subtly abusive connotations around how the male love interest treats the female protagonist.

If you didn’t know, 50 shades of Grey is actually fan fiction of the Twilight saga written by Stephanie Meyer which also sold in excess of a hundred million copies despite being yet another series of books that received significant critical attention.

But here’s my point, and the driver behind this post, if these bitches can sell nearly 300 million copies despite nearly everyone I know wanting to shove their books in a woodchipper, then there has to be something they’re doing right, and I wanna know what it is.

I don’t care if you’re Shakespeare himself risen from the dead to craft word-gold to hit the NYT best seller list, you don’t sell 300 million copies without giving your audience exactly what they want. And that, my dear sweet cherry pies, is the point of being a writer. I don’t know about you folks, but I sure as shit wouldn’t mind selling 300 million copies of my book.

So here’s me, suggesting to you, we all put our disjointed noses and misplaced egos aside for a moment and deconstruct what in the shizzle they did to make themselves so successful. Continue reading

30 WRITING COMPETITIONS with Amazing Prizes

Every few months, I like to collate a bucket load of writing competitions and plonk them in a post for you to peruse and enter at your leisure.

I say it all the time, but writing is a muscle. If you don’t exercise it, you’re guna lose it and that doesn’t mean always writing long novel-like prose.

Short stories are like the caffeine of writing. They give your muse a jump start shot of adrenaline and get your brain working in ways you never imagined. Why not make it your goal to enter a comp a month this year?

I’ve only listed first prize winnings this time to save time and as always PLEASE CHECK THE RULES for any competition you enter. There are always details and nuances that you have to adhere to, I have not included them here.

Here’s a list of 30 competitions with big prizes. Clearly enter the first one immediately :p Continue reading

4 Ways Not to F*** Up Your Novel’s Tenses

I’m in the home stretch, for both my books, the glorious finish line is in sight… like the marathon runner entering the stadium I am high, the lactic acid burn is intense but like an addict, I love it. Things are going well…and then I realise…I’ve messed up, BIG time. Ballsed up like a big pile of chunky vomit, covered in word poops and a distinct time distorted tense cock up.

Now, I am tense. Tense, because I fudged up my fuckling manuscript. I’m trying not to throw my toys out the pram, because this is supposed to be the last edit, and it is, kinda. It’s just a chuff ton bigger than I thought it was going to be.

Here’s what happened: I gave my manuscript to beta readers they provided some delightful and useful feedback, I processed said feedback and then I put it down whilst I finished off 13 Steps to Evil my non-fiction writing craft book that teaches writers how to craft better villains. Three months elapsed and when I came to do the final edit of Keepers. I started writing, and could not for the life of me understand why I couldn’t get it right.

Something was off, something intangible, a murky jelly-like substance that was just out of reach. I knew the problem was there I just didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t until I shared the paragraph with a friend who asked me why I’d switched tense that I realised the ALMIGHTY cock up.

Because of such a significant time  gap, I’d started editing in a completely different tense. It wouldn’t have been a problem, except I preferred the new tense to the old one, which means a total rewrite.

CUNDYFUNKINGBALLSACKS

*Takes deep breath*

“Do I really need to do a full tense rewrite for my whole manuscript?”

“Yes, Sacha, yes you do.”

&)@£%$*$7″$£$^””%$

Be smart, don’t do me and balls up your whole manuscript 2 meters from the finish line here is how… Continue reading