Category Archives: Writing Tips

How To Survive The ‘How To Get A Bestseller’ Advice

Today sees a guest post from the lovely SC Skillman, author, blogger and attender of the bloggers bash.

SC is talking about a topic I think we can all relate to, overwhelm from internet advice, something she calls the siren.

Everyone wants to sell books, everyone wants to build their platform, but the internet is awash with conflicting advice, knowing when it’s okay to say no, I’m doing it my way and abandon the so called ‘how to write/sell a bestseller is a difficult balance to strike.

SC has just re-released her novel Mystical Circles, which you can find here:

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Now, for a thought provoking essay, over to you, SC:

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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

The Productivity Problem #MondayBlogs #Amwriting

Original Photo by Craig Garner on Unsplash

I had all these plans. Plans for my second non-fiction book to be about heroes or maybe characters more generally.

But like Lennon said,

“Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” 

And no matter what I do, it’s not characters I’m thinking about. It’s productivity. I mean, just two weeks ago, I wrote about productivity and Cal Newport’s book Deep Work.

I guess now I understand the phrase write what you know. Productivity is where my focus is at, so writing about anything else is proving difficult. Continue reading

5 Tips To Write More In Less Time #MondayBlogs

Original Photo by Freddy Castro on Unsplash

I don’t believe in miracles or luck. I believe in hard graft, grit, a ton of sweat and the 70,000 words of baking time needed to make a book.

So until I either win the lottery or publish and sell enough books I can replace my salary, I’m pretty sure I will live in a constant state of unhinged mania and excessive perspiration.

It also means I constantly seek out new ways to make myself as productive as possible. ‘Efficiency’ is my middle name… mostly, when I’m not, you know, procrastinating in the time swallowing beast that is social media.

Now book 1 is done, released in the big scary world, I thought the burning desire to publish books would wither, or at least simmer down momentarily. But instead, I pressed published and it was like throwing uranium on my already lit book-flamethrower.

The knowledge that I can do it, has only fuelled my insatiable need to do it. In a way, I guess I’m a fifteen-year-old book-boy who just had his first shag and now he can’t get enough of getting his leg over the publish button.

But that provides me with a problem. I don’t have any more time in my day. I’ve given up everything, including my poor neglected wife. Which means I need to find a way to be more productive. I need to find a way to write faster or achieve that euphoric state of ‘flow’ quicker.

I’ve just read a book that blew my mind. And I want to share some of the things I’ve learned about time, productivity and output.

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5 Ways To Get An Agent With @AuthorMJMoores

Getting an agent is hard, super hard. Made worse by the fact there is no right or wrong way to go about doing it.

I’ve known M.J. Moores for a number of years now, she participated in my first round of author interviews donkey’s years ago, you can find her interview here. But today, M.J. is back talking about the plethora of ways to hunt and get an agent. Enjoy her jam-packed guest post and check out her books here.

M.J. Welcome…

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7 Book Launch Lessons – #1 Book Marketing Mindset #MondayBlogs

Ahh, ‘marketing,’ that filthy word writers hate slightly less than ‘self-promotion.But, marketing is what sells our books, generates an audience and builds a fanbase… So why the apathy folks?

Whatever the reasons (unbridled imposter syndrome, unfathomable irrationality, a case of lost-your-fucking-mind-itis), we can’t help but cringe, whimper and cower away from saying those dirty words.

*cough… buy my book…please…*

Okay, maybe that’s a little unfair. We do say it… Just the once mind, and only quietly using our best polite-British voice.

*forehead slap*

Let’s get a grip, shall we?

If you’re even half serious about selling books or writing full-time, then you’re going to have to get with the self-promotion program, and fast.

Did I mention that I published a book…?

Cause I have…

It’s called 13 Steps To Evil, and you should probably check it out…

See… that wasn’t too bad, was it? No one died because I promoted myself, and I’m only sweating and twitching a little bit! *deep breath* *reaches for paper bag*

Before we move into hardcore tactics – here’s the ‘what I’ve learned about marketing through publishing my first book 13 Steps To Evil stuff.’ Continue reading

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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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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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