Today, I have a guest post from the wonderful Sarah E. Boucher, we met through Twitter, and have regular chats about all things writerly. She has two books, Midnight Sisters and Becoming Beauty, both twisted fairytale retellings. I can’t wait to read them.
If you fancy a proper giggle, you have to read this. So without further ado, over to Sarah. Continue reading
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
I’ve been interventioned. Intervened? Whatever. I’ve been told to back away from the keyboard and sit my plump ass down.
You know when you watch movies and a group of friends actually stage an intervention and you laugh because you’re like HAHA that shit never happens, and it would definitely not happen to me.
Well it did.
Believe me, post its and actual man sized flip charts were involved.
But before I tell you the story, let me explain… as the year draws to a close, I’ve been getting a wickle bit reflective. Especially because next year is going to be a big year.
I hit the big 3.0, I’ll publish for the first and hopefully second and third time, and there are some other BIG secrets I can’t reveal yet.
But for now, another year has past and while lots of things have been achieved, my dreams have not been met… YET. But instead of being disheartened it force fed me petrol and made the fire inside me burn hotter than a million Kelvin.
Let the reflectioning begin…
My friends, lets call them Black Hole (yes there is a story behind this, no I will not tell you…
today ever. Cough.) and Tasmanian Devil (TD) for short.
Black Hole and TD were concerned. Continue reading
I’m a genre whore. 70% of what I read is Young Adult fantasy or dystopian fiction. I’d make it 100% but I actually want to read my friends books and occasionally I like dipping my toes in other stuff like (thrillers, crime, literary fiction) and then there’s non-fiction business, marketing and mindset books and of course, my other love, conspiracies.
But the point is, I’m a big slutty slut slut when it comes to YA fantasy/dystopian. I gobble it up like a starving orphan. Why?
Because I love that shit. I love it so much I’d motorboat them books all night long and carry a caffeine drip to work because I stayed up so late reading (happens a LOT).
But, having read a lot of books in the same genre I can confidently say, they are ALL the same story. No really, they are. But its the familiarity that drags me back.
And it’s the familiarity that drags other readers back too. We actually want to be told the same story, over and over and over. It’s just that we want to be told it in a different way, so it doesn’t feel like the same story.
That’s where tropes come in. Tropes give your readers the familiarity they crave, which is why they are so important to you if you’re a genre writer. Continue reading
Forget the fountain of youth, no one needs to live forever. I mean, can you imagine the botox bill? and not just for your face… EWW. Moving on.
Beta feedback is a gift from the holy fountain of book perfection.
For some, it makes them face plant into a vat of sludgey self-loathing and bookpression. But for others it turns their sleep deprived eyes into glinty, sparkling ones accompanied by feverish hand rubbing and villainish cackles.
Your book, if you listen to your beta readers, will be oh so much better. That word-turd you vomited out over months of sleepless nights, will finally become a polished glitter covered book.
But receiving beta feedback can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if like me, you don’t do detail.
I’ve finally managed to get on top of the beta feedback and have almost finished going through it.
This post is dedicated to my amazing beta readers, there are no words to quantify my gratitude.
Here are 6 ways to manage and organise your beta feedback.
I hate Christmas because it’s eye-twitchingly expensive. Mostly we spend it in the car or feeling bloated from greed. I don’t eat meat and honestly, I don’t really drink either, so the prospect of Christmas does not fill me with fluffy tinsel covered unicorns of joy. When I think of Christmas I think of the Grinch and smirk.
But Halloween, I don’t just like, I love it. And not for its real purpose of remembering the dead, or its meaningful roots derived from Irish mythology and Christianity, but because it’s filled with the weird and wonderful.
Halloween is the one time of the year when judgement stops and everyone is free. Ugly masks and unusual make up suddenly become acceptable, celebrated even. Fancy dress is no longer an oddity served with a raised bushy eyebrow, it’s compulsory.
Halloween has never been scary to me, but the writing business is and so is the publishing industry. 2017 is nearly upon us, and that means, that by hook or amputated butt cheek, I will be publishing next year.
So in a salute to Halloween, here’s 6 things I find terrifying about writing and the publishing industry Continue reading
Can you help me? If you don’t know, I am in the process of writing a non-fiction book that aims to help writers create the best villains possible.
In order to make sure the book is as helpful as possible, I want it to capture everything that would be useful to a writer, so I’ve created a survey, if you have a few minutes I’d be super snog your face off grateful if you filled it in and if you have another moment, shared the survey with a fellow pen-rat to fill in.
Ta muchly, SB xx Continue reading
This post is a cheat, partly because I’m exhausted after having thrown a surprise party for the wife’s 30th. But also because I happen to be in the midst of a significant bout of procrastination all because I am wallowing in a deep, deep pit of writerly self loathing.
So this week instead of my wordy bullshit, I bring you more writing competitions than you can shake a shakespearian cat at.
With any competition, it’s advisable to ensure you rake the rules of each one with your finest, slickest rule finding comb. I have not displayed the rules of any of these competitions, so if you don’t check, don’t expect to win. Continue reading
When you write the end of a chapter, you want readers to be desperate to turn the page and read on irrespective of the fact its 3:41AM and they have work the next day.
You want your book to be the cause of their bleary eyed appearance as they clutch the work coffee machine and growl at any one who comes near.
But what is it about a chapter ending that makes someone read on, rather than put it down and go to snoozeyland?
Here are nine tactics you can use to grip a reader and tickle their temptation soft spot to read on. Continue reading
As writers we play the infinitely difficult Where’s Wally of reader spotting. But locating those pesky readers is more tortuous than tweezing your granddads nasal hair, and yet, it is THE most important thing we do.
As I draw nearer to handing my book to beta readers, the prospect of completing it, having to press publish and my labour of love subsequently disappearing into the utterly saturated Amazon rainforest of books, never to be seen again, is becoming frighteningly real.
In an attempt to prevent the only people buying my book being mumsy and wifeypoos, I read 3 marketing books last month:
Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book
Nick Stephenson’s Supercharge Your Kindle Sales
And Tim Grahl’s Your First 1000 Copies
The whole point of my blog is to share what I learn on this sanity testing journey to authordom and what did I learn? Well, I’m resolute on the fact finding your readers will always be the holy grail of authorlyness and because it’s the holy grail, not all of us will find it. BUT, I also learnt a whole heap of other neat tricks to help us along the way, as well as finding an answer to the 64 bergillion dollar question, should an author blog…?
I learnt a shit ton of stuff, so I’ve split this post into two.
So here are 9 ways to help you find your audience, this week I bring you way one to five. Continue reading