I’ve been Indulging in a binge festival of guilty pleasure reading. Tactical reading. That’s what I’ve been doing.
When I finished my novel and handed it over to beta readers. I knew there was still a lot a fucking legion of stuff I needed to work on. Including the need to develop some skills that much to my annoyance STILL weren’t honed properly. Like my powers of description. Give me non-fiction or blog posts and I can whip out my bad word baps, and filth-filled metaphors with the best of them. But put a fuckitbucket in a YA book and you’re going to regret it. So I started bingeing on popular YA books hoping I’d absorb some of their skills.
Right now, I’m reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Her description is borderline excessive (in my humblest crumbliest opinion), but I quickly dropped into the rhythm of her sentences and now I kinda think it’s beautiful. So I thought I’d spend this post deconstructing her sentences to see what I could learn about description.
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.
If you have a shit book cover we won’t pick up your novel. Sloppy blurb and we chuck the book on the NBR (Never Be Read) pile. If we get past all that and find forgettable characters buried in your pages, well… fuck you author, here’s a one star review.
A couple of weeks ago, I was lording it up in Paris with the girls for a cocktail fuelled weekend… I still have a hangover!
The thing is, I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t take advantage of any and every opportunity to spew some more of my hyperbolae into the world, and Paris has provided me the perfect opportunity to do just that.
I have a terrible memory. Like ,really bad. But my substandard brain cells got me thinking about books and specifically, about characters.
Without memorable characters, your book is worthless. Why?
Because books are written about characters. If your characters are boring, your books boring. But how do you make them memorable without turning them into the equivalent of a glitter covered literary drag queen? Continue reading →
When I first started writing, I was worse than a kid in a toy store. I wanted it ALL…NOW. I was desperate to be ‘good’ at writing. I didn’t want to just ‘be’ a writer, I wanted to Stephen King that shit.
I was deluded. Not because of my dream, but because I was unconsciously incompetent!
I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Which frankly, at that point, was less than fuck all. So I set about rampaging my way through everything that had even the faintest whiff of ‘writing tips’ attached to it.
The problem was, I got overwhelmed, saturated with conflicting advice and utterly bewildered as to which direction to go in. I didn’t know what to learn or how to learn it.
I realised there was no avoiding the fact it really does just take time to develop your writing muscle. However… along the way, I also picked up some pretty nifty tricks that helped me speed up the process. Tricks I wish I’d known earlier.
When I started writing (years ago) I really didn’t have a clue. I was painfully naïve. I thought I could do a first draft (of a short story or a novel) that would be ok’ ‘good’ even, ‘almost there’ and not need that much work. HAHAHA, Oh how silly I was. If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you will know I have a little obsession with the writing process. I read about it, think about it and write about it all the time.
I don’t think I am alone in obsessing over reading blogs about writing, but all it does it confuse me. I mean, how much attention do we really pay to understanding our own writing process?
Until recently, when I had an epiphany, I’d spent a long time thinking there was a right way… a right writing process I should be following. There isn’t. I decided to sit down and really give my process some thought, because if I can understand my own process, then I can shape it and tweak it to maximize my effectiveness. I hope this post helps you do the same. Continue reading →