Tag Archives: writing tip

4 Top Tips To Build A Fantasy World #MondayBlogs #Amwriting

I re-wrote Keepers three times… from scratch. I won’t be doing that again. It breached all acceptable tolerance levels of inefficiency. So much so, I developed a permanent twitch, and I’m pretty sure I herniated the moment I realized I had to start again… for the third time.

Part of the problem was the world building. See, writing in most genres, you use the real world as the world your story is set in. But as a fantasy/sci-fi writer, your world could be populated by angry hooman eating marshmallows. The sky could be on the ground and the ground in the sky. Suffice to say we get to push our sleeves up and play book-god. But playing book-god is hard. There’s a lot of shit to create.

You can’t just pluck a sword made of magical fish fins, that’s about to reign down a plague and cause world ending genocide, out of thin air. There’s got to be a reason, context, and history. Why? Because it has to mean something to the reader. I mean psssht, magical fish fins indeed. How do they even work?

The problem is, unless your George R.R or Tolkien, you only have three hundred or so pages to convey your entire world and all its constructs. Not an easy task.

So how in the glistering fudgemuggins do you do it?

Well, dear reader, I’m glad you asked. Here are my 4 top tips for building a fantasy world. Continue reading

How To Get Character Depth, or, The Best Freaking Writing Craft Book EVER! @angelaackerman

There’s nothing better than an epiphany. It’s all gooey and warm on the inside, and on the outside it smothers my brain in a glass clear sensation of clarity.  

What follows is usually a brief flappy hand dance, a wide stare into the distance as my brain discombobulates and then has an epiphany.

That’s what the Emotion Thesaurus did to me the first time I read it. If you’re a writer and you don’t own a copy, then shame on you… You bloody ought to. To my absolute delight, I was given a copy of the latest installment in the emotion thesaurus series to review: The Emotional Wound Thesaurus.

Once again, I had one of those delightfully sticky and positively crystal clear moments. Each time Ackerman and Puglisi release a new book, it’s like my writing jumps another notch on the development scale. Continue reading

7 Description Tactics – The Art of Writing – Deconstructing Lauren Oliver

descriptionsI’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.

Here’s 7 tactics for creating the perfect story descriptions. Continue reading

Calling All Writers – A Villainous Survey – I Need Your Help

villain-surveyCan 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

The Secret to Making Your Characters Memorable

memorableWe readers are fickle beasts.

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

7 Lessons I Wish Someone Had Taught Me Before I Started Writing

lessons learntWhen 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.

Continue reading

8 Steps to Discover Your Perfect Writing Process

8 Steps to Discover Your Perfect Writing ProcessWhen 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