Category Archives: Writing Tips

5 Top Tips To Improve Your Sentence Quality #Amwriting

photo credit: writers helping writers

A little over a year ago, I saw a guest post on one of my writing heroes websites: writers helping writers. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi announced their brand new writing Coach residency. The coaches were HIGHLY esteemed with the likes of James Scott Bell and C.S Laiken.

When I saw it I was so excited. I thought it was amazing that they had brought together such an insane line up of coaches and I’d get the benefit of learning from all their tips.

I also made a promise to myself that day. I swore that whether it was in five years, fifteen years or fifty years, I would be able to call myself a writing coach. I didn’t know how I’d manage it or if I’d ever be good enough to call myself that. But that didn’t matter. I wanted to be one and I was determined to help others.  

So I was totally and utterly mind fuggled when a few weeks ago, an email from Angela herself dropped into my inbox asking if I’d join their coach programme… Continue reading

Putting Theory into Practice – 13 Steps To Evil Workbook Launch

How do you become the best writer you can?

Is a question I constantly ask myself in my quest to write full-time.

One of the most obvious answers I’ve discovered is by continuing to learn lessons and develop your craft.

But lessons only take you so far, right?

Why?

Because you have to put them into practice. Continue reading

Celebrating Your Achievements with Self-Help Author, Shelley Wilson (@ShelleyWilson72) #BlogTour

I am terribly ‘un-present.’

I roll from one project to the next, never stopping to appreciate the mountain peak I’ve just climbed. I finish and move on. It’s unhealthy and it’s probably one of the reasons I’ve spent most of this year either burnt out or close to a burnout. Shelley Wilson, Bloggers Bash committee member and fellow non-fiction and YA Fantasy writer is here today to tell us a thing or two about why we need to stop and admire the view from the top.

Listen up folks, don’t be a dufus like me. Shelley knows her shit!

To buy How I Motivated Myself to Succeed

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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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