Book blog – contrasting fantasy worlds

I'm currently reading two quite different fantasy novels - Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon, by David Barnett, and the newly-released Half-Shell Prophecies, by Ruthanne Reid. Barnett's book, the second in the series, continues the adventures of Gideon Smith, a former fisherman and now official Hero, in a steampunk Victorian world where men can be... Continue Reading →

Books to read in 2017 – and a reading challenge

I'm doing the 50-Book Challenge again this year. For the challenge, you pledge to read 50 books between January and December - and the website has virtual shelves where you can view the books you've read, write a review, and assign star scores.  It's visual and easy to use, and you can create extra shelves... Continue Reading →

Exciting Writing – why is it rewarding to write?

I spent a morning recently building some interactive online dashboards as part of my day job. It was not exciting work and mostly it was frustrating, as software wouldn't co-operate, or connections fell over halfway through trying to achieve a thing. I looked at the clock. Yes! Quarter past twelve. Nearly lunchtime, or actually lunchtime if I... Continue Reading →

Three things at once – how I avoid writer burnout

I wrote too much this week.* I mean too much of one thing. I had writer burnout. I am trying to maintain a steady 1500 words a day, similar to the NaNoWriMo daily target wordcount. It's more than doable, even if you're busy. Yet I reached Friday this week and could not face doing it.... Continue Reading →

Lessons from imitation – writing like others

I first read Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks a couple of years ago, when it was published amid a slew of well-known authors venturing into fanfiction. There was this by the award-winning Faulks, but also Emma by Alexander McCall Smith, (not to mention the rest of Austen's titles reimagined as part of a... Continue Reading →

Planning backwards with a scene list

I'm very nearly done with the first draft of the book. Very nearly. I just have a couple of scenes to write near the end, plus some backfill to do at the start. This means it's time to do what I always do at this stage of a story, and make a scene list. Which... Continue Reading →

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