R – ReadingWeek – commit to reading usefully

Well, it's the last day of April, but I still have 8 letters to go in my blogging challenge. The challenge was to blog for 26 out of 30 days in April, one post per letter of the alphabet, and I managed OK for the first 2 weeks, and then tailed off as existing commitments... Continue Reading →

Q – quick inspiration, mind inputs from sight and sound

Sometimes you need to take a break from creating. If you've been outputting your imagination intensively, you'll need to rest and refuel. Treat your mind to some inputs from these sources. Sight I am often inspired by the visual so firstly: Search on Tumblr - people create amazing art and take inspiring photos. There are writing... Continue Reading →

P – Public learning, public mistakes

This blog is about my biggest pants yet. That should have been the blog's title, but pants is funnier in British than American, so I didn't. What's the point when half your readers won't find it as snortingly humorous as the other half?  Anyway, learning by the seat of your pants, and in public, is... Continue Reading →

N – No ideas but still need to blog? How to get content ideas

If you plan to blog regularly, you will need a regular supply of material to blog about. If you've been blogging for a while, you may have already plucked the low-hanging fruit - the ideas which first prompted you to start writing, the hot topics which pushed your buttons. But now you still need fresh... Continue Reading →

O – OMG! I’m a winner!

A short post today just to share that last week I found out that I am the overall winner in The Write Practice's Spring Writing Contest! I'm so thrilled, especially as the standard of stories submitted was, as always, very high. I've been given an honourable mention in previous contests but never won. I let out... Continue Reading →

M – Main characters, Protagonists

What makes a main character, or protagonist, successful in a story? What tendencies should the writer avoid? This is a huge topic, so I will just suggest some elements I look for in a great protagonist, by highlighting some of my pet hates. Pet hate #1: The 'Flawed' Heroine. (Or Hero). This is like that... Continue Reading →

L – Love and romance when you’re not in the mood to write it

If you write romance, or have a romantic subplot in your story, you have to come up with the mushy stuff, or the hot stuff, whether you feel it or not. And that's hard, excuse the pun. So what tricks can you use to generate a bit of romance when you really, really cannot be... Continue Reading →

K – Klingons on the starboard bow: my most successful fanfic ever and what to include in a hit story

I never expected to write a Star Trek fanfic. I always liked the TV show as a kid, but was in the 'OK but no great fan' level of interest. I like SF, but I couldn't name any specific episode - or most of the characters. And then they recast Star Trek for a new... Continue Reading →

Show us your subgenre! There’s a niche for every fiction

I found a list today that I didn’t know I needed but now cannot live without. It’s a description of every subgenre of cyberpunk. I’ve given some examples, below, but it’s got me thinking about how detailed our fiction categories have become, and how identifying your exact subgenre can help clarify tone, find the right title for... Continue Reading →

H – Happy endings

I love happy endings. I don't mind hopeful endings, but I really want a happy ending. I want love found, treasure won, bad guys totally defeated, maybe just a hint of a problem to come back in Book Two. But in case there isn't a Book Two - give me a happy ending now, please.... Continue Reading →

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