The bonuses of working two projects

A couple of months ago, I decided to have a chop at writing an ebook series while also finishing up the second and third drafts of my novel. I’ll admit, I had some concerns about this: Would I find it hard to keep the two stories separate? Turns out, no. While working on one book,…

Messing with the routine

I have followed a pretty strict writing routine for the past 18 months. It went a little something like this (minus the nuances): 5am: Wake up. Walk the dog. 6am: Shower. Breakfast 7am – 12pm: Write/edit (predominately working on novel, though sometimes I’d work on blogs or short articles) 12-1pm: Lunch. Domestic jobs 1-6pm: Work…

The Standard Writers Interrogation List: Larks vs Owls

This blog is part of a series I started earlier this year. Whenever two writers meet for the first time, there is a typical set of questions they ask each other. These questions mostly relate to processes, habits and superstitions. I’ve come to think of them as the Standard Writers Interrogation List. This blog tackles…

Writing from the subconscious

We are seeped in Story. At no other time in history have we had such easy access and such constant exposure to Story. Even non-readers are repeatedly exposed to the fundamentals of Story through movies and television, and you could even argue that social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook tell a certain type of…

A bit of kindling for when you’re feeling burnt out

TWe’ve all come across ‘throw away’ blogs. The fluff pieces that add little meaning or value to your day; the type of perfectly non-invasive article to skim through over breakfast (once upon a time, we’d depended on the soft news stories of our local paper to gently warm our minds, preparing us for the day…

Reaching out for easy when the writing gets hard

“The death of reflection is the death of creativity.” Kim Wilkins. (This blog is inspired by Kim’s TED talk which you can find here). Everyone bangs on about the shitty side of social media, mobile phones and the internet, but the truth is, this technology has added a host of new variables, solutions and problems…

Why writers need other writers

In the daily conversation of ordinary life, ‘writerly talk’ has a shelf life of, oh, about five minutes. That elevator pitch (a tidy little one liner you can whip out of your holster whenever someone asks, ‘What’s your book about?’) you’ve tweaked a thousand times over will serve you in both your professional and private…

Writers still need to talk to people

When it comes to research, I reckon most writers are separated by their desired primary sources by only one or two degrees. Google is an efficient – and frankly convenient – source when a writer is familiarising themselves with a topic or fact checking, but it’s not so great when it comes to the nuanced…

The ‘why’ behind the craft

A few years ago, I decided to volunteer at a major writing festival. One of the perks of volunteering is that once you’ve checked attendees’ tickets, you then get to pull up stumps yourself. Once, I was lucky enough to man the door of a craft workshop lead by a local Sci-Fi/Fantasy author. Once all…

The necessity of labels

When you think of genre fiction, your mind likely comes up with umbrella terms like crime, romance, science fiction, drama, horror, and comedy. Beneath these broad terms however, there are many subgenres: mystery, thriller, police procedural, speculative fiction, space opera, regional romance and so on. Then there’s the hybrids: dystopian romance, political thriller etc. So…

Literary necromancy and trickster devices.

Being January, the temptation to write a blog discussing the new year and my hopeful writing goals is overwhelming. However, I thought it would be more interesting for you if I discussed other types of beginnings, like the importance of a good opening sentence. To get us started, here’s some opening lines from famous literary…

The Write Before Christmas

4:44am Beep beep beep: Partner’s alarm goes off. Usually, I get up with Partner, potter around until his lift for work arrives and then I take Dog for a walk. Today, I decide to sleep in. 5:15am Partner comes back into bedroom, says his lift hasn’t arrived, can I drop him off? Get out of…