Help Is Out There- Just Ask!


Advice from a New Writer to New Writers:

Take all the advice you can get- you don’t have to use it all but at least give it a try.

Over the past few weeks I have found so many helpful blogs full of really useful info and advice.

Created by John Tringham / Zappa blamma
Created by John Tringham / Zappa blamma

It’s an online world we have stepped into and it can be pretty daunting. You not only have to write the thing, you have to learn a whole load of new skills, you have to market it and learn a new way of working and a new language.

There are people out there who can help so don’t be afraid to ask. I have found that these guys are usually really happy to share their knowledge with you.

Learning from people who have been through the same experience and come out smiling just has to be a good thing.

The info and experience you seek is out there you just have to scoot around and look for it.IMG_1251

Us newbies we are all on a steep learning curve, it’s scary but it’s also fun. We are probably among the first generation of writers to have access to self publishing. We have huge resources to call on and we don’t have to paper our walls with rejection letters if we don’t want to. Sure it’s an up and down ride sometimes but let’s enjoy it and hang on screaming right to the end.


Tonight’s Jonny Greeneyes-snips

Well pull me up then you idiot I heard him say.

Marc a bit unsteady heaved my father upright, he made a face

Ooh I think you fell in badger shit Jonny

Dad sniffed, oh yeah it is a bit rank or is it just one of your giant mega farts, they both collapsed into giggles again like a couple of kids.

In 36 years I had never seen them this gone, they were both steaming!


He squeezed the Pixies hand, don’t worry he said, Gala is only doing it to wind you up, anyway credit me with having better taste than that over-inflated puffball.

His own father said he was like whipped cream, pretty and tempting to look at, but full of air, with no real substance and liable to collapse under the slightest pressure!

Tony grunted, yeah well I will be a much happier Pixie when that one is off, and on his way to wherever it is he comes from. I don’t trust him an inch!


How to Write a First Draft (Of Anything)

Profusion Books

I believe it was Ernest Hemingway who said something along the lines of, “The first draft of everything is shit.”

He’s not wrong.

Writing a first draft is getting everything out on the page. Don’t concern yourself too much with character development or the amount of dialogue/action/description you have compared to one another. Just get everything down on paper/screen.

Your first draft is not your first draft– there is no doubt that when redrafting, you will delete probably all of it. That’s a good thing! Your real first draft is the ‘polished’ one after about four rewrites.

My point is: if you focus too much on your first draft, it will be dragged out of you. There is no enjoyment in focusing on every word of every sentence, trying to fit everything together perfectly first time. Enjoy the process! Just throw everything at the page and take a step…

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A Little Goes A Long Long Way-Getting Feedback!

This is one very happy camper-I got some feedback today!

As a New Writer getting feedback from the people you trust is so important. After all you are giving yourself heart and soul-all laid out on the train tracks of life for the embarrassment express to come along and turn you into pate [where I grew up this was called spread and it came in a jar!]


I think it’s important to get feedback from good honest people. I chose a whole variety of readers, from a professional Librarian friend and a couple of close cousins who REALLY like their books [all a similar vintage to me as I am aiming to maybe grab a few more mature fantasy fans], to friends and a few younger colleagues at work, to gain their insight into the rough draft. I also asked my brother who flies slightly more than Superman and enjoys a bit of a fantasy read when he is travelling.

I think I asked about 10 people, and my poor husband who has listened to it as an audio in the car! Considering our island is only 9 miles long this has taken a while.

Some have read it, some have half read it and some haven’t started. Feedback has been generally honest and positive which has lifted my [oh my God how embarrassing they will all think it’s total crap] depression a bit.

It’s pretty easy to get despondent when you feel like you have no idea if it’s ok or just bloody awful!


They have been helpful and positive, two of them have even asked for the 12000 word start I made on book 2-seriously I hear you ask! My poor husband may not stand the strain!IMG_1244.JPG

At the moment this has come to a bit of a halt until I feel ready to carry on again! 

Comments have ranged from: I loved it; I really care about the characters; you cannot kill him off he’s my favourite; only you could invent a gay Pixie; it ends a bit abruptly like you missed a page-he was absolutely right and it is much better for the feedback!

You are asking people to invest in a novice writer- my book is 75,000 words and it’s a fair old chunk of their time so don’t expect a full literary summary back.

All I can say to any other new writers out there is it feels pretty good when you get positive feedback. The fact that two people told me off for leading them over a literary cliff and almost finishing someone off means that even as an amateur I have managed to make them believe in my characters- which is what it’s all about! Hooray!IMG_1242


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