January, for me, is always a month of working out what I want to do. Figuring out what I want to set as my goals for the new year, working out what I want to do better last year, and setting my goals far too high.
January has been an exciting month, as much as a month can be exciting when you’re in yet another Lockdown and surrounded by a plethora of news that is purposely designed to whip up anxiety and stress. It’s been a month of figuring out a route for my Novel, kicking of my Newsletter, and making some rather excellent progress on my blog and social journey.
“Assassins 1” Update.
At the start of January, I spent some time looking at my summary for Assassins 1 on my website. It didn’t quite fit the story I’ve now written (now two years older than that summary!), and it needed an update.
Trying to write a book summary when you’re still in the trenches of editing and writing is no easy task. However, I liked to think that it was an opportunity to really focus on what I want for this story. I’ve done lots of worldbuilding over the past year, and figured out some key plot points for the overall trilogy.
It was only when I started talking about it to some family members on the weekly zoom call did my sibling point a key point – the front part of your summary doesn’t link to the second part.
It seemed like an innocuous comment, but it really unearthed the key problem with my draft – the first part of my summary was the “Big picture” storyline that is setting up for this trilogy (and the ones beyond in the world). The second part was this book, the book about Mae and her journey to becoming an Assassin.
It’s exciting to having that moment of gotcha! When you realise what is wrong with your draft. I’ve felt a renewed sense of focus as I carve out several thousand words of draft into one two thousand word sequence. Even those two thousand words still need finessing, but I’m feeling like I’m making progress on the start of my story!
“Writing on Caffeine”
My first newsletter went out in January! I’m so excited to kick off this newsletter, specifically looking at writing advice and prompts. At the moment, I want to keep the scope of it simple (ie: doable when I have little time), but I can then start expanding into different areas – worksheets, helpguides and other such useful items!
Missed the first edition? You can check it out here for a sneak peek!
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Blog and Social Media
As I’ve mentioned previously on my monthly updates, I’ve done an overhaul of my blog and social content over November & December. Not only do I want a publishing schedule that is more manageable with my writing time, but I also want to focus on the type of content I’m producing. Which is why I’ve scaled back my flash fiction postings, and looking more at opinions and blogs as I go into 2021. This way, my creative well is still full when I try and tackle “Assassins 1” drafting, and then it’ll make it’s way into the world sooner!
I’m still active on Instagram, and I’ve got a Twitter as well if you fancy following along! Social media is something that I’m growing more comfortable with (understanding it’s importance as a tool for an author to reach their audience!), but any friendly faces are welcome. Social media can be somewhat of a bleak landscape at time!
As well as social media, I’ve noticed a number of new followers to my blogs, so I just wanted to also say a huge WELCOME! and thank you for following me on my writing journey!
Missed any of my posts this month – check them out below!
“Can you not pray away the rain?” Zivami asked as he paced around the table in the centre of the tent. “That’s not how it works,” Valite replied, adjusting her cloak, “and you know it.” Zivami snorted. “Could at least try,” he said. “You’re lucky the wards are still holding up around here,” Valite said, … More Temple of Ukla (From the Archives)
Somehow it’s already three days into December, and it’s only now I’ve realised I had yet to write a monthly blog update. It’s fitting, really, given how this month has gone. I’ve read a lot more and written a lot more, which has meant my blog break I started in October has extended into November … More Winter Evening Thoughts
Nainea held on tightly to her copper badge, curling up around it to stop them taking it off her. The cave floor was cold, still wet with the blood of the guards she had managed to kill. At least the badge still listened to her, it still obeyed her. But now, until she could get … More Expel (From the Archives)
The other month, I ventured back into the bowels of a Bookshop for the first time since Lockdown. I say the bowels of the bookshop, because fantasy books are always located somewhere in a cellar or right at the back of the shop, tucked away underneath a heading of science fiction and comic novels. It’s … More Why you should read The Shadow of What was Lost
Writing is a creative hobby that is both individual and isolating. And there is a beauty in that, the individuality of your story is what makes it yours. And the isolation from the world is what gives your mind space to travel to far off places and create worlds so different to our own. But … More Be Kind to You (Monday Inspiration)
This month in my newsletter, Writing on Caffeine, I’m looking at worldbuilding again – and this time it’s food and drink! What your characters eat and drink might not play a vital part of your story, but it can be a key tool to show wider aspects of worldbuilding and characterisation. How your characters interact … More Writing On Caffeine – Writing Food and Drink
Fenla hummed as she stitched the new symbol into the cloth on the table. This one was a simple order, a quick piece of magic to ward off spirits from the mashlands. Not that the owners would be aware the spirits were attracted to anything that she touched. No one was aware, they thought it … More The Daughter’s Curse (From the Archives)
It’s November, which means its Nanowrimo month for many people. Good luck to those who are tackling the mammoth 50,000 words in a month, and also good luck to those who might be doing their own variation of Nanowrimo with a different word count. If you’re new to writing, or new to using word counts … More How To: Smash 50k words in a month
First drafts are supposed to be messy. They’re supposed to be full of holes and phrases that don’t quite work. The words that are in bold because you haven’t created that part of the world yet, or names of people you haven’t thought through. It’s okay if your first draft doesn’t work. Because your second … More The First Draft (Monday Inspiration)
What else have I been up to?
We’ve now finished both Star Trek Discovery and Lupin, both of which were excellent! I particularly enjoyed Discovery’s message of hope for the future – a lovely antidote to the drudgery of news piped into our screens on a daily basis.
Featured Image: by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash