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!
Ia looked down on the smoking remains of their village. Even from up here, in the safety of the mountains, she could taste the ash on the air. The anger inside her was deep, she had warned the council that the humans were advancing across their borders and yet they did nothing. And still did … More Smoking Remnants (From the Archives)
When I started An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington, I was certain of two things. Firstly, reading a huge fantasy story that I hadn’t read before on an e-book was considerably harder because I couldn’t have easy access to the map or the glossary, and secondly I knew for certain that this … More My Thoughts on An Echo of Things to Come
Don’t forget that this month in my newsletter, Writing on Caffeine, I’m talking all about how to build the natural world into your novel. The natural world is a huge topic, so I’m going to focus on one aspect – plants. The lifeblood of anything that is alive, the crazy evolutions and tips on how … More Writing On Caffeine – Worldbuilding and Plants
If you are active on any kind of social media, you are likely to see photos of beautiful writing setups, cosy desks, achievements of those who have written ten thousand words in a single day. Don’t get me wrong, that version of a “writing life” is quite valid, but I’m here to talk about why … More Why you need to go outside
Gerald purred against Lily as she stroked him gently. For once the normally crazy cat was subdued, exhausted from staying up all night because of the fireworks. It was a new year. Lily didn’t put too much stock in the whole event, the parties or the dramatic resolutions. That was for those who believed they … More Reborn (From the Archives)
Identifying how power works in your world is important because, let’s be honest, power is what drives society. Who has it, who doesn’t have it, and what those in power do with that power impact swathes of society and the people within it. It constrains some actions and allows others, creating a complex web of … More Top Tips for creating power structures in your fantasy books
“Stop this!” Vashna screamed, pulling at the ropes around his wrists, “for the sake of yourself, Maynie, you need to stop!” Maynie looked up from the alter, hair askew and magic wild in her eyes. Blue energy surrounded her hands as she continued to move them in the ritual movements. “Stop?” Even though her word … More You can’t re-write history
In April 2020, I wrote 40,000 in one month on my novel. In April 2022, I’ve written…about 2,000. But you know what? I’ve still written more valuable words, because they make sense. And this, my friends, is the conundrum called editing. I’ve been a religious users of wordcount trackers since about 2018, but recently I’ve … More Edits, Edits, Edits
“Today, we remember our leader,” Hectaius said, standing at the head of the small mound of pebbles which marked all that remained of Right-Leader Ingnat. The rest of the group, only four of them now, raised their tin mugs of whiskey to the sky. Geegi looked haggared, her face laced with cut marks from the … More Souls of Smoke (From the Archives)
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