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!
February has rushed away from me, taking with it the dregs of winter. We finally have sight of spring on the horizon, lighter mornings and the first new daffodils budding in the ground. There is a simple joy in appreciating the world around you, and I cannot help but the last year of varying forms … More Writing is the Challenge
It’s not a breaking of a bond, but more a loosening. You see it, at first. The distance that has grown between you. Not from hatred, or any passionate emotion if you where honest. Just a quiet boredom that has gnawed away at you for years upon years. You know it will not last. You … More Slide (From the Archives)
Don’t forget to read widely. Stories you like, stories you hate, stories like your own project, stories completely different to your own project. To write, you have to read. Keep reading.
I spent a significant part of 2020 learning to bake sourdough. Like most people in the UK, when lockdown was first announced once way to relive stress was baking. Now, I normally bake cakes weekly, but bread? That was something new. I’ve written far longer than I’ve baked bread, but in doing something new, I’ve … More Why writing novels is like baking sourdough
Every journey has its own timeframe. Every journey has its own route. Every journey has its own purpose. Your journey for each creative project is completely unique. Let the journey take its time, its route. Let yourself find the purpose of the project.
“Do you have it?” Lauren nodded, hand still tucked inside her jacket. It might not seem much, this little tin box full of blue powder, but it was going to change the world. Their world. Vaskier slipped out of the shadows that spilled from under the arches. Lauren could feel her skin crawl as Vaskier … More Under the Arches (From the Archives)
This month in my newsletter, Writing on Caffeine, I’m talking about worldbuilding, particularly magic systems. Taking some of the advice from Brandon Sanderson (of whom I am a huge fan!), I’ll take you through some key points in how to build a magic system, and what to take into consideration for your wider worldbuilding. Want … More Writing on Caffeine – February Edition
See what you can achieve this week. Even if it’s just ten words on your manuscript. Even if it’s just thinking about ten words on your manuscript. Let’s see what you can achieve this week.
Magic systems. Any good fantasy (in my opinion), needs a magic system. I love worlds with intriguing magic, and the ability to throw in a good few battle magic scenes. A good magic system, used well, can make a story stand out in the crowd of other books. Especially those with magic systems that are … More How To: Creating Magic Systems
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