Writing is the Challenge

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 of lockdown and uncertainty has made me appreciate the birds singing in the morning even more. The world continues to turn, even if our lives feel like they do not. A living embodiment, perhaps, of the phrase “this too, shall pass”

Assassins 1 Update

My ongoing WIP novel, “Assassins 1” has both simultaneously not had much work and a lot of mental work at the same time. It’s at a point in the edit where I can see the threads of the story laid out, and now I’m trying to weave them in with one another. There are a few key scenes that hold up the backbone of the story, and now I’m working out how they all join together.

The journey of writing this novel has been one lesson after the next. If I went back to 2018, when I first took my short story The Book of Pattegon and decided to expand it out into a “novella” length triology for the purposes of Nanorwimo, I never thought I would be here almost 2 and a half years later, still plugging away at the story.

Before this point, my stories have always had a fanciful hobby feeling about them. My blog was for fun, my writing for the sheer joy of it, and my ideas spilling into little stories and ideas, too many to capture in one story.

But this novel, this ongoing work in progress, has changed that. I still write for the joy of it, but on the days I don’t feel like writing, I still want to tackle this story. This story has just something about it, my creative gut feeling is there is something special about this story. No matter what it’s future holds in the world of publishing, when this story is finished it will be one of the best things I’ve ever written.

I am sure that the books I write after Assassins 1 will be better than this novel, using the skills I’ve learnt during this telling on the next set of characters or plot ideas. And in some ways, that’s the And I think that’s the whole point of writing – it’s a challenge to go beyond your previous limitations. It’s telling a story that captures a reader’s imagination, writing something that goes beyond a few key scenes or good ideas.

It’s storytelling at it’s most natural – taking a world and then crafting a message amongst all the characters and plot twists and magic.

The message of Assassins 1?

“Sometimes, the only thing that makes things better, is revenge”.

Writing on Caffeine

This month I talked about all things Magic Systems on my monthly newsletter “Writing on Caffeine”. I really enjoyed writing this one – I love magic systems in fantasy and I really like using them as tools to help drive the narrative further. If you haven’t read Sanderson’s Laws of Magic, I highly recommend them – less for “rules” of how to write a system, but to give you the questions to ask about magic and how it interacts with your story.

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Missed any of my Posts this month?

Check out all of my months from February – including my personal favourite opinion post – comparing Sourdough baking to writing!

What else have I been up to?

Given the continued state of Lockdown, husband and I have now started on The Expanse on Amazon. It’s the second attempt at this show, and I’ve been surprisingly engaged in the story – especially how they’ve built up the character’s backstorys and tells during the seasons.


Featured Image Credit: Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash


Alex.J.Cobalt is a fantasy writer from the UK. When she’s not working away at her fantasy novel series, she posts free flash fictions on her website, along with regular blogs about writing.


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