Starting the Realm of the Elderlings – Assassin’s Apprentice review

My introduction to the Realm of the Elderlings got off to a rocky start when I realised I started with the wrong book. Namely, the book that was the trilogy at the very end. I only realised this until I was almost a good 25% through (according to my kindle), which also meant I got hugely spoilered for events that hadn’t happened yet. Reminder: when starting a new book series, double check to make sure you’re reading the right book. Now I’ve powered my way through the entirety of The Farseer Trilogy, I’ve actually come to appreciate my unintentional spoilery … More Starting the Realm of the Elderlings – Assassin’s Apprentice review

You write what you read

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these updates about my fantasy novel The Akrion Cycle (Book 1). The last six months have not got much to show in terms of words on a page, but there have been points of intensive creativity which have pushed the book forward. One of the things I have been struggling with quite a bit is the pacing. The first quarter of the story has gone through numerous iterations in order to get a better pacing (and therefore setup) for the rest of the tale. It was a conundrum which has been … More You write what you read

An summer’s evening thoughts

This time of year is always my favourite – before the full heat and intensity of summer has hit, but still warm enough to enjoy the outside. Whilst this month has not been one for writing, it has been one for reading. It’s quite a common saying that to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader, and that’s something that I’m trying to improve this year. Plus, armed with my kindle and a two hour round commute on a train, I’m able to carve out some time for new books. What I’m Reading I’ve now finished … More An summer’s evening thoughts

My Thoughts on An Echo of Things to Come

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 book series was definitely going to fall into the “two reads” category of series. Both of these things are good things, but both influenced the way that I read this book the first time round. This blog is going to contain spoilers for both A … More My Thoughts on An Echo of Things to Come

Why you need to go outside

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 as a writer, you also need to go outside. Now for me, when I say this, I don’t mean go and stand outside or go on an intrepid three week hike. I mean that sitting in front of a computer or a pad of paper … More Why you need to go outside

Edits, Edits, Edits

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 fallen out of love with them. They’re a fantastic tool for starting a new project and putting words on the page, but they don’t show the whole picture when you’re trying to edit something. They miss out the hour of thinking that goes into the … More Edits, Edits, Edits

My thoughts on The Poppy War

The Poppy War by R.F.Kuang is a book I first stumbled upon when meandering through the quiet bookshelves of Waterstones on a “just let’s have a look and not buy anything” book hunts. Whenever I go to bookstores, I like to try get a flavour of the book from the first few pages – it is how I found The Kingkiller Chronicles back in the day. The opening to The Poppy War pulled me in instantly. Even when I had put the book back on the shelf to go through some other books, the beginning kept pulling me back in. … More My thoughts on The Poppy War

Why Writing Warmups are Important

Whether you’re new to fantasy writing or you’re an old hat, you’ve probably come across advice to use writing warmup exercises to get the creative juices flowing. I never used to use exercises before I started a writing session, but more recently I’ve found them really useful to not only try out new ideas, but expand aspects of my world which I wanted to explore outside of my main storyline. Here are my top three reasons why you should use writing warm ups as part of your creative process: 1 – Warm Ups help the flow If you’re like me, … More Why Writing Warmups are Important

Successfully Productive at everything (other than the plan)

March has been one of those months where I have been very productive in everything other than my creative pursuits. It’s a month of successful sourdough baking, garden tidies, and new TVs. I’ve even managed to get sucked back into playing video games. It’s also a time of new ideas. Spring always brings a creative boost, I find. The sunshine is out, the birds are singing and suddenly a few bits of my ongoing novel are slowly (very slowly!) slotting into place. I’ll be doing a new novel news in April, touching on what I’ve been working on the past … More Successfully Productive at everything (other than the plan)

February Thoughts

This month has been something of a busy one. I’ve been travelling (first time in a long while!) which has taken me away from the desk and all things blogging and writing. However, I have managed to continue working on my novel as much as I can. There are some slow patches which I am having to continually re work and tweak in order to get the section in the right place for the next arc of the story. I was being rather tough on myself, if I admit. I write on scrivener, so it is less obvious how long … More February Thoughts


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