Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Blocked in the Middle

I'm absolutely adoring audiobooks lately - not for fiction - but for nonfiction, specifically for advice on writing. 

At the moment I'm listening to Joanna Penn's (of Creative Penn) "The Successful Author Mindset" book and I feel like I've found my Guru. 

The first section is all about the Mindset of Creativity and Writing, and includes amazing quotes from famous authors and excerpts from Joanna's own journal. The topics of this section range from 1.1 Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome to 1.17 Comparisonitis, and can I just say its like Joanna is peering into my soul. 

I've currently listened up to 1.8 Writer's Block and I had to stop. . . as stupid as it sounds I always thought writer's block was an 'idea' thing, and that I was just being super lazy or procrastinating (and with a healthy dose of fear of failure etc.) but in Joanna's book she mentioned being stuck in the middle, knowing the beginning and knowing the ending - BUT HOW DO I GET THERE?!?! 

This is where I am now with DarkShines - I know this is a 'first book' (and they usually don't get published) which I've been nursing for years BUT I've really struggled about how to get the story moving from beginning to end. Both are so clear in my mind - yet I'm hitting that middle slump! 

So what's the advice - well Joanna says to take a break (but warns if you've been procrastinating - DON'T), and to research your story in some way - and this might help trigger something. 

For me, I think I just need to remind myself of the story and why I want to write this, AND turn off my self-editor/critique. 


1. I'm going to research about being stuck in the middle (and maybe I'll do a post with some helpful points that resonated with me??) 

2. Taking Joanna's advice I'm going to do WIP research - I need to decide WHERE my story will take place. I'm Irish, but I don't really want to place it in Ireland. I always thought of the made up place called Evergreen in USA, but I was recently in Brighton and there is just something about it that made me instantly think - this place could work for my novel. So perhaps a made up place based on Brighton in UK would work? Or actually Brighton? I do love the name "Evergreen" as it ties into my whole theme for the novel. . . so I need to think about this. 

2 B. With this detail in mind, I now can think more concretely about different things like police force, missing people protocols, foster care systems, hospital settings etc. 

3. Reread the whole WIP so far - brief outline of each with Maeve Binchey's words - "what has reader learned from this" so I can start outline to final chapters. 


Just Write. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Writing Journey #1

Hmmmm. . . I know the world of blogging is now dead(ish), and most people have abandoned this format for the more concise and instant nature of SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram. I am on these websites and thoroughly enjoy (and am equally terrified by) them. 

The main reason I stopped writing here was due to (a) work and more so (b) self-editing myself. I felt

like I couldn't write a sentence here in case I did not do so properly etc - as in my mind this should be a professional place, instead of my usual venting.

Like my fiction writing and poetry, I've gotten too in my own head and this place felt suddenly unfriendly and scary (as that evil little self-editing/critique gremlin whispers "this post sucks - don't embarrass yourself").

Of course, you also need to share some of yourself in each post, and sometimes this can make you feel naked (and not in a good way!) and exposed.

So I've decided to reclaim this space. I'm going to just post, share my thoughts and feelings on continuing this journey and trying not to get 'too in my head'.

I should probably start by saying. . . I don't think I'll ever be published as a poet or a writer.

I will try but I'm not sure I have the talent or skill to get there (honest to God, this is not a fishing thing - I just have this gut feeling) but FUCK IT! I get a kick out of writing, and penning poems - I only freak when I have to share it. Then I become a neurotic lunatic checking my emails/instagram etc 1000 times looking for those few scraps of praise to validate my work. . . and as a result it lessens the joy and the value of writing for me.

I'm in a permanent job that I adore, doing something I adore (lecturing and research), but I want to make time for this too - So I'm getting back to writing in a serious and regular way.

Little and Often. So starts the next stage of my writing journey :) Welcome Aboard.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Covorting with some Covers (V): USA vs. UK/IRE

Its been over a year since I've posted - things have been crazy in real life, but thankfully my career has finally become stable - I now have a permanent (once I pass probation) lecturing position (tenure) so I feel I can finally catch my breath a little.

On that note, I wanted to do a fun post - so USA vs. UK/IRE Post

I absolutely LOVE the JULIA QUINN UK covers (so much so that I actually bought the physical books!!). Have you ever bought a book based on book covers??

I much prefer the original Divergent US covers vs. the UK covers (which seem too similar to many PR/UF YA book - I love the colour scheme of the first two UK books but I think US covers are more true to the series)

I absolutely LOVE Melissa Grey's The Girl at Midnight book covers (black and purple!!), but the US cover is just amazing, and really captures the eye.

UK Book Cover

US Book Cover

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A New YA Genre? Para-Historical Fiction

With the relatively recent success of the "insert Jane Austen or classic title here" and "Monsters" books and subsequent films, I've noticed a certain trend emerging in YA and elsewhere - paranormal historical fiction (or that's what I'm calling it).

Maybe this recent trend is a result of Cassandra Clare's popular Infernal Devices series or perhaps we're all looking for a Downton ala Buffy fix? As someone who ADORES historical fiction and paranormal/supernatural/fantasy this is the perfect Mash Up!

So what do I think qualifies as Para Historical Fiction?
1. It occurs in a recognisable time period like regency, ancient egypt/rome, victorian etc.
2. There is some element of supernatural/paranormal/fantasy. This can vary from something of a subplot to the main story.
3. Once you have these two factors - have FUN! So a perfect example of this form (IMO), is Gail Carriger's Soulless series - A Victorian novel with supernatural beings crossed with alternative history and steampunk.

Regardless of definition, 2016 seems to be fast shaping up to be the year for this sub-genre. (and I LOVE IT).

Here's a taster of some of these (ranging from alternative history to steampunk, all with a dash of the Sup or Para)

First - Queen of the Form has just released a new book/series

Gail Carriger's Poison or Protect Novella - June 21st

Alison Goodman's Dark Days Club Series (just bought this off the book shelf. Cannot wait to read.)

Evelyn Skye's The Crown's Game Series 

Jessica Cluess' A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)

I'm currently compiling a lovely list of books for this Genre - so please any further suggestions would be great!

NOW come one let's do the MONSTER MASH!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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