Category Archives: Novel Writing

Long time, no blogging.

It is with deepest sorrow, that a wonderful companion in my writing has passed away. On 21st April, my laptop died! I experienced all my degrees, my college years, my first years in my career with this laptop since 2013. It broke my heart and fearful of loss of work. I am grateful I have a Geeky partner whose a wizard at technology! We got a hard drive, and we salvaged it all! New laptop/tablet choice is still undecided. So for fun, I am writing my work and this very blog… I, I “borrowed” my partner’s iPad. Thanks sweetie!

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So where is my writing right now?

Touch screen typing is liking Bambi on ice! Damn thing keeps me clicking on Enable microphone, which is useful when my dyslexia would stop me in my spelling, but I don’t want it every time I hint the symbol button to grab a comma or two. So I have practice some short stories, mostly for my own amusement as I work on my big WIP!

Another exciting news! I found a Critique Partner! If you don’t know what that is, in the writing community, there’s an etiquette and professional service to exchange WIP, to critique them. Be that to have the talent of grammar checking to spotting plot holes or awkward writing. So we both have messaged each other through Goodreads, after I posted an ad to seeking one, then built an agreement to exchange a few chapters at a time. Now it’s not my place to reveal anything of their work, but *squealing* I loved their blurb they pitched. Here’s to a good friendship in our writing profession!

What’s my upcoming plan for next development?

I am working through my delightful tales of my series that my WIP part takes in. I am drafting up plots in each novel and summaries my series. This may take longer than my original one-year plan to be published. I suppose by world building, writing and editing is about my own quality standards than quantity time scale. Stay tune! Now I can blog again, I will be writing more soon!

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How is my writing coming along? Hints of Work In Progress Manuscript!

Hey, how is going? You’re good? Are asking about how is my writing coming along?

Interestingly, I have queried to some publishing houses and literary agents recently. So far, not the win as for yet!

What I am grateful for in life, is that university taught me to listen to constructive feedback and sometimes criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I am still soft and need a bar of chocolate or ice cream tub to smooth the ache of rejection. In other words, I am human! And yes, I do love to hear feedback from anyone I wrote my submissions too. It means what I can do, to be better.

So what is my WIP about? Well I am not gonna give you over the Synopsis or anything too much. But I have hinted already on social media, through Instagram challenges and some playful PhotoShop of the NOT OFFICIAL Book Cover design I got inspired by! Here is the selected gallery, I have the lovely Instagram challenge back in February 2021 under the day “Interview MC”. I won’t give too much of the game away, the photos speak for themselves! However, if you ever fancied a good at joining in, check around Instagram as some accounts do offer a variety of challenges to have fun in. Also, I designed all of these photos through Canva! That too, was a fun afternoon to explore, as it gives me great ideas to build for marketing tools later on.

Okay, so I am visual person! And I browsing book covers, to see what other authors are doing. We all do at some point! And I could not resist Agatha and her Love Interest in their own, NOT OFFICIAL book cover, I PhotoShop together. Thank you Jade Lee and her book, Wedded in Sin. I chose to take influence due to the scandalous reveal of the lady’s leg. Why? Have you guessed what I am hinting at Agatha and her status in her physical form?

This is my PhotoShop design. Notice something about Miss Oakley’s leg?

So whilst I have queried on the bigger project, I am stumped in waiting and twiddling thumbs. So I am editing a few novellas I had a practice run of writing, and not sure if these too, will end up going into queries or to Self-Publish them…

All fun research to create Pro & Con lists in publication choices. What I will reveal, is that the novellas are all in the same universe, so definitely a series. The title for the series is yet to come to mind and influence the book titles of each novella. The genre for these are contemporary setting, in USA with characters in New Adult age group. To debut, or not to debut… for that is the cheesy influence reference of Hamlet, question.

Thanks for reading this blog post! Please do like, comment or share!

See more of the blog series in my Novel Writing Journey!

Where will my writing be…

Meet my Pit Crew…

I have written before…

Swoon, romance and kiss! The Phrase reference books – what are they and why I use them

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Ever had that thought where you think there’s too many reference books on how to write? Or courses even? Which ones are best, or relevant to me? First things, first. This is not to advertise these books or why you should have them. If they are not relevant to your style of writings or theme of books, then relax. I am not the best sales person. Now I am not one for spoilers in what happens in a book. And the same goes for here too. If you wanna know, buy the book. Hey, look! Maybe a career in sales is a potential for me after all! 

I like the concept that I can share my knowledge, no matter how little the topic is, I can see why I work my day job in a classroom. 

Say It Like Miss Austen Book

Okay, let’s get technical. When falling in love when watching Mr Darcy, or in 2020 case, Simon Basset Duke of Hastings and the Bridgeton men to swoon for… you want to speak the jargon of their time and dialogue. Now as a Jane Austen fan and my family accidentally one Christmas doubling up on buying all her books! (At least if one copy is burnt out from over-reading, I got a spare!) Plus my dyslexia can barely translate or comprehend the modern English Language. My poor husband suffered, whilst dating me, very bad flirting lines! So I would normally hit subtitles when binge-watching my Austen/Regency treats! But when I started writing for sometime, I noticed my dialogue was as bad as my flirting experience! Presenting my life saviour, Say It Like Miss Austen: A Jane Austen Phrase Thesaurus by Stefan Scheuermann. Not my first time using a thesaurus, as my parents have gifted me lots over my school years and writing when I was a teen. This book helped me to go deeper into analysis, my own dialogue writing and reawaken my love for book reading and watch great plots of Regency periods.

Ever enjoyed the romance in stories, but blush when writing your own? Okay, some of you wouldn’t blush and have full confidence on the details of the “bedroom scene”. Luckily, it not just the behind closed doors moments when you could get stuck. Unless you are wanting to write to win the Bad Sex in Fiction Award, you may want to read The Romance Writer’s Phrase Book by Jean Kent & Candace Shelton. Not only is it resourceful on more than those “kissing moments” it builds your confidence as a romance writer. Nothing beats a good moment where the reader swoons, melts or whatever their hearts soar for between your Main Character and their Love Interest.

The Romance Writer’s Phrase Book

I hoped you have enjoyed another reading in-between your own novel writing. That’s all reference books I wanted to share! Check out, Novel Writing reference books and Jane Austen themed ones if you have not already seen them.

I’ll add a comment section, share your thoughts on anything that you enjoy or dislike about these online platforms and presence to help each other out.

Check the series of reference books! From Novel Writing to Jane Austen Themed Ones!

I have written before. Unpublished Stories and What Happened to Them?

Ever heard the question: When did you first started as a writer? Some would say since a long time ago or even when I was a child. I felt more in the industry since 2020. But actually, I have written before. In this blog post, I will tell a tale of my previous attempt at manuscript, their ideas, what stopped me writing them and where they are today.

At Seven Years Old

That’s right, my first attempt was when I was just a kid! No sorry, some would hear that word and think ‘kid goat’… cough* When I was just a child. So what was the story about? Well I blame the love and enjoyment of Beatrix Potter having animals in human clothes, walking and talking. Cause as seven year old, I wrote a story about shapeshifters. Or at least the girl was trapped in her dog form and needed to be free. I cannot recall the title, or how the story fully goes. I know the villain was a mad scientist to experiment shapeshifting gone wrong, with mad crazy hair drawings throughout the book. After a telephone conversation with my Grandmother, she said it was sweetest fourteen-page hand-drawn book I created. She, my parents and my another grandmother received their limited edition copies by yours truly! What went wrong, undiagnosed dyslexic spelling mistakes, and stupidly not going beyond three copies only… I am just kidding, I was only seven years old! I was not thinking big career moves then. I think I was at that age considering to be a Princess without the marry the Prince way, that was hardcore career planning.

In college…

If you were writing at seven years old, you are probably not gonna stop there. I had this class project known as Graphic Design. So I was giving a project brief to create a merchandise selection of one product to boost its sales. That will be either a movie poster as the main product, or a book cover. Take a wild guess at what I picked? Book Cover!!! That could not stop from there, if I was go to make bookmarks, Hardcover sleeves for the book, book posters for window shops… I clearly need a story to have. Now I think back, my teachers thought I went overboard to write an actual story, with interior layout as my excuse for the project (yeah, that did not convinced them). Yet I was still shapeshifter crazy, and went all the way to write up to 47-page book with size of 8.5″ x 5.5″. Okay so it was a sketchbook I used, and sellotape my trim size prints out into the pages… not the prettiest interior inside of a book I have seen published. I went to a bird sanctuary to capture a good shot of a hawk as my Main Character, Grey, was a boy who is a Halfling that can shapeshift into a hawk. With a troublesome older brother, Clive, and the poor MC teen highschool crush who doesn’t know of their kind. I remember writing how he first hit mature age to shift, and used a lake to fly over for the first time, by the power of the Blue Moon. Am I gonna leave that there for you? No! I am too generous to show off a Snippet of Taking First Flight! In this scene, the brothers have to face an unbearable problem. Being discovered by Grey’s half toddler sister, Zoe, that he is hiding Clive in the house. I found this scene very amusing and fun to write. Also you are welcome I went over the proof-reading and edited. Man, that’s a lot of grammar mistakes when I was a younger.

Book Cover Design project – Taking First Flight

Snippet from Taking First Flight: Clive shifted into bird form after his shower, Grey heard his brother’s voice through his head ‘Run the taps for me?’ he watched the hawk hopping into the sink. ‘Why?’ Grey asked. ‘Gotta freshen up the feather birds as well as the human body, you know,’ his brother’s voice ran out into his head. Grey did as instructed. He was this struggling with the how arrangement of how this shifter life routine was. Clive shook his feathers once satisfied from his bird bath. With all day Clive lecturing Grey on how to know the ways of being a shifter, Grey thinks it’s payback time. Clive nibbled on some of his winged feathers to self-groom. With Clive now distracted, Grey whipped out a bath towel and wrapped the bird in it. ‘Oi!’ He heard his brother cry through his mind. Grey laughed, ‘Now be a good little pet! And don’t bite the human!’ Clive kept protesting as Grey carried him at out the bathroom, through the hallway towards his bedroom. Grey slowed his pace down when he spotted a shadow at the top of the stairs. Little Zoe had her hands on the top stairs, as she crouched in hiding. The three year old then blinked, spotting Clive in Grey’s arms, ‘Birdie?’ she whispered. Grey heard his brother both screeched as a hawk, and in his mind, ‘If that brat, tattle on us, we are toast!’ Grey rolled his eyes, so much for keeping long-lost brother a secret from his Step-Mum and their Dad. Zoe took in a deep breath, readying her big scream of delight, ‘BIRDIE!’ Clive’s hawk screech rang out in the hallway as the toddler charged towards the brothers. Clive shot out of Grey loosen hands, as Grey tried to dive towards Zoe to hold her off. Clive flew into Grey’s room, darting around to keep out of the sticky fingers of Zoe. Zoe loved this game, she squealed and giggled as she took chase after the hawk. Standing lamp, books and Grey’s collectable figurines went flying as Clive wings knocked them all over. Grey try to jump to grab the fast toddler, landing on the floor with a crash. ‘Turn back! Turn into a human!’ Grey yelled. ‘Oh, and how do you explain that to Dear Old Dad? He doesn’t know I am bloody here!’ Clive yelled back in his head, Grey covered his ears, his brother’s voice rang loud. Telepathy sucked, Grey thought. Unpublished © 2021

Currently that one limited edition of the printed copy of Taking First Flight is sitting on my bookshelf. It is a little amusing to pull out from time-to-time to read scenes like this one I have shared.

I have learned much more in writing in the previous year, and having this post as a reflection of my work will be another milestone in my development as a writer.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post of past experiences in writing. I am not sure if I would ever consider writing these, or tidying them up to be considerable and presentable to publish. Hit the like button if you enjoyed this post, and comment below: Any unpublished work have you done? Share with us and other followers!

Seen the two previous post in this series? Check them out!

Where will my writing be…

Meet my pit crew…

My collections of reference books – what are they and why I use them

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Ever had that thought where you think there are too many reference books on how to write? Or courses even? Which ones are best, or relevant to me? First things, first. This is not to advertise these books or why you should have them. If they are not relevant to your style of writings or theme of books, then relax. I am not the best salesperson. Now I am not one for spoilers in what happens in a book. And the same goes for here too. If you wanna know, buy the book. Hey, look! Maybe a career in sales is a potential for me after all!

I like the concept that I can share my knowledge, no matter how little the topic is, I can see why I work my day job in a classroom. 

So which one should I pick as my first reference book? Well, as a fan of their writing and they are really good authors; let’s start here. All Write Already by Gena Showalter & Jill Monroe. First, what a pun! Any catchy title can draw someone in to pick up the book. And to then have the authors that you have in your book collection, another plus. So I have read a lot of both authors’ books, both when they team up and their individual collections. Before I go any further, allow me to say this. If you got an author who you like, that wrote a manual on how to write a book, they are probably the key guidance for you. Let me put it another way. If you are already their reader and have several copies of each story they wrote, then you already have a taste of their style of writing and like it. Maybe you want to write the same theme or sense of humour. This is a wonderful and motivating book for anyone to get write their novel within a year! No pressure, I keep saying to myself.

All Write Already Book
On Writing Romance

I came across an article online around structuring a romance novel. On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels was one of the books in reviewal. Now after purchasing, this was quite a delivery delay; however, I am happy to report I have it on my bookshelf now. Again, like All Write Already, this book has given the breakout of working on your novel. There is a great amount of information, which sometimes can be dizzy to find in a Google search or lots of replies on Twitter. Not saying, those can’t be useful, but as readers and lovers of books, we just love getting our hands on them. Plus, if the internet is down, a book can outrank Google Search.

I hoped you have enjoyed another reading in-between your own novel writing. There are more reference books I want to share! So keep an eye out for future blog posts.

Hit the Like Button, comment below and share your thoughts on anything that you enjoy or dislike about this blog. Do you have any reference books that you would recommend and help each other out?

Have you seen my next in the series of reference books blog post?

The worst advice we ever heard as Writers

If you heard it before, then you most probably groan or eye-roll at the thought of these types of advice.

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Just Write!

Facepalm! Well duh? I am writing right now, okay so it is to make a blog post, but come on! There has got to be a better motivation than this! I like the ones where they suggest a target of say, write 250 words a day. No matter how busy I am, I gotta bust out those 250 words. 

Why write if you are not making money? You should think about paying rent first.

Eek! Ever had a parent or a close person to you say this? No, just me?! Let’s be serious, cause it was tempting to go freelance when you happy dance that you completed your first manuscript. But that’s not how the real world works. Most writers tend to go full-time or self-employed when they at least write, publish and sell their sixth books on average. And I am not saying, sold six books of one manuscript. Has this got you thinking about whether you want to do this or not? Don’t worry, Just Write!

See what I mean? I even facepalm on that last sentence of that paragraph.

In other words, keep the day job till you can safely make rent at the end of the month. If you feel like you cannot bust out a manuscript with your busy life, then you gotta build yourself a timetable or routine to do something. 

Don’t edit before you complete your manuscript

Okay, so curiosity kills the cat. We know this. Yet as humans, we are curious creatures. And for someone like me. I can help but edit as I go along. These aren’t big moves, like cutting scenes or moving one whole chapter in the manuscript to somewhere else. So unless you have this idea that you can switch off the spelling check on your Word Doc, or whatever you write on; there is always a moment where you have edited. Even in your own head before you put it down onto paper. How many times have you said or resaid your sentence in your head before you were happy it made sense to you? That’s okay. When it comes to these moments, there’s no right or wrong answer. Unless you have a job as an editor or you are submitting your final draft of the manuscript to one, then yeah, you gotta make it right and make sense. 

My Home Office Space

Look away from the laptop screen to come up with ideas.

Ever seen the online presence of others say they look in the distance, thinking nostalgically or like a heroic writer with serious intense thought. I cannot help but laugh! My home office space is half the spare room, a chair, a desk, a lamp and my laptop. The other side? Is all the crap I hide for Zoom meetings! I could never look off into the horizon with an intense look, I would have to look down at my laptop and keep on writing. Why? Admittedly I am a coward of tidying and organising and a novice hoarder. The only time I dared to look away, is a reminder of office desk safety training. If you have worked in an office before, you probably had the same one, where HR says you must blink your eyes to not dry them out. The same goes for posture or chair setting and that lovely email from your building maintenance team to remind you of a tidy desk is a safe desk. If you never worked in an office, that kind of a thing we come across on a yearly basis. Look it up! No seriously, think about it. Even if you would laugh at the silliness of the training, however, it is better than having a bad back, tired eyes or sore wrist when your keyboard is not angle right.

Artist – Sharon Wheeler

So there you have, some of the worst advice I have seen, laughed at or eye-rolled. Some would say no advice is the worst advice. True, but my goodness don’t ever use these ones! Unless you want your audience to groan and eye-roll. If you know of any other worst advice, do share in the comments section. I hope you did giggle at some of my reasons, it’s nice to have a laugh in-between writing chapters. Now get back to it!

Where will my writing be one year from now?

Okay, so I tend to be on-and-off again on writing. The final push to actually get serious was when I told people. The many times where I hear positive responses on how well I verbally tell-a-tale, it got me thinking, ‘I got to write this down’. So what does this mean? Well, if anything, all those education courses I enrolled on, and even in my current day job consist of one important thing – Deadlines.

So where will my writing be in one year?

Well I shall like to think on a shelf somewhere, and not the kind where I put a pin in the idea, and switch off the writer persona inside me. This time, I want it on an actual shelf, maybe even my own bookshelf in my home. If I give myself the year to do it, I shall have enough time to conceive my partner, why, I do need to buy another bookcase! Anyone who reads this, can either be a starting bookworm, an intermediate bookworm or an expert bookworm in their collection of books and bookcases. And I am sure, till this very day, we still have to conceive the other half. And if you happen to be the loving partner of a bookworm, let them buy that damn bookcase!

In conclusion, let’s get that damn book of mine on a bookshelf!

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Next in this series of post, check out Meet My Pit Crew and I have written before…