Tag Archives: Writing Tips

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!

Jane Austen time theme collections of reference books – what are they and why I use them

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It is happening again! I am having fun sharing you lot of all reference books.

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. This is gonna be my new intros for these reference blog posts.

Rebecca Smith wrote The Jane Austen Writers’ Club. Stepping into a world of Miss Austen. Beyond her novels, film adaptations and writing alongside her. Okay, so I am writing on a laptop rather than quill and paper! This book is wonderful from beautiful illustrations, reading snippets of your favourite author’s work, and reading Austen’s own advice and tips on how to write. And granted, we’ve all done the whole cosplay it as dress-up like Miss Austen. So how about we try these exercises and useful techniques?

The Jane Austen Writer’s Club
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain

How can you write historical fiction without the TARDIS or H. G. Wells’ Time Machine? Luckily, Ian Mortimer is an expert here! Written a whole series, The Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain book, is what I needed! And yes, I could not wait for the paperback prints, so I went Hardback copy! The illustration pages, the weight of a good hardback book, this is a wonderful book and that is before the relevant texts. Yes, this book has been a sanctuary in my time travel journey. Still waiting on The Doctor to knock on my door to whisk me away, but this is the next best thing.

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 these online platforms and presence to help each other out.

Seen the first blog post of the series about Reference book?

Coming Soon! Swoon, Romance and Kissing Books reference blog post!

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?

My Online Presence: web design with WordPress and Social Media

They advised that every writer needs a website. And granted, this may come before the actual first/debut book you’ll publish. So how have I done so far, and what have learnt?

First up is my experience in the past. Back at university, I learnt about web design and online social media platforms to increase my art portfolio. Guilty, I am an art major, not a literary or author bestseller major. It did teach me how to build up a website at least. And well…my art portfolio has been put on the shelf, for many reasons I won’t go into. So there is it, my previous experiences before this year on audience building as a writer.

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WordPress. Well, if you haven’t noticed it, this is on WordPress. I have used it before and spent a good six months building the page before launching to the world. My time was spent in designing, choice of colours (yeah I got new design after Graphic Designer friend feedback on the look) and of course, what the hell does someone put as a writer’s website?! That part would be what you can see on mine, have a click around with what I have added, categories and worked on as individuals pages. It’s a large subject to discuss so I may pin a future blog more specifically on my WordPress website.

Newsletters. Every website requires a Newsletter! Okay, so again whilst researching my Website Design, it also influenced my choice of signing up to create a Newsletter account. I went with MailerLite. Again, as this a part of my WordPress website building, I’ll have this added to a future blog post-to-do list!

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Next up! Twitter. This stuff was a pure accident to get going and flapping about on how to hashtag. I rushed my time out to set up my Twitter account. Connecting my writer’s Gmail account and website. All I can say is please research what hashtag you want to use and say. The downside for Twitter and dyslexic person, spelling error! They are just mean to not give me the right to edit a tweet I put out there! Still having a Twitter webpage to Plan a tweet through the schedule, that’s with a capital P to empathise the importance of Plan!

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Then there was the Facebook page. Eek! When I researched my website ideas, I knew I was gonna need one of these pages. But most I knew, and still do, is that writers already got their book out and published. I am still working on the community vibe here. So I won’t tell you how to be an expert here. I can safely say that I have built a Facebook page and there were not many complications to working the platform.

Instagram. This one out of the three was the easygoing platform for visual ideas, and building an online presence for me. That, and the fact my cats already have their own Instagram page. Yes, before you get confused. When coming up with a Writer’s Pen Name, I yelled my cats’ names together when they got crazy playing cat and mouse. Three days saying the name out loud, and it stuck! So I knew what I already was getting myself in for with my writer’s Instagram account, in demands for photos than posting text. And I worked my way around hashtags and following accounts. Now Facebook and Instagram are intertwined together, so I have discovered Creator Studio, so I can schedule not only my posts separately but linking both accounts together. Don’t ask me how I did, the tech-ie on connecting! That was a challenge for me if I am honest.

LinkTree. Ooohh, I love this concept! So many links and online presence, to make a list of them on Bio to get more people to see them. Yet this beauty! I thank the Twitter writers that I follow for giving me this knowledge, my LinkTree.

Finally, though doubt it’s my last social platform building. Pinterest. Simple, and the reason why I love it. I can create boards to build Visualisation. Both for myself as a writer and my aesthetics to my working novel. Let me explain. Most people are visual learners since leaving school…or still in school. Visualising a scene or character can bring them to life! As it is my most recent social media platform, again I cannot quote technical experts set up. Then again, I am not an expert in web design either.

I hoped you have enjoyed another reading in-between your own novel writing. 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.

Meet my pit crew

Ever felt like when you are on roll with your writing time and don’t want a break? You know, like you are the fast racing cars, and need a pit crew to get fresh tires and fuel in you? 

I wrote this post, thinking about how everyone gives advice on time away from the writing or recovery of different writer’s blocks. Well, I think about sharing the tips on how I survive hardcore writing sessions. When you got a day job, and you found time in your week, or month, you do probably a hardcore session. It doesn’t matter the length of time, be it two hours or some of you who are more driven in longer sessions. Today, I am sharing my pit crew. Granted, these ain’t people or given me flat tires a change over… but the post title was a cheesy kinda fun to write.

WARNING: Now don’t be silly, and go hardcore sessions back to back or expect to do these on a regular basis. Why am I warning you? Cause even writers who do an excessive amount of writing can be exhausting as much as hardcore sessions of gaming or binge-watching Netflix. Those sessions require snacks and break in-between too. These products are not prescriptive by doctors and I am UK based. Again, a terrible salesperson, cause I am not expecting you to buy this because I use it. I just want to share some knowledge, and maybe you too can make your own pit crew too.

Anyway, first off the list. Eyes. Now, eyes are important when it comes to working. I have prescriptive eyeglasses, but even then it is not enough. Why’s that? Simple, try to do a hardcore session on a laptop, and even your eyes will tire out. So I use Optrex Double Action ActiMist Dry and Irritated Eyes Spray. On the rare occasions of a week’s worth of zoom classes and pandemic life demanding more hours online, I need this spray for my tired eyes. And that is before I do a writing session. Also, another tip is to lower your screen brightness. Or if your programs/applications allow Dark Mode. The moment my first phone had that as a setting, I have gone to the Dark Side, and never looked back!

Also, even though on Google Doc, you can only use Dark Mode for mobile devices. I clicked on Page Set Up on my laptop, and reverse my colours. Very effective and easier on the eyes.

Screenshot of one of my Work in Progress set as ‘Dark Mode’! No spoilers!

Another effect with my eyes. Again, depending on your own needs. This one may or not relate to you. If you weren’t aware till now, I am dyslexic. Worst sense of humour, they named the cause, even though the common trait is around spelling and jumbling letters! Ha! Thank you, Rudolf Berlin in 1887 for coming up with that damn word! To stop words from jumbling up all the letters between the first and last letter of each word, I need a tint. Let me explain, there are a lot of different resources. From overlay ruler when reading textbooks to set my computer for white backgrounds to have a yellow glow or just plain yellow highlighting my text. These tints can come in different colours depending on the sharpness of the letters, which doesn’t blur or make the letters jumbled up. Mine is yellow, since I was thirteen years old, I had my yellow overlay ruler to each novel I read. Once, I had my parents ordering my eyeglasses to have the yellow tint in my prescription. But I gave up after my next prescription, I did not want my whole world tinted yellow, everyone would be in The Simpson Universe through those glasses.

This is an example of what a overlay would look like in a textbook.

Finally, snacks! Well, that obvious but the amount of time I would do a gaming session, and forget the time of the day goes by. Yeah, it’s the same in a writing session. I am fortunate to have a desk with drawers that I stock up on snacks. Be that chocolate, salty or *gulp* the diet low-sugar snacks. Also a bonus, quick access to tea. As a Brit, I am more fuelled on the stuff, tea is a must! I swear, I would tell Doctors to use tea than IV transfusion. And I am sure coffee-lovers would feel the same. If you need a space in your home away from distractions and any interruptions, you need fuel in your pit crew!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my pit crew. Have you got your own pit crew? Hit the Like button, Comment and Do share yours down below or anything else you think you help other writers.

This is part of a series of selective posts, check out the first post, Where will my writing be…

Want to know more posts in this series? Check out the next post, I have written before…