Author Toolbox Blog Hop, Uncategorized

A Little Proving Time (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

You’ve finished that mammoth, first draft, and now what? If you’re anything like me, you’re on a high and want to dive straight in with the edits, however, this may not be the best process for you just as it isn’t for me. I do my best editing when my work has been left for a few weeks. I call this the proving period.

I work best when I can detach from my WIP for a few weeks, but I am not here to tell you what you are doing is right or wrong, just to offer my two pence on what works for me.

Pros of a Proving Period

  • You can come back to your WIP and start editing with an objective set of eyes. It can be easy to skirt over errors when your brain knows what the sentence ‘should’ say.
  • A break will help prevent burn out. We all need a chance to recoup, and writing really can be a draining process.
  • You have the opportunity to focus on something else. This allows those creative juices to keep flowing on another project.

Cons of a Proving Period

  • You may prefer to have your storyline fresh in your mind as you head into the edits.
  • It makes the whole process longer. Writing is not a short process anyway, so a proving period certainly doesn’t help speed up editing.
  • If you are easily distracted, a long proving process could see you heading into other projects and not wanting to return to the dreaded edits.

I definitely benefit from a proving period. I prefer to dip into other projects before I edit my work. The objectivity is also a big plus for me.


Do you leave your WIP to prove before you edit? Do you have any tips and tricks for improving the editing process?


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Using Music to Help Set Tone (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

Are you someone who needs silence to write, or are you like me and need a little ambience to break up the quiet? I firmly believe that listening to different styles of music helps me set the tone of a chapter, sometimes, the whole story.

There is a chapter in the third Book of my EVO Nation trilogy, EVO Ghost, that reiterates this for me. I listened to one song on repeat whilst I wrote the entire chapter. I think I drove my husband crazy, but the music stirred a tone/feeling in me that I wanted to capture in the chapter, and I am proud to say I think I accomplished it.

Certain scientific research shows that music is rooted more deeply in our primitive brain in regards to emotions etc than language. So, when I say music creates a feeling, that feeling runs deeper than the words to describe it. The fun part is translating that tone/ feeling into your work.

You can find more on how music affects the brain in this article on psychcentral.com: Music and How It Impacts the Brain

Why not create a playlist for when you are writing? You can listen to it before or during your writing process and see how it affects your tone and style.


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Beta Feedback Implementation (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

Beta readers are the ‘product testers’ or ‘quality control’ of the literary world. They read your unreleased work and offer feedback from a readers point of view on things such as continuity, plot holes, or even hard to pronounce character and place names.

So, what to do with all the feedback?

Getting feedback can be daunting, especially if you have a particularly conscientious beta reader who makes notes on every tiny detail they think should be changed. But that is just it, not every tiny detail should be changed.

Here’s my list of rules I follow when implementing beta feedback:

  • Wait to receive all feedback before considering changes.
  • Group common feedback points. If more than one beta reader comes back with similar feedback or suggestions, then there is a definite need to revise.
  • Separate other feedback into three groups: Implement, Discard, and Contemplate. Do this by asking yourself what feedback is important or a good idea, what is not a necessity or doesn’t aid your narrative, and then anything you want to think on.
  • For the points you want to contemplate, ask your other beta readers for their opinion. Did they notice it? Would the reading experience be better if you implement it?

The important thing to remember is that beta feedback is advice. It is up to you, as the author, whether to act on that advice. If a beta reader doesn’t like a time jump, but you feel it is important to the narrative, then leave it in.


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

To Print or Not to Print?(Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

I am now back in my full editing swing, and I have been chatting to a writer friend about our editing processes. We got onto the conversation of printing out the draft, and this is where we differ. I don’t ever print mine out. She was shocked by this.

I’m not here to say there is a right way for any part of the writing process, I just want to share my process and why it works for me.

Why I Don’t Print My Draft

There is a very simple reason why I don’t print my drafts and that is the amount of paper used. I understand if I was traditionally published, I would be sent a whopping amount of papers during the editing process, but I have the option and chose not to.

Secondly, I have a system that works for me. The main reason for printing out your manuscript to edit is to see it in a different way. I totally agree with this. We can all make errors when we’re looking at the same thing on screen for hours on end, but for me, this works by changing the font, size, and colour. I can simply do this for every draft I need to edit and it works well for me.

I do make handwritten notes in a small notebook, but 95% off my editing is done on the screen.

Finally, and this is a ‘Mum’ reason… my kids are into everything and it wouldn’t take long for my toddler to find and misplace my work. I’m not much better because I’m not always on the ball for putting things away safely and that is a recipe for editing disaster.


Do you edit on screen or prefer to print your work? Like I said, no judgement here just our own preferred methods.


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Write for You (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

This post is more of a motivational, encouraging pick-me-up for anyone who needs it. I wanted to share the one thing that I have learnt in my time as a self published author, and that is to write for you.

Why did you start writing? Passion, a creative outlet? Has that changed over the course of your journey and are you asking yourself ‘what is the popular genre of the moment? Do people want to read this? Should I change something I like because statistics say my target audience won’t buy it?’

I’m here to tell you that the only person you need to impress is you. Yes, it is great to get sales and amazing reviews, but at the end of the day, you need to be happy with your process and your work.

I believe that your best writing comes when you stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your style.

I just wanted to put this thought out there today, and if you are writing today, remember to make yourself happy.


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Finding Routine After a Hiatus (Author Toolbox Blog Hop)

As you know, I have taken a long hiatus from writing, partly due to being a full time Mum, and partly because I let other things get in the way of my writing time i.e setting myself too much work for this blog and social media.

Now, I have set my priorities straight for 2020 and want to dive back in with editing my novella, Zombies and Budgie Smugglers. However, I am finding it harder than I thought I would.

I have now set myself some rules to get back into a writing routine and wanted to share them with you.

Chose a time of day and stick to it.

The mornings are best for me. My kids are early risers, so getting in a writing session when they’re eating breakfast and watching TV is best for me. If I get it done and dusted, then the rest of my day is free and I don’t feel guilty for not having written or for writing instead of family time etc.

Set low word count goals for the first few weeks.

I work best by hitting word counts rather than time limits. Ideally, 500 words a day would be perfect, but it is a daunting number coming back after a break, so I am setting small word count goals for a while of just 150 words a day. The sense of accomplishment motivates me each day.

Accountability is important.

Having someone ask ,what was your word count this morning?’ or ‘did you sit down and edit today?’ really helps me stay on track. Let people know what your plans and goals are and ask them to encourage you to stay on track every once in a while. My 9 year is best at this as she enjoys writing herself.

Mini deadlines over big ones.

When I was a mother of 1 school age child, I would happily set deadlines for editing and publication etc. Now, I have a toddler with me 24/7 a deadline seems scary. Deadlines used to motivate me, so I enjoy a mini deadline without the big stress of looming dates. For example, getting 15 pages edited in 5 days is doable and an extra push.


Do you have any tips to help me jump back on the writing wagon?


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Writing by Hand #authortoolboxbloghop

Today’s #authortoolboxbloghop post is all about writing by hand, and why I feel it can be beneficial to the drafting process.

I primarily write on my laptop, but I tend to write by hand when I need to refocus:

1. Slows Down Thought Process

Writing by hand takes longer than typing. In turn, this slows down our thought processes, allowing us to not only take in what we are writing on a deeper level, but to take our time on the fundamentals of the craft.

2. Minimises Distraction

If I am on the laptop, I tend to flit between writing and social media. This break in flow is not good for my creativity. Writing by hand cuts out the distraction.

3. Always to Hand

I can easily slip a notepad and pen into my bag/ pocket. I rarely take my laptop out of the house. If inspiration strikes, I am always ready to hand write it down.

4. Prevents Editing as You Go

This may sound like a bad thing, but editing as you go can inhibit creative flow and be time consuming. If I edited as I drafted, I’d never get a story finished.

5. Beats Writer’s Block

Hand writing uses a different part of the brain than typing, so if I have writer’s block, I write by hand to see if accessing that part of the brain triggers new ideas.


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop, first draft

First Draft: Leave It Be

This #authortoolboxbloghop coincides with the final episode of my First Draft series. This final instalment is all about what to do with your first draft when you write those monumental words… The End.

My advice is to leave it be. By that, I mean to put it away out of sight and forget about it (well, almost).

Some writers head straight into the editing process, but this doesn’t work for me. I have compiled some reasons why leaving your manuscript to brew for a little can be so beneficial.

A Well Earned Break

Writing is hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it. When I have finished an entire first draft, I know I have earned a breather.

Besides, writing the last part of your manuscript can feel like being on a runaway train; getting absorbed by the ending and ploughing ahead with momentum. We could all do with getting back to reality with family, friends, and our own thoughts.

Fresh Perspective

Coming back to your manuscript with fresh eyes is a brilliant thing. It helps with editing (knowing what the sentence should say and what it actually says are two different things), and you can critique yourself easier when you have detached yourself a little from your work.

A Chance to Start Something New

I don’t mean to dive head first into another story (unless that is your process, of course). I simply mean that it is useful to start thinking/note taking about a new story. A little bit of distraction is good for me. I feel like a month or so of a new story seems to help when I go back to my old one. It also breaks the monotomy.


You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Author Toolbox Blog Hop: Dealing With Self Doubt

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*This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop

I’m yet to meet a writer who hasn’t experienced some sort of self doubt. Am I good enough? Is my story original? Doubting yourself is natural, especially when you have poured your heart and soul into your writing. We all want our work to be appreciated and enjoyed, no matter what our medium.

I am here to tell you five important points that I want you to remember:

1. No one can write your story, but you. Your originality will translate if you let it. Don’t compare yourself to others, because you can never be them, nor they you.

2. Consistency, hard work, and perseverance are the best traits to have for success. As long as you produce something that you are proud of, then you have already won.

3. There isn’t a right or wrong way to write. Some writers plan every detail, some are pantsers. Some writers produce a first draft in one month, some two years. Do what works for you.

4. Even the most revered authors get crappy reviews. JK Rowling has 1* reviews for Harry Potter on Goodreads. You can’t please everyone, and to be honest, you shouldn’t try to. Taste is subjective.

5. Finally, writing is not a competition. When writers stop competing and start boosting each other, then we can finally see how unique and individual everyone’s process and story is.

That last point is why I signed up for #authortoolboxbloghop. I love the idea of writers producing content to help each other and encourage each other.

Self doubt is natural, but surround yourself with people and resources to give you the strength to keep plodding on with your story.


You can find the list of links for the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants here.


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Author Toolbox Blog Hop

Author Toolbox Blog Hop

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I was approached by the creator of #authortoolboxbloghop, Raimey Gallant, about joining in with approximately 30 other authors to share tips, experiences, and advice for other writers to benefit from.

The #authortoolboxbloghop is actually on every 3rd Wednesday of the month for interacting, commenting, and sharing some of the other bloggers posts via social media, but many posts will be live a few days before. I shall be posting on the Tuesday before.

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

You can find the list of all participating authors here and some have been joining in with this blog hop already, so go check out their related posts.

The next #authortoolboxbloghop is Wednesday 21st August. I shall post my contribution on Monday 19th August.

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