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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Book Reviews

3 in 1 Book Review

Dare by Lucia Jordan 3/5

An erotic short story that hints at sex clubs, extreme initiations etc. It doesn’t quite get to that point (I guess the next book is for that), but worth a read if you like that kind of thing. I found the protagonists sudden dramatic change in confidence a little jarring, but overall, a quick read that is currently free from Amazon.

I Don’t Have a Bucket List, but My Fuck It List is a Mile Long by Ruby Rey 3/5

As you can tell from the title I have written, this cover is just a clean version of the real title.

It’s a quick, pleasant read. I enjoyed the way the author recounts personal experiences and how they have shaped her, but I wasn’t overly blown away by the humour.

This is labelled a self help book, and I can see how Ruby Rey has improved her own life and way of thinking, but it doesn’t feel so much a self help book as it is an evaluation of the authors life.

The Lamplighter’s Love by Delphine Dryden 4/5

Lamplighter’s are basically human computers in charge of controlling and directing London’s traffic in an intriguing steampunk world.

Nicholas is portrayed as an old soul despite his young age of twenty nine due to the toll the job takes on the person. Mary is naive and works as Nicholas’ apprentice. This is the perfect set up for a sexy, steampunk romance.

This book is free from Amazon at the time of this review, and if you are a steampunk lover, then definitely give this a go.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black 3/5

Faeries. Knights. Princes. True love. Think you know how the story goes? Think again…

Near the little town of Fairfold, in the darkest part of the forest, lies a glass casket. Inside the casket lies a sleeping faerie prince that none can rouse. He’s the most fascinating thing Hazel and her brother Ben have ever seen. They dream of waking him – but what happens when dreams come true? In the darkest part of the forest, you must be careful what you wish for…

Review:

A creepy fairytale vibe that I enjoyed, but was not love-struck with.

I love a good fantasy and this book had it in abundance. I can’t quite pinpoint why I wasn’t enthralled with this book, but it took me a good few attempts of picking it up and putting it down over the course of a few weeks to finally read the story in length.

The characters were well rounded. I especially liked Jack, the changeling. Hazel, the MC, was suitably flawed, and that was important for this story due to the fairytale premise.

It was the world building that clawed this book back for me. Black definitely has the imagination and storytelling ability for this type of fantasy.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties. All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review


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Book Reviews

Book Review: The King and I by Brianna West

The King and I by Brianna West 5/5

Trixie here!

Being a badass Guardian was about all I had time for these days. Things like love were for the chicks with too much time on their hands. Not for a well-trained, mixbreed Sprite Guardian with a penchant for sinking her blades ten-inches deep in Dark creatures. I had demons to slay, hordes of them. Until I got shackled with the seriously sexy, never-got-the-hint King of the Spiritum Bellatorum.

Now I’d never get away.

He wouldn’t let me.

I was doomed the minute Yaniv, the king who is never told no, set his eyes on me.

And dammit, I didn’t have time for this.

Review:

West has released a new Promiscus Guardians spin off. This time, involving Yaniv! I just had to grab my free copy when I learnt of this release. This book is free on Amazon at the time of this review.

Once again, West delivers on weaving erotic romance into her well rounded world of light and dark. Each story blends so well with the others, and it is great to see old characters pop up throughout to cement the connection.

The connection between the protagonists is fun to watch as both are out of their comfort zones, and both clash a little. Trixie isn’t going to be treated as a possession, and Yaniv has to learn to adapt to the Guardian who isn’t like the other women he has encountered.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Day Before Happiness by Erri De Luca

The Day Before Happiness by Erri De Luca 3/5

A young orphan boy grows up in Naples, playing football, roaming the city’s streets and hidden places. The older boys call him ‘monkey’ because he can climb anywhere. He is alone, apart from Don Gaetano, the apartment caretaker, who feeds him, teaches him to play scopa, and tells him stories about women, history and the dark secrets of Naples’ past. Then one day the boy sees a young girl standing at a window. It is an encounter that will haunt his life for years and, eventually, shape his destiny.

Review:

A coming of age tale about an orphan boy in Naples, learning about life and of war time Italy from his apartment caretaker, Don Gaetano.

I appreciate the prose and philosophical element to this short story, and the strong voice of Don. The orphan remains nameless throughout, and I find this intriguing and clever. The focus is the truth, not really the characters.

It is easy to read, considering it is translated from Italian. If you want a short read with historical / WW2 elements, then check this out.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Reviews

Book Review: Birdy by Jess Vallance

Birdy by Jess Vallance 4/5

Frances Bird has been a loner for so long that she’s given up on ever finding real friendship. But then she’s asked to show a new girl around school, and she begins to think her luck could finally be changing. Eccentric, talkative and just a little bit posh, Alberta is not at all how Frances imagined a best friend could be. But the two girls click immediately, and it’s not long before they are inseparable. Frances could not be happier. As the weeks go on, Frances finds out more about her new best friend – her past, her secrets, her plans for the future – and she starts to examine their friendship more closely. Is it, perhaps, just too good to be true?

Review:

The narrative is unassuming, yet creepy at the same time. What is the big secret? What went on with Bert and Birdy? I like the foreshadowing in the way of Birdy’s narration. The intrigue is there, even if the first part of the book is slow of the mark.

I had a need to keep reading to find out what the ‘something terrible’ was. As a reader, you find yourself hunting for clues in Birdy’s unreliable narration and taking mental notes.

The ending was worth plodding through the early narration. If you like creepy and twisted, then this is the book for you.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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Book Reviews

Book Review: My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner 4/5

Review:

My most bizarre read of 2020 so far, but in a good way. I totally enjoy quirky and original narrative, and Gardner brings that in abundance.

The narrative is broken up by POV, and is a recount of Jazmin’s story as to what happened to her friend who committed suicide, but disappeared. Yep, you’ve got to read it to understand it… well, kinda. There’s aliens involved. That’s all I shall say on that. Sometimes, I did get a little lost for a few moments due to quick shifting POVs.

Is it mystery, romance, or science fiction? I would call it a blend, and this is definitely a ‘marmite’ book. You’ll either love it or hate it.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman. K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


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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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3 in 1 Book Review

3 in 1 Book Review

Virtual Insanity by Charlie Dalton 2.5/5

There is a Total Recall vibe to this short story, only with zombies thrown in. I enjoy science fiction, but the dialogue grated on me. He said, she said after every bit of dialogue made it feel stilted.

Buy a Bullet by Gregg Hurwitz 3.5/5

A short story with action, intrigue, and a healthy dose of ‘vigilante out for justice’. This is a 1.5 of a series, but works as a stand alone quick read. If you are into Lee Child, it is worth checking this series out.

Death at Sunrise by Colin Conway 4/5

A whodunit that I found fully engaging. I’d be happier if this was longer. The author did weave an intriguing tale that kept me guessing.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review


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100% K.J Chapman, Books and Me, Uncategorized

Book Promo: 50 Creative Writing Prompts for Kids by K.J. Chapman

With the current state of the world, a lot of us are now having to take on the role of teacher, and I know it can be daunting to find ways to encourage our children to learn at home. That is why I wanted to share my creative writing prompts for kids book with you. It is currently just 99p/ 99c on Amazon, and a great way to get your kids inspired to write and tell stories.

Get your copy here: 50 Creative Writing Prompts for Kids


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