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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first draft

First Draft: The Ending

This post has been on the back burner a long while. I actually wrote tips for a satisfying ending when I did the vote to ask my readers what series they’d like to see on Writerly Bookish Stuff. When the First Draft idea came out on top, I put it on the aside to include in the series… finally, here it is.

Tie Up Loose Ends

There needs to be some sort of conclusion to the conflicts that presented themselves during the narrative. Unresolved conflicts is highly unsatisfying for the reader.

Believability

The ending has to arrive naturally as a result of the story arc. You must not force the ending you want on your narrative or you will have unsatisfied readers.

Cliffhanger After Conclusion

A cliffhanger is not a conclusion. A cliffhanger is another story spur that carries the reader further on with the narrative i.e. into the next book. It cannot take the place of concluding certain conflicts to the story so far, even if the main arc is still ongoing.

Know When to Stop

This can be tough. Knowing when to start the beginning of the end is ultimately a gut instinct. Be aware if starting new conflicts that you have time to resolve them or if they can be part of the longer arc into subsequent books.


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first draft

First Draft: Forming the Idea

So, you have an idea that you think you can turn into a full story? Firstly, congratulations. Secondly, I hope you’re ready for hardwork.

Writing a book isn’t easy, and it shouldn’t be if you strive for perfection. However, having an idea that you feel you can see through to completion is the first step.

I’m a pantser, and that means I do not have a detailed plot before I sit down to write. I write by the seat of my pants. I let my ideas come organically as the words flow and I get to know my characters. However, when I first get an idea, I do let it roll around in my head for a good few months, gathering more possible narrative ideas, character voices etc. I think of it as a snowball getting bigger and bigger as it rolls around and more snow sticks to it.

Whether you are a pantser or a plotter, I highly recommend you do this with your idea – before anything gets to paper, before you start to outline, or crack on with your first page – be well acquainted.

Once I’m at this point, I crack out a notebook and write down everything and anything. My brainstorm over the last couple of months gets emptied onto paper. Every last bit, whether it is makes sense or not. If I like it, if I think it might work, I’ll write it down. It all gets dumped in my notebook for later use.

Once again, I feel this is good practise for plotters and pantsers. Your notes don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to use 99% of them, but it is worth having them written down physically in the long run.

I feel this is the initial process of forming the idea. The idea is a spark that needs to be fanned to turn into a flame. At this stage, you can plot and outline further, or like me, sit down and start typing, but as long as you have fanned that spark a little, your flame will keep burning.


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Prompt Me Series

Prompt Me #9

Did you know that I have a writing prompts ebook available from Amazon? Prompt Me is the basis of this series and will be just 99p for the duration.

This series will run for 10 weeks. Each week, I take a different prompt from the book and expand on it.

You can join in too. Whether it be a paragraph or a short story, follow me in getting creative, tag me to let me know, and I will feature a snippet of your interpretation on Writerly Bookish Stuff and send my readers your way.

If you are just here to read and not partake, that’s great too. Thank you for stopping by.


Prompt:

What would you do if the news reporter on your television started talking directly to you?

My Interpretation:

I don’t like this reporter much. She always fumbles her lines, and reporters read off an autocue for Christ’s sake. Today, she fiddles with her prop papers like she’s either scared for her life or totally tripping out on drugs.

That’s odd, she keeps looking to someone or something behind the camera. Her eyes keep flicking just to the left. There! She did it again. How unprofessional.

I head to the kitchen to get a bowl of cereal. I can’t listen to her waffle on. Just having it as ambient noise winds me up.

“Okay, you want me to read this? Yes, I will. Please, don’t hurt us.”

What the hell? I race back into the lounge, hurdling the coffee table in the process. It’s all kicking off down at W.R.S News. I knew something was more off than usual.

The reporter’s hands shake uncontrollably as she reads the first line from a sheet of lined paper.

“Sandy Mellor of 143 Abbott Drive, you have 14 minutes to get to the W.R.S News studio or everyone here will die.”

I stumble back onto the couch. How is this possible?

“Thirty lives are in your hands.”

The woman starts sobbing and pushes the paper away in disgust. Then, she looks at me, really looks at me. It’s as if her eyes bore into my soul through the screen. “Please, Sandy, whoever you are… help us.”


Next week is the last episode in the Prompt Me series. Make sure you pop in to see the finale.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Prompt Me Series

Prompt Me #8

Did you know that I have a writing prompts ebook available from Amazon? Prompt Me is the basis of this series and will be just 99p for the duration.

This series will run for 10 weeks. Each week, I take a different prompt from the book and expand on it.

You can join in too. Whether it be a paragraph or a short story, follow me in getting creative, tag me to let me know, and I will feature a snippet of your interpretation on Writerly Bookish Stuff and send my readers your way.

If you are just here to read and not partake, that’s great too. Thank you for stopping by.


Prompt:

“Please, tell me you did not just polish the silver with my grandfather’s ashes?”

Interpretation:

“I’ve apologised, what more do you want?”

“My grandfather’s ashes! I can’t believe you polished the silver with my grandfather’s ashes. What are you, some Victorian house-maid?” She shakes her head and growls in her throat. “You’re a total idiot!”

“Hey, now there is no need for that. I said I am sorry, but maybe next time, don’t keep your grandfather in a coffee tin on the hearth.” She looks about to explode. I hold my hands up and make my way to the door. “Just saying.”


Remember, if you are joining in with this series, let me know in the comments and tag me in your posts. Whether they be blog or social media, let me have a read of your interpretation. It can be anything from just a paragraph to a short story.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Prompt Me Series

Prompt Me #7

Did you know that I have a writing prompts ebook available from Amazon? Prompt Me is the basis of this series and will be just 99p for the duration.

811ouh8hx3l404216528858885678.jpg

This series will run for 10 weeks. Each week, I take a different prompt from the book and expand on it.

You can join in too. Whether it be a paragraph or a short story, follow me in getting creative, tag me to let me know, and I will feature a snippet of your interpretation on Writerly Bookish Stuff and send my readers your way.

If you are just here to read and not partake, that’s great too. Thank you for stopping by.


Prompt:

“Why are you hiding behind my curtains?”

“Because under the bed is taken?”

“Excuse me? How many of you are there?”

My Interpretation:

The girl of about eight steps out from behind the curtains, and two boys of similar age slide out from under my bed.

“We heard that you could help us… that you have helped others,” she mumbles.

Their rags barely pass as clothes, and each is clearly branded on the back of the neck. These may be the sorriest bunch yet.

The girl mothers the two boys, wrapping her thin arms around the both of them. They makes noises of appreciation. There’s a strong possibility they are mute. If they were born in the System, no one would have bothered teaching them to speak.

“Who sent you here?”

“Miss Krista,” the girl replies. “She said you help get System kids on pods to the ‘good place’.

Damn you, Krista. That woman is going to be the death of both of us.

The girl removes an old device called a cell phone from her raggy skirt and hands it to me. There is only one number stored. I ring it without hesitation.

“One last time, I promise,” Krista says before I can speak. “Don’t bother umming and ahhing, we both know you’re doing this. You’re a good man, Tyler.”

I chuckle down the handset. Damn, it’s good to hear her voice. “Not good enough to marry, though.”

“Maybe one day when all these kids are free.”

What she is asking me to do is not a patch on the bravery Krista shows day in and day out helping the System kids. If she is caught, she will be executed without trial.

“You get them to me, and I’ll get them to the ‘good place’.”


Remember, if you are joining in with this series, let me know in the comments and tag me in your posts. Whether they be blog or social media, let me have a read of your interpretation. It can be anything from just a paragraph to a short story.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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