Update: 30/03/2017

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It has been over a month since my last update, and with CampNaNo just days away, I thought I’d sum up my writing journey over the past 5 weeks.

Word Count

My promise to write everyday during March has been fruitful. I only missed about five days due to commitments, and some of my word counts were little more than 100 a day, but little by little I managed 15.5k words. I’m happy with that, considering this month has been hectic. There has been more birthday parties, school parent’s evening, school science display afternoon, Mother’s day, treats out, volunteering on school trips, and song presentations. Not forgetting, my asshole of a cough. Yep, some of you may know that I have had a time of it with colds and coughs. 6 weeks later, I’m still coughing but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m feeling much better, and there is no threat of me coughing up a lung.

Reading

I have been catching up on my reading of late. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff wouldn’t let me go, so I read when I should have been writing. Sometimes, we’ve just got to do these things, right? Also, I was honoured to receive an advanced ARC of Brianna West’s final book in the Promiscus Guardians Series, Resurrection. I have been patiently waiting for this book whilst West did other things. (Oh, you know, have a baby and what not.) Seriously though, the woman is a power house when it comes to writing.  Again, I couldn’t put the book down. Damn all the brilliant storytellers distracting me from my writing!

CampNaNo

I’m not going to lie and say that I’m a NaNo prepper because I’m not, so I can’t use that as an excuse. That being said, knowing that I’ve set myself a 25k word count for April has left me a little complacent on my March writing. I don’t want to burn out, do I? Hopefully, CampNaNo will see me nearly finished with my first draft of EVO Ghost. *She says tentatively.* I shall not be doing another update post for a while as I shall be doing weekly NaNo updates. Keep your eyes peeled for those.

Excerpts (EVO Ghost only. I have done zero writing on Zombie Playlist.)

EVO Ghost: (sorry for the short teasers, but spoilers…)

Throwing my bag over my shoulder and readjusting the black wig, I make my way to the truck. Rafe places a hand on my chest. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

“Since when does Rafe Lloyd pander to anyone?” I say, sliding passed him. Looking over my shoulder, I throw him a half-baked smile. “I’m fine.” I know I’m kidding myself, but it’s not going to change the fact that this needs to happen. I have to leave the safety of The Hive, and today is the day.


One of the women leans a little closer to me. “You’re not what I expected.”

“Despite what Towley would have us believe she doesn’t have horns and a thirst for blood.”

The woman shakes her head. “I expected someone polished- sharp and shiny around the edges. You’re a bit of a mess, no offense.”

I shrug. “Little offends me now.”

She throws me a wink. “You’re human and that’s reassuring, even if you are coming apart at the seams.”

Am I that obvious?


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Muse-ic for EVO Ghost

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These past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of drafting emotions in regards to EVO Ghost. First, I was moseying along, quite content, then I hit a wall. That wall saw me change a time jump, totally deconstruct the middle of my draft, and then cut just over 10k words. Needless to say, I have been having a panic unlike I have had with any other of my books. I think I have pinned down why… I have ‘third book in the trilogy’ syndrome, or so I am calling it. I am so worried about this book living up to the first two, and that Teddie gets the ending she deserves, that I’m freaking out a little over here. Loose ends need to be tied, my characters haven’t finished growing, and they’re all looking to me to do them proud. I’m rambling now- deep breaths.

I think this book will continue to keep me on my toes, but I have found the best way to deal with my self-doubt is to write through it- write through it and draw inspiration from music. That is exactly what this song is about. In my eyes, this is Teddie’s song for book three.

Human by Rag’n’Bone Man

The following lyrics are so true of where I am at in the EVO narrative, and where Teddie’s head is at:

Take a look in the mirror
And what do you see
Do you see it clearer
Or are you deceived
In what you believe
‘Cause I’m only human after all
You’re only human after all
Don’t put the blame on me
Don’t put your blame on me


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Music video sourced from Youtube.com

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Fortnightly Picture Prompts

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Over on my Instagram account, I post fortnightly picture prompts that I have snapped because they inspire me in my writing. I invite you to have a pop at writing a sentence or paragraph to accompany it. You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

If you do not have an Instagram account, but would like to join in, you can post your sentence/ paragraph in the comments, and I will feature them in the next Picture Prompt post right here on my blog with links back to you.

Picture Prompt:

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Here is my paragraph inspired by this picture prompt:

They call it ‘Hangman’s Tree’. I know where it is, but I daren’t venture into the woods to see it first hand. The noose is for those who cannot contribute, and fail to complete the training or the tests. It’s either ‘The Noose’ or ‘The Walk’. No one wants to make that walk, or suffer the separation after. The Elders actually encourage The Noose- they say that The Walk is a great dishonour and those who fail should bring mercy to their families. My brother took The Noose only twelve months ago. I feel no mercy- all I feel is hatred toward the regime; a regime I shall burn to the ground.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Capitalisation of Honorifics and Names is the Bane of my Editing Life

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What has this edit and my proof-reader shown me? That I am inconsistent in my capitalisation of honorifics and names. Oh my word! As soon as my proof-reader started pointing them out, she just couldn’t stop. I mean, seriously, I’m totally crap and inconsistent to the point of frustration.  Titles such as King, Your Majesty, and the more common ‘Father’ (in terms of referring to an actual person by that name), are just a few of my pit falls. This is how I picture my proof-reader’s reaction every time she has to correct me on this issue:

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What makes this edit even more exasperating is that my novel is full of honorifics with one of my main protags coming from royalty. Oh well, at least I am now aware of my annoying tendencies, right? Ha!

Do you have any annoying writing habits/ pit falls? What is your biggest editing peeve?


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

GIF sourced from GIPHY.COM

10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #7 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

“When I said come bearing gifts it was code for weapons. I can’t believe you brought cheesecake.”

Manny simply stares at me. “Uh, sorry, Boss. I thought it was your birthday or something.”

“Why would I celebrate my birthday with you bunch of reprobates? Put it in the bin.”

He looks to the dessert like I’ve just asked him to kill his cat. “But it’s banoffee–”

“Put the fucking cheesecake in the fucking bin, or so help me God, I will put so many bullets in you that you’ll look like fucking cheese!” Slamming my gun on the table, the room recoils from my outburst. Manny drops the pudding into the bin, and I unclench my hands and brush my hair back out of my face.

Why do these useless assholes make life hard for themselves- for me. It’s not like I don’t pay them well. It’s just a pity that the people easiest to control, and have do your dirty work, are usually a sandwich sort of a picnic. If I wanted to be a babysitter, I’d not have killed that hooker and let her keep the baby.

“Please tell me you’ve got something for me,” I say to Gaz. Gaz is the self-appointed crew leader, and I suppose he is the brightest of a very dim bunch. He swings a black bin bag onto my desk and opens the top just a little. Wilkes’ severed head peers up at me, and I close the bag once more. “Good. What did you do with the rest of him?”

“Propped up in his office chair like you wanted.”

I slouch back into my chair. “And the note?”

“I personally hand delivered it an hour ago.”

That makes me feel good- really good. This is my city and anyone who thinks otherwise must be shown their place. “If Wilkes Jr wants Daddy’s head, then he signs over his shares to Gyroni Corp. If he doesn’t, then I underestimated the Daddy’s boy.”

Gaz takes the black bag from my desk. “Right. So, what’s with the weapons, Boss?”

“I’m glad you asked. There is a little situation I need handled. Do you think you’re up for it?” Gaz nods. “I want you to storm Harry May’s house.”

“The politician?” Gaz asks. The men shift awkwardly.

“The very same. He’s got a security team of seven ex-marines, coded doors, and a panic room.” I slap a piece of A4 on the desk in front of Gaz. “Here are the codes you’ll need to get into the house. Harry must stay alive, kill the wife, and abduct his sixteen year old daughter. I will pay one mill for this job.” The thought of all those zeroes seems to lighten the mood a little. “The girl remains untouched. I mean it- not a hair on her head or a dick in her panties! After all, we’re not animals.”

 


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

 

 

Creating Antagonists

Here is my first reblog of the next few weeks. I posted this about a year ago and still stand by my methods for creating antagonists…

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I  have settled down to write this blog post with a large, steaming mug of tea, so I must be anticipating it to be either lengthy, time consuming, or both. Bear with me on this.

Yesterday, a reader of my eBook, EVO Nation, shared her enjoyment in my development and portrayal of the main antagonist. Hence, why this blog post idea sprang to mind.

In truth, my antagonist was as much a surprise to me when I was writing it as it must be to the reader experiencing it for the first time. In previous posts, I have explained my lack of planning and outlining when it comes to my first draft, and how this can lead to surprising revelations even for me as the author. When I came to the logical conclusion that a certain character had the motivation and means to be my perfect (surprise) antagonist, I felt sick with betrayal…

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20 Facts About Me Tag

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Thanks to Mollie over at ‘Mollie’s Musings’ for the tag. You can check out Mollie’s twenty facts here.

I haven’t done a tag in what feels like ages, so I jumped in guns blazing, and then realised that coming up with twenty semi-interesting facts about myself is damn hard.

Here goes nothing:

1) I have read and reviewed 30 books so far this year. I’m over half way to my Goodreads challenge target of 52!

2) I’m scared of geese. I was chased by some farm yard geese as a child and fell into a ditch full of cow s#*t. I was literally treading water in the stuff because it had been raining. I can still hear my Auntie shouting at me to keep my mouth closed- VOM!

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That’s the face of a woman who is s*#ting herself, but proud to be in such close proximity to such a terrifying beast! Ha!

3) I was carrying a large box, and had a ‘one foot on the escalator and one foot off the escalator’ moment that saw me upside down and clinging on for dear life. Yep, I’m that girl.

4) I have an unhealthy obsession with Stephen King. The man is a genius.

5) My new author obsession is Brandon Sanderson. Seriously, check him out.

6) I turn 30 this year!

7) I can eat… A LOT.

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In my defense, I thought they were side plates, but I didn’t let them defeat me. The waitor did bring out an extra set of cutlery thinking there were 3 people at our table… Yep, my hubby has his own meal- those are all mine!

8) Other than Twitter, my favourite social media platform is Instagram! Find me over there: KJ’s Insta!   *Shameless Insta-promotion right there and I’m not even sorry.*

9) My husband and I have GIF wars whilst he is at work- shhh! He always wins. That man can source some GIFs! *That’s where I get my training for my Twitter GIF wars- just saying.*

10) My surname is actually Osborne. I wrote EVO Nation, and started my author platforms, before I got married. After some thought, I decided to stick with my author name to avoid confusion.

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This is one of my fave wedding photos because our daughter’s little face says, ‘I’m so proud’, and my face says, ‘I’ve got you now, Sucker! Mwahaha!’

11) I live in Poldark country. I’m Cornish, and yes, I say things like- ‘I’ll do it dreckly,’ and ‘Bleddy ansom.’

12) I once saw Christopher Eccleston and he smiled at me because I recognised him, even though my hubby thought he was a tramp. In my hubby’s defense, Eccleston was in full hobo mode.

13) I am prone to stubbing my toes. I have lost my baby toe nails three times on each foot.

14) I only keep physical copies of books that I rate 4* or more, or that I have a complete series of. It’s a brutal method, but necessary for my small house.

15) I’m forgetful. My five year old makes me write everything into my diary, or make a list before we go shopping. Even my friends notice my forgetfulness. It was a charity day at my daughter’s school and the children who wore fancy dress had to donate £1 to the charity. My friend brought an extra £1 because she thought I’d forget. Ha! That time I had remembered because- thanks to my daughter- I had noted it in my diary. I can’t say I’ve remembered every time since…

16) My last fancy dress costume was of a scarecrow. I was helping at an event held by my daughter’s old nursery school on Halloween.

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I was featured in the local newspaper looking like this.

17) We are a family of geocachers. It’s so much fun. Don’t knock it until you try it. Us geocachers are a covert bunch, so I shall say no more… but seriously, google it!

18) Once, I heard a strange noise outside my window in the middle of the night. I thought that something was dying out there. When I went to investigate, I found hedgehogs having sex. Have you ever heard the sound of hedgehogs having sex?! I can never unhear that!

19) I love notebooks. I buy notebooks. Other people buy me notebooks. I get given notebooks. It’s both beautiful and disturbing.

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I don’t leave the house without one of these babies!

20) After re-reading the above 19 facts, I have decided that I am a little cray cray!

I hope you have learnt something new about me (there is plenty to pick from). I know a lot of people have been nominated in this tag already, so I shall extend an open invite to those who want to join in.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

It’s Killing Time… Don’t Panic, I’m A Writer!

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Okay, I better explain that title, right? And perhaps the picture… Who am I kidding? It’s pretty self-explanatory.

Yep, even though I was a bitch of an author to some of my characters in EVO Shift, not many died. Not many in comparison to the 15 in EVO Nation. Yep, 15! Some were minor characters, but still- 15! Technically, there is more if you add in the faceless, nameless characters, but let’s not.

Now that I am drafting EVO Ghost, book three, the time has come for me to make the hard choices. Hard because my characters are my babies, and hard because someone needs to die. *Insert evil laugh here*.

Is it wrong that I enjoy a good, poignant death scene? I love fiddling with the narrative to create the perfect boiling pot of emotion. I want my readers to feel the death, whether it’s sadness at the loss of a beloved character, or euphoria as I dish out just desserts. It’s all in the name of writing fun.

On a final note, that meme was not created by me. I actually stumbled across it. Coincidence? I think not!


Meme sourced from quickmeme.com

Written content featured in this blog is the property of K.J.Chapman

Sometimes, It’s Okay to NOT Write

I know that this title might drive fear into the hearts of many writers, and yes, the idea of NOT writing can bring me out in a cold sweat, but let me explain. I don’t mean give up writing. If you’re like me, giving up my writing would be like giving up a piece of what makes me me. No, I mean that sometimes we need to take a break, and life shouldn’t be seen as a distraction.

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December was a busy month for me. I got married, attended school plays, played chauffeur to my daughter, taking her to Christmas parties, discos, school parties. I caught up on a back log of Christmas shopping, then took my Nana shopping for the best part of six hours. As a family we went out for meals, watched films, and so on, and so on. At first, I told myself that these were just excuses, that if I really tried I would have fitted in my writing time. Perhaps this is partly true, but it was only when I told myself that writing was a big part of my life, but not my whole life that I finally saw the light.

Sometimes, it’s okay to NOT write. It’s okay to enjoy my life without having that nagging word count in the back of my mind. The world won’t end, and I won’t spontaneously combust from sheer lack of typing. I’m ambitious, and I want to achieve things, but I set the deadlines, the time schedules, the goals, and I need to set my limits.

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After all, it’s life that gives us writers rich experiences to draw upon, and life is the best form of research.


 

All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

Why Haven’t You Named A Character After Me?

This is a question I have been asked multiple times. Yep, I write books. Yep, I know you. Nope, I have never and will never name a character after you.

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Why?

  • Your name might suck. I don’t just name my characters the first name that pops into my head. The name has to suit their personality, their history, the era etc. Need I go on? 
  • Why do you think I should? Do you reckon you’re deserving of being immortalised on the page? Asking me makes you sound egotistical- just saying.
  • My characters need to be their own people. If I give them your name, then I’ve got you in my head when I’m writing. 
  • What if they make bad choices, or become psychotic? Like I say, characters are their own people, and if their natural progression is to ‘go over to the dark side’, don’t pretend you won’t be offended. YOU TOTALLY WILL.
  • On a related note- If I gave a character your name and a huge wart on the end of their nose, you’d have something to say to me.
  • Perhaps, just perhaps, I don’t like you that much. I’m just joking… Or am I?

However, take comfort in this- most of my characters have facets of me, my friends, and my family in them. I draw on experience from my own life and surroundings. So, I’ll leave it to you to make up your own mind whether you are the muse for my baddie…Mwahaha

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All written works are the property of K.J.Chapman

GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM