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.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

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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.


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

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first draft

First Draft: Naming Characters

Welcome back to the second instalment of my First Draft series. Today, I’ll be chatting about my process for naming characters…

Finding a name that is a good fit for my character is important to me. It’s like a part of their personality. We do have preconceptions in regards to names and first impressions can prove important.

In guest posts and other blog posts, I have stated eight points I think about when naming characters, and I will share them with you today:

Gut instinct: Does a name feel right? Your gut should be listened to. A name has to feel right to you. It’s your creation, after all.

Weird spellings: Unless you’re planning to include a page on name prenounciation in your book, I’d steer clear from names that the readers may not be able to pronounce.

Google it: Quickly check your name combinations via Google. You don’t want to use the name of a character from another book or a politician etc.

Age appropriate: Be aware of what names are suitable for your story, especially for different time periods. For example, if your narrative is set in the Victorian era, you wouldn’t find a Jayden.

Meanings: You could be quite literal with name meanings and name your character purely because the name meaning fits their personality. This is not the route for me, but I will check that a name doesn’t have a negative meaning I might not be aware of.

Preconceptions: This links into the above point. There are names that have a stereotype attached to them. For example, the name Jezebel is most commonly thought of as a harlet. It probably wouldn’t be a good fit for your godfearing, righteous type of character. Unless, of course, you’re being ironic.

No to samey samey: By samey samey, I mean similar to the point it might be confusing. Similar sounding names such as Lara or Laura may prove tricky. Also if you have a character called James, it may be best not to call another character a variant of that name such as Jaime.

Listen and look: This is my most tried and tested way to find names. I listen to snippets of conversation, search the credits at the end of films, I even read gravestones. I love discovering a gem of a name.


I hope my eight points may be of some help to you when naming your own characters.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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