Behind the Scenes – Editing

I figure I might as well clue you all in on how it goes behind the scenes. You know, the stuff you don’t see on my posed and filtered Instagram feed. Everybody who knows me knows I’m currently editing A Trial of Sparks & Kindling. I haven’t been shy about that fact so far. But […]

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How AHA moments changed A Study of Ash & Smoke

We all have little aha moments while writing. Those moments come to us either through brainstorming, talking to others about our work, feedback from betas or editors–heck, even the most random of places–but those aha moments spark the changes in the story that pull everything together. You could probably guess I had plenty of aha […]

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Let’s Write – The Structural Edit (Continued)

In the last post, we talked about the first two elements we must revise during the structural edit–plot and setting, and characters. Today, we’ll wrap up the last three. Flow and pace Conflict and resolution Voice and style Let’s get right to it. Flow and Pace I’ve grouped these two elements together, because most of […]

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Let’s Write – The Structural Edit

Welcome back to the self-editing miniseries. 🙂 It’s good to have you. Last time, we summarised the self-edit. Feel free to check that out if you want to brush up first. In the next two posts, we’ll be looking in-depth at the first big part of the self-edit–structural editing. (Quick note. I thought to keep […]

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What’s Happening with A Trial of Sparks & Kindling?

As you all know, my summer was a whirlwind of writing. I wrote the first draft of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling (and then some) in 7 weeks. It was intense. I’m still not fully human after that sprint. Now that I have one book out, I have a teeny tiny itty bitty fanbase, […]

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Let’s Write – Basics of Self-Editing

Something about the editing process has always intrigued me, and I’ve wanted to take an editing course or two for ages. Yet, I’ve always had an excuse why not to take that course. I sent off A Trial of Sparks & Kindling to my editor at the end of September, which meant I had nothing […]

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On Writing Sequels

Somebody recently asked me how I found the process of writing the sequel to A Study of Ash & Smoke. I finished A Trial of Sparks & Kindling at the end of August, after one of the most intense writing sprints of my life. Of course, this isn’t the first sequel I’ve ever written. Cringe. […]

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Wake Me Up When September Ends

Well, I’m back. I’m happy to inform you the two blog-free weeks haven’t been spent in vain, as the first draft of A Trial of Sparks & Kindling is officially done. Did that read first draft? What I really mean is first complete draft. You see, it’s the fifth version of the document on my […]

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My Writing Process (Updated)

So, I’m a published author now. (Look, Ma, I’m famous.) A Study of Ash & Smoke was written, then edited and produced by Skolion, and they wrote an article on how the book was made. In that article, we linked to this post I wrote in 2017, all about my writing process. It’s been just […]

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My Favourite Character Trope: The Lovable Rogue

The way to hook this reader is easy. Write a character who is always dressed to impress, has the wildest charm and self-confidence, flirts with everyone, says things the protagonist thinks but would never utter, and is willing to take the quickest route to get the job done–even if that means doing morally questionable things. […]

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Ideas For Writers of Instagram

I’ve been trying to up my Instagram game. I stumbled into the whole thing because the Dragon Writers group on Facebook ran an Insta challenge back in January, and my good friend Tallulah encouraged me to keep going when the challenge ended. So, since January, I’ve tried my hand at Bookstagram. I really enjoy taking […]

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So You Got a Bad Review

Or maybe your beta reader/s had some less than ideal feedback. You’re freaking out, and don’t know how to handle this negative take on your book baby. I wrote a post about writing a review the other day, and I’ve also written something about being a beta reader and how to give feedback. Then, last […]

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No Time For Burnout

Folks, after all the effort it took to get the book written, edited, revised, edited again (and again, three more times) then prepared for print, proofread, revised, and finally ready to publish–my mind has gone blank. The words, it seems, have fled me. It’s probably an oh-boy-my-book-is-published phenomenon. The project is finally out of my […]

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Meet the Characters

I don’t know if you know this, but A Study of Ash & Smoke is officially available for pre-order. Can you even? I can’t even. Everything is happening so quickly now, it’s almost unreal after all the time I’ve spent working on this book. And let me tell you, it’s looking good. I’ve been assisted […]

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On Writing Advice

The internet. A place of abundance. You can learn almost anything on YouTube or blogs. Unfortunately, many of these instructional sites will just as easily help you fail as help you learn. Others won’t set you up for failure, sure, but your growth process can still be stunted by bad advice. Which brings us to […]

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How to Support Indie Authors

Another huge bomb has dropped on the world of indie authors. If you haven’t heard about the #copypastecris disaster, this is where it started. The TL;DR version of what happened is this: Cristiane Serruya copied sections from over 50 romance books by over 30 authors and hired ghostwriters to thread those copied scenes together, then […]

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On Tropes

Ah, tropes. The building blocks of all the stories ever crafted. What’s a trope? Well, those themes and elements we find over and over in novels, movies, games, series. For example, a princess with a mean stepmother. A cop who joined the force because their father was killed in the line of duty. A fairy […]

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Strong Female Characters

There’s this thing all around the internet. Advice paired with a general outcry–write strong female characters. I’ve had multiple conversations about this in the last few weeks, and I thought we could continue chatting about it here. People want Strong Female Characters (from here on SFC) to the point where they come down really hard […]

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A New Title

It’s no secret that I have no idea what I’m doing. I know zero about writing movements, picking a trendy title, or putting something on a novel’s cover that will attract the right audience. Luckily I know people who know these things. 🙂 I had a Skype session with my wonderful editor and mentor, Nerine […]

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Let’s Write Confidence

It’s so good to be back in the swing of things with a writing post, especially one that adds to the Let’s Write Series. Now, I see you doing a double take there. Didn’t this used to be called the writing emotions series? It did, but then I had so many ideas to add to […]

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What’s Up With Your Writing?

Cross-country move aside, this has been at the top of the FAQ pile in my life lately. So let’s talk about if and what I’ve been writing today. The Physician’s Apprentice is in the later stages of production. It had initially been scheduled for release somewhere around September, but life happens, and it’s been delayed […]

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My Novel Planning Journey

It’s Preptober! I’m not participating in Nanowrimo, but I figured this post was long overdue anyway and could be relevant to those of you preparing for Nano. If you’re wondering about my previous Nanowrimo experience, I wrote a little piece on the Sophie Melissa Blog. She also asked some other authors for their ideas and […]

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Travel in Writing

Quick fact – the average horse and the average person travel about the same distance per day. As in, giving your hero a horse may not actually bring them to the epic battle faster than they’d have gotten there on foot. No, I didn’t make that up. Hollywood, gaming houses, and other media tell us […]

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Let’s Write Joy

If you’re here for the first time, I’ve been writing a series of posts on the body language of various emotions, so authors have a quick reference when they get stuck writing diverse characters. It’s so easy to fall into the same old repetitive action tags. I can’t tell you how many times I used […]

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Let’s Write Fear

From a fright when the spider lands on your arm, to being scared of the weird guy on the blind date, to full-blown terror when a dragon sticks its head out of the cave and you left your sword at home, fear is one of the most complex emotions that we’ve all had to deal […]

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Book Talk – The Physician’s Apprentice

EDIT – This Book’s title has changed since I wrote this post. The story is still the same, but the swanky new title is A Study of Ash & Smoke. I’ve never done a post discussing what this book is actually about, and I honestly don’t know how that’s happened. So, considering I’ve completed the […]

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Let’s Write Excitement and Nerves

Welcome to part three of the Writing Emotions series! You can check out the others here, and come back in two weeks for the next part. Today we’re chatting about nervousness and excitement. Since these amount to the same thing in terms of body language, I figured I’d group them. Of course, there are some […]

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Life Update

Folks, it’s that time again for me – editing. As you can imagine, I’m pretty much consumed by fixing my novel at this stage. Where everything else is concerned, this meme has me covered. Still, I must take a break from accepting changes now and then, so here we are. I haven’t done one of […]

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Let’s Write Sadness

Picking up from where we left off, we’re talking about sadness or grief today. The topic was suggested to me by someone in the writing group I belong to on Facebook. Love was also suggested and I’ll definitely delve into that one, but I think it might need to be spread over more than one […]

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Let’s Write Anger

Friends. Writing is difficult. Especially emotions, which are the slightest bit important to make your characters come alive. At first, you really try to have your cast do interesting things, show interesting body language and have interesting expressions. But then, you slip into that easy repetition. He gave a look. She nodded. They shrugged. Or […]

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Just Publish it Already

We’re back to reality today, after a week-long break (if it can be called that, considering we were so sick we could barely move). Kayla’s been dropped off at school, which means it’s back to work for me too after a mini-break from writing. Well, writing The Physician’s Apprentice anyway – I’ve been sporadically working […]

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The Writer’s Supply Network

Hang around writer’s forums long enough and you’ll soon see that there are many fake service providers out there. People who claim they’ll help you polish your manuscript before the world sees it, but then disappear with your cash. And since so many people are self-publishing these days, the demand for indie service providers is […]

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Inadequate

You know what I mean. That so-out-of-my-depth feeling that hits us all from time to time. Like you’ve brought a football to a ping pong match and you’re going to smash your paddle to smithereens with your first serve. (Where are these sports metaphors even coming from?) Lately, this has been my reality. You’ve seen the trend in […]

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Blank

Today is one of those days where blank pages intimidate me, but somehow, no matter how fervently my fingers slam against the keyboard, the words just aren’t up to standard. These are also the days where everything is more interesting than the screen, from the single leaf that managed to escape being covered with snow to […]

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Neekerbreekers

I love Tolkien. I’ve loved his work since I first discovered his stories when I was about fourteen. After that first time I broke the spine of The Fellowship of the Ring, I’ve read LOTR every year (sometimes more than once a year) until around 2013 when Kayla was born. Which reminds me, you know. […]

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To Say or Not to Say

So you’re a writer. Welcome to the club, please pick your t-shirt from the pile and have a seat. You’ve probably been around the interwebs and have no doubt found an article or two on the topic of said. You know, dialogue tags. There are two firm groups of thought here. Okay, okay – two […]

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August Writing Update

It’s already September, I know. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. 🙂 I certainly didn’t think I’d be doing this with all the insanity going on in my life right now, but I’m happy to report that I’ve been writing something amid the chaos! My good friend Tallulah and I just finished a […]

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Three Steps to Deep Point of View

I’m by no means an expert on the topic, just a noob who’s learned a thing or two from writers much more experienced than I, willing to share their knowledge. These are three little things any writer could use to hone their craft – some so obvious, it’s blinding. Who felt like an idiot after […]

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So You’re a Beta Reader

This post, born in the darkest corners of my mind, is probably a direct result of my own novel being in the hands of a group of beta readers. Right now, I’m in that I-can’t-write-at-all-and-I-totally-suck-phase. Let’s talk about giving good crit. As if I’m the expert here. Bah. But, having been on the receiving end […]

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Write by the Rules

I read an article this morning about why you should write romance novels only in third person point of view. In the past few weeks, a few people made comments on the writer’s groups I belong to about writing in a certain point of view and being criticised for their choice. I gag a little in […]

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My Writing Process

Writing about writing is tricky. People will often try to sell their way as the only way, but no art is as black and white as that. I’m not talking about the rules of grammar and style, I’ve seen firsthand how those will make or break a novel. Leave out the rules, and your story […]

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Writing, as Taught by Kids’ TV Shows

A year or so ago, I read a writing exercise idea on a blog that changed the way I view watching TV. The blogger in question would make notes of, then dissect the episode she was watching. She’d figure out which plot points worked, which didn’t, where the dialogue fell flat, where it rocked, and […]

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Noob Writers Unite

I had a conversation about writing with my cousin, as we often do. Afterwards, I kept thinking how great it would have been if I’d known which mistakes to avoid when I just started writing. Yes, I could have googled something stupid, like how to write a novel. Today, the ‘duh’ is weighty enough to […]

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Help a Blogger Out

Here’s an interesting turn of events. I don’t know what to blog about. At first, I couldn’t understand what the hell this caused this sluggishness. Sure, blogging is difficult sometimes. I’ve been doing this for six years and I know ideas dry up at some point. That’s why the blog changed its direction even before […]

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How’s the Writing Going?

Everything is quiet again. Back to normal. It’s been a month since our visitors left (I can’t even) and, with the vacation posts out of the way, I can’t ignore the elephant in the room anymore. Too many people have been asking.

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