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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August Life Update

This thing happened with my hand this week and I couldn’t work on my novel as much as I’d have liked, which got me thinking. I haven’t really updated you on the stuff in my life in a long while. Let’s talk about the hand first, since you’re probably wondering. In December of 2016, I […]

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Major Character Death

I’ve recently read a few books where major characters died–and I’m talking viewpoint or main cast characters–only to be resurrected. Then, you know, they all live happily ever after. When this dead-but-resurrected-thing happened the first time, I was annoyed but okay. My mood elevated to disgruntled by the second time, then shot into the orbit […]

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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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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

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 final round of edits and the novel is out of my hands again (WHOOOOOHOOOOO) I thought I’d break down the story for you. I’m not particularly skilled when it comes […]

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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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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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Social Sabbatical

Lately, I’ve been absent and apparently folks have been noticing. Except for sharing my posts from the safety of my blog, and maybe the occasional mini-scroll on Facebook once a day (if I actually make the effort to go there) I’ve been avoiding social media like the *cliche incoming* plague. Instagram is the exception to the […]

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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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A Life Update

Aside from the immigration, we’ve been facing a lot of other changes recently. Life, it seems, goes on. Even amid the chaos. Kayla is *finally* going to school. Of all the changes, this is the biggest one. I’ve spoken about our troubles getting her enrolled in a kindergarten in Germany, and also mentioned how easy […]

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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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Writing Update

You were supposed to see this post at the end of July, I know. Apologies. I’m more scatterbrained than usual lately and I forgot. But better late than never, right? The writing has been going exceptionally well. After The Great Word Draught of 2017, I never imagined I’d be writing so much, especially now that The […]

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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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Lesson Learnt

The answer came through the random comment from a friend. You need time off to refill the well. The ironies upon ironies I’m faced with now are shocking. Not only have many friends and loved ones made similar statements, but didn’t I write a post with the same friggen message? The answer is yes. Yes, […]

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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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Uninspired

Some days, it’s difficult to get inspired. I’m having one of those days. I talked about this problem on Friday too, so you’ll know about my predicament if you’ve been around the blog. The recap version? Today, I have no idea what to blog about and I don’t have the drive to put in any real effort. […]

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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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Revising x 3 (Mini Q&A)

At this stage, I’m unable to think straight, but I’ve had some questions from friends and family and I want to answer them. Question 1 – How’s it going, Yolandie? *nervous laughter* Added to the fact that I’m revising like a madwoman, it’s been an icky week on the sleep scale. AKA, I’m not getting […]

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You Are What You Make

I’ve been watching Tessa Violet for around two years now and she’s become one of my favourite YouTubers. Why? Well, she’s what I’m not. 🙂 She shares, openly, all of her thoughts and fears, and even rethinks some of her older video topics. If she’s evolved, she’ll explain how she’s learned to accept parts of […]

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A Quick Update

Nothing feels real in my life anymore until I share it here. ◄ That’s healthy. 😛 I had some awesome news this week and I want to share it with you. You know, so it becomes real. I belong to a writer’s group and they’re releasing an anthology later this year. Submissions opened November 2016, […]

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Stuff for Writers

When you tell people you’re writing a novel, they’ll probably react in one of three ways. 1) You’re insane. 2) Ooh, that’s cool! 3) You know, I’ve always wanted to write a novel (this, by the way, is said with the greatest frequency). This post is for everyone in the third group. I’ve been following […]

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Happy Holidays!

Hello there. Right, by now, I’ve missed 3 posts. I’ve finished the revision of the Physician’s Apprentice, a statement which demanded many late nights, a too stiff neck and constantly fidgeting fingers. Because I worked so hard on this thing, I missed more than a few other things, including blogging on schedule. Sorry. I also […]

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Behind the Scenes

Hi there, folks! I’m not doing the Story Cube thing today, because I have some admin to share with you. Nothing serious! But some stuff has been going on behind the scenes, and I want to fill you in. Somewhere in the last few months, I mentioned on Facebook, Twitter and Google + that I’ve […]

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To Be Proud

When I first started writing, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t, but I’m growing. If there’s one thing in life I hate, it’s stagnating. I’ve mentioned this before. Where writing is concerned, I really think I have grown and I try to learn more with every word squeezed out through […]

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The Things That Repeat in my Mind

It’s been ages since I updated you on any of my obsessions. Today, I’m going to fix that. As many of you know, I’m currently revising The Physician’s Apprentice. My editor‘s advice was to flesh out some scenes, so I’m adding words. This means a particular kind of madness has come over me. You know […]

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NaNo – Here we go again

Yes, indeedy. It’s almost that time again. Last year, my Nanowrimo experience wasn’t so great (I seem to have misplaced the post where I updated you on that). To be fair, I had just gone through a bunch of stuff, including finding a new editor and living through one of the lowest points since moving […]

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Writing and Music

I find it kind of weird that the question I’m asked most often about writing is what I listen to when I write. Sure, this question leads to a variety of other questions, but a lot of the time, conversations about writing are started with this one. What do I listen to when I write? […]

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Approach With Caution…

You’re wondering where I am. I can hear you think it like a shout off a mountaintop. 🙂 This image below about sums it up. In my world, ‘lunch’ can be replaced by coffee. Because, you know, coffee has replaced blood in my veins.

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You want to put that where?

We’re safely back from our trip to London, of which I promise I’ll share some photos this week. I just wanted to let you know I’m still alive, even if I was unsure for a minute there. We arrived back in Germany last Monday night and on Tuesday, the floodgates opened. Kayla was super ill, […]

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Write What You Know…

I’ve been following a lot of writing coaches, editors and authors via social media and blogs lately, and I’ve learned a TON about writing. The things to avoid, to embrace and habits to form to become a better writer have really impacted me. It also scares me. When I sit down to write now, I’m […]

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It’s Chaotic

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their condolences and beautiful words concerning my grandmother. If you missed it, my gran passed away last week. It wasn’t a surprise, because she was sick for a long time before she passed. It still hurts though. I wrote a tribute to my grandma here. Since […]

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Current Chaos – The Editing Game

So, it’s finally happened. I got the notes back from my editor a while ago and since then, only writing has been on my mind. Let me first fill you in. I went through a bit of a bad patch last year with an editor. Not because of bad critique, but because of the complete […]

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Geronimo

I’ve been in a weird place for too long now. I used to adore blogging, but in the last year, I’ve struggled to keep it up. I don’t know what to write about a lot of the time, and the other times I don’t have the drive to sit down and write something here. To […]

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