They say a change is as good as a rest – but a rest does the job too

Back in April, I wrote a post about not breaking the chain, which involved making sure I did at least one writing-related task every single day. Having started the chain on the 3rd of January this year, I am pleased to announce that I kept it going for 185 days straight. Despite the best of intentions, however, I knew that I would have to break the chain eventually and ended up doing so on the 7th of July.

But I broke it in spectacular fashion and have in fact taken almost a month off from writing…! This was in order to Continue reading

Advertisements

Don’t break the chain: a writer’s mantra

No, this isn’t about spam mail claiming you will have seven years’ bad luck unless you forward it to 100 other people. It’s about motivation, consistency and – after a while – pure obstinacy!

I came across the notion of ‘Don’t break the chain’ in a recent blog post by crime author Catherine Ryan Howard. Always generous with advice, Catherine offered up some productivity tips and one of them was to not break the chain. She recommended putting Continue reading

That scary moment…

…when you give your manuscript to others to read. Eek! It feels something akin to going out in public with no clothes on. It’s a terrifying prospect but a necessary step towards the ultimate goal. (Thankfully, no nakedness actually required.)

After a sporadic December, January turned out to be a productive month and I completed the eleventh draft of the first book in my historical fiction series less than half way into February. Yes, draft number eleven. I first put pen to paper (luminous orange ink in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer notebook) on this story back in distant 2002 and Continue reading

2016: Time to take stock

Another year has passed which means it’s time to look back over 2016 and assess how it went!

December 2016On a global scale, I think many people are in agreement that the year has been something of a disaster, with regard to both international politics and the loss of numerous celebrity greats. On a personal level, I’ve found it to be a year of bad luck in quite a few different aspects, although there were memorable moments too, including special weddings of very close friends. But, for the purposes of this blog, the question is how did I fare out in writing terms?

My final post of 2015 included these words: “2016 will see Continue reading

Oh, how I regret my pantser days…

Hi, my name is Susie and I’m a recovering pantser. It’s been three and a half years since my last transgression.

And I’m still paying for it…

When I first began to think seriously about trying to get published, I started reading blogs dedicated to the craft of writing. I soon found that one topic writers often like to talk about is that of the PLOTTER versus the PANTSER. If you type those terms into your search bar, you will get tons of articles on the subject.

So what’s it all about? A plotter is someone who Continue reading

What does it signify if you fail to reach your goal?

For some inexplicable reason, I love writing and would like to get published someday. I don’t know where the compulsion came from but at this stage I just run with it, even though I have to admit that it often seems more like a hard slog than a pleasurable pastime.

I embarked upon my quest for publication in April 2013. I began to build my online platform and submitted my work to a variety of publishers and agents. While I received small scraps of positive feedback, my manuscripts were nonetheless consigned to the rejection pile. I knew I was Continue reading

The adverbs. Oh, the frequently-used adverbs.

Stephen King is famous for having said, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Once upon a time, I would have disagreed with him. Now? I’d pat him on the back and apologise for ever  doubting him.

I have done a complete turnaround in my attitude to adverbs. A couple of years ago, I wrote a book review of the Harry Potter series and in it I defended J.K. Rowling’s heavy use of adverbs. (It speaks volumes that I did a Google Image search for ‘adverbs bad writing’ and a picture of Rowling came up…) Now I cringe when Continue reading

Why historical fiction for me? And which genre for you?

It fascinates me that there is such a range of genres in fiction and non-fiction and that people can be so tempted by some and so repelled by others. Crime, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, comedy, horror, and more – there’s no accounting for taste. Today I’m going to talk about why historical fiction calls to me. But I would love to hear what draws you to your favourite genre too!

Having sampled many different genres over the years, I have come to identify historical fiction as my top choice in both reading and writing. I enjoy historical fiction because Continue reading

My most promising rejection yet…!

Yep, I am going to wear that oxymoron like a badge of honour. I got a really good rejection, folks!

Those of you who have been following my progress on the precarious path to publication may remember the post I wrote before Christmas describing how, at the end of a seven-month-long submission process, I was unfortunately unsuccessful with a publisher in the States.

However, the acquisitions editor with whom I had been dealing offered Continue reading