Monday, 17 April 2017

Switching Blogging Platforms

Dear Readers,

I have an announcement to make! I am moving my blog from Blogger to Wordpress. Although I won't be deleting, I won't be updating it anymore. Instead, you can find my new blog posts at You'll find all my old posts from this site on there, along with all the new ones I post from here on out. You'll also find shiny new Home, About, and Contact pages, plus more!

If you'd like to know why I chose to make this change, you can read this post, and if you'd like to know about the switching process, you can read this post.

Since I'm already finding Wordpress to be a much better fit for me, I'm a little surprised to say that I am going to miss this blog. I've spent a lot of time updating it and improving its appearance over the four years I've been using Blogger, so it is a bit strange to think I'm never going to use it again.

Anyway, that's quite enough sentimentality! Go follow me over on my lovely new Wordpress blog, where I'll be updating my blog as usual!

See you there!


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Caraval: Book Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber is a young adult fantasy novel concerning two sisters, Scarlett and Tella Dragna, and the magical annual performance, Caraval, where the audience get to participate in the show - or, more accurately, the game. Scarlett and Tella have been enchanted by the idea of Caraval and its mysterious ringleader, Master Legend, ever since their grandmother told them stories of it as children. But when they finally receive invitations to Caraval, just days before the event, Scarlett is just days away from marrying a man who promises both herself and her sister a secure future away from their abusive father. Going to Caraval would mean putting their future and their safety in jeopardy.

Tella, meanwhile, has other ideas. Despite the risk of missing the wedding, she tricks Scarlett into going with her to Caraval with the help of sailor Julian, before promptly disappearing upon arrival. Scarlett quickly realises Tella has been kidnapped by Legend himself: Tella's whereabouts is the mystery that this year's participants must solve to win the game. She vows to find her sister in time to return for her wedding, but soon discovers that Caraval is less harmless than she imagined. While it might just be a game, Scarlett cannot risk that it isn't, and that something sinister really is going to happen - or has already happened - to her sister. Not only must she figure out the clues that Legend has left for them, but also who to trust - including whether she can trust herself.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Writing Update

At the beginning of the year, I set myself monthly writing goals for working on my novel The Secrets The Dead Keep, which should hopefully leave me with a finished manuscript by the end of the year.

My writing goal for March was to finish Draft Three edits. Leftover from previous goals, I also wanted to work on characterisation more, and start finding critique partners.

I started the month with eleven pages' worth of edits I wanted to make. I quickly realised, however, that many of them were unnecessary or two detailed for what is still an early draft, since I haven't finalised my plot yet. So, I made a new list, which I am very happy to say was only a page long. It included ten new scenes to write, plus six to revise due to plot changes, and five to edit if I got chance.

One page of edits makes it sound like March was an easy month. Unfortunately, nothing is ever as easy as you think it'll be.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Elantris: Book Review

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is a standalone fantasy novel set in the kingdom of Arelon, where the magical city of Elantris once ruled. But ten years ago, Elantris fell when its powerful magic failed, and its occupants, the Elantrians, changed from god-like beings to living corpses.

Now, Arelon's future is uncertain. King Iadon is leading the country to ruin, and High Priest Hrathen is determined for Arelon to be absorbed into the Fjordell empire by converting it to the empire's religion. Meanwhile, crown prince Raoden's transformation into an Elantrian leads to him being exiled to the fallen city shortly before his own wedding. Along with the rest of the world, his fiancee Sarene, princess of Arelon's last ally against the Fjordell empire, is told he is dead. Still bound by her marriage contract, Sarene stays in Arelon rather than returning home, and picks up where Prince Raoden left off, working to improve Arelon's system and secure its future, both against King Iadon and the Fjordell empire.

But of course, Raoden is not dead. He is busy helping the Elantrians find their long-lost hope and finding out what led Elantris to fall - and how it might be restored.

Friday, 24 March 2017

5 Things I've Learned About Novel Writing

There's a lot of writing advice out there, so when I first thought about writing a post giving writing advice, I thought, "is there really anything I can say that isn't just regurgitating things I've read elsewhere?".

At first, I thought the answer to that question was no. But as I've been editing my novel The Secrets The Dead Keep, I've kept thinking of things I should've done differently that would've made editing so much easier, or things that I do to make writing easier that I don't think I've read in any other writing advice.

So although I don't yet feel qualified to advise other writers on things like how to make their writing sound better, or how to improve their characterisation or plot, I do have a few points that might help in the actual act of getting that novel written.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Why You Shouldn't Say These 10 Things To Writers

There are some things that people say to writers that makes us want to strangle them. In reality, we'll probably just sigh and smile politely to hide the fact that we're clenching our jaws as a small part of us dies inside. But we'd really rather you didn't say them at all.

Why, though? Why do writers hate it when people say these things, and why don't people realise that we hate it?

I think it's because there are some misconceptions held by the general public about what writers actually do. I wrote a series of blog posts (called The Writing Process: A Guide for Non-Writers) hoping to clear this up, but if you don't have time to read that, here's the short and more direct version of what misconceptions are behind these 10 things that people say to writers, and why they're wrong.

Image result for 10 things not to say to writers

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Writing Process: A Guide For Non-Writers - Part Four

The one thing I can forgive non-writers for not understanding about the writing process is publishing, because it's something I often see writers misunderstanding too.

But what most writers do understand is that publishing is just as hard as getting the book written, whereas I often hear non-writers assuming that I, as a writer, will get my book snatched up as soon as it's finished, and it'll be a bestseller in no time.

If only that really was how it worked.

So Part Four of my The Writing Process: A Guide For Non-Writers series is going to be on publishing. If you've missed any previous installments, you can find Part One (Preparation) here; Part Two (Writing The First Draft) here; and Part Three (Editing) here.