Middlings

I’m currently working on the fourth novel in a series (of which there will be seven). I have been loosely planning the novels in my notebook but mostly they have come together of their own accord. It’s like something I’ve never experienced before and I love it!

I’ve come to the realisation that my weakness (because we all have them) while writing is the middle. Because I have planned the beginning and know where I want it to end up, I know what I’m doing there. However, because I haven’t been putting in a rigid structure or plan throughout my novel I’ve found two things: that my characters have free reign to tell me what they want to do and that I flounder somewhat.

In one way, I like writing like this. My story goes where it should go and the characters seem to know where to take me from one scene to the next. They seem to have a lot of bright ideas. But one thing that I do find is that on the occasion when I sit down to write and I’m not sure where my characters want to go, I’m a bit lost. Sometimes I find myself slogging through the thousand words just to get it down on paper but not really feeling it. Sometimes I’ll sit for ages just wondering (and of course procrastinating) what should happen next.

Of course there are pros and cons of planning and pantsing but I like to adopt an in-the-middle approach that seems to work generally quite well for me. What I do think I’m good at doing is soldiering on through the times when I find it hard to write. I make myself write because I know that when I hit the next scene my fingers will be flying and the characters will be taking over again.

In other news, I’m taking off this weekend for some time with family and my partner as we head to the Harry Potter studio in London. Of course I’m so excited about it being the huge Harry Potter dork that I am (and currently deciding how many Harry Potter themed clothes it would be acceptable to wear!).

Oh and look out this weekend for a cover reveal from Granville, my new co-written novella which is being released on the 17th. If you want to take part here’s the link to the release party on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/464630770410893/

David Owain Hughes will also be attending the party as of course, he is the co-author! Also look out for Eight Deadly Kisses released by Dark Chapters Press, an anthology written by women with strong female characters. All proceeds go to CAMFED.

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Co-editing

Writing something with another author has always baffled me–that’s until I actually did it. I’m the sort of person who worries about the logistics of a thing, who will do what, will it be equal etc. However, when it got down to writing it  we passed it back and forth each adding a little at a time until it was finished and we had a completed novella.

Now we’re at the editing stage after being offered a publishing deal. I worried about the same thing. Thing is, it has gone more smoothly than I thought. My co-writer, David Owain Hughes, did the first round of edits using track & change, I have gone through a second round adding, accepting or rejecting and passed it back for a final read through. Hopefully by April this will be out.

I think co-writing has taught me a lot about compromise, working together and discussion as well as opening me up to ideas and styles of writing that I haven’t tried or possibly have been a little shy to in the past. Often I stop and think, What if someone I know reads this? Often it can put me off writing certain things, making things too gory or erotic for example, but then writing with David has taught me to write like I want to write. I write for me and hopefully someone will enjoy my work. Not everyone will and that’s true of friends and family.

In other news, I’m working on the third novel in the series I’m currently working on. I’m just over 20k in and still going strong although at times it’s a slow write. I think it could have been planned just that little bit better but I’m going to see where it takes me. I want to finish writing them all before going back to edit and doing that it one big, long stint. I think that’ll help with keeping the flow of the piece.

Oh and in other news, I ran over my big toe with a sofa today. If my toe doesn’t drop off then I think that my nail will. All I have to say is OW!

What are you working on at the minute? Or if you’re not an author, what are you reading?

Saying Goodbye to 2015

There’s always something quite nice and refreshing about a new year. I always find myself gearing up ready for exciting things. I make goals for myself and put in plot points to reach them. I relish the idea of starting afresh and while 2015 has not been a particularly arduous year, I feel like 2016 is signalling great new things to come.

Already I have had news that a co-written novella by myself and David Owain Hughes has been accepted for publication. I have a novel in with Dark Chapters Press which I hope to hear about come February and already a couple of short stories lined up to be in anthologies.

I have plans to finish writing a series of novels that I’m working on. This year I wrote two which means I’m challenging myself to write five novels next year in that series. I have another idea brewing that could possible be something in the middle grade/YA range which I’m excited about and of course I’ll try and keep up with short story submissions.

In other things I want to challenge myself to read more. Although the latter half of this year has gotten relatively better, I’ve picked up an actual reading challenge and started compiling a list of books that I want to acquire.

And of course there are those usual personal goals in amongst all of that including being more organised and certainly more assertive. That’s always a hard one, isn’t it?

Whether you’re a goal setter or not, I wish you all the most happy of New Years and hope that 2016 brings everything you could want.