Make your own mistakes guys!

We have all heard and read so many helpful posts about things people wish they knew before they began writing, or mistakes that people have made that you can learn from, and those posts are great, but, I have a different theory.

Make. Your. Own. Mistakes. Simple right? We, as writers (yes, we are now calling ourselves writers, let’s get in character people!) need to make mistakes in order to learn what suits us, someone’s mistake is someone else’s success.

Sometimes going through the process of the mistake is what enables us to grow as writers. The first draft is full of plot holes and boring characters. So? (shrugs shoulders) Who cares? It’s the first draft, its allowed to be pants, along with drafts 2, 3, 4 and 5 if necessary. It can take a plethora of drafts before your characters are who you want them to be or the plot finally make sense on paper. I’m here to tell you that’s ok. You don’t have to follow ‘protocol’, you can literally do whatever you feel compelled to do. Often when I start something I have a vague idea of what’s going on and go from there, and I read through it as I go too. I can feel the glares from here! What can I say? I’m a rebel!

So do it. Go and make your own mistakes, then learn from them, or don’t, it’s your choice, your journey.

Catch ya later!

Stop being a ‘Pen-Hippo’ and write!

We all do it. Some of us consciously and some subconsciously, but we all do it. It’s funny how even the most mundane tasks become of vital importance or seem like fun when you are ‘supposed’ to be writing. Procrastination is addictive.

What’s my reason for not writing I hear you ask? Well, I have taken a small break from the blog because I felt like my writing wasn’t as important as other things. This had more to do with how I thought I was perceived rather than anyone saying it. I felt that my writing was perceived as something of unimportance and therefore I was just ‘playing’ or ‘not really doing anything’ when I was writing. (I’m literally eye rolling myself here folks!)

You can treat it like a job, even if it’s not. Find some time to put aside for your writing and don’t let anyone tell you it’s not important. I find that I can’t stick to a writing regime as such, even though I love a good regime, part of what makes me unconventional is that I rarely follow the processes I am ‘supposed to’ but that’s ok, as long as I still write.

You may remember Peppermint Tea from a previous post, well she was the one that gave me the push I needed to shut up and write. If you love writing, like truly love it, you will feel like a part of you is missing, or it’s too crowded in your head if you don’t write, this process is dangerous and before you know it you are a pen-hippo (Yeah, I made that up!) wallowing in the mud of self-doubt, eating the leaves of despair. Ridiculous.

Sometimes you need to hear the harsh truth and that’s exactly what I am doing here my friends, I am telling you to stop making excuses and just write, right now, go and get a pen and paper (Oh who am I kidding, you already have one right?!) and write something down, anything. You got this! I believe in you  my friends!

So? What did you write?

See you soon…..

And so she returns, after learning a valuable lesson!

Hello, you cheeky lot,

I am back! I apologise for the unannounced sabbatical, life got busy! Too busy to write? Yeah, kind of. Well, that and I decided that I was pants at writing!

I attempted NaNoWriMo, for those of you who are not familiar with it, it’s a month-long writing marathon where you literally write the first draft of a novel. It takes place in November, so I spent September preparing, November manically writing and December dealing with the fact that I failed!

That’s right, you heard me, I failed. Turns out, I HATE failing, like really hate it. I didn’t reach the 50,000 word count. Not because I suck, but because this process simply doesn’t suit me. I lost all creativity and love for the book I was writing during this process, I hated working to a certain word count a day, it made me write a whole bunch of bunkum! I found I was literally writing anything just to reach the word count, and that’s just not my style, I allow myself more creativity than this. I write when I want to and when the feeling takes me, suppose that serves me right for trying to be conventional though?! (See what I did there?!).

But, I’m not here to poo-poo NaNoWriMo because I believe it will suit certain people down to the ground, those kind of people that cram for an exam the day before they take it, or those who spend hours in the library maniacally writing and guzzling can after can of the energy drink of their choice. I am definitely not that sort of person. I love to take my time, enjoy the process and waft up and down the aisles of the library touching the books and eating sweets!

Which type of person are you? Manic or wafty?!

Also before I bid you adieu there is someone I want to thank, she knows who she is, I shall refer to her as Peppermint Tea, anyway, she gave me the confidence to once again put my words down on paper (or internet!) and get over my writing block. Thanks, Peppermint Tea, you rock!!

See you soon……

In your face plot hole!

Hi Friends,

So guess what happened to me this week? I was merrily writing, in the yellow room, coffee on the go, birds singing outside, when all of a sudden I stopped. I literally just stopped. I was half way through a scene and realised there is a plot hole so big in my book I could probably fit 3 elephants and 2 trains through it, all at the same time!! (Cue blank stares and the occasional eye twitch).

Why did my character do that? Why didn’t they stop me from continuing? What the hell is wring with them? – All seemed like valid questions at the time, along with a small amount of self doubt and an edge of hatred – What is wrong with me? How did I not see that? Idiot! Moron! Grrrrrr! – Literally things that happened!

Then I sat back and thought, well, this happens to us all at some point and so I figured I would tell you what I did to get over it, that seemed more productive than stomping round the house saying words that should not come from a sailor, let alone a lady!

I wrote a timeline. Yep. It was that simple. Ridiculous right? They are my new favourite thing ever. I am a pantser (Someone who doesn’t manically plot, I have an idea of characters and story and I just write, I write what they tell me to write!) but having a timeline was really helpful. I could add to it as necessary and I could tract the main plot, the sub plots and relationships as I write them.

Here is an example of a timeline, its not the actual one, that’s super top secret!

Timeline
Timeline

So you can see where I have tracked the basics, that’s how it starts, the orange lines are the main story and the yellow lines are the sub plot, the romantic relationship between hero and village idiot. It gets messy, and you have to let it. Go where the story takes you my friend.

This REALLY helped me sort out the massive plot hole I had in my book and I hope it helps you too, if you want more information on it, or you just want to chat, you know where to find me!

See you soon…….

Talking with Psychopaths and Savages – A book review

This is my first book review on the blog, something I will be doing each time I finish a book. I don’t have schedules stating that I will do one a week or one a month because I am a slow reader, I like to enjoy the books I read, not skim through them. Therefore, I shall simply review them when I have finished reading them.

On with the review. This book ‘Talking with Psychopaths and Savages’ by Christopher Berry-Dee was a fascinating read, you are taken into the minds of some of the worlds most notorious psychos and savages. As an added bonus you also get a great explanation of the difference between them.

There are some descriptions of grizzly crimes but not enough to put those with a weak stomach off. Someone with the authors obvious talents for pen-palling will recognise that engaging someone in correspondence is a great way to get into someone’s mind. Although I wonder if the author realises that at times he sounds a little like the people he writes about, he boasts the ability to use ‘mind control’ techniques and even goes as far as saying that he can manipulate them into telling him their secrets and that he ‘knows them better than they know themselves’.

As long as you overlook the occasional typo and weird dates that are either set in the future or change as the story progresses, you are in for a good read. We must remember that this is snippets of these evil peoples lives, not full length books about them and I believe that given the short word count the author did a very good job of letting you into their lives. He is not afraid to speak he truth and will give his opinion, no matter how controversial. This impressed me as we live in a world of people too scared to say anything. He invites you to think of how many ordinary people these psychos and savages are able to fool, not just in their social lives but their family lives too.

He makes a lot of references to his other books, something that begins to get a little tedious towards the end. I am sure his other books are as intriguing as this but I am left with the question of wether this book is more about the psychos and savages or the authors manipulation skills. I of course say this tongue in cheek as the work the author does in getting closure for the families is outstanding.

Overall I would recommend this book, it is one you can pick up and put down as you wish, it is full of interesting snippets on the minds of these maniacs and offers you the opportunity to almost sit and have a cuppa and a chat with the author.

See you soon…..

(I have no affiliation to the author or publisher, all views are my own and I was not paid for this review)

Self doubt ‘v’ I’m a genius moments

We all have self doubt, that’s a given, no one is so super confident that they think they are great all the time. But a lot of people talk about self doubt and how to get over it and in my opinion the truth of the matter is that you can’t. There, I said it. Controversial I know. But hear me out.

Self doubt is what keep’s you going, sounds backwards right? No! It’s really not! Because you strive for perfection and you feel that you are not good enough which means you will continue to write, your writing will improve and you will get better. So embrace your self doubt, it’s what helps to spur you on.

Genius moments on the other hand. Can be a total double edge sword. On the one hand you may have actually written something that is clearly a work of genius that needs to be recognised by the whole world over and will probably secure your name in history along with Shakespeare and Stephen King. You feel that swell of pride and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. And on very few occasions, it really is that good, however if you leave it for a couple of days and then re-read it you will often wonder how you thought that was acceptable. Did a deranged ferret break in during the night and mess with your work? Is this some kind of cruel joke?

The answer my friends is no, you were just high on the little piece of magic I like to call ‘finishing a piece of work!’ But you enjoy that feeling, revel in it, bathe in it and make it your own. But remember, after the ferrets have broken in and you come to reread it, please remember that self doubt can be your friend too.

Obviously you are all geniuses who don’t need to rewrite your work, I know this cos you hang out here with me! 😉

See you soon…….