Why CPs and Beta Readers Are So Important

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I started writing my own books when I was about 13/14 years old (it could have been before then because my memory is terrible sometimes). Back then, no one saw my writing apart from my best friend at the time and even then, she never offered a critique of my work. She just told me it was good or that she enjoyed it. Of course, I was practising, and I wasn’t as serious about publishing as I am now.

During my time at school, I wrote 3 completed novels, but I never edited them. Another idea always popped up to drag my attention away. There were also a number of ideas I started and never finished. When I completed my 4th novel in March of 2018, I thought that was the one. I started revising it, but then I got the idea for my dragon book. I couldn’t ignore this one because everything about it felt so right. I could see the world, the characters and where I wanted the story to go. I finished the first draft in 4 months and managed to find an incredible critique partner who has helped me along the way and become such an amazing friend in the process.

Working with A CP

My CP, Noelle, started reading my chapters while I was still writing, so she has literally been there since the beginning and has seen the messier stuff. I’ve sent chapters to her with little apologies and emails saying, ‘this is probably trash but here we go!’ However, she normally lets me know those doubts are just in my head and that for a first draft, it was pretty good. I suppose that’s the perfectionist in me making sure I get it mostly right the first time, even though I don’t outline. Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either.

Noelle has shown me when I use ‘and’ and ‘that’ too much, which I am slowly fixing as I go through my third draft and has been so supportive. She knows when I can do better, urging me on with comments along the lines of, ‘use your descriptive powers, show me what it feels like’ because I can admit that description is one of my strong suits when writing. When it comes to sentencing structure and pacing, her advice is invaluable in helping me improve. She is also my biggest supporter. She will scream in the comments when a plot twist occurs and tell me how much she loves my characters, so much so that she wants me to promise I won’t hurt them (which I can’t do, unfortunately – sorry Noelle).

Of course, there are things I need to work on, like all writers, but having a CP who looks at a story beyond the words on the surface is invaluable. All the advice she has given me sticks in my brain and has made my second and then third drafts even better. A CP also helps when there’s a plot point that you’re stuck on. Noelle helped me smooth out the kinks with the backstory of the enemy in my story and notified me when things might get tricky for a reader to understand. After all, I want this story to be as smooth as possible when I send it to agents for querying. They will want to know I can put in the work before I ever had an agent and that I’m taking this seriously.

While Noelle was my first CP, one of my beta readers has become another CP as her comments are so detailed and helpful. The more eyes on my manuscript, the better. However, when it comes to choosing a CP, make sure they are people you trust and who have similar views and tastes as you. It will make the process a lot smoother.

Taking It Up A Notch with Beta Readers

After smoothing things out in the second draft with the help of Noelle, I knew it was time to get other people to look at my words. This is when the beta readers come in. Personally, I chose four (making it 6 people in total who are helping me). For me, four is the perfect number as some of them don’t make a lot of comments, whereas others do. It also allows me to know when there is truly a problem with the book. If only one person picks up on something, it’s likely to just be their opinion, but if three of my betas pick up on something, I know it needs changing. However, that isn’t always the case. I had one beta reader let me know why my beginning might not make sense and suggested a way to change it (which I loved), but I wanted to run it by my other betas. They agreed, saying they hadn’t thought of it before and instead of sending them the second half after reading the first, I wanted to do a third draft so they could see if it flowed well. Two of my betas also suggested altering the character of Afira slightly, as well as having more of her voice in the story, and it made me realise it’s what I always wanted her to be like.

Another reason having beta readers is great is because it allows you to know when you’ve done something right. There have been certain scenes and sentences where all my beta comments were along the same lines. Whether that is telling me it shows great character or made them emotional, it lets me know I’m doing something right. On the days where I’m feeling down about my writing, I simply open up the document with their comments on and read it. Seeing those positive comments does so much for me mentally and gives me the drive to keep on going.

I know with the help of my betas I will be ready for querying in the summer, hopefully before I hit the first anniversary of working on this book (which is in June). I trust them all and listen to their comments. Criticism wasn’t something I dealt with well when I was younger (something my mum likes to remind me of), but I’ve grown a lot recently. Sometimes I get that ‘oh no, they hate it and think it’s terrible’ feeling when I see the comments, but after a little time, I realise they only say it because they want to help. Because they believe in me and this story and want to make it better. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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If you’re a writer and you’re at the point where you think you need some more eyes on the draft, go for it! Choose friends and people you trust who will be able to give both praise and criticism. It’s a great way to prepare you for if you do get an agent because it’s likely they’ll want you to rewrite parts or cut whole sections.

I’m happy to have found people who will hopefully stick around for all my other magical ideas!

How I’m Staying Motivated While Revising My Novel

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Back at the beginning of June, on the 8th to be exact, I got an idea for a YA Fantasy story about dragons, which is now called Beneath the Empty. I won’t go into too much detail because there’s been a lot of plagiarism lately, but it’s about a princess who has the ability to shift between her human and dragon form. With her dragon guardian by her side, she goes against her mother’s wishes and ventures into enemy territory to figure out why her kind are being killed. Obviously, there’s a lot more to it than that, but that’s how it gets started.

I finished the first draft in October and the second draft in February, but my work wasn’t done there. In that time, I got an amazing critique partner (CP) and several beta readers who have helped me so much. Their help has been invaluable, but I’ll go into detail about why you need a CP and beta readers in another blog post. With their detailed notes, I have started writing the third draft of my book, which is currently sitting at 54,000 words (it was 109,000 at the end of the second draft). So far, they have only read the first half as I was writing the second half while they read it, but after this round of revisions, they will be able to read it all, which makes me slightly nervous.

I’ve lost count on the number of times I have read through my book, but I know it so well and the changes I am making have made it much stronger. However, it hasn’t always been easy to stay motivated, especially when new ideas start to pop into my head (which happened a couple of weeks ago).

Creating an Outline

A few of my betas suggested big changes which would have meant rewriting most of the first act, which was daunting in itself. However, I embraced the changes because I knew it would make the story better and improve character development. One of the ways I managed to stay on track was creating a detailed outline for all the changes I would be making. It’s hard to keep your mind focused when you’re jumping around from document to document, so having everything in one place helped.

I started by going through all my beta readers notes, jotting down all the changes I needed to make, before visualizing what the story needed to be, what I wanted it to be. I wrote down where I needed to expand on details or cut any info-dumping, as well as drafting completely new chapters that hadn’t been there before. The outline I made helped keep me on track instead of feeling like I was losing my mind trying to sort it out.

Setting a Goal

This may not work for everyone, but I am a very goal-oriented person. When I set myself a goal, most of the time I am able to achieve it. When I was first drafting my book, I set myself a target of writing at least 1,000 words a day, which I suppose is the reason I was able to complete the 92,000-word draft within 4 months. Of course, I didn’t always write that much because life gets in the way sometimes and I also went through a low period when I was made redundant at my previous job. But it worked and I decided to set myself a similar goal for this draft.

If I want to finish this draft by the end of March, I need to be writing at least 2,500 words a day. Recently, I’ve been writing more than that because I am at the point in my revision where I can copy and paste certain pieces into the new draft as they don’t need any changes. This will be the case for the second half as I don’t have any beta notes for it, only a few CP ones, but some of the earlier changes will echo through the later chapters, causing dialogue and descriptions to change. At this point, I feel confident I will be able to send the new and improved document to my betas by the end of the month.

Listening to a Playlist

Unfortunately, I can’t write all day, not when I have a job to do and an art commission to finish. Even when I’m not writing, I am still thinking about my characters and the world, and having a playlist dedicated to my book helps a lot. The one I created for Beneath the Empty is full of haunting and cinematic songs which represent the book perfectly. Some songs make me feel emotional and others have me wanting to ride into battle on a dragon. Some have provided a lot of inspiration for certain scenes which wouldn’t have happened without it.

On the days where I’m feeling a little unmotivated to sit down in front of my laptop, I simply pop my headphones in and listen to the playlist. It’s amazing how much my mood can change by doing that and before I know it, I’m typing away. I don’t listen to it while I’m writing (I need to be able to hear the characters in my head, which doesn’t sound creepy at all) but I do when I’m stuck on something.

Rewarding Myself

When I finished the first and second draft of Beneath the Empty, I rewarded myself with my favorite meals, a bottle of wine and a new book. I’ll probably do something similar when I finish this draft, but in between, I give myself smaller rewards. When I reach the end of a chapter, I allow myself to indulge in my favorite treat or watch my favorite TV show. It helps keep me motivated, especially if I’m addicted to what I’m watching. Everyone loves to be rewarded, so don’t be afraid to do it for yourself when you’re writing.

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That’s all I have at the moment and so far, they have been working. I feel so excited every day when I finish work to get home and improve on this story. Before my current manuscript, I never edited a book, ever. I always got better ideas, but Beneath the Empty has my heart and I cannot wait until I can start querying it.

Wrapping Up The Week (2nd April – 8th April)

I’m going to start this post off by saying that, as of today, I am now an affiliate for the Book Depository, which is something I have wanted to do for a while now. My reasons for doing this are that I hear so many of you saying how my reviews have made you want to read certain books and the Book Depository is one of the best sites to buy them from. Not only are the prices amazing, but there is also free shipping (and who doesn’t love that). It would mean so much to me if you were to use the links on this site to buy what I hope will be your new favourite read.

Apart from that, this week has also been amazing because of the amount of reviews I managed to get up on the blog. I had been falling behind for a little while and now I am caught up with everything. Not only that, but I have also started editing my novel properly again as of yesterday and knocked it out of the park with finishing two chapters off (one was a complete re-write as well).

Books I read and reviewed…

children of blood and bone

Finally, I sat down and wrote my review for Children of Blood and Bone, which you can find here. I still cannot get over how incredible this book was and I am dying to get my hands on the next one. If you haven’t had a chance to read this yet, make sure you add it to your TBR. This is a whirlwind adventure that has heart-pounding action sequences, romance and a great magic system for you to enjoy.

norse mythology

The next book I read and reviewed this week was none other than Norse Mythology. I am a big fan of mythology, mainly Greek, but I wanted to give something different a go. I had never read anything by Neil Gaiman before and was blown away by his storytelling. The tales leapt off the pages and the way it was done made me enjoy them even more. You can read my full review here.

the oracle queen

Lastly, I read The Oracle Queen, which is a novella set in the fantasy world created by Kendare Blake. It tells the story of a Queen driven mad by her visions and locked away to keep everyone safe. But the story isn’t what it seems and I loved getting a chance to find out what really happened. It isn’t the best I have ever read, but it was entertaining enough for me to have read it in one sitting. You can see my review for this book here.

I am currently reading…

nevernight

I started Nevernight about halfway through the week and am just about a third of the way through. While this isn’t a huge book, the words on the page are smaller than normal and there is so much detail that I am finding myself reading slower to take it in. So far I am loving the characters, especially Mia who is so frank with what she does and says. It is definitely different to most books, with annotations throughout, and a lot more swear words, but I kinda love it for that. I can’t wait to see where the story goes. And there’s a shadow cat. How can I not love that?

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As well as Nevernight, I also started Ash Princess today, which I received from NetGalley. I’m not far into it, so I can’t say a lot about it, but I am liking the background of the world. We have been introduced to a few of the characters, one being a terrible ruler who I just know I’m going to hate, and a girl who has been tortured and punished most of her life. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this debut novel holds.

Posts from the week…

Wrapping Up March ’18 – The Busiest Month

March Book Haul – Books Make Great Gifts

I took a break from my usual blog posts to give you my wrap ups for March, which was a great month. Coupled with all the reviews I managed to write, I would say that it has been a successful week.

My WIP…

As mentioned above, I have dived back into my edits and I am so glad I have. I can already feel the characters’ voices getting stronger and I am changing little details of their personalities. I want people to be able to relate to them, but I also want my readers to be entertained. Chapter 3 was a tough one as I had to scrap all of it (I didn’t like it in the end) but I managed to introduce a certain character a lot sooner and it’s made me very happy. I want her to have a more prominent role in the story and to do that I have to breathe life into her. She is snarky, sarcastic and loves to make my main male character’s life hell. Their scenes together are some of the best.

So far I have edited over 3,000 words and finished off two chapters out of thirty odd. I still have a long way to go, but I’m heading in the right direction.

Other Fun Stuff…

I guess having a three day work week can count as fun, right? Those three days were busy, but it was also nice to have a little break. The next 11 days are going to be busy as I need to start packing up all my stuff to get ready for the move, so you can count on me having a few early nights.

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I hope you all had a great week and enjoyed whatever book you were reading! Let me know in the comments what you finished reading.

Wrapping Up The Week (26th February – 4th March)

Looks like 2018 is flying by already! This week has been a bit all over the place thanks to the snow that hit the UK. I had to work from home for three days and I ended up getting ill just before the weekend. Luckily I’m doing a lot better now, and something exciting happened…I finished the first draft of my book, which I posted about in a blog post here.

Unfortunately, because I was so focused on finishing my book, and being so ill with a cold that I couldn’t concentrate, I haven’t read a lot this week. I didn’t even finish a book, but it’s okay. I am looking to change that this week and hopefully finish the two I am halfway through (although one will be more difficult to get through than the other).

Books I read and reviewed…

None. Nada. Zilch.

Trying to ignore the feeling of failure right now and tell myself it’s okay not to have finished a book. I’ll do better next week. I hope.

I am currently reading…

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Once again I am still reading this book (I hate getting ill), but I am determined to read some more tonight once I settle down for the evening. I am enjoying this book and really want to get a review up before its release date on the 8th. Wish me luck!

Also, I will try my best to finish Zenith. Hopefully.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Read Again

WWW Wednesday – IT’S A SNOW DAY!

Wrapping Up February ’18 – Time Flies

I Finished My Book!

This week was a great one for blogging and I got more done than I originally thought I would. Now that I’m getting into the flow of writing/editing on my lunch breaks at work, I can dedicate my evenings to blogging and reading (as well as watching my fave TV shows).

My WIP…

You all know that I have now finished the first draft, but that doesn’t mean I stop there. Oh no, I’ve already started the editing process by reading over the first two chapters of my book. Then I opened up a new document and I am re-writing it. Not completely, but there are descriptions I want to add, take away, dialogue that needs changing, and I need more mystery, I want to hook my readers and with the ideas still in my head, I have to jot them down. Already I have done over 3,000 words (who knew I could edit it that quickly), but this is only the first of many.

Other Fun Stuff…

The boyfriend and I finally got around to catching up with Lucifer, which was incredible as always, but apart from that I didn’t do a lot of fun stuff. The snow really halted everything and I think I ended up getting cabin fever in the end. Luckily it has all melted now and work can resume as normal tomorrow, which I am very happy about because I don’t like working from home. Too many distractions.

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I feel like I’m on cloud nine at the moment and I am hoping I can ride that momentum into the next week. I hope that you all had a great week as well and hopefully you read more than I did!

I Finished My Book!

That was something I wasn’t expecting to write yet, but I have finally completed my first draft of my novel. I even got a bottle of Moet to celebrate with.

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More than a year ago I started the first few chapters, without having any idea of where I wanted to go with it. I didn’t even know what kind of genre it would be. I forgot about it, left on my documents with the name “New Book”, until the end of September, 2017. I had just gotten back into reading again and I was loving the Young Adult Fantasy books I was catching up on. Then the idea hit me. That was exactly what I wanted to write and so I opened up that untitled document and started writing. I created a world with a unique magic system, a dark cult that was threatening the existence of the Kingdoms and a girl who was so much more than she thought she could be.

It hasn’t been easy and there’s been times where I was unmotivated, hit writers block and genuinely had no idea what I was doing. But I made it through the tough times and with a target of writing 1,000 words every day, I made progress. Finally, I have finished the first draft and I am over the moon. Standing at 100,405 words and 36 chapters so far, it is complete. I am still unsure of the name yet, however, I have a few ideas of what will fit.

My little book about self-discovery, romance, magic, danger and darkness may be finished, but I am far from being done with it. There is a lot of polishing to do, some plot holes to fill and changes to be made, but I am ready for it all. Here’s to all the editing that’s about to take place.

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Wrapping Up February ’18 – Time Flies

Well, March really did creep up on me. It’s supposed to be spring time and yet we were just hit with the most snow we’ve seen in the UK in years and I’ve had to work from home for the last three days (not as fun as it sounds when you can’t leave the house at all). The start of the month hasn’t been too great as I am once again ill and haven’t read a book in a couple of days now.

February came and went within the blink of an eye, but it was a busy month so I’m not really surprised. Hard to believe we’ll be over a quarter of the way through the year before we know it and in just over three weeks it’ll be my birthday. That means more book buying (and books being given as gifts).

I have some exciting news about my current WIP…it’s almost finished. I’m currently at 97,000 words (seems like a lot now) and I only have two chapters left to write. TWO! This book is everything to me and I love the characters so much. There is a lot of work to do, some plot holes to fill in, dialogue to flesh out, but I am so excited. I even bought a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose to celebrate tomorrow night (because I will finish it tomorrow, I just know it). The last time I finished writing a book was a long time ago, maybe 2011/2012. I’m not sure, so it is an amazing feeling to have again. Let’s hope I can get an agent.

Books I Read…

Keeper of the Watch by Kristen L. Jackson

keeper of the watch

The first book I finished in the month was a bit of a disappointment to me. I went into it knowing I didn’t really enjoy the sci-fi genre and I hoped this could change my mind. It didn’t. However, as with everything, there were some good points to it. It had a fast pace, was light hearted and there was some good banter between the characters. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with this book and that is why I gave it 3 stars. You can read my review here.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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I think I expected something a little different when I read the blurb for The Hazel Wood. I expected it to have more parts dedicated to the dark and creepy fairy tales. I wanted more of an atmosphere, but a large part of the plot took place in New York, giving it an urban fantasy feel. I enjoyed the book, but I didn’t connect with the characters or the story they were telling. Overall, this was a 3 star read for me and you can check out all my thoughts here.

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

reign of the fallen

I’ve gone on about this book a few times since I read it, but if you didn’t know already, I loved it. Everything about this book was perfect to me and it had everything I love in a dark, YA Fantasy novel. There was action, love, death, and it covered the tough topic of how to deal with grief and the ways in which it can manifest. I was hooked, sinking deeper into the world and I didn’t want to story to end. All in all, this book was more than deserving of 4.5 stars, and you can read my review here.

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

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The final book I read in February was kind of mediocre in terms of writing, but I still found it enjoyable and fun. This book didn’t take itself too seriously and was set within an urban fantasy world with Norse mythology woven into it. Definitely a unique idea that I’m not used to and actually liked. The characters were okay, there was a bit of romance and quite a lot of action. I know there is a second book, and as I gave the first 3 stars, I want to find out how it will end. Check out my full review here.

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While I mainly stuck to the TBR list I set myself at the beginning of the month, I did deviate a little and there was a couple of books I didn’t get to. 4 in total isn’t too bad, especially as I’ve been ill twice in a month (so not fun) and I’ve been diving into my writing. Plus, February is a shorter month anyway so fingers crossed March allows me to read more amazing books.

What was the best book that you read in February?

Wrapping Up The Week (12th February – 18th February)

Once you get past January the weeks just seem to fly by! Already we are over halfway through the month and I am halfway through reading all of my TBR list. I’m back to reading two books at the same time to try and speed things up, so I’m hoping it’s going to work!

This week has been a really good one in terms of work, but unfortunately not so much for my writing at the beginning. For some reason my anxiety was spiking, and while I don’t tend to talk too much about this topic online (I keep it to myself), it did affect my creativity. Luckily for me my attitude and outlook was starting to change and I managed to write nearly 3,000 words this weekend. I also received something that I hope will help me to stay organised and it is….The Happiness Planner! It’s gorgeous (as you can see below) and I can’t wait to get using it this week.

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I’ve been a little slow when it comes to reading and I think it’s because I’m taking a while to get into the book I’m currently reading, reasons of which I will mention in the following sections.

Books I read and reviewed…

reign of the fallen

I finally got my review up for Reign of the Fallen, which I read last week, and absolutely adored. I’ve been raving about this book a lot on my blog and it deserves every bit of love it has been receiving from the reading community. You can read my review and check out my thoughts here.

I am currently reading…

Zenith

So, where do I begin? Overall, I’m liking Zenith, even enjoying it in some place, but it’s taken me some time to get into the story. There are flashbacks, different character perspectives, lots of withholding of information and it’s a little slow in places. But there is also some action, humour and likeable characters. I am curious to see where the second half of the book will take me.

between the blade and the heart

I also started Between the Blade and the Heart, which is due to be released on the 22nd of this month so I am trying to read it before then. I’m only 11% of the way through, so I don’t have much of an opinion right now, but I like how different the world is. Fingers crossed I can get a review up by the end of the week.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Incredible Romances

WWW Wednesday – In A Galaxy…

Again, another quiet week and I think it was definitely to do with the mental health issues I had in the week. But fear not! I am much better and raring to go! Especially because I get to use my new planner.

My WIP…

I am currently at almost 84,000 words and I am SO close to reaching the climax of my book (and my amazing plot twist) that I just cannot wait! Only a few more chapters before I get to the gritty stuff. Honestly, I am so excited to get to the editing stage and I can make the changes that have been running around my head. There’s a few plot holes, but I know how to fix them and that’s all that matters.

Other Fun Stuff…

This weekend my boyfriend and I went into town and visited the new restaurant, The Cosy Club, for brunch. It has a 1930s style, as seen in the photos, and it was amazing. Such a cool and interesting restaurant that features some of the history of Lincoln (the city I live in) and the decor is to die for. I love the mix-matched chairs and the vintage flair. Not to mention, the food was amazing too! Of course I had to go for a fry up.

Afterwards we went to a wildlife park, but that is a story for another blog post. Stay tuned!

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I hope that the rest of you had an amazing week and got up to some fun stuff at the weekend! Fingers crossed I will be going to see Black Panther next weekend so if you’ve seen it already let me know in the comments.

Wrapping Up The Week (22nd January – 28th January)

We are almost out of January, woo! Is it me or has this month seemed to drag on forever? I am glad to see the end of it and move on towards the next few exciting months (mainly mine and my boyfriend’s birthdays)

This week has seemed very tiring, especially at work as there was a lot going on and there will be plenty of meetings in the upcoming week for me to attend. When it comes to reading, I think I did pretty well. I finished off one book and started another that I am almost finished with.

Another plus is that it was my payday on Friday and I ordered a brand new bookcase (as my current one was falling apart) and a TV unit as well. So my Sunday plans consisted of DIYing and now I have carpet burn on my knees. It all turned out well in the end, as you can see from the photo below. Although, I will probably need to buy another bookcase because as you can see, I have no space left.

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Books I read and reviewed…

the belles

At the beginning of the week I managed to finish The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton and it was magnificent. I loved everything about this book, the characters, the fantastical world, the plot and so much more. I felt so lucky to have been given the chance to review this book from NetGalley and it is one that I think everyone should check out. You can find my full review here.

I am currently reading…

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I am just over halfway through reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black and I’m really enjoying it. It’s been a very long time since I read a book about Faeries and it really is refreshing because I love the folklore that surrounds it. I grew up on books about fairies and the creatures that live in the woods and this is a refreshing take from Holly Black. Fingers crossed I can finish this within the first half of the week.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Liked But Can’t Remember Much About

WWW Wednesday – Entering The Realm of the Faeries

How I Manage to Write 1,000 Words a Day

I’ve decided I want to do a few more discussion style posts and ones where I can offer advice to people, especially when it comes to writing. Fingers crossed everyone enjoys them and if there’s anything you’d love to talk about, just let me know.

My WIP…

So, even though I wrote a post about writing 1,000 words a day I haven’t been able to really stick to that this week. I know that will sometimes be the case and I am learning to accept it, rather than feel guilty about it. Once I’ve caught up on some sleep and I’m not feeling so stressed, I know the ideas will come back.

I did manage to map out the next 7 or so chapters, which is a massive help and has pointed me in the right direction. I am so close to 70,000 words and I hope I can reach it soon (every 10,000 is a massive celebration).

Other Fun Stuff…

I haven’t really done anything that exciting or fun when I think about it. It seems that at the moment my life is all about working, reading, writing and blogging. I wish I had the time to sit down and binge watch a TV show. Who knows, maybe I’ll do it one weekend when I have nothing planned.

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I hope you all had a great week and read some amazing books (if you did, I’d love to know what they were). Let the last part of January commence!

How I Manage to Write 1,000 Words a Day

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There are a lot of authors/writers, some aspiring and some established, who have to work part time or full time to have a regular income. We all know that publishing is never the easiest to navigate when it comes to making money. Sometimes people get very lucky and they are able to live off of just their writing, and some aren’t. There’s nothing wrong with that at all and more people probably do it than you realise.

Whenever I am scrolling through Twitter, I see a lot of people wondering how it’s possible to write every day and how they struggle to write even a hundred words. Whenever I’ve posted about my writing I’ve had people wondering how I manage to write 1,000 words a day, especially when I work full time. My job actually incorporates content writing for websites, as I am a Search Engine Marketing Associate, so I am lucky to love my job. Of course, what I really want to do is to be an author and live off of the books I write.

Until my dream comes true, I have to try and fit my creative writing in my everyday life. I’m going to start by saying that it isn’t easy and sometimes even I fail, although when I do I try to remember that I am only human and I cannot do everything (as much as I would like to). It all comes down to getting in to the habit of sitting down for at least an hour and churning out the thoughts in my head. On average I can write 1,000 words during my lunch break at work because it lasts an hour.

Why my lunch break? It’s the only time where I find myself able to commit to the story and my brain isn’t fried from a day of working. In the evenings I find myself too tired and that, for me, is the worst time to write. It’s different on the weekends because I am fully rested and most times I can write way over my 1,000 word limit (which always makes me happy).

At the end of the day, it is all about dedication. I have to be dedicated if I want to succeed and try to fit in my writing whenever I can. Funnily enough, I actually concentrate better when I’m at work because there’s too many distractions at home. You don’t have to set yourself 1,000 words. It could 700 or even 500, but once you get into the habit it will be so much easier to complete your novel.

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I hope you enjoyed my little post and maybe it will help you with your writing ventures. Let me know in the comments about how you manage to find the time to write during your busy lives.

Wrapping Up The Week (8th January – 14th January)

This week just flew by! It was my first full week back at work, we were launching our new website and I’ve been super busy. It definitely makes the time fly by faster and before we know it, half the month will be gone! I hope you all had a great week as well and are getting back into a routine after Christmas.

The weekend was spent trying to catch up on some sleep, reading and writing. My sister just came back home from Ireland with my dad (she stayed longer than us) and it was great to see him on the Saturday. It’ll be a while until I see him again in May, just before I head off for my holiday, which I am also looking forward to.

I think I mentioned in a previous blog post about trying to read a paperback/hardback book at the same time as a book on my Kindle and I think it’s going pretty well. I managed to finish a novella and am over halfway through my current paperback (its nearly 600 pages, but I’m determined to finish it in the upcoming week).

Books I read and reviewed…

the young queens

As I said above, I read a novella and it was none other than The Young Queens by Kendare Blake, which was only released this week. I flew through it and found myself easily slipping back into the world of Fennbirn and the three sisters. If you loved Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne, I would definitely suggest checking this out! I gave it a solid 5 stars and you can read my review here.

I am currently reading…

I think I underestimated how long it would take me to read Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, the third instalment in the Throne of Glass series. It is a big book at nearly 600 pages and there is so much information I am finding myself taking the time to soak it all in. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t like it, because I absolutely love it! It’s just taking a while to finish.

This week I also started The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, which I was approved for on NetGalley. I’m only about 10% of the way through, as I tend to read it just before I go to bed, but it’s really good so far. I love the New Orleans vibe and the beautiful descriptions of the world. Hopefully when I get stuck into it more I have some great things to say about it.

Posts from the week…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant To Read In 2018 But Didn’t Get To

WWW Wednesday

First Lines Fridays

Well, I managed to stick to my goal of 3 blog posts a week and I’m more than happy with that. In the future I am hoping to come up with some unique blog post ideas that I hope you will enjoy, it’ll just take me time to get it all sorted.

My WIP…

Over the Christmas holidays I didn’t get a lot of writing done as I was spending time with family and I was more than fine with it. So this week I wanted to get back to it and I think it was a successful week.

At my job I have an hour for my lunch and I’m managing to spend all of it typing away on my laptop, working on my novel. Each time, without fail, I write 1,000 words, which is the minimum that I have to reach everyday. So, within the week I wrote over 5,000 words, as some days I wrote a few hundred more, but I took a break yesterday as my brain felt fried. Turns out the day off was what I needed as I’ve written way over 1,000 words today, giving me a total of 59,000.

Fingers crossed I can carry this on in the upcoming week!

Other Fun Stuff…

A visual representation of me trying to think of something fun…although I can’t come up with anything. I’ve literally just been working, reading and writing. I’m also waiting for all my TV shows to come back from the break. So until then, I don’t think there will be a lot in this section.

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That was my week in a nutshell. I hope all of you had a successful week of reading and whatever else took place!