Monday, 28 April 2014

April Book Recommendations

Of the books I have read this month, these are the ones that I highly recommend. (The images/links below are affiliate links which does not affect the price but means that I will earn a small commission if you decide to purchase any of the books.)

Darkness Hidden by Zoe Marriott
A very different read in that it incorporates Japanese culture and mythology. I loved the protagonist's quirky humour and her voice. There's no sparing of emotions, either. When something bad happens, it's not done by halves. A great read, and I'm looking forward to the sequel.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Excellent book. The second in the Fair Assassin series. LaFevers pulls no punches. Visceral, shocking twists. A must read. I loved it so much that I bought both books in the series after returning the copy I read to the library. The third book comes out sometime in the northern hemisphere summer of 2014.

Writing your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell.
A short book that can be read in an hour or two, but one I'm keeping near to hand because of the invaluable tips and tricks he shares. He also shows how both plotters and pantsers can use his techniques and there is a bonus section with five different tips on generating ideas, writing quickly, voice, showing vs telling, and writing page-turners.

Jodi Henley's Practical Emotional Structure is an ideal companion handbook to Writing Your Novel from the Middle as it will be a big help in understanding what you need to understand in order to create the most relevant piece of backstory for your characters' story arcs.

The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke
This is, without question, a very valuable resource on a writer's bookshelf. Not only does it tell you what you need to achieve in the first 50 pages, but also HOW TO DO IT. This one's a keeper. I love it, especially the section on what you need to do with your main character in the first fifty pages.

Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper
An alternate middle ages setting in a fantasy world. Great characters, but for me, the story really took off from about the midpoint. After that it was simply unputdownable. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series, Trinity Moon.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

My Current WIP's "Love List"

Image courtesy of Pennywise at
Have you heard of Love Lists? Specifically a Love List related to writing?

If not, check out this post written by Stephanie Perkins on Natalie Whipple's blog:

This is my love list, something I am going to print out and keep to hand as I work through what is turning out to be a terrifying revision.

TWB's Love List
  • A feisty but distant female character with an intense emotional arc;
  • A fantastic playlist that makes me want to write well and do the story justice;
  • A fun and heartstring-pulling friendship/romance;
  • Lots of conflict between male and female protagonists;
  • Someone who is not what they seem;
  • A "finding who you really are" story;
  • Connections between past and present and other worlds;
  • Lots of danger for the protagonists and their friends

Anyone else want to join me in creating their Love Lists?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Diane Cornwell, Writing Process Blog Tour!

The next writer on the Writering Process Blog Tour is Diane Cornwell, author of over 14 fantasy and science fiction works in digital format (with 2 already in print) and with more books in the pipeline!

I met Diane when we were students of Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways course back in 2008, and it's been inspiring to see how far she's come in her writing career since then.

You can learn more about her fiction at and head over to her writing blog at to learn more about her writing process.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour!

I'm taking part in a Writing Process Blog Tour and today I'm answering four questions about my process, following on from Elizabeth Greentree. I encourage you to head over to check out her blog and all the other writers in the tour. Personally, I love discovering how other writers move from the initial idea to a finished work.

Elizabeth and I are both ROW80 participants and I thoroughly enjoyed her "Five Day Writer's Retreat" (which you can check out here: and found a lot of inspiration and ideas between the pages.

I will introduce the next writer in the blog tour in my next post, and without further ado, here are my answers to the four questions.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

From Fast Draft to Second Draft!

I haven't blogged since writing, in December, about the pros and cons of fast drafting, but I have been working steadily away in the background, one step at a time, moving towards that moment when I finally sit down and tackle my second draft.

And believe it or not, I'm excited about it!