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How to grow a writer

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I recently came across an article that I thought was called 'How to grow a writer'. When I re-read the title, it actually said 'How to grow AS a writer'.

'How to grow a writer' stuck in my head though so here it is.

How to grow a Writer

Plant a seed of imagination. Water with cups of tea or coffee until the seed is firmly rooted.

Feed your seed with plenty of well-digested reading matter. It doesn't matter what type of reading matter you use (fantasy novels, life poetry, short stories). In fact, varying your reading matter may well strengthen your growing writer.

As your writer begins to branch out, don't forget to strengthen its growth through regular sessions of penmanship. Regular is the key word here. At this point, don't be tempted to prune the writer.

Once your writer's roots have begun to spread, re-direct them to safe zones where they can be further nourished and encouraged. Don't worry if your writer's roots meet other writer ro…

What I'm doing this month - July

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The short version

July will be a bit of a crossover month as the summer holidays start.

With two teens at home, I'll be juggling work, writing and teenage entertainment.

The long version

I've taken it on myself to take part in the July Camp NaNoWriMo. What that means, in practice, is that in an attempt to finish the final draft of my novel, I need to redraft at least 9 pages each day. So far, I've completed 80 pages out of 250. Fingers crossed I can keep this level of progress going throughout the month.

There's plenty of work on the horizon thankfully, most of it providing content for online articles. Thankfully, I can rejig my hours to work around the summer holidays.

That kind of flexibility has certainly come in handy over the last couple of weeks as the hot weather has reduced me to drowsy delirium most afternoons, prompting me to move my afternoon slot to the early evening when it's cooler.

The summer holidays kick off on 20th July, carrying away my usual rout…

Choice Words for June

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It's June already. Summer is here and I'm suffering as usual with hayfever. Still, it gives me an excellent excuse to stay at my keyboard and find some excellent writing advice to share.

First off is this article from Kathryn Evans on Notes from the Slushpile - Highlighting the Heart of Your Story with Motifs. I found this an incredibly useful way to approach my novel and I've already worked out my motif, its significance and how to include it in my story.

Second is this wonderful article from reedsy, What is Chekhov's Gun and How to Use It.

Finally, I've been following Rae Elliott's website Barely Hare Books for a while now for its excellent writing advice. Here's Rae herself being interviewed by fellow writer Hannah Heath about her books and her writing process.


Camping out (again) in July

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This July, I'll be joining Camp NaNoWriMo in an attempt to finish the final draft of my novel.

I've taken part in the full-on NaNoWriMo in past years and a couple of spring camps too, but never in the summer.

What I like best about Camp NaNoWriMo is the support I receive from other writers in my assigned (virtual) cabin. It's great to feel we're all tackling our writing challenges together.

There are some brilliant writing resources from camp counselors too with advice on the writing craft.

If you're in need of a little (or a lot of) motivation to speed through your work in progress, why not give Camp NaNoWriMo a go?

What I'm doing this month - June

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It's going to be a busy month with two family birthdays, Father's Day, client articles to write and a murder mystery to finish off for another client.

Add to that the fact that we won't be having our normal June getaway because my daughter has exams and I don't think there'll be much of a chance for a breather this month.

Having said that, I like busy. Busy pays the bills and keeps away the boredom. All that 'busy'  means that this month, more than most, I'll be planning like crazy.

Here's my tick-list for June:

Buy presents: For my son that'll probably be Overwatch related. Zenyatta is his current favourite character to play, plus he's now got a bank account and is very keen to earn interest on his money. My husband has had his main present already so we'll be looking for a selection of smaller offerings for his birthday and Father's Day, but nothing gimmicky so I'll be steering the teens away from the comedy socks.Finish my lat…

Choice Words for May

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Okay, hands up, I admit it. I have been decidedly absent from this blog in May. Profuse apologies but penning a murder mystery play for a client, along with other client work too, has kept me busy.

But here I am, dropping in before the end of the month (just) with some deliciously choice words for May.

First is this article from S M Metzler, guest posting on Barely Hare Books - 6 tips for effective character development. I especially like the advice on character arcs.

Puzzled over the benefits, downfalls and just the differences between beta readers, editors and ARCs? There are plenty of answers in The Book Designer's (obviously) Beta Readers vs Editors vs ARCS. Have a look.

Finally, here's a video from writer Chris Fox on 'Making it as an author in 2018'.

What I'm doing this month - May

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May marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer, fitting in two bank holidays (if you're in the UK) and so two short weeks that makes it feel like holiday time is on the way. It's as if life is telling you to slow down for a while and take a break.

Except, I don't feel like taking a break. I want to race on, head down, and get on with all the good stuff 2018 has thrown in my path. This has definitely proven to be a year of 'new' and 'motivation' so far.

Murdering The Text

Running along with that feeling of motivation is my plan to write two new murder mysteries this year.

The first was an idea that came to me while looking back over some old pantomime photos. The second idea came from a discussion with a customer about a murder mystery they want me to write for them.

Fi Phillips Copywriter

This month, I'm on the look-out for new customers to bolster my income from my current customers and I'm working on a freebie for subscribers to my mailing…