The Blog, Writing

Getting Published: part four

Part one Part two Part three Last time I updated, I was scraping the barrel of misery in search of a writing epiphany, and I hadn't met my deadline. The good news: I managed to finish my edits and hand in the new draft of my novel just before Christmas Eve. The bad news: silence. My novel… Continue reading Getting Published: part four

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Feminism, Magical Girls, The Blog, Writing

Magical Girls: Internalised Misogyny and Genre Rebirth

Let’s be honest. The ‘magical girl’ trope used to suck when I was a kid, especially when girls are taught to hate themselves because ‘femininity = weakness,’ and gosh are magical-girl-shows ALL ABOUT showy associations of girliness. As such, the magical girl trope only pleased young girls who hadn’t yet learnt to think ‘girliness is… Continue reading Magical Girls: Internalised Misogyny and Genre Rebirth

The Blog, Writing

Getting published: part three

I'm procrastinating by writing this post, let me just put that out there. Click here to read part one and part two. I didn't make the November 1st deadline. Once I figured out how to fix the big problems of my story, I worked day and night, every day, to meet the target. But hey, I… Continue reading Getting published: part three

The Blog

The Saga of Sir Bushytail the Brave — The Red Pen of Doom

This picture was the writing prompt from an earlier post, something I saw on the Book of Face with a caption which went something like this: You swerve to avoid a squirrel. Later, in your hour of greatest need, the same squirrel returns to repay its life debt. It stuck with me. There are squirrels […]… Continue reading The Saga of Sir Bushytail the Brave — The Red Pen of Doom

The Blog, Writing

Getting Published: part two

Belatedly following on from my last publishing post, about how I met an agent willing to give me and my novel a chance, it's time I updated on what happened next. So, after our feedback meeting, Suresh gave me a couple of big plot points and changes to think about: Maybe cut a character (I'm thinking: I… Continue reading Getting Published: part two

The Blog, Writing

Epic Cheap: 50% Off Editing Special

For the first time in three years, my schedule is completely blank until mid September. I’m actively looking for new manuscripts to edit, and I’d like to aggressively slash my prices. My rates are never this cheap, so I strongly encourage you to act fast because my inbox gets flooded every time I do this. […]… Continue reading Epic Cheap: 50% Off Editing Special

The Blog, Writing

Getting Published: Part One

FIRST DATE WITH AN AGENT I've done it. I've started the journey to publishing my novel, or at least come closer to the dream than ever before. I've studied publishing as an industry, I've been an editor for four years for a digital publisher, but I've not managed to publish my own work—yet. So, I… Continue reading Getting Published: Part One

comic con, Reviews, The Blog

Art I Couldn’t Resist From Artist Alley

MCM London Comic Con is already behind us, but as per, it's Artist Alley I always loved the most. Fandom art and original beauties await! This year I took my partner along as a photographer, and both of us spent most of our money on art we can't hang up yet because we don't have… Continue reading Art I Couldn’t Resist From Artist Alley

The Blog

Elements of Writing Horror: Something Must Die

I love writing horror. This is a great little post about drawing upon the aspect of character/animal death to ramp up fear in your story.

The Sarcastic Muse

(c) hotblack (c) hotblack

The goal of horror is to elicit an intense fear, and there nothing that humans fear more than death. Death is the last curtain call, the ending to the show. Everyone, whether they admit it or not, has some level of terror about the final end. Fear of death is universal. Horror stories feed off this trepidation. Every single tale of the macabre contains a death, which is essential to amp up the panic in a character.

The purpose of a story is show the growth of a central character. In order to grow, there needs to be a triggering event that transports the character in a positive or negative direction. Yes, characters can grow negatively and fall from where they originated. Typically in the genre of horror, the main character does descend. Eternal loss is a plot tactic for this catalyst. The build up to death is what generates the character’s (and essentially the reader’s) fear — the intrinsic element…

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The Blog

An Accident of Stars – Cover Reveal

shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

So, remember that thing where I’ve written an epic portal fantasy? The cover is finally here, with artwork from the amazing Julie Dillon! BEHOLD THE PRETTY:

AnAccidentOfStars-Cover - large final

Here’s what it’s all about:

When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.

There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens…

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Harry Potter, The Blog, Writing

Weather Report: The Basilisk in Your Pasta

The South West of England will continue to see frequent and unpredictable bursts of heavy showers and crisp sunshine every day of this week, so don’t forget your rain repellent umbrellas no matter how deceivingly warm it seems. Those in North London should be wary of lightning strikes today, since thirteen year old Annabella Hackhop… Continue reading Weather Report: The Basilisk in Your Pasta

The Blog, Writing

Meddling in Muggle Theatre

I applied to be a writer for Hogwarts is Here a couple of years ago, and my application was successful! But sadly, the acceptance email went to my junk folder, and I discovered it two weeks after they'd sent it, which was apparently deplorable. I never even got a 'sorry, you replied too slow'. I… Continue reading Meddling in Muggle Theatre

The Blog

Writing 101: How to Treat your Beta Readers

The Sarcastic Muse

BetareadingI have done a lot of beta-reading this past year, and in turn, I’ve had people read my own work. Nothing is more essential in the early stages of a manuscript than its beta readers, so if you have a collection of reliable readers, you should do everything in your power to hold onto them. Below I’ve amassed a series of points that I think are important to take into consideration when you ask people to read for you.

  1. )Do not give them a first draft. The first draft is crap. You can write the first draft, edit the hell out of it, and then share it with your readers. And that’s okay. Because, by then, it’s no longer a first draft. But do not give away a draft you haven’t even bothered to edit yourself. That’s a waste of your readers’ time. If you’re desperate for someone to…

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The Blog

The Restaurant Owner Who Paid My Tube Fairs

If you follow me on Twitter then you’ll know that this weekend I was working as a journalist for MCM Buzz Press at London Comic Con. It was an absolute blast and I’ve never worked twelve hour shifts without realising it before! But before any of that, I have another story. On Saturday night, after… Continue reading The Restaurant Owner Who Paid My Tube Fairs