Writing is tough. Whether you're starting out or have a few novels under your belt, sometimes all you need in order to get out of a rut, start a new project, or be able to see where to go next
is someone to talk things through with.
As a book coach, I offer one-on-one sessions by phone, in person, or via Skype. I can advise on self-publishing vs traditional publishing. I can talk through your story ideas, or answer more specific questions about how you take your book from idea to manuscript.
I also offer manuscript assessments, copy-editing and development editing.
If you're not sure what you need, I'm always happy to chat.
... and why goals are better than 'resolutions'. This time last year, I started the Exploring Authoring blog and set myself the goal of finishing the first draft of my young adult novel before my 30th birthday. In the past, I’d started plenty of years with the vague, non-specific, resolution to ‘do more writing’ or ‘make time to write’ - but I’d never had a concrete, measurable goal. Fast forward to January 2017 and I am not only in possession of a completed first draft, I’ve
It has been over a month since I last blogged. I would feel bad about this, but it's all in aid of a good cause – I promise! As mentioned in my April Update I have been furiously working towards my first draft deadline at the end of June, and trying to fit this in around a holiday, numerous birthday celebrations, weddings, work and just general frivolity. I told myself I would have to suspend all blogging activity until the end of the month, when I would emerge victorious and
This post could have had so many titles: Prologue perils Prologue pitfalls Does your novel need a prologue? … no, really, does it? But I settled on How (not) to write a prologue because it seems unfair (and I'm probably profoundly unqualified) to impose an all-encompassing prologue ban. If I were to impose such a ban, it wouldn't be because I hate prologues; it would be because they are so often written terribly badly and end up detracting from, instead of adding to, a text.
I have always been a fan of listening to stories, as well as reading them; when my sister and I were growing up, our Mum read to us every single night - for hours! And then, after she’d finished, we listened to audiobooks (‘books on tape’, as they were called back then) until we fell asleep. So, perhaps this is why I believe that authors should try reading their own work out loud. If it’s not something you’ve ever done before, it will probably feel very strange. But, I promis
It's nearly the end of March, which will mark three whole months since I embarked on my authoring adventure. Despite the sunshine, I woke up this morning feeling a bit disappointed in my relatively low word-count, so I gave myself a stern talking-to and tried to think of all the positive things I've achieved, and what I have learned. Some of the most important and useful things I've learned are the little tips and tricks that help the words to flow a bit quicker, but we'll co
Last week, I announced to the world (a.k.a. my Mum and my Facebook Friends) that I am writing a novel. This was a big step. I actually typed, deleted, and re-typed my announcement several times before finally plucking up the courage to 'post'. Somehow, I felt as though I wasn't really qualified enough to be calling myself an author. Surely, no one would take me seriously. I mean everyone thinks they have a book inside them, right? What makes me any different? Happily, I compl
There is a very fine balance between questioning yourself too much, and not enough. At the start of January, I vowed to 'just write' and keep on writing because I felt that, in the past, I had spent too much time going back over things and editing them rather than concentrating on progressing the story. As a result of this, I started the week with 10,000 words and a firm idea of exactly where my plot was taking me. A couple of questions were niggling away but I pushed them to
Whether your end goal is to quit your day job and spend your days crafting literary master-pieces, or you are just writing for your own satisfaction, as an author you need readers. And, the truth is, those readers will not spring up from nowhere and beg for your latest novel. If you're lucky, your book might go to market at exactly the right time, be seen by the right people, and shoot to the top of the Amazon best-sellers list. Most of us, however, will have to work at getti
1. I am enjoying myself! I've always written for YA audiences, but I have steered away from the 'fantasy' genre. In retrospect, I don't know why I did this because it makes complete sense for me to write something full of adventure and magic. These are the kind of books I read growing up, and the kind that I still love to read. In the past, I've had half-ideas for stories that I've started, and worked at, and found they just don't go anywhere. With my current 'work in progres
Making time to write can be challenging, we all know that. I don't have children but I do have a full time job, a husband, two pets, and a propensity to procrastinate. The thing is, for most of us, writing requires a level of solitude. Even if you work best in a buzzing cafe surrounded by people, chances are you don't want to be having a conversation with those people – they are there to serve as background noise. So, resisting the urge to play fetch with the dog, or watch Ma
I have nearly-blogged a lot of times in the past. Two years ago, when I first played with the idea of writing ‘properly’, I created an author website and wrote one post… then found I couldn’t really think of anything much to write about and stopped. The website sat there getting fusty, and sad, and outdated. And, eventually, I took it down and told myself I would start again later. So here I am, two years down the road with a fresh new blog, a renewed bout of enthusiasm and l