#Writing Update

3278e-writerA bit late and just a quick one.

Word count: 1,172 words

Very little written but it was enough to get me going, especially as I have lowered my target for this month to 2,500. This is mainly because life is having to take priority and that will remain the case for the rest of the month at least.

The FMC has tried to get to the bottom of what has happened to the MMC. She has landed in a bit of bother for it but I think it might turn out to be the obligatory gone rogue story that most crime stories seem to need. I’ve not really ever written something like that before so it will be interesting. I have also skipped to the end of the story as the “go-rogue” thing just happened and I think I would need to plan it to make sure I get it right. The ending at least, is easier to write as I know what need and has to happen there.

I have also been considering April Camp NaNoWriMo again. This was prompted by a friend saying they are wanting to give it a go and would feel better doing so if I am also there for them to talk and take part against. I am now really tempted to do it. I would be writing anyway and you can change your word target to something less than 50k (or more if you are feeling ambitious). If I am going to be writing, I may as well take part and support my friend at that same time. Seems daft not to really.

How has your March started? Working on something new or continuing with an existing piece? Also, are my reasons for possibly participating in Camp good or bad? Feel free to comment below.

The Confessions of a Writer

Been tagged to do this by Niina at Northern Chapters so I figured I would give it a go.


Rules of the tag:

  • Please link back to A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly’s post, so that the original rules are always accessible to anyone who is curious and wants to participate!
  • Acknowledge the person who tagged you in your post.
  • Tag your friends and fellow writers – it’s up to you how many!

The Confessions of a Writer Tag was created by Nicolette at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly. It is a ‘get-to-know’ the writer interview tag, dedicated to spotlighting the creative process, works in progress, and connecting to other writers.


When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?

I aspired to be many things as a kid from a vet to a nurse to a pop star, all the usual little girl ambitions. I wasn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the pack at the time and had no interest in anything remotely academic. It took a teacher pointing out I was good at writing that something seemed to start to click in my mind. I did start writing but the switch wasn’t fully turned on though until I discovered the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. After that, everything clicked into place.

What genre do you write?

I gravitate mostly to fantasy and crime with romance sub plots in most of my stories. Family drama, social commentary and thriller also make appearances in a few of my stories, something that didn’t hit me until a tutor pointed it out. I have attempted forays into the science fiction genre but they rarely work out well to be honest.

Can you tell us a little about your current work in progress? When did you start working on this project?

I’m working on my magic school story from July Camp NaNoWriMo. Anyone who follows my blog will know it started just from an idea after a failed sci-fi story and has continued since then. The story revolves around a teen girl, coming from a dark magic family involved in criminality, trying to escape and be different. Not sure what I will do with the story later. We’ll see.

What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

The first story I chose to write was a fan fiction based on Flint The Time Detective, about one of the detectives called Merlock Holmes and his daughter. It never was finished and is absolutely awful, with stuff borrowed from the Cardcaptors/Card Captor Sakura, Lord of the Rings and the Malory Towers series to name but a few. It did have the first version of the school my FMC from the above answer attends so it was not all bad really.

What’s the best part about writing?

Creating new things and exploring the world through the written word. One day, I want to explore the world myself, not just through stories.

What’s the worst part about writing?

Hitting a wall in the creation of the first draft then editing and rewriting. Ugh! Necessary but still hate it.

What’s the name of your favourite character and why? (This can be from a book by another author or from your own work. Book crushes are perfectly acceptable here as well).

Oh! I have no idea! I love characters like Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third from the How To Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell because he’s not your typical hero, and Hermione Granger, because she was smart and her description is very similar to how I was as a kid. Those sorts of characters appeal to me.

How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

I tend to write in the evening most days because it is the only free time I have available to me in a typical day but I do prefer to write and work on an afternoon. I’ve run my errands, had something to eat and drink, checked the news and e-mail, etc. I can just sit and write (and watch some YouTube and television). It’s a routine that was developed at university and has proven the most productive.

Did you go to college for writing? Or if you haven’t been to college yet, do you plan to?

I did Professional Writing at university (or college as it is in the USA), with the idea that it would set me up not just for writing in general, but was applicable to other jobs too. I’m not working as a writer in any capacity at the moment sadly but I do have ideas and career plans that relate to writing, even just part-time.

What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?

Has to be grammar mainly but the others drive me up the wall too, especially if it is in a document or something that you would expect to be correctly spelt, punctuated, grammar checked and formatted correctly.

What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

It’s actually a philosophy quote by Confucius that applies to every part of life: “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” In other words, keep writing!

What advice would you give to another writer?

I hate the advice write what you know. You could write about everything you know very easily and quickly and end up stuck. I prefer the advice write not what you know, but what you would like to find out about. Write about the things that you want to find out about. The world is a big place so explore it!

What are your favourite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips or encouragement?

My friends are usually my first port of call for help but I also follow a lot of Tumblr prompt and advice blogs, such as Write World and Writing Cafe, as well as seasonal picture blogs that have some stunning picture ripe for prompts, Rayne Hall’s Twitter (her books are brilliant too) and love using Seventh Sanctum.

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

Love to read, watch a lot of TV, films and stand up comedy, like Call The Midwife, The Big Bang Theory, How To Train Your Dragon 1 and 2 (I love Toothless!) and comedians like Russell Howard, baking and chatting to friends.

What is the best book you’ve read this year?

This year has to be Lockwood & Co: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud! Second in the series with a cliffhanger to match the first book, The Screaming Staircase. I am in love with this series!

What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Has to be Kingsman: The Secret Service. The church scene! The church scene!

What is your favourite book or series of all time?

It changes but I do default to Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society by Adeline Yen Mah. Mah weaves a beautiful story of a girl playing her part in World War 2 in occupied Shanghai with wonderful teachings from Chinese philosophy and culture.

Who is your favourite author?

My all time favourite is JK Rowling as she is also my heroine.

What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

Mostly just to write, as I haven’t been in a place to do so for a while due to life. More focused goals are to hopefully get my second NaNoWriMo win and to keep writing my Camp story.

Where else can we find you online?

Aside from here, my main ones are Tumblr and Twitter but you can also find me on NaNoWriMo.


Finished! I am tagging Kit from Where Landsquids Fear To Tread, Lizzie from mylittlebookblog, Diane from Tales from Baggins Bottom and Charles from Legends of Windemere. Anyone who I haven’t tagged but would like to do this, go for it!

July Camp



Yes, I am planning to take part and thought I had my idea sorted until today when I had a bit of a wobble.

I was settled to write a science fiction story but I’ve read an article in this month’s Writing Magazine about making criminal characters enticing and likeable so the reader will root for them. This got me thinking about the two thieves characters I like to write sometimes. I have spoken about them before on this blog because I used them for my July 2013 Camp novel. After today, I was really tempted to either rewrite or continue with that story.

I am now thinking that maybe I should put the crime story aside completely to work on later. The reason I am taking that route is because I have looked at previous projects and realised I have been a bit adventurous (for me) in the stories I have tried to write. The reason I wrote them was because they were interesting to me despite outside of my comfort zone. I definitely have learnt a lot from doing it and whilst I haven’t been totally successful with them, I have enjoyed writing them.

As mentioned in other posts, I have had problems with writing, partly out of writers block, as of late since the last session. I just haven’t had a clue what to write. I have had the science fiction idea, revolving around robotics engineers, for a couple of weeks and it’s based on a really old fan fiction about Robot Wars (called Battlebots in the USA). The idea excites me and I want to write it in a new form, especially as I feel I have improved as a writer and matured as a person to really write it. I was a kid writing about adults.

I know a partial issue with it is lack of planning due to not even knowing exactly what’s going to happen in it in its new form and setting. A lack of knowledge of the genre does not help because I am not a big sci-fi reader or watcher aside from Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory and some Marvel and DC films and TV shows. I do however follow tech and science news because I have an interested so that may help. I have some idea of what’s going to happen from doing some character planning already and from looking at what I had previously written for some idea of the plot but still, there is this big hole in the story I feel from just not knowing what’s going on.

The story feels right though and I feel I need to pursue it to whatever end next month during Camp.

Are you taking part this session? Has anyone else had a wobble on their story idea? Are you fully planned or like me, probably know just enough to at least start? Feel free to comment.

Writer Problems: Weird Searches

I think a lot of writers can relate to this. I do worry about what certain people would make of my searches, like baby name websites, the location and structure of The International Criminal Court and it’s associated prison and just what is the most common drug to be used in my local area, and that’s just for the crime elements of my stories!

Where Landsquid Fear to Tread

Sometimes, Squiders, I’m thankful I’m a fantasy author. Well, a lot of the time. But, in this case, I get to avoid some of the more macabre searches that mystery and other genre authors probably have to do.

Luckily, in this day and age, your search history is between you and the NSA, and you don’t have to, I don’t know, make friends with police officers or surgeons or undertakers to get information or whatever it was people did before the Internet existed.

But we still need information, and in order to make stories interesting, sometimes we need really strange and disturbing information that would make people think you were a serial killer if you brought it up in normal conversation.

I imagine mystery/thriller writers have it the worse, what with having to come up with new and inventive ways to kill people. But I’ve had to make some odd…

View original post 127 more words

Why They Write

This caught my eye a few days ago but I am only just getting round to reblogging it now because I’ve been thinking about my own reasons for writing.

I agree with those that say that the reason changes day-to-day. For me, I write because my mind keeps coming up with stories, even before I realised what I was doing when I was younger. I suppose when I was younger, it was just my imagination coming up with games to play but as I got older, it continued and I started writing down the stories (a lot of fan fiction) because one of my school teachers pointed out that I had a gift for it.

It is also partly because I had just found my genre, the type of books and stories I liked to read and write, around the same time. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series inspired millions of children around the world and I am one of those. Even now, I go back to the premise of the Harry Potter series and Enid Blyton’s school stories, especially the Malory Towers series occasionally.

I love fantasy stories, I enjoy school stories and over the years, I have also come to enjoy romance, crime, drama and some comedy and sci-fi stories. As I have read them, I have incorporated that in my writing. My writing can become dark in places but it can also be light.

What is it about them? It’s the escapism. It’s the discovering a world different to our own, sometimes right on our doorsteps. It’s the common premise of school that most people will be able to relate to. It’s the rooting for the characters to be together, the solving of a puzzle, the everyday dilemmas that we experience in our lives and the fabulous funny moments that we think of later which makes you smile and laugh out loud.

Even in the stories set in a place different from our own, there is the baseline of common themes and occurrences in our lives. That’s what attracts me to those sorts of stories and probably attracts many, many others to them too.

Reading and writing are inextricably interlinked I feel. You can’t do one without the other.

I also write because it is a type of therapy and escapism. When the life is getting stressful and tough, it is a nice way to escape for a while and to get out all those feelings through characters on to the physical (or virtual!) page. If I didn’t have an outlet for those sorts of feelings, and others, I don’t know where I would be.

I would love to get paid to write and maybe that will happen in the future but for now, it’s therapy, escapism and an outlet for all the stories clamouring in my head.

Is my answer clichéd? Perhaps but that’s how I feel today. Who knows? Tomorrow, I might have a completely different answer.

Legends of Windemere

Kenshin Himura (How I feel) Kenshin Himura

Sorry!  I totally forgot that I was going to list people’s answers and reasons to Monday’s question.  Please check out the blogs and published works of everyone:

“I’m on board with most of that but I write poetry and know there is no money in that.” The Mirror Obscura

“I love writing because I’m totally addicted to it since the day when I started reading “anything” so seriously” Insight

“For me as a total readerholic and mental escape artist all my life, the writing came late, but now that particular joy of creating worlds, people, dragons, scenarios – whatever – can’t be matched by anything else that I’ve ever done.” Jo Robinson

“I think the reason evolves over time. I began writing as a way to express myself in a healing way. But then I began writing poetry. Poetry is a great self-expression for me and I…

View original post 852 more words

Pillow Talk: Post-Sex Confessions Can Sink Your Perfect Murder

Certainly one way to get caught!

The Crime Fiction Writer's Blog

Pillow talk can undo your perfect murder. Seems that folks like to confess, or at least tell secrets, after sex. Researchers blame it on Oxytocin—the “love hormone.” Funny, I don’t remember it being called that in med school. Regardless, it just might lower inhibitions and make folks gabby.



An example can be found in the famous 1997 Pegye Bechler murder here in Orange County, CA. Husband Eric apparently decided to kill his wife and make it look like a boating fatality. His story: he was on a bodyboard, Pegye towing him behind their boat, when a rogue wave knocked him off the board. When he surfaced, the boat was going in circles with no Pegye in sight. The wave had knocked her off the boat and she had drowned. Two problems: Pegye was an excellent swimmer and the water was dead calm that day.




View original post 102 more words

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 17

2013 Banner 1

This is going to be a short update again, mainly due to the lack of writing and again, it has been because of the blooming trial scene but I have at least got to the end and my character is about to be sentenced. So again, not as far as I wanted but still, I am just glad I can finally get on with writing her reaction to the sentence,her partner in crime’s reaction and the reactions of my detective characters. I can also get on the prison scenes and how my other character plans to go after the other and how he is going to get her out of prison.

That will be fun to do, especially considering I am using Alcatraz as the characters designated prison so I have a little world building and writing of what the prison routine is, which should at least get me about 100 or so words. Hey, every little helps. I also have another sub plot with my two detective characters so I do have stuff to write, even if the detective stuff is largely unplanned due to me only discovering that thread within the last 7 days.

As I said yesterday, I have read a “certain” book and maybe today, maybe tomorrow, I will be reviewing it.

Word Count: 22,692 words


Camp NaNoWriMo Day 16

2013 Banner 2

Okay, so yesterday, lowering my word count and starting to read…a certain book (Shh! I will reveal all in a few days time!), I seem to get on a bit quicker with my word count. I think it might mainly be because I lowered my word count, lowering the pressure on myself plus figuring I might as well just push on with the court scene since the court is just for show anyway.

So whilst I have not written a lot yesterday (granted I was only writing for a couple of hours), I am still getting on with writing.  I will be writing for maybe a couple of hours again today more than likely as I have been busy reading the certain book mentioned above but I am hoping to at least get through the trial today and the sentencing. Certainly, I will be able to get on with writing one character entering Alcatraz prison (using my creative license a lot with this) and the other following her and working out how he is going to break her out. It will be a lot easier and I’ll be able to get on with it…providing I get on with the trial!

Anyway, that’s the plan for today. Time to get on with writing I think!

Word Count: 22,006 words

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 5

2013 Banner 2

Okay, I know it’s day 6 but my mind seems to enjoy deciding it wants me to research something between the hours of 10PM and 12AM. So I am only giving an update of my word count today.

What was I researching last night?

Well, I was trying to find out where the ICC’s Detention Centre is located. Not sure it is going to help but it was of interest to me. Of more help, I was also trying to figure out what the Detention Centre looks like inside and discovered on the ICC’s website a PDF that has information and has pictures of different facilities within the Centre. I also was figuring out how my remaining free character would get from Italy to The Hague using Google Maps.

If anyone looks at my search history… Well, I think it would be safe to say that they would draw one of two conclusions. One: I am a future criminal myself looking to break someone out of prison or Two: I am a writer who is writing a crime novel…possibly. Actually, there’s a third option. I’m like Charlie Howard from The Good Thief’s Guides series. A crime writer who sidelines as a thief.

To assure you all, I am a writer and nothing!

So for day 5, I have managed 7,081 words and I am hoping to get as much written as possible this next week as week 2 tends to be the one when participants start wondering, what the hell have I let myself in for?!

I have the fun and games of writing my characters trial, which I am considering having it turn into a miscarriage of justice due to tampering by someone from the character’s past. But before that, I have my other character trying to reconnect to his old criminal friends and finding a way to force them to help him out.

I am also still waiting for the books I have requested from the library to arrive at my local one, so hopefully, they will help me write the trial.

Book Review: The Crime Writers Guide to Police Practice and Procedure by Michael O’Bryne

Instead of a fiction novel, I’m going to review a How-To book but this one isn’t like the other ones. Instead, it is a book by an ex-police officer called Michael O’Bryne explaining the practice and procedure of a Police investigation for crime writers. Covering pretty much every aspect necessary (at least in basic), this book explains who attends a crime scene and what happens, the structure of the incident room and members of the investigation team and the procedure for arrests and the role of the lawyer. It also features information on the powers of stop and search and home searches and forensics,profiling (pros and cons), organised and other crimes that maybe featured in crime novels aside from murders (which is the main focus in the first few chapters as it’s the crime of choice for many writers) and international policing, use of force and technology. The book also has a quick guide to the Police’s relationships with other agencies and a miscellany covering discipline, senior officers, police culture and informants.

Everything is explained in very simple terms but it is not condescending and also covers the law in the UK and partially in the USA as correct at the time of being published (2009).  Though this book is aimed at crime writer’s, I found this book extremely informative as a writer with characters who are police officers in a Sci-Fi setting and a spy in an urban fantasy story. I did find this a bit of a struggle in places to read but that might have been an element of impatience and wanting to get onto a section I was actually interested in. In saying this, I feel you could just dip in and out of it at will when needing to check on something very quickly.

As a rule though, I feel it is a great resource to have to hand and also offers some extra internet links for further information and would be a great starting point for any crime writer just starting out or any writer who has a police officer character.

(P.S. Sorry if this review looks weird. Had to rewrite this review a bit and mess with its presentation)