Category Archives: Writing – General

Writing Update – Cirque de la Nuit

I’ve not really posted much about writing the last few months, mainly that’s because I’ve been busy actually writing 🙂 bermuda-triangle

I’m very easily distracted you see and so if I don’t switch off from blogging or social media, when I get chance to sit down with my laptop, my time ends up getting lost in a black hole…or a bermuda triangle, in this case. (If I’m honest, it’s more like a bermuda dodecahedron if you include other time sponges like Game of Thrones box set marathons and reading for enjoyment!)

To bring us up to date, since the end of 2014 I’ve been focused on developing an idea I had for a stand-alone paranormal YA novel – Cirque de la Nuit. I’d originally tried it in 2013, for my NaNoWriMo project, but as you could see from my blog posts back then, I just couldn’t get the word count moving on it at that stage. By the end of last year, I was struggling a little with Outlanders – there are two more books in the series to do after this and it can get quite heavy, thinking two books ahead, when you’re trying to write just one. Anyway, I just got sat down one day and instead of going back to my Outlanders draft, I went into this other draft and started jotting down ideas and dialogue for a scene. Then another followed and another. I opened up iTunes and put my writing playlist together – matching the songs to the scenes as I saw them playing out in my head, like a movie.

As of two seconds ago, I’m currently at 19,731 words – 85 pages – I’m nearly there with the cover design and blurb…so watch this space for a reveal in the near future 🙂 Now I’m off to do some more writing!


Tony’s Writing Tips: Show-not-tell with dialogue

Re-blogging my author friend Tony Talbot today – with a great post from him on show-not-tell in dialogue. He does some really good writing technique posts, like this, which you can find on the author blog we share at or his own author blog: – check him out and follow, if you’d like to see more of the same 🙂


One of the things they always tell writers to do is show and not tell. “Don’t Tell Me the Moon Is Shining; Show Me the Glint of Light on Broken Glass” to paraphrase playwright Anton Chekov. Chekov was talking about describing the world, but here’s another way you can use that show-not-tell: to describe your characters using only their dialogue and body language.

It’s certainly one of my favourite ways of doing it. Here are some snips from my own Eight Mile Island:

Mum comes out onto the deck from the cabin behind me and weaves along it towards me. …


I ignore her for a minute, pretending not to hear my name until she says it louder. I turn from the waves and face her. “What?”

“You’ve got to come inside. You’ll be washed away.”


“Please, Dylan. Don’t start. Not today.”

And these are the first…

View original post 1,143 more words

How to Write a Great Author Bio

This caught my eye today on the BookBaby blog – a nice resource for authors on writing, publishing, marketing and much more. Anyway, if you’re thinking of revising your author bio – or even just want to check that you’re on the right track, this is a good little article to help you along the way.

NaNo Done – Delayed Post I

DecemberFor those of you who might have been wondering what happened to the end of November and NaNoWriMo – I did manage to complete the 50k word target… As usual, I was running right up until the deadline date and over, if I’m honest – finally stopping on 30th November with a grand total of 52, 242 words.

I wrote this post and thought I’d put it out on 1st December, but just came across it in my drafts now – so obviously I’d got writing fatigue or something 🙂 So, here it is – two weeks after crossing the finish line!

After completing this, I went cold turkey for the last couple of weeks, returning to the normal world where everything isn’t measured in sentences and words counts; where people are real and not characters I can control with a few strokes of a keyboard… Unfortunately, when I went to input my final figures into the NaNo site itself, my attempt for this year has closed and I couldn’t add my final five days of stats – so they have me finishing at 46,109. Oh well, at least I know the words are written!

Looking at the length of the first two books in the series – which hover around 115k words – it looks like I’m well over halfway through Outlanders and with having a lot of the planning for it mapped out, continuing to write it will hopefully be less of a struggle than I’ve found so far.

I know everyone says there’s never enough time for things – perhaps I should try the disciplined ‘chip away at it’ style of writing a little every day…? The only problem is that I tend to have big writing spurts then nothing – any advice on how to keep going, or even get started on a sustainable plan?


Music to Write By…


Background I don’t know about the other writers out there, but I do find music helps me when I’m writing.

If I’m trundling along in the car, thinking about whatever I’m working on, certain songs will jump out at me (metaphorically speaking, obviously, otherwise it would be dangerous). Usually, I find myself day-dreaming, mini-montage style about a particular scene or piece of dialogue. Perhaps, because I was a teen of the nineties 80s power music has a tendency to get me thinking of action scenes or inspiring ‘progress’ moments for the characters…I tell you – film makers of the eighties have a lot to answer for in the strange world that is my brain.

When it comes to actually typing the stuff out, I struggle to have songs on, even in the background – they’re better for prompting ideas and scenes really. For actually writing, fingers to keyboard stuff, I have a couple of favourite soundtracks – both from films – whose scores cover a range of themes from battles to romance. If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself, why not check them out on You Tube clips here.


The Last of the Mohicans

My other ‘go to’ is composer Craig Armstrong – he’s done a lot of film soundtracks and early on worked on several British movies (Love Actually, Plunket and MacLean). His piano compositions are beautiful and if you’re looking for background music to match your scene, or just in general, this could be right for you.

Anyway – after sharing some of my inspirations, it’s back to work – because NaNo waits for no one and I’ve only got a bit more to go now 🙂

*flicks to iTunes and presses PLAY*

Nanowrimo Day 10: Captain’s Slog

A fellow NaNo author’s experience and getting out of a writing slump, if you fall into one this year.

He’s definitely not alone in the NaNo slump – I got myself ahead of word count in the first couple of weeks and had – dare I say it – three days off last week!

This author seems to write in a similar way to me – I like to write all the big, exciting, important bits (which flow nice and naturally) and then go back through to join them together. My main struggle this year has been when I got bogged down in the bridging stuff to get my main character from one part to another, when I just wanted to write the exciting action stuff. I also find, that if I’m getting stuck, I start to mini-edit which then affects the flow as well…

In the end, after my break early last week I’ve skipped writing in order, in favour of doing the big stuff again. I had quite a few one-shots drafted in my note books as well, which I’ve typed up and used as prompts to get me going into a scene – always helpful to have old notes, for when your writing mojo abandons you 🙂

Anyway – check out the post to see how NaNo is for someone else

Mel x

NaNo Stats!

If you’re at all interested, now that I’ve updated my word count on the NaNo site, I’ve got some lovely stats to show me how November has gone…
Your Average Per Day – 1,921
Words Written Today – 287
Target Average Words Per Day – 1,667
Total Words Written – 46,109
Words Remaining – 3,891
Current Day – 23
Days Remaining – 8
At This Rate You Will Finish On – November 27, 2014
Words Per Day To Finish On Time – 556

NaNo – Ooops!

You know what I’ve just realised – 23 days into this year’s challenge? That I’ve forgotten to log into my NaNoWriMo account and record my word totals since week 1. Doh!

I’ve been that busy posting my daily tweets and pictures with a word count update, that I completely blanked on logging in and actually recording it with the NaNo site. Well, at least I have my tweets to back-track against – according to NaNo I’m only on 1,800 words!

Still hanging in there…

Still a way to go How’s this for an uplifting, end-of-week-3 image?

It is about that time in the challenge that it’s worth looking back a little – not editing obviously – but to look at what’s happened between word 1 and word…. 36,482 …today!

With a little over a week to go now, I’m getting there with the words – just 13.5k left, so less than 2,000 a day now, to get me to the end