PROCRASTINATION IS THE DEVILS WORK

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So as some of you may know, i am currently working on my first novel and well lets just say that the first draft has been scrapped before i even progressed past chapter 8. That’s 8k words discarded and currently gathering dust in my hard drive. Now, before you all feel sorry for me, i have come to the conclusion that this is actually a good thing. Even though i had reached chapter 8, and 8k words, i suddenly became stuck like never before. I hadn’t really made a solid plan of the plot, although i knew my protagonist pretty well. This lead to me hitting a brick wall pretty early on. As i was free writing, i didn’t have a plan as such to refer back to and keep me on track, so i put it away for some time. In the meantime, i wasn’t a complete waste of space. I bought a few books on writing and how to improve my prose etc. It wasn’t that i was being lazy or anything but i couldn’t figure a way to move past the last chapter which then lead to the dreaded writer’s block. The funny thing is, all that reading i did actually did me some good. I suddenly got the bug for writing again, as i suddenly had a better starting place. I had set things in place so that i knew where i was going with my plot and also some of the finer details that i didn’t think about the first time round. This resulted in me scraping the entire first draft and the original plot. Unfinished.

I was sitting at work and all of a sudden, from out of nowhere, i had a bolt of inspiration and in ten minutes i managed to use some of the techniques in the books i had bought to completely re-write the entire plot for my novel. Now i feel more confident that i know where i am going but more importantly, i feel more confident that i can power through and make it through to then end of my first draft of my first ever novel.

Although, initially i was procrastinating, i used it as an educational period so that i wasn’t completely out of the writing loop. I would recommend home study for anyone that hasn’t got the time or means to attend writing classes. There are some fantastic books that can help you on your quest and should you get stuck, you always have them there to refer back to.

I am now 100% more happy with my direction and focus and who knows, maybe some time soon, i will have a first draft to brag about!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Happy Writing!

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8 Tips on Writing Faster from Writers in the Storm

For all of you, like myself, that struggle with the first draft

Helena Fairfax

helena fairfax, how to write a synopsis, romanceThere are some blogs I follow that always deliver great advice for writers, and one of these is Writers in the Storm. For ages now I’ve been trying to increase my daily word count. This week Writers in the Storm published this great post, which I’m reblogging here:

8 Tips on Writing Faster – and Why You Should Try It

Rachel Funk Heller

What’s the whole deal about writing fast? Why is it such a trend? One, we know writers who write more and have more books to sell — sell more books! You have fans that want to gobble up everything you write and you’re under the gun to write faster. But, you don’t want to just churn out crap.

Click here to read the full post.

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I’m a very slow writer, and increasing my work rate is something I’m constantly battling with. If…

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6 Time Management Tips to Excel for #Authors #Writers & #Bloggers

With a full time job, this definitely comes in handy.

POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

Photo Credit: coralaina.wordpress.com Photo Credit: coralaina.wordpress.com

Are you struggling with time management?

Guess what? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with this. I sure did.

One of the first things I learned as a writer/blogger/author is to manage my time effectively. Trust me, it was hard. I’m a creative person and it goes against my nature to be organized. I’m more of a go with the flow type of person and when I started writing full-time, it became evident that I needed to prioritize projects and tasks.

Ask a published author what’s the key to being a success, they will tell you time management. One of the authors I admire told me the other day, “Listen, you’ve gotta push down your rose-colored glasses and get to work. This is serious business, being a professional writer, and prioritizing is the key.”

I took the advice to heart and started thinking about ways writers, authors and bloggers…

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New Agent Looking to Build List

If your looking for an agent…

Writing and Illustrating

sara nagelSarah Nagel joined Writers House in 2011 to work with Senior Vice President, Merrilee Heifetz and is now actively building her own client list. She is interested in psychological thrillers (those that mess with your head rather than high speed cross-country chases), horror, mystery, suspense and literary fiction. Sarah is especially interested in strong character-driven fiction and stories that explore the dynamics of a dysfunctional family unit / relationships.

She also represents realistic Young Adult and Middle Grade with a hint of magical realism. On the nonfiction side, Sarah is interested in medical ethics, true crime, humor books and memoir with a distinctive narrative voice with a universal resonance. Sarah is not looking for straight sci-fi, high fantasy, romance or picture books.

Prior to joining Writers House, Sarah was a media lawyer in London and graduated with two separate degrees in English Language and Literature, and Law. You can follow…

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Write One Word – Sounds Easy

Jean's Writing

Picking up where I left off yesterday

Writing is hard.

But do you want to know what the hardest part is?

It’s writing.

I guess if it were easy, Pulitzer Prize winning books would line every shelf at Barns and Noble.  Yesterday I wasted an another day tweaking stuff. From updating profiles on about a dozen social sites, fixing a few snags on my blog, and running security updates on my laptop about the only writing I accomplished was updating passwords. There were no hot bodice ripping or bloody murder scenes to be had, nope all techno geek stuff.keyboard04-001Geesh

But here’s the thing, when you get errors, electronic housekeeping is a must. If you want someone, anyone, to read your blog or book you must be visible. Part of all this cleaning is to Google a few sites, including yours. See what pops. Find out where your…

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Writing A Damn Good Thriller

All good points if your writing a thriller!

Writing and Illustrating

newyorkercomic From New Yorker Magazine

how to writer a dammn good thrillerHere is an excerpt from one of the “how to write” thriller books I bought recently.

While the opening of a story might be the most important part, the climax in most books is the most exciting. I have been toying around with writing a thriller, so I went to James N Frey’s book WRITING A DAMN GOOD THRILLER to get some tips.

1. In almost all damn good thrillers, the hero is nearly killed in the climax but then manages to kill or capture the villain and foil his evil plot. Audiences love this.

2. In the climax of a damn good thriller, good prevails over evil. Audiences love this, too. In fact this is one of the oldest conventions in storytelling.

3. Damn good thriller climaxes have surprises.

4. The climax of a damn good thriller is not just more of the same…

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In The Dark By B.B Lewis

Short Stories

 

So here is a new short story for you guys. Please feel free to let me know what you think and if you enjoy it 🙂

Happy reading 🙂

 

In The Dark By B.B Lewis

As sergeant Tristan Banks stood inside the run down motel room, beside a rickety wooden table, unceremoniously smothered with 100 kilos of cocaine, he wondered how he had arrived at this point in his life. He had always looked up to his partner Max, ever since he had taken him under his wing as a young boy, just after his mother had died. Max had looked out for him like he was a little brother, even defending him against the bullies that would follow him on the way home from school, throwing rocks and sticks. They had been best friends for near on 20 years and Max had always been so fearless. Never letting anyone or anything get him down. Max had always been in complete control and this was one of the things that put Tristan in awe of his best friend. Other than his father, there was no one in this world Tristan had respected more. Until today.

“Put the money and the coke in the bag!” Max was wild eyed, waving his gun around like it was a toy and they were playing cops and robbers like they used to as kids.

“Fuck that shit man, do you know who you’re fucking with?! This aint the fucking boy scouts bitch!” Willy Williams was not known for his sense of humour.

“I’m not fucking around! Put the fucking money in the bag.”Max pistol whipped one of Willy’s henchmen sitting at the table, splitting his skull down to the bone like a hot knife through butter. Blood gushed out over the table covering everything in its path like a tidal wave. You could instantly see Willy’s eyes narrow. He had never let people take his shit in prison and he sure as hell wasn’t about to start now. Nobody stole his milk.

“Fuck you!” Willy stood up, pulling a colt .45 from under the table that he had strapped there for this very reason. As proven by tonight, you can never be too careful. People didn’t know how to do respectable business these days.

POP. POP. POP.

Tristan dove behind a beat up island in the middle of the kitchen as shots began to fly. He had been trained for moments such as these but nothing really prepares you for when it happens. He had grown up watching gangster films like Scarface and the godfather. Growing up, he used to think gun fights were the coolest things in the world. Tonight he changed his mind. He slid out from behind the island and fired off two rounds, hitting one of the thugs square between the eyes. Tristan was a great shot, thanks to his dad.

POP. POP. POP.

Willy was getting angry now; he hated dirty cops, nearly as much as he hated other drug dealers. At least he was honest about who he was. Dirty cops hid in plain sight, pretending to protect and serve, when really they were just as dirty

and corrupted as the bad guys themselves. The only difference between Willy and this shit bag cop was that Willy couldn’t hide behind a badge and the law.

“You’ve fucked up now bitch! I’m gonna fuck your shit up! You ain’t getting out of here alive!” Willy shot off two more rounds, skimming the doorframe Max was hiding behind.

POP.POP.POP.

Max bent down and tried to get a glimpse of the two remaining henchmen. He knew about Willy Williams all too well. He was the local big time Charlie, drug dealer that thought he was above the law. He sold to some young kids on the block and got them to do all the dirty work for him. Except for big deals like this, he didn’t trust them with this kind of money.

“Tristan, I’m out, throw me a clip!”

“What the fuck have you got us into Max?” Tristan peaked out from behind the island to offer cover fire as he slid a clip over to Harr. He caught sight of one of Willy’s henchmen and hit him 3 times in the chest. The piercing wound oozed hot, thick, deep red blood down his designer shirt. He dropped to his knees with his eyes still open but his soul had left his body before it hit the ground.

“One down, two to go!” Tristan pulled his head back, just as a storm of bullets hit the side of his island right where his head had been only a fraction of a second earlier.

Fuck that was close.

POP. POP. POP.

The last henchman had taken a close range shot to the temple as he tried to make his way closer to Max. Willy had been the second fatality, taking a direct shotgun shell to the stomach.

“I got them!” Max appeared out from behind the doorframe looking rather smug with himself. Walking over to Tristan, he helped him up.

“What the fuck are you playing at Max?! How the hell are we supposed to explain this to the chief?” He was wild eyed, not quite believing what had just happened. Tristan started pacing; He had no idea how he was going to get out of this with his badge and career still intact. He could feel the beads of sweat start to drip down his temple as he tried to evaluate the situation. He didn’t want to let his dad down, he didn’t want to let Max down but he knew he had to tell the truth.

“Tristan, take it easy! We’ll just tell the chief that this scumbag tried to pull a gun on us. As long as we keep our story straight everything will be ok! I would never let anything happen to you. You’re like my little brother!”

As Max pulled Tristan in for a hug, Willy appeared behind them, blood dripping from his mouth and the fatal wound in his gut, where he had been hit by the shotgun Max had grabbed from one of the now deceased.

“Fuck you!” Willy pulled the trigger three times, all three shots hitting Tristan in the back, ripping through his spinal cord with ease and severing the main artery to his heart on its way through, as he stood in Max’s embrace.

***

From first appearances’, Brad Tucker was most definitely not the type of man you would consider to be emotional. Standing at 6’4, with a short back and sides and steely blue eyes, Brad had a very intimidating physical form. Today, looks could be deceiving. Today he was a shadow of his former self. Today was the day he buried his son.

Never in his wildest dreams, had Brad ever thought he would be burying his only son. It is unnatural. Parents were always supposed to go before their children. It was an unwritten rule. Now, here he was, standing in the middle of Oak Park Cemetery, watching his sons coffin be lowered into the ground to be laid to rest, next to his beloved mother April. As he watched the American flag over is sons coffin disappear into the earth, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was dreaming. It was more like a nightmare. It was definitely a nightmare.

Tristan was a good kid and he had been so proud when he graduated from the Police Academy last year. Max and Tristan had done everything together since they were 6 and this was no different. They had both passed with flying colours and then they became partners. Now Tristan was dead and Max was missing, and no matter how hard Brad tried, he couldn’t get his head around it. Something wasn’t right. His boy would never do the things they said he was doing. He just wouldn’t. He didn’t have it in him. The police department had released their official report of the case but something just didn’t add up. There was no way Tristan would have been involved in illegal drug deals involving monstrous amounts of money. He just didn’t have it in him.

As Brad stood with all these questions swirling round in his head, people came and people went, people offering their deepest condolences and a shoulder to cry on. But every word fell on deaf ears. None of it mattered. Standing alone at Tristan’s final resting place, Brad had never felt more alone.

As the last shovel of soil was patted into place as Brad laid a single long stemmed red rose for his beloved son. In that moment Brad knew what he had to do. He had to find Max.


 

Editing vs. Proofreading

This is a valid article that some of us, including myself, need to take note of.

AnitaLovett.com

In today’s world, we often interchange words with similar meanings. As time slips by, the distinctions between these words begin to vanish. One such example is that of the terms “proofreading” and “editing.” These two words are interchanged so often that we find many clients thinking our editing services are merely proofreading services. So, is there really a difference between editing and proofreading, or are we just different? Believe it or not, there is a clear distinction between these two tasks; understanding this distinction is crucial, especially for independent authors.

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