Surpassing the goal

This year I have so completely surpassed myself I can hardly believe it. So far this year I have completed 44 books, and there are still a few days left (I know the final total will be at least one higher). I feel that perhaps in the olden days, before the internet, before the ability…

Recommended Reads: The Roses of May

I reviewed the first book in this series, The Butterfly Garden, this time last year. It had been a cheap impulse purchase via Kindle Daily Deal and it did not disappoint. But at the end of the review I wrote the following: While writing this review I discovered that what I thought was a standalone…

Two writing techniques (and a timeline)

So, November comes to an end, and with it National Novel Writing month for 2017. This was the first year I have taken part, and I’m so glad I did. I didn’t make it to the target of 50,000 words, but I kind of knew that I wouldn’t, and it doesn’t really matter to me…

The halfway point

Just a short post to mark the passing of the half way point of NaNoWriMo, and a few musings I have had so far. This isn’t about word counting (mainly because I’m well below the target number for this point in the proceedings, though I did say when I started I would be happy with…

NaNoWriMo

So. National Novel Writing Month. The challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. This year, I have a project. This year I have motivation. This year I am doing it. Over the past few weeks (Sept-Oct) I’ve written around 13,000 words of my latest project, and I can’t really overstate how much…

Recommended Reads: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

This series was a refreshing change from “the usual” YA offering. It has its tropes, to be sure, but the package they’re wrapped up in brings them onto a different level. I read it as part of my A-Z Reading Challenge (a wildcard). Karou leads a double life – as an art student in Prague,…

Nobel Winner

Last year the literary world was a bit… perplexed at the news that song writer Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Many argued that writing songs was not the same as writing novels or even poetry, and I had a few musings of my own on the subject (see my post…

Banned Books Week

This week, the world of readers has been standing up to censorship in the form of the annual Banned Books Week. Books are challenged and banned for many reasons – for depicting violence, sex, religion, homosexuality, issues of race, criticisms of political regimes, immoral behaviour… Things that it seems fairly obvious certain sections of society…

You can’t edit a blank page

I have now written nearly 8000 words of a new book. And I’ve learned something in the process. Something about writing techniques. Whether it’s the “right thing” to have learned or not I don’t know. But its right for me. I the past I’ve spent quite a lot of time planning a story. Then, following…

500 down, only 129,999,500 to go

Its difficult to find an exact number of course, but it would appear that there is in excess of 130,000,000 unique books in existence right now. And, naturally, that number is increasing all the time. According to my records, I have read 454 books. I know this isn’t the right number – there are many…

Today I wrote

Today I wrote the first line of a story. I’m pretty proud of it. First lines don’t make or break a book, but the good ones stick in your head and of course encourage you to read on. What makes a good first line? The introduction of an impossible situation? A question that is just…

Fantasy and reality

Fantasy, sci fi, dystopian, magical realism… Any story  set in a place that is fundamentally different from the world we live in (or a version of our world in which some magical element exists) will most often have a large amount of work done on building that world before the writing of the actual story…