Why You Should Consider Writing A Trilogy #SundayBlogShare #Writers @tonyriches

Why Your Should Consider Writing A

When medieval historical fiction author Tony Riches contacted me to say that he had a fab guest blog post up his sleeve I was over the moon.

When I read his guest blog post I felt like one of my big writing related questions had been answered. The question being – why should you consider writing a trilogy?

Prior to Tony’s guest post, I spent a lot of time thinking about why you should consider writing a trilogy. I came up with the following points:

  • You should write a trilogy if you secretly crave literary pain. Writing one book won’t come close to satisfying your literary pain needs, so you need to write three in quick succession to get your fix. 
  • You should write a trilogy if you can’t think of a way to end your story and you strongly believe that come the end of writing the third book you will have figured it out. 
  • You should write a trilogy if you have fallen madly in love with one of your characters and can’t bear to be parted from them. Writing a story about your crush and spanning it over three books might help you get this fictional love interest out of your system. Your readers might not share your love for this character but that’s low level detail. 
  • You should write a trilogy if you have an attention seeking diva of a main character who demands a bigger world stage. Give them a trilogy and watch their power hungry eyes light up! 

To my surprise Tony has come up with a different set of reasons to me. 

Check out this great post below. 

Take it away Tony!

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Meeting Your Online Blogging Friend In Real Life – The Key Stages #MondayBlogs #BloggingGals

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You can build some great connections online with other bloggers. With some blogging connections it can feel like you have found your online Best Friend Forever (BFF), even though you’ve never actually met face to face.

Meeting your online BFF in real life can get a little crazy.

As I have met most of my online blogging friends at blogging events, I have used this scenario – the blogging event (conference or awards ceremony) to show you the key stages.

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The Similarities Between Writing & Lego #SundayBlogShare #AmWriting #Lego

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I love Lego. As a child I was on top of my Lego game. I regarded myself as a Lego freestyler which means I would rock up at a box of random Lego bricks and build whatever came to mind. My Lego houses excited and thrilled the little plastic people who inhabited them.

Even now, as an adult, I still dream of being presented with a box of bricks, a cup of tea, a quiet room and the promise of being left alone, so I can spend a good hour getting creative with Lego.

There’s something magical about an assortment of colourful little Lego bricks and the endless creative possibilities that they offer.

Earlier this week, whilst avoiding my writing (sipping coffee and staring out of a window), I came up with the idea of noting down all the similarities between writing and getting creative with Lego.

Here are the similarities:

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25 Things You Don’t See When You Read a Blog Post #Bloggers #BloggingGals #Writer

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My recent post titled 35 Things You Don’t See When You Buy a Book proved popular, so I thought I would see if I could come up with a similar list for blog posts.

A lot of time, effort and creative suffering can go into the production of a blog post, which sadly the blog reader doesn’t get to see.

So, here are the things you don’t see when you read a blog post.

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12 Things Your Creative Dreams Will Do To You When You Decide To Follow Them #Monday Blogs #MondayMotivation

 

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Creative dreams can be pesky little things. They will do whatever they can to persuade you to follow them and once you do decide to go after them, you will be at their mercy!

Here are 12 things your creative dreams will do to you once you start to pursue them:

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10 Things My Creative Friends Have Taught Me #Monday Blogs #BloggingGals #AmWriting

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2016 was the year I started listening to those around me. After spending the first part of the year dismissing advice and top tips from my creative friends (as I thought I knew best… sigh!) I thought I would do something different in the second half of last year.

So I listened, took advice and almost immediately started squeaking “oh my goodness you were right!”

As you can imagine readers I received a lot of eye rolls last year and the 🙄 emoji was well used.

Here are 10 things my creative friends have taught me:

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The 5 Stages of ‘I Have Got To Keep Going!’ #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation

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There are some creative projects which bring you to your knees, force you to question your motives, present you with obstacles and make you want to run away.

I am trying to tell myself that these are special projects and perhaps I should view them as gifts….that keep on giving! Sigh!

There are 5 stages of progressing through your creative suffering and reaching the magical moment where you whisper to yourself “I have got to keep going!”

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Author Interviews Julie Archer @julieoceanuk #Author #Writers

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Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews.

These interviews are fab! I get the chance to interview some amazing authors about the journey they went on with regards writing their book. I get to glean some insight into their writing life and find out what has worked or not worked for them during the creative process.

This week I am super thrilled as author Julie Archer has joined me. Her book is about the world of rock music and love triangles! As you can imagine I am beside myself with literary excitement over this book.

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Hey Julie!  Thank you for being here today. 

Tell my readers about yourself and the book / books you have written

Hello Lucy and all your readers!

I live in lovely Dartmouth in Devon with my husband and two cats. We moved here almost eighteen months ago and I still feel like I’m on holiday!

As well as writing, I also run my own business support services business, providing administration and recruitment for small to medium sized companies. Oh, and I work part time in a book shop!

Cocktails, Rock Tales & Betrayals is my first book. It is set is the work of rock music with a love triangle at the centre of it. But there is a happy ending!

When did you write your first book?

My first attempt was during my teenage years when inspired by the Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High books, I attempted my own take on that. I still have the rejection letter somewhere…

Julie – OMG I was obsessed about Sweet Valley High books for years during my youth! I couldn’t understand why my parents wouldn’t move us to America and let me live out my fantasy as Elizabeth. Good grief I had so many dreams about handsome ‘Todd Wilkins’. Sigh!

How long did it take to write your first book?

I have said that Cocktails was two years of hard work. Being totally honest, it was six months of hard work followed by a year of procrastination, then six months of hard work! Having said that, there are parts of Cocktails I wrote about ten years ago that were stripped out from a previously unpublished novel.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

I wanted to write a book that I would read. And I’ve always created characters and stories. Maybe that has something to do with being an only child and having imaginary friends…

When we moved, I found a bunch of notebooks with character sketches and possible plotlines. Lovely, but all of them written when I was about fifteen! And I’m a very different writer now.

Gasp! I had imaginary friends as a child too. I am lucky as mine have stayed with me though.

What writing issues did you encounter along the way and how did you overcome them?

Um, procrastination is definitely one. Like when cleaning the bathroom or having an empty washing basket is waaay more important than writing another 1000 words. And realising that everything I’ve written is utter rubbish. Or realising that my editor identified a totally unbelievable part of the plot and I had to completely rewrite a good quarter of the novel. I’m lucky that I have a pretty amazing support group in the Writer’s Playground and we can all share our issues. There’s usually another writer that has been through exactly the same thing and can give good advice. Or offer virtual cake.

Did you go through any bad writing patches during writing your book – what kept you going?

See above! My chums in the Playground are amazing!

Are you a plotter or do you just write / see what happens?

Probably a bit of both. I have an outline or an idea in my head and work with that. But I don’t plan to the nth degree when I start out, things tend to develop as I go along. Sometimes you end up changing characters in a scene because they work better than the original ones and you didn’t plan for that.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

I’m not sure yet, I’m still trying to convince myself I am a real one! But seriously, when someone says they have enjoyed what I’ve written and want to read more, that feeling is amazing.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

The insecurity. And by that, I mean constantly thinking that you’re not as good as everyone else, you don’t have as many five start reviews as they do, unfairly comparing yourself to other writers… Then I try to remember what I’ve achieved.

Have you ever considered quitting writing, and if so how have you worked through this?
Not yet…although as me again in about six months!

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

If I have a day when I’m solely writing and nothing else, I have a lovely writing desk in our spare room that was a Christmas present from my husband last year and that’s where I’ll be. I’ll start around 10am and work through until around 1pm, have some lunch and start again around 2pm. However, I’ve scribbled notes and plans while at work in the bookshop – and then had to make sense of them later!

Do you suffer from procrastination and if so how do you handle it?

Of course! Find me a writer who doesn’t… I try to set little targets or do small word races and then reward myself with some Instagram or online shopping time. Or if it really isn’t working, I’ll just give up and go and do something more constructive. Like ironing.

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

Probably characters. As I’ve mentioned before, I have always created character sketches and I think they have shaped how a plot has gone because of their mannerisms or how they would react to a situation.

What have been your 3 biggest learnings during your writing career?

  • Just keep writing – no matter how hard it is sometimes, just write something. You can’t edit a blank page and even if it’s (to quote Charlie at Urban Writers) gloriously craptastic you can always work with it.
  • Get a good support network – sounds clichéd, but without my chums in the Writer’s Playground, the guys at the Six Month Novel programme, the Dartmouth author community, other writers I met on writing retreats or at literary festival workshops, I don’t think I would have got this far.
  • You can do it yourself – every writer dreams of the publishing deal and the big bang launch. When you start to get rejections, it’s hard to see past that. But, again through my network, I discovered that it’s totally possible to self-publish and get the recognition you deserve. I had a choice to go assisted or pure self-publishing. I chose the latter and, so far, don’t regret it.

How do you manage social media as a writer?

Badly! I’m coming to terms with using it for “Brand Me” rather than just posting pictures of my cats or the success of my football team (Spurs, in case you were wondering. And no, there hasn’t been a lot of success…). But also not being too “salesy” and just spamming my timelines and feeds with “Buy my book!” posts.

Do you have any tips or advice for budding aspiring authors?

I’d probably relate it back to the learnings – keep writing even if you find it tough and get a good network around you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask others for help and advice. Without that, I wouldn’t have self-published and I’d still be waiting for that big break. Write the things that you’d like to read, not necessarily what’s popular now.

Do you suffer from writer’s block and if so how do you overcome?

Yes. At the start of this year, I couldn’t write anything, I didn’t think I had the time or the inclination and anything I did write was rubbish! I ended up going on a bit of a writer’s detox with prompts and wrote something every day for a month. Some days it was ten minutes, some days it was half an hour. But it got me back into the habit of writing again and that helped.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

There are around nine book ideas floating around at the moment, some are just titles, some are vague plots, some are characters. I “try” to focus on one thing at a time though. So, yes!

What do you wear to write?

Now I can write at home whenever I want to, it varies. But mostly jeans and jumpers or t-shirts (depending on how cold it is in our house at the time!). One of my favourite t-shirts has “I just want to drink coffee, create stuff and sleep” on it. I try to wear that when I need inspiration! I have also said that I will channel my inner Barbara Cartland one day and wear a pink ruffled affair and have someone hand feed me chocolates as I dictate to them…

If readers want to get in touch how do they contact you?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/juliearcherwrites
Twitter: @julieoceanuk
Website: http://www.juliearcherwrites.com
Or you can pop into the Dartmouth Bookseller on Foss Street and say hello!

Lucy, thanks so much for having me!

Fabulous interview Julie, I really enjoyed our chat!

  • I love how you say your book was ‘six months of hard work followed by a year of procrastination’. That made me smile! 
  • Your support network sounds great. Writing is hard and we all need people supporting and encouraging us. 
  • I can relate to the insecurity bit. I think you are right to look at what you have achieved!
  • Nine book ideas – you poor thing 🙂 
  • Yes channel your Barbara Cartland and come back to write me a guest blog about it – would be such a giggle to read! 

Thank you so much for a great interview!

 

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photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/79577679@N00/5448848999″>the chair in the attic</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

How To Tell If Your Child Is Going To Be A Blogger #SundayBlogShare #BloggingGals #Bloggers

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Photo Credit: StockSnap.

Following on from my post ‘How To Tell If Your Child Is Going To Be A Writer,’ I thought I should do a post on how to tell if your child is going to be a blogger.

You might already believe your child  will be a future blogger, as they are a whiz on your tablet and can name all the main forms of social media.

But have you checked for the not so obvious signs?

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Things To Do Before Leaping Out Of Your Comfort Zone #MondayBlogs #Podcasting #Writers

Things To Do Before Leaping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

In the next few weeks I will be leaping out of my comfort zone with the launch of my comedy fictional podcast.

I have never done anything like this before. It took me a long time to share my writing on my blog and when I did it felt like a leap out of my comfort zone. Then I took another jump outside my warm and coxy comfort zone by sticking my stuff on Wattpad. Now it feels like I am going to be flinging myself into the air yet again by taking my work onto iTunes and putting my own voice to it, as opposed to hiding behind a blog post.

So I thought it would be a good idea to do a preparation style blog post, which will run through all the things you need to do before leaping outside of your comfort zone.

Things to do before leaping out of your comfort zone:

  1. Focus on the why. Think about why you are leaping out of your comfort zone and the benefits that it will bring. These benefits will help you fight your way through fear. Ok so I am just running through my reasons for this…I am nutsdeluded and have a screw loose. There is one reason and that it is – I want to perform a bit of magic. I want to see whether I can lift my Roxy Collins comedy off the page and bring my character and her world to life via a weekly podcast. This for me is what being a writer is really about; making people, worlds and stories come alive.
  2. Enjoy the build up experience. Have some fun along the way and the enjoy the build up to leaping out of your comfort zone. I can’t say that listening to my own voice again and again has been fun but teaching myself how to use GarageBand has been really enjoyable. Celebrating my success on joining up the podcast intro music, the voice intro, the narration and end music in GarageBand resulted in me doing an energetic celebratory dance around the kitchen. I know some of you out there will be now eye rolling your laptop / tablet screen whilst muttering “that is soooo easy!” I struggle with simple things. Rewriting parts of Roxy and adapting it for a podcast has brought me closer to my characters. I feel like I am starting to get under the skin of Roxy and hearing her talk, in the voice that I am using, is quite surreal.
  3. Start a diary. Use a diary to record your feelings as you prepare to journey into the unknown. A diary is useful for working through the huge bouts of self-doubt which go hand in hand with taking a leap out of your comfort zone. A diary takes away some of the pressure from friends and family as you can turn to it day or night.
  4. Listen to upbeat and motivational music. Do everything you can to remain positive.  I have created a new playlist full of pop classics and 80’s movie soundtracks.
  5. Embrace the idea of making a fool of yourself. Ditch the perfect image of yourself!  In order to bring my character Roxy to life I am going to have to make a fool of myself. But the urge to do something magical is stronger than the fear of people laughing at me.
  6. Create a list of powerful quotes for the final days before you jump out of your comfort zone. Steven Pressfield in his book ‘The War of Art’ talks about how the fight against resistance is worse at the end of a project when your energy levels are low and you are vulnerable.  So here are the quotes that are keeping me going:

 

More often than not, being brave means doing it scared – Michael Hyatt.

 

The more important an activity is to your soul’s evolution, the more resistance you will feel to it – the more fear you will feel – Steven Pressfield

 

Until you are ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great – Cher

 

Wish me luck readers!

Stay tuned for news of my gigantic leap into the unknown; the world of podcasting!

Have a fabulous day and virtual hugs to all those currently thinking about taking a leap out of their comfort zone!