Unboxing: The Fable & Black Lucky Dip Box

This last month or so, I decided to treat myself to a little etsy sprawl! I’ve also never received anything from the site before and thought it would be nice to document the experience a little!

So, one of the first things I decided to treat myself to – that wasn’t bookmarks – was the Fable & Black lucky dip box, and at £10 (plus an extra 15p for shipping because of the insta coupon I found online) I couldn’t say no! (Baring in mind, it’s a UK company, so International shipping would probably be a tad different)

I’ve also never had anything from the fable & black store before, so I never had to worry about getting any sort of doubles! But, the next time I order one (cause I definitely will), there’s actually a space to tell them what you already have so doubles never happen!

A big bonus about this box is that it’s also small enough to fit through your letter box!

The items I got were:

x3 William Shakespeare Quote Bookmarks

x1 ‘Night Court’ Badge

x1 ‘I LOVE YA’ Keyring

x1 ‘Fight Evil, Read Books’ Coaster

x1 ‘Potion Making’ Notebook

x1 ‘Beware For I Am Fearless And Therefore Powerful’ Print

x2 Fable & Black Mini Prints

Here are a few close-ups!

Everything included was great quality! The bookmarks and prints were on good quality paper/card and the coaster looks as if it could hold it’s own in a busy house-hold of mug users!

And the notebook has a surprisingly good number of pages too! It isn’t lined paper, but the sketcher in me (😂) could use it if I pleased, or I could just have some wonky lined writing!

The only problem (I’m being nitpicky now) that I had with the box – and it was more because I didn’t like the fandom that was included (maybe didn’t like is too strong a word??) was that I got a ACOTAR Night Court badge!

It is beautiful though, and, if I didn’t know the fandom already, I would just think that it was a really pretty badge!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little review, and, if you enjoy bookish items, but can never decide which items you want, then this box is definitely for you!

Do you treat yourself to anything bookish? Or are you just a book buyer?

Until then though guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

Five Ways To Develop Your Character

Character development is perhaps one of the best parts about writing a story! You get to create and develop a whole new person to put through all your menacing adventures and life-defining moments – just for entertainment!

Some will even go as far to say that the characters are the stars of the story, that no matter how bad or good a plot is, the characters steal the show! I might not agree with that completely, I think a balance between the two makes a book the best it can be, but today, I’m here to give you a few ideas to help develop your characters in a way that doesn’t involve doing the generic type of profile on them!

So, let’s look at 5 ways to help develop your character:

1. Write a short story of an event that happened before the novel starts!

This first one is something I love to do! It might seem a bit pointless, especially if it doesn’t equate to anything that happens in the story your writing about them now, but it let’s you get in to character more, it let’s you sort of explore the way they would do things then, and if they’ve changed since then. Especially if you do it free-hand, and just write it in a sort of flash fiction kind of way! – Sometimes you just have to write it, and let the ideas just flow through your fingers without the planning beforehand.

I’ve done it for three of my sub-characters so far, and it’s made me feel even more connected and in tune with them than ever before!

2. Send them letters

Write a letter to your character; you can be formal, informal, nasty, nice. Just send them a letter apologising, or send them a letter telling them they deserve it! It can be as vague or as detailed as you want, and it sort of allows you to look more in to how the experiences are changing them, how you see them personally, and it might even make you feel better if you can justify the horrible thing happening to them!

You can even switch it up, and send a letter from one character to another!

I’ve done three of them so far, one of which you’ll get to see next Wednesday!

3. Interview them!

Sit your characters down, and put them in the hot seat. You can ask a whole manner of questions: from their reasoning behind being who they are, to what their favourite animal is. You could even have their opinions on what they think of other characters!

And also, think about how they would react; do they answer the questions freely, do they shy away from certain ones, change the subject, be vague, shuffle in their chair? Tap their foot? There’s so much fun to have with something like this.

4. Use prompts to change up their settings!

Use your characters as the main character of a random prompt. Put your high school kid in to a castle, put your Knight in to a modern day city, find out how they would react. There’s so many good prompts out there you can use!

5. Fancast your characters!

Who would you choose to play them in a movie? A play? A TV show? It could be absolutely anyone you want, a model, a singer, an actor, a friend. It helps so much to make them more real, and it allows you to look more in to the similarities that they could share with real-life people, which, in turn, helps them to be more relateable!

Some characters will be easy to fancast, they’ll already have that certain look in your head that reminds you of someone you’ve seen before, and then others, you’ll wrack your brains over until you just google ’30 year old red headed actors’ and hope that one day, you find the perfect one!

Now, the next few are just little questions you could ask them, or quiz’s you could take (as them) on the internet! (Buzzfeed are great for these sorts of things)

  • What princess are they most like?
  • What Hogwarts house would they be in?
  • What movie character are they most like?
  • What superhero are they most like?

Character development will make or break a book! You need both plot and character to win the hearts of readers, but if your characters fall flat, and their at the heart of a book, your readers won’t waste their time.

And, this may seem like a whole lot of extra words that you may never be able to put in to your book, but, readers will be able to see the effort and time put in to the characters by the way their written, and they might not be the most conventional ways, but, why be conventional anyway?

So, until next time,

Put that antagonist on that hot-seat and ask who their favourite Disney Princess is, and make that sub-character you see only once or twice explain to you how their feeling about the whole situation, and, as always,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

Writing, Gaming and a bit of DIY?? (January Wrap-Up and February Goals)

So, January was a good one for the reader in me, and a tad slow for the writer in me! Despite that though, I’ve still got some of my goals for last month completed, so let us have a look!

1. Finish reworking TOM! – Nearly…

2. Get TOM beta reader ready and a survey done up! – Well…

3. Keep a bullet journal! I have one of those square dotted notebooks coming in the post! – Easy

4. Beta read! I have two I need to get through! One a sci-fi, and the other a steam punk fantasy type novel! – Sort of

5. Reading! I need to read more! I have three books this month that I’m excited to read, and I should, really, finish Half A King too! I also joined a book club! So, that’ll be fun! – Big tick!

6. Play more video games – I played one…

So, Tales of Monsters is still progressing, a bit more slowly than I’d like it to, but, I have had fun with it, and what I’ve written, I’ve really liked, so, win/lose, it’s been okay. I’ve also worked a little on the beta reader questionnaire/survey as well! I can’t really finalise many of the questions until I’ve rewritten the chapters – cause so much keeps changing and slotting in to different places all the time… But, it’s getting there. This month, work wise, has also been a killer, and I’ve been so tired during the day that I just can’t make myself go!

Reading wise though, I managed to read 6 novels, 1 novella, beta read a shortish, novella type story about an organ-stealing cannibal, and beta read a 120,000 word manuscript on a contemporary romance kind of novel! (and send feedback). I also got to have a read of two short stories for a picture book by a friend on insta, and started Reading Crooked Kingdom.

I may have forgot all about Half a King until I saw it on the shelf yesterday!

I also took part in my first readathon, where I read most of the books! You can check out my wrap-up of that here!

I’ve also taken up bullet journalling, and although it might not be as appealing on the eye as some are, it’s been fun to use – and I’ve managed to stick with it! It makes my life so much easier, and it’s nice to have a little book with all your reading stats and collections in it as well! I’m not much of a planner, but, the weekly spreads are nice to keep track of work hours with!

I also played a game! I finished The Tell-Tale Walking Dead: New Frontier game near the beginning of this month, and I wish I hadn’t, because now I just have to wait even longer for the next one to come out! It’s also the last one, which means I’m probably gonna sit and play them all again – and cry all over again as well!

This January also marked the year of my brothers 21st, and, all the fun that ensued after it! We went to lazer tag, and it was amazing! I thought I’d be rubbish, and for the first round, I was, but, in the second round (and the free for all) I came 13 out of like 26, and I’m so happy with that!!

It also marked the time my brother took out his drone for the very first time, and it just flew away…

Fortunately, a few hours later, some lovely people found it and through the powers of Facebook, we got it back! Then, the second time, it flew in to someones garden, and the third time, it also flew away. We got it back, and it’s now not allowed anywhere near the outside when it’s windy!

It’s not been outside since the first of January…

Anyway, let’s have a look at the goals I hope to endure for February!

  1. Continue trucking on with the re-write of Tales of Monsters.
  2. Keep reading!
  3. Keep up with the double blog posts (and bujo)
  4. Buy Far Cry 5 and play it!
  5. Participate in three insta challenges this month!
  6. Start DIY Double Decker Hamster Home!

I don’t think that’s a bad goals list for February!

I’m so excited about FC5 though, I can barely control myself when I think about it! If I have a sudden absents from social media, don’t worry (cause I know you do), I’ll most likely be playing Far Cry and being even more of a hermit than I already am!

And this DIY DDHH is in hope that I can make a slight bit more room – in my room. I really want to have a desk at some point! If I do get it done this month, I doubt I’ll have the room straight away (cause I got three hammies and I’m only building the two cages, but my hammies aren’t young little buns anymore, so, yeah), but it’ll be there eventually!

It all depends on getting to the wood place though, and the whole constructing of it and the cutting of it! I’ll have my dad helping me out, and, we managed to make a cage out of some drawers last year, so, we’ve prepared ourselves to make a couple from scratch this year! Fingers crossed!

And, lastly, the three insta challenges I’m participating in this month are: the #HayleySoonChallenge by @ahenleyauthor, in celebration of his new book – Hayley Soon – being released in March; the #Charactersinlove challenge – where I’m hoping to introduce you more to Lauryn and Harry and the relationship they have, and the last, #ShareYourLineFeb, where I share my favourite line every day!

So, that’s it for January, let’s see what February brings us, shall we!

I hope you all had a budding first month of the year, and if you didn’t, don’t worry, we still got eleven months left!

But, until next time,

Just Keep Writing…

Jade x


Blue, Blue and More Blue in #BookBoxClubs November Box!

Another month, means another BookBoxClub box! And for the month of November, Kate and Libby gave us some blue to celebrate a haunting new book and some little gems they’ve found in their search for booktastic goodness!

And, as always, the first thing your eyes set upon as you eagerly open up your box is the spoiler card, and it was gorgeous! And sets the scene superbly for the magic that is about to happen.

And the smell! I can’t think of a box of the top of my head that I’ve had that didnt make my nose tingle just a little bit!

So, on to the bookish goodness. The first item I picked up was a bookboxclub exclusive! A gorgeous tea towel with a quote from Maggie The Raven Boys!

I can’t even imagine using it as a tea towel (and now, in retrospect, its hung up on my bedroom wall!)

Next, amongst the shredded paper, I found what was the cause of that beautiful smell and took out this little tin filled with bath crystals created by the Glasgow Soap Company.

It smells gorgeous and does a swell job at relaxing those achey muscles and soothing frazzled minds! (Even before I took the photo, I’d sprinkled some in the bath!)

Next up, was the cutest mini candle I have ever seen, and its so adorable and tiny and such a beautiful blue, and even smells davine! And it’s inspired by Heathcliff! (I’ll be honest, until this box, I had no idea who he was!)

A big thanks to the people at Just Fribble for this!

Then, next to be picked out was a mini adult colouring book designed and illustrated by David Sinden & Victoria Kay!

Then, the promo for this box featured a small book of samplers for the YA reads tha Usborne have in store for 2018!

Lastly, as always, dressed in the gorgeous silver paper and tied with a bow is the book of the month, and this time, it was the beautiful hardback ‘The Memory Trees’ by Kali Wallace! (Plus a signed book plate)

The synopsis reads:

And, the scroll which invites members to the exclusive bookish meeting with the author also tells us that Kali would choose the one-and-only Hermoine Granger to help her out in the zombie apocalypse!

Although, more of a minimalistic box, (which I guess is perfect for the theme as its attempting to relax and calm your mind more than anything), its definitely a high contender and as always, everything is useable as well!

Next month, which I’m afraid is all sold out, is Winter fairytales, and its gonna feature the first two in a new wintery series!

But, January’s theme has been revealed as ‘Geeks United’ and is gonna feature an exclusive BookBoxClub item that is rumoured to be the best yet!

I’m already excited for it!

Jade x