I’ve Always Liked Camping…

So, for my first ever Camp Nano experience, I’m going to be attempting to start and complete the second draft of my November Nano project – The Diary of a Child Zombie Killer.

Rewriting 50,000 words is gonna be a toughy, I know, but I managed the first draft in 19 days – so, I’m hoping that these thirty are gonna let me do both the rewriting and the research I need to make the whole thing that little bit more believable.

I literally did just shovel sand in to a bucket for my first draft, and literally word-vomited my way through nanowrimo.

And, I think thats the best way to get a first draft done.

I even changed perspectives half way through so I’m gonna have so much fun writing that first part! But, it made the words flow easier, and, if I’m honest, it’s definitely one of those novels that is gonna be far more character orientated than plot orientated.

The plot is quite simple really. Survive.

There’s no grand finale to find a cure or anything like that. I know twelve-year old kids can be capable of anything – look at Percy Jackson and Harry Potter – but, Melanie doesn’t have any magic or god-like abilities, and she’s one of those characters who is much-likely to run than she is fight.

Not because she’s selfish – just that she’s not stupid.

So, all-in-all, I have 2138 words rewritten so far, and I have a load of research to do – which I thought would be fun to share with you lot so look out for the first one later in the week!

What are you working on for Camp Nanowrimo?

Until then though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

#MyCharactersAreReal Tag #1: Melanie the Child Zombie Killer

So, I’ve decided that instead of posting this on instagram, like normal, I’d turn it in to this months Sunday blog posts instead! It’s not too late to take part! Just check out @ellerymarconnor on instagram for the low-down on this february challenge!

The #MyCharactersAreReal challenge is all about helping you to develop your characters, and the motivations behind them! You can use as many, or as little characters as you want!

The character(s) I’m gonna focus on are from my NaNoWriMo 2017 Project ‘The Diary of A Child Zombie Killer’ – and if you need a small recap on what it was all about:

Set in a zombie apocalyptic Britain, a forty-year old guy called Al, finds a diary of the twelve-year-old Melanie which documents the beginning of the apocalypse, and her experiences dealing with it all. He doesn’t want it to finch, but he can see there’s blank pages at the end. Does she decide she doesn’t need it anymore, does she lose it, or does she die…

Hopefully, you guys will find out…

My Main Character:

Twelve-year-old Melanie

Their Backstory:

Melanies isyour typical school-girl who lives with her mum, step-dad and sister Amber (whose just gone off to university), in a semi-detached house on the outskirts of a welsh town called the Bridges End!

What Does Your Main Character Value?

Melanie values her life (which is obvious considering she’s in a zombie apocalypse) and she values friendship above it all – which is now one of the hardest things to find.

What is Your Characters Most Valuable Trait?

She’s a good listener, and in a world of deception, and shuffling zombies, that’s the best kind of trait she can have.

If Your Character was one of the Deadly Seven Sins, Which one Would They be?

I think she’d have to be ‘Envy’ if she was anything. She envies some of the relationships she comes across whilst trying to find a safe haven, and she envy’s the fact that her sister was able to leave and go to uni and get out of the god-forsaken town they grew up in.

What Makes Your Character Relatable?

I think, nowadays, kids are expected to grow up and mature much quicker than they should, and Melanie does too. She goes through all the thoughts and emotions of a pre-teen, and she hates as well as loves the people around her. She’s moody, whiney and absolutely terrified of what the world can do.

What Does Your Character Consider Immoral?

She considers betrayal immoral above all else. And, she goes through a lot of it…

And What Moral Might Your Character Excuse or Sidestep?

The moral she eventually excuses, is Fairness. In the world she lives in, being fair can get you killed, being fair can lose you your dinner, and being fair can get you turned in to a zombie…

I hope you guys enjoyed reading that as much as I enjoyed writing it! I’ve really missed Melanie and Albert, and I’m glad I have some sort of motivation, and want, to dedicate some blog posts to a story that had been in the back of my mind for eons! Part two will be hitting your screens next Sunday!

But, until the next time!

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

What I Learned From NaNoWriMo

This post came a lot earlier than I expected, but, there’s no point holding it off! I beat NaNoWriMo on the 19th day of this month, and here, I give you the things I learned from my first proper attempt at NaNoWriMo.

I’m hoping, that somehow, this can help you get to your goals this month, and all the others months!

First, I’ll start with the most important lesson I learned!

  • Prepare Yourself!

And I don’t mean in terms of outlining. I did very minimal outlining before hand and planned it as I went (making me a bonafide planster). I mean mentally.

I choose to start by distancing myself from my then WIP Tales of Monsters, and then, I just sort of chilled out, read books (I read like seven books in October – that is like a record for me), took part in Pondiros #PonderingPrep on the instas, and briefly outlined the first few pages so I could get in to the story, and making sure I had something close-by to write on just in case I had a burst of inspiration (your phone works wonders for this).

  • Deadlines, wow!

I never realised how important, and useful deadlines were until NaNoWriMo happened, and I think, from now on, I’m gonna have to make deadlines for all of my stories! I think it also gives you the ability to give yourself more incentives to finish!

The next of which is getting Tales of Monsters ready for b=Beta Readers. Said deadlines bring me on to the next one!

  • Incentives

I’ve already done a blog post on my incentive to finish NaNoWriMo – which you can find here, but I think that it’s so important to have something that you look forward to at the end of it, and something that you’re not going to be able to put your full self in to because you’re still hung up on your NaNo WIP!

  • Pressure

I normally don’t do well under pressure. I can get really stressed out, you know, but the pressure of this kept me going! I didn’t think it would, I didn’t think it actually could, but, somehow, me and pressure came to some mutual agreement and the pressure of getting 50k of words out in 30 days helped get this thing done!

  • First Person Experiences

I don’t really work with first person narratives or perspectives, I prefer the whole third person perspective, but, for this story, it worked! I’ve used it before, but, usually, my novels have much more to them, and I just feel more secure using a third-person narrative (and it works better for both the story and the characters).

My NaNo WIP focuses on the thoughts, feelings and ramblings of a twelve-year-old girl , and a forty-year-old man who reads her diary, so, first person obviously works much better for that sort of story!

And, the experience with my forty-year-old diary readers first person shananigans actually brings me to my next point!

  • Don’t be Afraid of Change!

Whether you’re a plotter, a plantser or a pantser, don’t be afraid to change the way somethings is going, or to mix it all up. About 20K words in, I changed my diary readers perspective from third person to first person (present tense), which, eventually, I realised I needed to do. It made it easier to write, and flow. And that’s what NaNo needs, you need to make it easy for yourself!

  • Get Support!

Whether it’s from family, friends, writing groups or buddies on the interwebs, support from someone else will remind you how well you’re doing, and that you can keep going even when it all looks like it’s gonna fall apart!

  • The Story

This is also another important lesson that I learned. The story I wrote felt like it wanted to be written. And I think that is essential in something like this. It doesn’t mean that everyday, you have to meet your word count goals, but it will mean that you’re more determined to keep going, to keep writing.

  • Word Vomit!

Word vomit was my best friend this month. NaNo says that quantity equates to quality, and I’m really hoping that rings true, because that’s what I felt like most of the paragraphs were, but then, the story itself, gave itself to word vomit, so, if anything, hopefully that helps!

  • No Editing!

I shouldn’t have to say this! It’s a first draft, you have to remember that! But, it’s definitely a train of thought that you have to prepare yourself for. If you’re being a traditionalist, just write it. If you don’t like a paragraph you just wrote, leave it in there and rewrite it, or, just leave it and go on to the next bit! Words, word and more words!

  • No High-end Formatting!

So, throughout the whole thing, I have two different kinds of formatting. That’s italics and highlighting! The highlights are for all the passages in the book that are completely out of place, and the italics is to distinguish between twelve-year-old thoughts and forty-year-old thoughts!

Also, that’s another thing, don’t worry about how mixed up chapters and passages are. Just get the words down on the paper, and you can edit it all later!

  • Look After Yourself!

So, you want to reach this amazing goal, but, you can’t do that if you neglect yourself. Make sure you eat well, and sleep well, and go outside every once in a while (or at least have a window open).

I actually started volunteering at my local dogs trust, so, other than work, I got to go outside and distance myself from my writing for a little bit!

  • Pace Yourself

Don’t write yourself out! Don’t write until your inspiration is gone. What I did, which I found really helped was, I stopped at a certain point in each day, and then did bullet points of what I wanted to happen next. It meant that I was able to go back the next day, and be able to continue where I left off immediately, and sometimes, when writers block came to visit, I was able to just expand on my bullet points until the story came.

  • Swapping The Screen For a Notebook

I had to do this a few times, and, it helped so much! Especially when my eye’s felt like they were about to fall asleep, or after I’d had a long day at work! The only thing is, you have to count the words up afterwards!


I really think this can apply to NaNoers, and just writers in general. And, I think that if I can apply this sort of process to my other first drafts in the future, it’s going to be so much easier!

What you need to remember though is this is what I had to do to get through NaNoWriMo, and it’s only by attempting something like that, that you will learn what you need to do to better and improve yourself!

Everyone is going to have a completely different experience, except for the whole, this story isn’t going to work thoughts, and the it doesn’t sound right sort of feelings, and to that, I say, there is a reason you started writing what you did. Perhaps it’s not the right story for right now, perhaps something else is itching to get out, but, there’s a reason you started it. Never forget that.

So, to sign off, to my fellow NaNoers, and fellow writers, I might be done with this November challenge, but I’m still here for you guys, to the end and beyond!

Just Keep Writing

Jade x




My Incentive To Finish NaNoWriMo

It’s the end of week two of NaNoWriMo, and I’m currently at 31,616 words!

And, joined with the fact that the story feels quite easy to write about, because I’m trying to pace myself with it, I also gave myself a little incentive to get things done, and all that is, is the ability to go back to my fantasy world and write some more tales!

Tales of Monsters has been sat on my hamsters cage for the last 15 days (lying dormant for maybe an extra five before the 1st November), and all I’ve done is look at the title page! I’ve tried to do it so that I wouldn’t work on it at all, during November, and that would be fine, if I could think about anything else, but that. The inspiration doesn’t want to stop coming, and at least, once a day, I’ll get inspiration from a situation, a piece of dialogue or a re-write of a scene I didn’t know needed re-writing!

I had an idea for a scene re-write the other day, and it added like this whole sort of new concept to it. It’s nothing major, it’s even front and center in book two, but it adds something else to the first one, and it has to be suttle and raw and the beginning of maybe something that could happen, which also, may or may not end in disaster.

Anyhow, I thank the world for my phone. Without it, all them poor little ideas would be lost forever!

I honestly thought it would be a relief to get away from something so big and mind-confudling, and perhaps, it was for the first few days that I stared at it from across the room, but it didn’t last. Part of me think my own brain is trying to test me, to see if enough inspiration for something else will veer me of course with my current writing, and so far, other than jotting down a few words on my phone when I get a bump of inspiration, the folder on my laptop has stayed closed and so has the file!

And, I think, what I’ve learned during NaNo is going to benefit Tales much more than I could ever imagine it would! Even though the perspectives, even the style and obviously setting and some of the themes are different, I feel like once I get back to Tales, I’ll be able to make it in to so much more, and when it gets given to beta-readers, hopefully, in the new year, they might actually like it!

Anyway, a nice short post today for you guys! I need to get back to writing (and so do you)!

NaNoWriMo tip?

Just Keep Writing.

Even when you have no idea what to write about, write about the fact that you have no idea what to write about, you’ll never know what you’ll come up with!

Or, make your characters really moany, and hormonal, and grumpy, and they can ramble as much as they want! Words are words!

Jade x

Mel and Al Word Vomit The Zombie Apocalypse!

Do you think that would be a good title for a book? I think I’d have to add ‘And they whine a lot’ as a slogan, but, yeah!

So, I am currently at 19,062 words!!!

I’m well on track, and I have no idea how! Like, I have literally just word vomited the lot! But, it’s the sort of book that gives itself to that. It revolves around a twelve year old’s diary in the zombie apocalypse, so add in puberty, PMS, loneliness and zombie killing, and you got one poor little kid who has no idea what she’s supposed to do, and all these thoughts and feelings and once-in-a-life-time experiences are happening to her, and the only way she can make sense of it, is by writing the words down on paper (Which is then found by a forty-something-year-old man!)

I’m also in the mind-set that I have to write everyday, and that I can’t edit, which I think is just a feat in itself! If you can get them down, NaNo will be a breeze! You’ll get to 50k or whatever goal your wanting easily!

I’ll be honest though, this ‘book’ might turn in to a novella or even a short story when I edit it (maybe not a short story, but you get the jist), but at least I wrote my word count goal in 30 days, so, yeah! Like NaNo tells us. Quantity gives you Quality!

And, if you love the story enough, if your passionate about it, once all the words are down, you’ll be able to create something beautiful with (or without) them!

I gace had a few set backs, a couple days where not that much was written (in retrospect to the other days), and I’ve made a few changes with the story I’m writing, changes I didn’t think I’d need to do, but, none-the-less, even though my main character goes from third to first to third and to first perspective every time he talks and thinks something, at least I don’t have to worry about it until editing comes along!

Editing might kill you, but at least you can say that you wrote a book!

This first person, it’s so weird to write in! I’m getting the hang of it though, and I think I’ve distinguished between the two voices, but whether it stays first or third in the next draft, we won’t know until it happens!

Anyway, I need to get back to writing said story, so,

Just Keep Writing

And don’t edit nothing till you write ‘The End’ on November 30th!


NaNoWriMo, Zombies and Putting Manuscripts to Bed (November Wishlist)

First off, fellow Nanodoers, go and write that novel and stop procrastinating!

So, before we start off this months wishlist, lets see how last months went, shall we?

The October wishlist!

  1. Finish editing TOM – Well, yeah, that didn’t exactly happen, but more about that afterwards.
  2. Prep, prep, prep – Well, that actually worked a little better than I thought it would!
  3. Take part in at least two readathons – not exactly, but I read like seven books so that’s not too bad!
  4. Read Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell (It comes out on the 5th and I can’t wait!) – Lets not even talk about this! I finally have it now but I haven’t read it yet!
  5. Finish my Novels page on this blog! I did it, and even posted my first WIP novel ‘Tales of Monsters’, you can find it here!

There were also a few extra things that happened this month. First off, I started a new job. It’s much better than my last one, but still, it’s not great. Secondly, my hamster, Mouse, had his operation, and he came out better than ever! And, something that wasn’t planned, at all, included my dad trying to cut off his own hand. He had to spend two nights in hospital because of it, and hopefully, he might be a bit more careful the next time he uses a circular saw thing!

As I said towards the top, I also managed to read like six books, plus beta read one fairy tale retelling – Melody by Penny Kearney – and the beginning of an epic fantasy. Both of them felt like a privileged to read, and they need to be on your TBR lists once their out in the world! I’ll be sure to let you guys know all about them when the time comes!

The published books I read included Secret of Souls by Aubrie Nixon, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Traitors Blade by Sebastien de Castell, Mike Thomas’ Ash and Bones, Leigh Bardurgo Six of Crows and Michael Morpurgo’s Listen to the Moon! A load of reviews to come!

I spent some of the month also prepping myself for NaNoWriMo, and I am so excited to write this novel, I really hope it keeps the motivation and the inspiration there for me to get to the end!

This also means though, that this month, I want to dedicate all of my writing efforts to Nanowrimo, and that means I need to put ‘Tales of Monsters’ to bed for the month. I have to say goodbye to one, and hello to another, and even though it’s not goodbye forever, it feels like I’m losing a limb or something. But, if I don’t do it, my Nanowirmo project won’t get what it needs, and I think it’ll be good to have a break between this draft of ‘TOM’ and the next! I honestly learned that there’s no point in me rushing it, it’s a big world and it needs to be right, and I also need to get it ready enough for beta readers, so, if you’re looking for a medieval type fantasy with some monsters in it, watch this space!

Another reason for this is that my NaNoWriMo project started off as something quite simple. But, lately, it’s started to grow even more inside of my mind, the contrasts and the comparisons that link in with my two main characters are getting intense, and quite deep, and I only hope that it works out the way it is in my head! There’s no real end goal, not really. A child is in no way going to find the cure to a zombie apocalypse, and neither is they guy who found her diary, but maybe they can find themselves at the end of it, or perhaps Al decides he wants to find this little girl whose diary he’s reading; but, if she doesn’t have her diary anymore, does he really? Or, maybe, in true zombie fashion, they both die at the end.

However, if anything, I really hope that the children in this book show the adults how it’s done! Mel is a strong little thing, despite being eleven years old, and I’m hoping that the innocence of a child will show all the downfalls that adults go through in times of peril!

So, my goals for this month include:

  1. Write a novel in 30 days (or 50k at least).
  2. Don’t pick up Tales of Monsters, at all!
  3. Keep up with a couple writing Insta challenges.
  4. Read at least one book – Most likely World War Z…
  5. Keep up with Wednesday blog posts – even if their just small NaNoWriMo updates!

So, here’s to November, to the month of fall, to the day the Zombie apocalypse begins and to all the others out there attempting the NaNoWriMo challenge

These are the challenges I’m taking part in! I know it seems like a lot, but it means I can connect with more writers and fellow NaNoDoers!

Just keep writing is the best advice I can give to some of you this month! And, keep trucking on and completing all the goals you set yourself!

Preptober, Readathons and an Operation on a Hamster?!? (October Wishlist)

You know, I already started writing this post, when I decided to look back at my wishlist for September to remind me of what I’ve written. But, as I was on my phone, it meant that I had to go out of the writing post bit and to the old one. Safe to say, when I wanted to return to the post I was writing, it wasn’t there… And I seriously think it was one of the best I have ever written, and now, this is probably going to be a haphazardly mediocre post of me trying to remember the really ‘cool’ sentences that I wrote before!

(I’ve also just a finished a whole big bar of malteasers… That’s how this October is going to start)

So yeah, welcome to October everyone!

Last month, I had one goal, one wish… And that was to go to Hogwarts… But I missed the train, the platform was closed… And instead, I had to toilet train the little monster we call Albert (or little sh*t). Let’s just say, that, if anything, he now poops outside our back door. Sometimes, right by the step, other times, a little further away (we have like a little covering of sheds and outbuildings that lead in to our outside garden – but it’s still technically outside so he’s one step closer). And the weewee’s happen outside most of the time, unless the door is shut or he get’s too distracted whilst playing with one of us or the big dog. Although, he uses the puppy pads more often than not, and will go out for a weewee in the mornings if you go with him..

He doesn’t seem to like the dark all that much though. Once, I came home from work, took him outside, looked down at him and he turned, walked back in to the house and weed on the carpet… So, yeah… Now, both me and the big dog go out with him, and he’s got much better, although, the little wuss doesn’t like rain all that much either, so yeah!

He did get a big boy collar though! He used to have a cat one, now he has a puppy one!

So, puppy training continues for this month and many more months to follow, I’m sure, but hopefully, now, once he has his injections on the 2nd, he can go out and experience the world and run off some of that energy that he likes to use to rag our poor Springer around the house with, or jump on top of our old Shihtzu who has no want at all to be his friend..


Last month, I also had other things I wanted to get done, which went in this order!

  1. Finish editing Tales of Monsters…

This hasn’t happened, but it’s more because I’ve added a new concept in, and I’ve been enjoying it so I wouldn’t say that was a fail in anyway. I really have loved giving this character a whole new ‘little’ adventure, and I think it adds a lot more to him, and also helps plug up some plot holes too.

2. Prep for NaNoWriMo

We’ll just talk a bit about this later…

3. Finish reading ACOTAR

Now, I really like the thought of this book. On paper, it’s a book I would read, I feel like it gives ‘Avry of Kazan’ by Maria Snyder vibes, and I loved that series, but, it’s now the second time, I’ve read it and put it down, and not looked at it again. There’s nothing wrong with it, the writing’s good as far as I can see, but I just can’t get in to it. I want to, just because of all the hype about it. I want to be a part of the Feyre and Reese fan club (even though I have no idea who he is yet), but I don’t know if it’s a reading slump, or the hype killed it for me…

I guess, if anything, the three books will look pretty on my bookshelf! Of which I got a third one of because I had so many charity shop book hauls this month! Make sure you go check out my post to see the pure joys of a charity shop book haul!

However, I have read some stuff this month. Not a lot in any sense of the word, I think it was just two books actually. The first was the new House of Night book Otherworld: Loved by P.C and Kristin Cast, that I have been waiting for, forever! And I will have a review up for this Friday! And A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which I honestly fell in love with, and now I want to watch the movie so bad!

But, this month, as well as Acotar, I also DNF’d two other books, and that was The Hobbit (it’s their birthday month and I thought I could do it, but I couldn’t) and then The Time Travellers Wife, which I really enjoyed, but it was so easy to put down and not pick up. When I read it, I enjoyed it, but then it would be put down, and the magic vanished!

I did make myself a TBR jar, and A Monster Calls, The Hobbit and The Time Travellers Wife all came from it, but I’ve figured that since I read Loved and A Monster Calls during my time off from work, and I didn’t feel like writing because my friend was there, it was much easier to read a book, and I think that’s what I need, time that’s un-interrupted and hopefully, I’ll have a lot more of that in these coming months.

I also got myself Stephen Kings The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, a collection of short stories, and although, work has been hectic this last week and meant that I haven’t had the brain capacity to read, I will finish this book. I love his writing so much, I don’t know why I haven’t read it sooner.

4. Keep up with blog posting

I’ve actually done that this month! Other than not getting some reviews up which I wanted, I’ve stuck with my Wednesday posts and I have even more scheduled! I’ve also finished said reviews (mostly), and it means I should have a book review up for the first two weeks in October!

5. Keep up with the #ShowUp100 Challenge!

So, if anything, I have been doing this. I spent a lot of time editing my WIP, writing blog posts and all that. I haven’t recorded it all, but it’s happened and I probably have perhaps a good twenty-five days under my belt! That’s already more than 0, so I wan that challenge!

And now, on to October!

The month of prep for the dreaded NaNoWriMo, which I’ve participated in numerous time and always lost… But, I think it’s more because I tried to re-write stuff for it, or use old ideas that didn’t have enough substance, or inspiration. I’ve started prepping my story early, and I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen in it. I also decided out of the two story ideas which I would prefer to write! The other story can wait for a minute longer!

The one I’m prepping is a genre I’ve written in, but it’s not my go-to genre. And it’s not the most original idea, but it’s something I want to write about, so why not. Perhaps the motivation and the inspiration will stay that bit longer! And, to help me write this thing, I’ve also created a 30 day insta challenge (for November) that hopefully, will help to keep the inspiration there! (If anyone would like to co-host, give me a message and I’ll add your name on! It’s not been published on insta yet!)


If anyone want’s to join in, make sure to tag me in your posts!

And let Preptober begin!

Also, this month, tomorrow actually, the 2nd, my little Russian hamster, Mouse, goes to the vets for an operation! It might sound completely delirious to some people, he is only a hamster after all, but he’s my hamster, and I will be heart broken if he dies, so I’m giving him the best chance he has, and making sure he lives that little extra longer! (I don’t know if them words go together or not…)

He has this horrible looking growth on his ear, and it could be cancer, it could be benign, it could even grow back, but what it will do is keep growing – if it’s not removed – and that will throw his balance off and all sorts, and he’s come too far not to get to his first gotcha-day (22nd November). Fingers crossed that the operation goes smoothly and he comes out of it a very contented – drunkified on gas and air – hamster who lives a happy life!

Now, on to them wishes on my October wishlist!

  1. Finish editing TOM
  2. Prep, prep, prep
  3. Take part in at least two readathons
  4. Read Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell (It comes out on the 5th and I can’t wait!)
  5. Finish my Novels page on this blog!

I also forgot to tell you guys some amazing news! I got a new job and I start tomorrow! It’s Monday to Friday, during the days, and I can finally have my life, and my sleep back. I love the people on the night shift at the Odeon, but damn it, I miss my bed and sleeping in the dark! And I have my weekends back! I can go outside during the day and not be tired! I can have readathons guys! I can sit and read a book and not have to worry about having to go to work!

(I’m like screaming silently right now)

But, I don’t finish my night shifts until the 3rd, so my first two days are going to be super! Yay!

Anyhow, hello October, I look forward to all the things you’re going to bring, and all the books I will read, all the prep I will do, and all the leaf piles I can jump in. Hello Fall, hello Autumn, it’s been too long!

I’m also hosting this little #ShadowblackReleaseParty photo prompt challenge because I loved Sebastien de Castells Spellslinger so much (which you can find a review of here), and I’m so excited for this book to be out in the world!