Week 11/52 Writing Update: Just Keep Writing

So, this week, it started off great! I got through writing a scene that was really hard to write – in the sense that it finally actually made sense – and then my laptop died, and I lost it all…

So, now, I have no laptop, no current draft, and I cried…

The worst thing was, I was essentially fine with Tales of Monsters – which won’t be going out to beta-readers this month now – because I knew I had some sort of old draft saved on a memory stick, and I do have the printed version before the current in a file in my bedroom, but damn, if I had actually lost my nanowrimo project from 2017, I would never be able to pull myself to write it ever again.

Melanie and Al would just be two characters that got lost in the inter webs and never seen again.

But, alas, the genius that I am – only sometimes (probably less than sometimes) decided that I would save it on my memory stick on the 19/11/2017. The day I actually finished writing it.

Although, for all I know, the file might be corrupted because my mums laptop won’t open it…

I’m hoping though, if anything, the place I’m gonna phone tomorrow will be able to save it – and the obvious hundreds of photos I might never see again…

So, yeah, great week, even had a nandos, even read John Greens Paper Towns, it even snowed again (yay), but yeah, it didn’t end too well.

So, this week will either include me rewriting said draft on this tablet I write on now or, continuing my current draft on my laptop which hopefully gets fixed some time this week; or I have to buy a new laptop and hope that if they can’t fix it, they can atleast save my hardrive.

I think, if anything, a new laptop is on the cards, but when that will happen, I don’t know.

If anything though, it has just assured me even more that this writing thing is definitely what I want do – because the doubts lately have been a bit too much – but now I’m sure.

Thankfully, I have some blog posts all ready to go! Their just bookish unboxings, but, their both fun and I might throw in this book review I’ve been meaning to finish and publish – which will go great with my little beta-reader series because it’s one I beta-read!

What kind of blog posts are you planning this week? I’d love to hear about them!

But, until then guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

P.S. Neither my phone or tablet tells me of my spelling mistakes so please forgive me if there are any!

Week 10/52 Writing Update & Adding More Layers

So, this past week, it’s consisted of me writing up an extra chapter, adding some more bones to a character, finishing off a few more chapters for my beta document and writing up a bit of my beta survey!

I also had the chance to dive in to my main characters moms! The challenge #MYMCSMOM was something that both me and my friend, Andrew Henley, popped together at the beginning of the week! It was a great way for me to learn more about Lauryns mum, Willow, from my current WIP Tales of Monsters, and Mels mum, Jackie from my NaNoWriMo project ‘Diary of a Child Zombie Killer’, as well as allowing a platform for others to do the same!

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Check out the #MYMCSMOM tag on instagram if you want to check out all the entries!

The challenge also allowed me to add a bit more depth to my story line – particularly with Tales of Monsters – and made some things a lot easier to understand.

It still sort of scares me though; the layers that this fantasy series might end up with! It might not live up to the whole complicated world that is Game of Thrones, but you know what, it might actually come close when it’s all finished and polished.

Diaries won’t be nearly as layered – its much more straight forward, Mel’s mum, Jackie, still surprised me a little! Mels mum, being a zombie for more time than we actually see her alive means that she doesn’t have that big of an impact on Mels story-driven-life (in a certain way), and I think the fact that Mels mum was always working anyway, and that her dad was Mels main care-giver, that not having her mum wasn’t that much of a big deal?

Or maybe, it was easier for her to adjust to the aspect – although, she does miss being taken cared off – but what kid wouldn’t? (Hell, what adult doesn’t every now and then?)

Concerning my beta-reader survey too, I also came across a load of helpful questions that you should ask critique partners, or readers of your manuscript, like it’s no one’s business! They’ve been absolutely everywhere on my IG feed, and I’ve even come across a few on wordpress without even looking for them!

I’ve picked out a few thatI think I’m gonna end up using for my more general questions, and then, I have a whole page in my bujo of things more specific and ‘spoilery’!

I’m really hoping to document my whole beta-reading process, for both myself and anyone who’s interested in knowing about it, and I’ll be sure to write up a blog post on the process of writing up a beta-survey once mines done (and whether it actually works the way I want it to).

Despite all this, half way through the week, it was looking very bleak! I thought it was going to be a little bit of a bust – I had only got that extra chapter written by the weekend, plus the MC’s mom challenge in action, and I’d been working too much to even comprehend doing much more than sleeping and eating!

However, I’m quite a ways in to beta-reading part one of a nordic fantasy novel for someone on insta, and I managed to get out three blog posts too!

And then, after a very busy Saturday morning, and mostly a lay-about evening feeling a little sick, I managed to do some writing! Followed by Sunday, and after work and a beef dinner, and one of those food coma naps, I woke up and did some more writing!

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So, in all, the weekend sort of made up for all the crazy and got me that bit closer to sending out my manuscript to beta-readers!

For this coming week, I’m planning my usual Wednesday blog post, with maybe an extra on Friday if it all works out! But, I’m also planning a week-long series of blog posts – most probably for April when I’m not obsessing over Tales of Monsters anymore, but only time will tell for that one!

What are your plans for this week?

To finish this weekly update off, I’m gonna leave you guys here with my favourite quote from my writing this last week:

‘But to allow smaller men than you to take the applause, will only result in smaller men taking the lead’

Until next time guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

#MyCharactersAreReal Tag Part 5: The Reader of a Child Zombie Killers Diary

So, to finish off this tag, I’ve decided to group the whole of the questions in to one blog post and tell you all about the reader of Mel’s diary – Albert!

To check out Melanies four-part character development series, click here to start at part one!

Abert (or Al) is my second protagonist 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, check it out below!

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Set in a zombie apocalyptic Britain, a forty-year old guy called Al finds the diary of the twelve-year-old Melanie. Inside, it documents the beginning of the apocalypse and the world she experiences. He doesn’t want it to ever finish; but he can see the un-penned, blank pages at the end. Did she decide she didn’t need it? Did she lose it? Or did she die…

My Main Character:

A forty-year old called Albert (or Al).

Their Backstory:

Al lived with his wife and daughter, and short of being a very important buisness man in his earlier years, he’s now a proud house husband who cooks the dinners, does the washing and make sure his daughter get’s to school on time! His wife is part of a team of scientists, who may or may not have started the zombie apocalypse in the first place.

What Does Your Main Character Value?

Above all else, he values family and friends. Which he doesn’t have many off at any point in his life, but, still, he wouldn’t be without them.

What is Your Characters Most Valuable Trait?

Al is very reasonable when he needs to be. He can quite easy diffuse stupid confrontations and dilemmas, and is definitely someone you can go to if you want some hard-truths.

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

This is a hard one, but he would have probably been Gluttony before the apocalypse started. He really does love his food, and even now, he’s more likely to eat a chocolate bar he finds than give it to his daughter.

What Makes Your Character Relatable?

Al’s absolutely terrified of what the world will do to him if he lets it. He feels like he often has no idea what he’s doing, and the lack of control easily makes him go mad!

What Does Your Character Consider Immoral?

Murder. Although he has killed live people before, he thinks it’s completely immoral and shouldn’t ever be done.

And What Moral Might Your Character Excuse or Sidestep?

Betrayal. But, only because, the world they live in, people are going to focus on themselves and the people they love before anyone else, and how can you hold that against them.

Who Does Your Character Love More Than Anything or Anybody?

Al loves his daughter – Josie.

Who Gets Under Your Characters Skin?

Josie! She’s growing up and being a typical teenager who whines and moans when she doesn’t get what she wants..

Who or What Could Break Your Character (even if it doesn’t happen in your book)

Being alone would end up killing him. He’d hate to lose his daughter, or to be bitten by a zombie, but being alone would break him in to pieces you could not fix.

Who or What is a Bad Influence on Your Character?

His apocalypse-born best friend, Rhys, is the baddest influence of all! He encourages Al to let loose a little bit, and, gives him a chance to be the immature bachelor he never got to be!

Is Your Character the One to Instigate the Fight, Break it up or Stand Back?

With his reasonability, Al is most likely going to be the one who breaks up a fight.

When Someone First Meets Your Character, What do They Think of Them?

From looking at him, he looks old and cold. And, very stand-offish, but he’s quite soft and kind, and deep down, a good guy.

What Does Your Character Look for in an Ally or Friend?

Like Mel, he looks for trust! It’s now one of the most important things that you can hold on to.

What Would be on Your Main Characters Bucket List?

Al has always wanted to live in a house where one of the rooms is lined with book cases, preferably filled with memoirs!

He also wanted to be a milk man when he was little!

What are Your Characters Emotional Strengths and Weaknesses?

Strengths

He’s been through a lot, and he’s very street-wise!

Weakness’

Al finds very easy to get anxious and depressed, and in turn, turn in to a very moany and sulky person.

What are you Characters Physical Strengths and Weaknesses?

Strengths

Al is quite strong, thanks to all the fat he once had from his over-eating that turned to muscle because of all the running and carrying he does!

Weakness’

Al finds it really hard to climb. If it wasn’t for Rhys having the strength to pull him up over walls and on to the top of bins, he would probably be dead by now. It’s not that he’s not strong enough to do it, he’s just scared of heights and the fear of it effects him a lot more than he’d like to admit!

What Does Your Character do When They’re Upset?

Al will read when he’s upset – which means he’s able to read Mel’s diary quite quickly as a lot of horrible things start to happen between the time he finds it, and the time he finishes.

Special Skills and/or Weapon of Choice?

Al loves his shovels and spades! He has an old rusty one that he keeps near his bed, just in case, but is always on the look out for a nice, non-rusted one that perhaps someone left in a shed and forgot about.

Still not found one yet, but he’s still hoping!

What is Your Character’s Greatest Fear?

The same thing that would break him – being alone!

Significant Objects or Symbols for Your Character?

Melanie’s Diary! Obviously!

And, a swiss army ruck sack that he found early on in the apocalypse and carries around with him everywhere!

Nervous Habits or Ticks?

When he’s nervous, Al scratches at his ear. Not many people notice it, but Rhys does! And, uses it to make sure that his friend stays calm, and helps him get through it without letting him know that he knows.

Do They Immediately Say Whats on Their Mind or Put Their Thoughts Through a Filter?

Al can be very rash, and sometimes, he just doesn’t think before he says things. It can get him in trouble, but, it can also get him out of a lot of trouble too!

What Does it Take to Tick Them Off?

Stragglers and bums! Al really detests people who sit on their arses and don’t do anything, and in the apocalyptic world, bums are even more noticeable, but, half the time, their the ones that get killed first, much to the guilty pressure of Al!

However, stragglers also annoy the hell out of him. In this world, you can’t be slow, but, he does make exceptions. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have his best friend Rhys, and, he wouldn’t have his wise old man Patrick!

In Most Situations if Your Character Passive, Aggressive or Defensive?

Al has always been very defensive, but, not always in a judgmental, defend his honor kind of way. He’s defensive in the way that he would only fight back if the need arose – which includes risk to his life, and risk to the lives of his group.

On a Scale of One to Ten, How Patient is Your Character?

Al ranges about six out of ten on the patient scale! Not too great at all, but still, he can hold it back a bit more than some people!

In What Ways Could Your Character Grow as a Person?

Take a few more risks, and be a bit more immature before the world takes his life away.

What Does Your Character Learn by The End of The Story?

He learns to face his fears for the ones he loves.

And maybe he also dies, just like Melanie. Or maybe they meet up and become a super-group.. Or maybe he turns in to a zombie. Maybe I have no idea what happens to him…

This is just a little aesthetic board that I created for Al! I think it sums him up perfectly!


And, I’m hoping to start posting a bit more! It won’t be every day, but perhaps every two days, you’ll have something new to read on my blog if you wish too!

So, until next time guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

FOB, Beta-Reading and Camp NaNo Prep (February Wrap-up & March Goals)

So, we’re on that cusp guys. The cusp between the Winter (which by the looks of it doesn’t want to leave) and the Spring (I have already heard the baby birds in a roost above my window), and, it’s also, already the beginning of the third month of the year!

Like, how did that even happen? This year is going far too quickly for my liking! But, I guess it should just make you all that more determined to get your goals done early, right?

Speakinf of goals! Before I looked at my goal list from the start of February, I felt like half of the goals I set myself didn’t get done! But, to my surprise, I only had six, and to be honest, I haven’t done all that terrible!

  1. Continue trucking on with the re-write of Tales of Monsters – Check!
  2. Keep reading – Well, a little
  3. Keep up with the double blog posts (and bujo) – Well done me!
  4. Buy Far Cry 5 and play it – Haha
  5. Participate in three insta challenges this month – One and a half!
  6. Start DIY Double Decker Hamster Home – Nope…

The writings been going okay. It went really slow at the beginning, but then I found some sort of spurt and went back in to old-time rereading editing, rather than rewriting it! I’m not in the right mindset, and most of it makes sense. It still needs a few things added here and there, but, it’s good.

So, yeah, I’m slowly getting through to the last chapters now – there’s a couple that need to change (almost completely, after I’ve already re-written them) but, if they are changed, it gives book two a better chance at going the way it’s going, but, we’ll just see how all that pans out in the end.

And, that reading thing?

Well, other than reading Until You Are Mine by D.M.Davis, and some short stories from Grimm Brothers Book of Fairytales, I haven’t read much else ither than blog and instagram posts!

I must have read myself out in January or something! Poor Crooked Kingdoms been sat there on my bedside DVD locker, gathering dust for a whole month… It happened with Six Of Crows as well though, it was just so easy to put down and not pick up for the longest of times, but I’d still give it a 4.5*! I liked the characters, and the whole concept, I think it just lacked in the hype somewhere!

What has been good though, is other than the Grimm Brothers Book of Fairytales which I couldn’t let go for £4.95 at the charity shop, and a Tyrion Lannister quote book that I got for a pound in a clearance sale, (plus two 99p ebooks) I haven’t bought tons of books this month!

My TBR has not grown, at all! And I’m quite pleased with myself!

I kept up with my double blog posts and my bullet journal, which is the one thing I’m most surprised at! I really thought that bujoing would turn in to a one trick kinf of pony -it usually does – but nope, managed to keep it going, so, go me!

I also kept up with some instagram challenges, particularly the #HayleySoonChallenge, and I did half of the #CharactersInLove challenge! I’ve also posted a few #FaveLineFebs on my current WIP and added one of those story highlights to keep them all together – Now, that was fun!

And, let’s just say, it’s pretty obvious that no one game savvy (or at least a FarCry lover) reads these posts because I didn’t realise that it didn’t come out until the 28th March…

And that great idea of the DIY Hamster cage was also put on hold! I lost one of my hamsters early in the month and I think it really set the tone for the days to come! I wasn’t expecting it and it really threw me off!

You kind of forget how much of an impact they have on you, even when they are only a few inches long, you know?

Personally, not much happened this month, but I did receive my beta-reader package

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from Andrew Henley for his book Hayley Soon, which actually comes out today, and is available on amazon kindle for 99p! You can also get the paperback (The cover is gorgeous! Photos just don’t do the colors on it justice) on his website and on amazon!

Goodreads
Amazon UK
Andrew’s Website

March’s goals include the following:

  1. Finish and send Tales of Monsters to Beta-Readers
  2. Finish up Beta-Reading Survey
  3. Do a little prep for Camp NaNoWriMo
  4. Read some books from the TBR
  5. Go and see Fall Out Boy!
  6. Do a little prep for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo

That’s not too much of a hard way to go, now is it? Nice short little goal list for a very long month! The last week of which will be filled with adult stuff, and my 24th birthday on that last day of the month too!

The first one is already very much planned, the beta reader list has been created (still gaps if anyone else wants to take the plunge). The survey I’m hoping to send out with it might be more like a letter than a survey at the rate it’s going. I have so many worries with it, and I’m hoping, that, if anything, giving Tales to beta-readers will give me some sort of clarity, or closure??

I think I’ve just got to a point where I need help with it, I need a different pair (or pairs) of eyes on it! I’m sure I’ll have a whole blog post about the process when it comes to it! The nerves are already getting at me…

This month, I’m also going to see Fall Out Boy on their Mania tour, and I am so excited! I’ve wanted to see them for years, but shy of not having anyone to go with in the past, when my friend phoned me up and said she and two others were getting tickets, how could I say no?

This album has also really helped me with my current WIP as well, in terms of themes to come in the later books, so I’m sure hearing it in the flesh will bring up whole emotions in itself (I know I’m already gonna cry a little anyway).

And, prepping for camp nano starts as well! In April, I’m hoping to go back to The Diary of a Child Zombie Killer and get the second draft of that at least started, but considering it is only about 50k odd words, I think I might be able to do it in the month! – It’s more getting the layout sorted than actually adding or taking away anything. There’s a new concept that I have to add in, but, because the book feels that much more personal than anything I’ve written before, it won’t take me long to write and add them in!

I’m honestly hoping to get that out to beta-readers a lot quicker than Tales, especially because it’s just so much easier to read and get my head around than Tales is! No prophecies to worry about, or any foreshadowing needed here! (And if I can let Tales be read, I’ve already jumped over that hurdle; and jumping backwards is a lot worse than jumping forwards).

Al, my main guy in Diaries will also be getting his own post on Sunday, but, it’s most likely just going to be a one part wonder sort of thing! I have a load of books that I’ve written (or started) writing reviews for, so I’m hoping to get some of those written up and posted!

I also have a couple of instagram challenges that I’m gonna try and keep up with this month too! There’s no point in adding it to my goals list, the last week of March is gonna be busy as hell for me, and I can just see myself missing out a few days!

What have you guys got planned for the month ahead? I’d love to know!

Until the weekend though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

Heller’s Catch-22 Got 22 Rejections

Another guest post from me over at WelcometoRealiti’s blog for his month of 22 themed posts! Make sure to go over and say Hi and follow the man whilst your there!

And Agatha Christie got 500 – so whats your lame excuse for giving up after one?
If you’re a writer, or anything for that matter; in life, you’re going to be rejected, and today, I’m going to tell you about some of the best-selling authors who didn’t give up at that first hurdle on the track…

via Heller’s Catch 22 got 22 rejections —

#MyCharactersAreReal Tag Part 4: The End Of A Child Zombie Killer?

So, this is the last part of the #MyCharactersAreReal tag, and most probably, gonna be the last post about Melanie for at least a month or so! I’m still toying with the idea of doing another four posts, all with the questions from this challenge going to Albert – the forty-odd year old guy who finds Mel’s diary – but I haven’t decided on it yet!

Anyway, if you haven’t seen the other three parts yet. Here are the links to them: Part One, Part Two & Part Three.

And, here is a synopsis for the Nanowrimo project this whole tag is based on!

Set in a zombie apocalyptic Britain, a forty-year old guy called Al, finds a diary of the twelve-year-old Melanie. Inside, it documents the beginning of the apocalypse and the world she experiences. He doesn’t want it to ever finish; but he can see the un-penned, blank pages at the end. Did she decide she didn’t need it? Did she lose it? Or did she die…

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Nervous Habits or Ticks?

Although, not mentioned in the diary, because it’s not really something that Melanie notices, because it’s something she sort of does unintentionally, is bob her knee when she’s nervous!

Do They Immediately Say Whats on Their Mind or Put Their Thoughts Through a Filter?

She thinks before she speaks. She’s a well-mannered kid most of the time, and she knows how much words can hurt you. This doesn’t mean that in tense moments, she won’t say things that could potentially hurt people, but, in every day life, she thinks about the words.

What Does it Take to Tick Them Off?

Liars really tick her off, only because she see’s no real need for it. White lies, fair enough, but not the sort of lies that can hurt you, that could end up killing someone if you said them enough. The world she lives in needs trust now than anything else, and it’s hard to come by, even in the early months.

In Most Situations if Your Character Passive, Aggressive or Defensive?

To begin with, she’s very passive, she doesn’t like to fight. She’d much rather run away, but as time goes on, she becomes defensive, but, if she didn’t, she’d end up dead. Simple as that.

On a Scale of One to Ten, How Patient is Your Character?

Probably an eight out of ten. She’s not easily rused, and she can accept that people aren’t perfect at it the first time. I think kids have a lot more tolerance than grown ups, which mean they have a better advantage at accepting people as they are, and therefor, living longer.

In What Ways Could Your Character Grow as a Person?

Melanie could probably benefit at being able to read people better, but, I’m sure she’s on the right track.

What Does Your Character Learn by The End of The Story?

If you look long enough, you can make yourself believe that the monsters are your friends….

Or, maybe I have no idea yet. Or maybe she dies, and gets eaten by zombies. Or she turns in to one. Who knows?

I do!


Anyway, that was the end of this! It’s been a bit different, using an instagram tag as a blog post, but it’s been nice to sort of delve back in to Mel’s journey and look at some things I perhaps hadn’t considered before!

By the end of this post now, I think I’ve decided that I will continue the tag over for Albert, considering he is the other main character and need’s just as much development as Mel does! So, if you’re feeling it, look out for it next Sunday! Whether it’ll be a whole post with all the questions, or split out over two parts – or four, I’m not sure yet, but, it’ll happen! I’ll need it for when camp nano comes back around in April!

Also this following week, I have my second guest post over at WelcometoRealiti’s blog publishing itself on Tuesday I believe, and my monthly wrap-up on Wednesday!

I can’t believe February is already over. Like, how the heck did that even happen?

Anyway, until then,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade

#MyCharactersAreReal Tag Part 3: The Child Zombie Killers Diary

Every day, I get even more excited about going back to this story!

Check out Part One & Part Two

And, as always, here’s a synopsis so you know what I’m talking about:

Set in a zombie apocalyptic Britain, a forty-year old guy called Al, finds a diary of the twelve-year-old Melanie. Inside, it documents the beginning of the apocalypse and the world she experiences. He doesn’t want it to ever finish; but he can see the un-penned, blank pages at the end. Did she decide she didn’t need it? Did she lose it? Or did she die…

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What Would be on Your Main Characters Bucket List?

Melanie has always wanted to travel, but not, like continuously. She wants to travel for a little bit, experience some of the wonders of the world; and then settle down somewhere that isn’t her home town, get married, have kids and adopt a load of dogs!

She also wants to be a zoo keeper!

What are Your Characters Emotional Strengths and Weaknesses?

Strengths

Melanie has already experience a lot of loss and grief in her young life, so she’s more emotionally prepared for the losses she’s going to experience!

Her father left them when she was six, she lost her grandparents when she was eight,(one after the other) and more recently, her mum miscarried their baby brother eight months in to her pregnancy.

They also lost Bilbo the dog quite recently as well, which, in turn, gave them Tigs the cat!

Weakness’

To begin with, Melanie does have a tendency to depend on others a bit too much. As much as she likes to be seen as a grown-up, she also likes to be looked after and cared for – which can mean she can turn a bit lax on what’s really happening around her.

But, she’s twelve, you can’t really blame her for wanting to be looked after, can you?

What are you Characters Physical Strengths and Weaknesses?

Strengths

Mel and her step-dad used to go on run’s together. She’s good at sprinting, and being able to keep herself at a steady pace! (Which is great when you have to run away from zombies – or other people)

Weakness’

Mel isn’t very strong, or very tall, which can be a little inconvenient when your trying to climb or pull yourself up on to something.

What Does Your Character do When They’re Upset?

Mel likes to write when she’s upset, or when she’s feeling anything at all, really!

Special Skills and/or Weapon of Choice?

Honestly, Mel just uses anything to hand! Shovels, iron crow bars and frying pans are some of her preferred defenses, but it just depends on where she is and how many there are!

The worst thing about being a kid in a British zombie apocalypse is that guns are completely impossible to get a hold off.

What is Your Character’s Greatest Fear?

Melanie’s greatest fear, above losing Tigs the cat, is ending up all alone.

If it wasn’t for Tigs lying on her sleeping bag at night, when their in between groups, Melanie would have lost all hope and got far too careless. Tigs may only be a cat, but she’s the only thing Melanie has left, and her only (semi) constant companion.

Significant Objects or Symbols for Your Character?

Melanie’s Diary!

Her diary is the one thing she has where she can vent, and moan, and ramble, and just write about the day she’s had, the people she’s met, the people she’s killed, the zombies she’s dodged, and the antics that she get’s up to! It’s something that helps to keep her sane, to help her remember who she is and what she’s going through.

She also loves the idea of documenting the zombie apocalypse, and, although, the facts are warped by a twelve-year-old brain, it details all the little happenings of the people that wouldn’t be recorded in the history books!

The diary is also the most important piece, as it connects both Melanie and Albert! It becomes a staple part of both of them! For Mel, it’s an escape, and for Albert, it’s hope.

Next Sunday, the last part of this tag will be posted! It’s been so fun and exciting to get myself back in to this novel! I’m hoping that I’ll have a spurt of motivation to finish off the beta-draft of Tales of Monsters before March comes around, but, we’ll just have to wait and see about that!

Whatever happens though, I’m hoping that both Tales of Monsters is beta reader ready, and DOACZK is at least a finished second draft by the time November comes back around, because, the ideas of what to write for NaNoWriMo are already swirling inside of my head, and I can’t wait!

On Wednesday (21st), I’m guest blogging over at Welcome to Realiti’s, so make sure to check that out! (Or just check him out anyway!)

Until next time though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

Check out Part Four

Writing: A Letter to ‘The More Than Just a Love-Interest’: Harry

For Valentines day, I thought it best to address my protagonist Love Interest, Harry, from my current WIP Tales of Monsters.

He was the second character which I developed for the series, so he’s been there since the very beginning! He’s been through all the changes and heart ache just like Lauryn has, so I felt it necessary to send him a letter, just as I did Lauryn, some time ago (you can find it here)


Dear Harry…

First off, I’ll tell you some home truths.

  • Your an arrogant asshole;
  • You depress me, and;
  • You really need to stop being such a dick all the time.

Besides all that, I love the way you are, I love the quick snipes, sarcastic words, and your little bits of knowledge that you like to spout out every once in a while, and, I guess, I wouldn’t want you to be any other way! And neither would she.

You also, already, know that you have to laugh in the face of danger – in hopes that it will run away because it thinks your crazy – and in your world, that’s one of the best things you can do with some of the people you come across!

You know who I mean right?

However, I didn’t have to tell you any of that, because, you know deep down what you’re like. You know you’re weaknesses and you’re strengths; you know who’s stronger than you. It doesn’t mean you ever have to admit it. I wouldn’t make you do that (because I know you’ll come a point where you’ll have no choice).

I know I haven’t been very nice to you,. I haven’t been very nice to any of you, but, what’s the world without a little bit of tension right? You’d agree with that at least…

Anyway, you know what Harry, this doesn’t have to be a long letter. You don’t need it, just do me a favor and just keep going; keep hanging on to people you don’t want to hang on to – I promise you there’s a reason for that unlikely travel companion you had (and I think you can forgive me on that note, now, anyway).

It is true though, the more you hang on, the more you lose, but, would you rather lose it or never have it. You wouldn’t be you without it, and you wouldn’t have lasted as long as you have. You would never have been a part of a story only tales could tell. The world would have gobbled you up and not spat you back out. And I think you know that.

And the world would, indeed, be a much darker place without you.

And, one last thing, above all the rest. Make sure you keep that promise Harry, from your first breath until your last…

Love,

The truest friend you’ll ever have,

Jade x


So, I’ve had this letter drafted for months – roundabout the time I wrote up Lauryns – but, this one, it’s not really as telling as that letter. But Harry, as a character, doesn’t need as much telling as Lauryn does.

He knows the score even though he doesn’t, you know?

Anyway, back to the point of this blog post.

In almost every book, tv show or movie, the protagonist always has some sort of love-interest! Even MG books have that girl or boy next door that they fancy the pants off, and honestly, they all can get a bad rep pretty easily!

Sometimes, they’re only really there to develop the main character and don’t have any substance themselves, and even though, that is a great part of Harry’s plot, I have always seen him as his own person, and sometimes, he almost acts like the main character.

But that’s what you need to remember, with love-interests, and sub-characters in general, they need to have substance. They need to have a real reason to be a part of this story your writing, they need to have a part to play in the bigger picture, whether it’s showing the protagonist another way of life, or saving the day at the end. They need to be just as developed as your protagonist, they need to be as real as they are!

For mine, yes, he is a love interest, and yes, he supports and helps develop Lauryns character as a whole, but he’s also an integral piece in this world I’ve created. Without him being the way he is, and the way he’s written, this story wouldn’t be half as good as I hope it is.

Harry is the head of what the old King liked to called the Skoldrick Guard. A group of powerful, respected men – who people might not like all the time – but their loyalty can never be doubted. They also swear themselves in to the Princess’ own guard, following the line of succession. They’ll do anything for each other (and the ones they protect), and honestly, anything goes.

‘Brothers in the winter, brothers in the spring, brothers in the summer, brothers in the fall, brothers until death, are we called.’

There’s obviously much more to my lovely Harry, but, you know, too many spoilers in one post, ai?

So,what do you think about the use of love interests in books, film and TV?

Do you have one in your story? I’d love to hear about them!

Until next time though,

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

Writerly Resolutions for 2018

So, I thought I’d share my official writerly resolutions for 2018!

If you read my first post of the year, you’ll know that this month, I plan on making Tales of Monsters beta-reader ready, but, I thought, to set the tone for my wednesday posts, I’d tell you about the resolutions I have!

I don’t have many, if any normal resolutions; other than to get me and my springer, Caden fit enough to take part in the tough mudder(with dogs) this summer. I don’t totally see the point of all that anymore, if I say I’m gonna lose weight and exercise more, stuff will come up and it’ll just make me feel bad!

So, I’ll have resolutions for things I know I’m passionate about, and what I want to do!

  • Get Tales of Monsters Beta Reader ready
  • Finish first draft of Tales of Ghosts
  • Detail some ins and outs of Tales of Serpents
  • Keep up with a bullet journal
  • Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo (April and June) – Edit DOACZK in at least one of them!
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo – Write ‘over and over again’ (title wip) or another DOAZK
  • Query TOM more – Getting published takes at least a year or so (especially if you go down the traditionalist route – lit agents, and then publishers aren’t known for their quick return rate – whether it ends up being a best seller or not)
  • Atleast two blog posts a week by the end of the year – Wednesday and Friday.
  • Think more about whether ‘TGOR&W’ can go anywhere
  • Write something everyday

So, there are mine! What are yours?

Until, friday?!?

Just keep writing,

Jade