Week 12/52 Writing Update: Or Life Update More Like

So, surprise, surprise, I haven’t done much writing this week…

And, if you read my last weeks writing update, you’d know that my laptop died a death and things got lost, and I was sad.

And, this last week, I’ve also had crazy shifts. Like, start at 4am, finish at 7pm, go home, have tea and go to bed…

(Me and my mum also saved an abandoned baby cactus! We’re hoping that he survives his transition in to a new pot at the moment! Fingers crossed)

I have been getting some reading in though!

I started reading the Divergent series! Book 1 was read in two days, and book 2 was read in two days as well, and I’ve just started reading book 3!

I’ve also beta-read some too! Perhaps not in the way I planned too – I usually like to add little comments as I go along, but neither my phone or tablet let that happen, so I’ve had to just write it out in an essay type form!

For this week to come, I don’t see much writing happening at all!

There will be some blog posts though! I’m going to Chester Zoo and a Fall Out Boy concert, so I’m bound to get some inspiration from them to write a few words for you guys. And, if not, I have some already prepared that I can throw out there if need be!

And, on Saturday, I’ll be turning twenty-four too! Let the birthday week commence!

What are you up to this week?

Until then though guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x


This is my newest aesthetics board for Tales of Monsters and I just thought I’d show it off here too cause I like it so much!

I’m Just Practicing…

So, I have this thing right. It’s kind of embarrassing, but no one see’s me when I’m sat on the toilet doing it, so it doesn’t matter.

I think most writers probably do this actually; whether your sat on the toilet, in the shower, in bed or looking at yourself in the mirror (or wherever you want really); and thats interview themselves (I hope other writes do this anyway, if not, just click off and act as if this post never exsisted) on the things they’ve written, whether fictional or not, and I do this all the time.

Perhaps it could be seen as self-indulgent, a bit over-dramatic, probably weird, and I should look as if my head is so big, it wouldn’t be able to get through the door.

But, isn’t that the dream?

As a writer, you want to be asked about your writing, your characters, your messages, your way of thinking, you want to be able to do something that no one else hasn’t.

And, what’s the harm in putting a bit of practice in?

And, again, just from telling my imaginary interviewer, being able to say the words out loud (or in a quiet mumbly sort of way because I’m sat in the toilets at work), I was able to think things through and even develop my plot that little bit more! I even figured out some finale details as I talked about how I felt about it all!

So, I guess, that really, what I’m asking is, does anyone else do this too?

Until then though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade

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!

Reasons You Should Be Beta-Reading

So, in my last blog post, I talked about my own experiences as a beta-reader and today, I’m gonna give you a few reasons why you should be a beta-reader too! (Whether your a writer or not).

We’re just gonna jump straight in to it!

  • You get free books!

Now, this might not be one of the best reasons – it sounds kind of selfish actually, but essentially, you could be reading the foundations of a best-seller and you might not even know! You might even find your next favourite read – and, you can call yourself the starter of the original fandom!

  • You don’t feel so alone!

When I first started beta-reading, I was worried that the manuscripts I would read would be absolutely flawless. I felt like my writing wasn’t going to compare – at all. I essentially expected books that could be put on the shelves tomorrow, and sell-out within days – and I think those were just my own insecurities and self-doubt getting the better of me – because, they weren’t flawless, they weren’t perfect. They had potential, they had everything they need to be a good, even great book, but they still needed help, and it just reminds you that absolutely everyone is in the same boat as you at one point or another!

  • You get better at critiquing stuff (including your own)!

This is an obvious one (and sort of carries on from the last)! The more you beta-read, the easier it gets. You start to understand what your role is, what your looking out for, and if your able to analyse and critique someone else’s writing, it becomes all the easier to critique and analyse your own! It’s surprising how many things you will notice that just seem so obvious to you, but, you’ve done the exact same in yours too!

  • You can explore different genres!

Beta-reading doesn’t always come in the way or genre you might prefer, but, it gives you the opportunity to try new things, to read and explore genres that perhaps you don’t feel like picking up at the book store. There’s some that I never would have picked up. I would look at the blurb and think ‘No, that’s not for me – it’s not the typical genre that I like’, but with beta-reading, it’s can be about looking at things that are different to what you like, to sort of give your two-cents on whether it might even convert you. I know a lot of mine have now.

  • You become a part of the ‘journey’!

Beta-readers can be invaluable aspects of a books development. They can make a book great, or they can slam it in to the ground. Their usually the first people that the writer has shown their work too, and, that in itself is an honor, because, if your a writer, you know how hard it can be to let your baby go.

  • You meet amazing people!

So, to follow on from the last one. The people you beta-read for can become a staple in your life. Whether it’s over the internet or in real-life, being a part of their journey means a lot to them – and it will to you too – and, they are people that perhaps you might not have got to know so well if you hadn’t!

A writers unspoken duty is to support other writers, so, get out there and help a fella out!


If you have any other reasons why you should try your hand at beta-reading, I’d love to hear from you!

Until then though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

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

The Great Blizzard of March 2018

So, it may not have been the blizzard all of us (okay, maybe just me) were hoping for, but, it gave most people down here in the south of wales a nice blanket of snow which meant that we had the day off work and a well-earned Snow day!

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And, whether you’re the adventuring type, or the the sit by the fire type, I think the snow and the pure whiteness of it can bring the good out of anyone!

Especially us creatives! Whether you go out searching for inspiration (alone or with four-legged friends) or spend the day couped up in bed with a hot drink and a notebook, you can find just as much inspiration looking out a window as you can exploring on the ground!

Me, I’m one of those adventurer types, and, so you don’t have too, I explored some woods near my house, fell over atleast twice and will probably get a cold by the end of the week!

But, I have here some photo’s that might just fit right in to a setting or a story you’ve been working on!

So, with a miniture beast who could be quite photogenic when he stopped still, I bring you some snowy images taken by me on a crappy phone as the darkness crept up on us!

This here is the start of the hill I had to walk up, and the second is part of the snow drift right next to said wall I used as cover as a cloud of snow tried to wrap itself around me!

Then, me and the pup (because the Springer could not deal with going out in the snow twice in one day) decided to head up the lanes, only to get side-tracked by a path in to the woods that surrounded us on each side!

At a certain part in my current WIP ‘Tales of Monsters’ a bunch of my characters are searching through the woods – for what, you’ll find out if you ever read it – and the winter snow has come to visit, and this, is how I envision it! There are evergreen tree’s placed here and there, but mostly, the shrubbery is bare and naked and everything is on show!

From the photo’s, you can see that as the light changed and it got darker, how the world turned that bit more blue!

And, just to add a bit more, here are some photo’s I took whilst on my way down a country lane the day after the blizzard hit! The snow was starting to retreat already, melting from the heat of the dragon (and all that stuff), but it was still pretty and white! And you could slip on your ass just as easy as before!

Dogs trust lane photos

And here are some of the illusive beast when he finally stops still!

Week 9/52 Writing Update & Favourite Quote Of The Week!

This week, I’ve been getting even closer to my goal of finishing my current ‘Tales of Monsters’ draft ready for beta-readers to get later in the month!

Currently, I’m adding in an extra chapter so that my change in ‘POV’s’ don’t look as if I’ve completely forgot about my ‘homebody’ group!

At first, I was worried that you would notice that it was just extra – maybe just filler, but it’s let me add a little more depth and knowledge to these characters!

For example, my main guy has finally released the reason to me for his inability with girls, although, below the surface, he’s fighting a harder war that even a man obsessed with monsters might not truly get!

And my monster mad Lord is also being all nice and upbeat, and himself, which, he didn’t really have time to do before the storm starts to arrive, and it’s nice to see this happy, jokey side to him that he always was, but you would never have really saw.

The only thing is, the more I write, the more this word count climbs. It’s at about 130k words now, and I still have to add some more.

Tales of Monsters definitely won’t ever be my debut novel – whether I’m lucky enough to get an agent, or I self-publish, the word-count will be too great, too much off an ask, or even a risk – especially if I went the self-publishing route.

Although, maybe that begs the question – should you give readers a taste of it first (with the average sized debut novel) or just throw it all at them and hope for the best?

Maybe that’s not a debate to get in to just yet…

Anyway, in the week to come, I’m hoping to finish off this chapter, finish off a final one I decided needed a rewrite, and put it all in to the beta-reader document!

And write-up that beta survey I just keep scribbling notes for in my journal!

To finish off this blog post, which hopefully, I can get out every monday for the weeks to come, I’m gonna share with you one of my favourite lines that I rewrote/edited?!? this week!

‘Maybe they should have killed the men that were walking away from them; but in a world with so much sorrow, hate and fire, did hope not make you wish that not every man coloured as the opposition was a villain’.

And, I’d love to know what word-count your at, and what word-count you think a debut novel should get too!

Until next time though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

Snow Day Procrastination (jadelmwrites.blog)

Today, after a whole lot of work last month (and a good pay docket yesterday), and an unexpected (but very welcomed snow day), I decided to treat myself to a premium account here on WordPress!

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I worked a hell of a lot of over time in February – hardly got anything actually done creative wise; so, I thought I should treat myself to a very early birthday present! (I turn 24 at the end of this month).

I’m really hoping this will motivate me to write even more blog posts for you guys, and to schedule myself a lot better!

I’m gonna work on getting more content out to you each week, and really working on collaborating with other great bloggers here too! (If anyone wants to guest post here or vice versa, just hit me up and we’ll sort something out!)

Now, this whole snow-day long procrastination must stop, and I have to go back to editing my WIP, stop looking out the window at the snow and try not to delve in to the world of themes I now have access too (because that will just make my brain hurt and make me want to give up on anything else creative for the day)!

I also have a lovely fantasy manuscript that I get to delve in to beta-reading tonight, and I’m so excited!

And a whole giant bar of Dairy Milk chocolate that I have to finish!

So, until next time guys,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

P.S. I’m sure to have a blog post full of snowified photos showing up here soon, because the Beast from the East, and storm Emma have combined and brought one hell of a drift to South Wales, and it’s still coming!

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 —