Three Quotes, Three Days, One Challenge: Day One

So, I had something else planned for this Wednesday, but with not enough time to put things together, here I am with a challenge that Robin-Leanne nominated me for! I love stuff like these and I can’t thank her enough!

This is one of my favourite quotes ever! I stumbled across it one day whilst browsing the internet and I’ve featured it on this blog many-a-times so I just knew this had to be featured first!

  • The Rules
  • Thank the person that nominated you!
  • Post a quote for three consecutive days (a quote a day)
  • Nominate three others to take part!

For today, I’m going to nominate:

Erica over at Readtolivetowrite

Al over at WelcometoRealiti

Louise over at Dragonspire

Week 14/52 Writing Update: Achievement Get: Procrastination

So. I’ll be honest. I haven’t really worked much on my camp nanowrimo project this week.

I’ve rewritten about 4k words and I’ve played Far Cry 5.

I been out exploring the fields of Montana! And taking down a doomsday cult and all the rest!

It’s not much of a surprise really. I knew it was going to happen and I’m kind of just accepting that.

For the week to come, I don’t know how the writing thing is gonna go. I’ve finished Far Cry – so I don’t really have all that good of an excuse.

I do have some extra hours at work though, and, as much as I think that I’ll be able to sit and get some words down whilst I’m there, my boss loves to give me the things to do that the people I’m covering never do. Because they lazy.

But, thats a rant for another day. At least I don’t get bored. I just die of dust inhalation instead.

If anything this week, I should find time to read! (I got like eight new books from the books fair, so I definitely need to start putting a dent in my TBR shelf).

This doesn’t include the ones I put aside to read for the 25in5 readathon that I just never started, and the two new books being delivered today! Although, one’s a game guide and the other is just novella size so that’s not too bad.

As long as I can get in to the groove of reading, I’ll be fine, but then, it means the groove of writing falls away….

Although, this week, I did finish beta-reading one of the manuscripts I have, and now, all I have to do is finish filling in the survey. And, I have the second part of another that I can finally get in to as well! So that will be fun!

I also have at least one other blog post planned for this week, and it will most likely be me rambling on about Far Cry 5, giving all the spoilers and figuring out if I can make my antagonist just as great as theirs are!

Anyhuw, I hope any of my fellow campers and non-campers have had a slightly better writing time than me!

Until next time,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

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

This Month Should Be Easy (March Wrap-up & April Goals)

So, this past month, it’s been a bit give and take. A lot of bad, and a lot of good…

I did turn 24 though! Yesterday in fact! And, let’s just say it! I’m almost a quarter of a century old, and that just blows my mind a little!

But, lets just quickly get in to the things that were supposed to happen this birthday month, and the things that actually did…

March’s goals included the following:

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

So, if you’ve read my last couple of writing updates, you know all about the catastrophe that is my laptop – and for that reason, I’ll blame goal one and two not getting completed on that, and perhaps even goal five too – although, I have thought a bit more about DOACZK and if it all goes right, I will be starting the second draft sometime this month!

On to the others now!

I read three books from my TBR! The first was Paper Towns by John Green, meaning that my JG shelved TBR is now finished, and the second and third was book one and two of the Divergent series!

And then, to complete the goal list, I went to see Fall Out Boy! Which, I documented in this blog post because I couldn’t not!

And, I got to go back to Chester Zoo! And see african wild dog pups, which, with everything else, let me cross two things of my bucket list just this month…

See Fall Out Boy live✅

See African Wild Dog Pups at Chester Zoo ✅ (Even if they do look like mini adults)

I also got to spend some time with my best friends, and after eating all the food, at Nando’s, carvery and this desert place that made all the things happen inside my body, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat anything else!

If you’re ever in the Bolton area though, make sure you visit a place called Room Four and have an Oreo Cookie Dough Brownie! You will not be dissapointed!

And go in to whats called he Market Place and play mini golf with the dinosaurs!

For the month to come, all I really see is the prospects of a new laptop, some more beta-reading, some writing and some camp nanowrimoing!

Nothing elaborate, thank goodness.

I have work, hopefully not as much as last month, and it gives me that little extra time to chill and do the writing I want to do!

And, because of all this, I have nothing much more to say!

My goals for April include:

  1. Write
  2. Finish Beta-Reading
  3. Participate in the 25in5 readathon
  4. Read more books from my TBR shelf

What are your goals for April? What are you plans?

Until then though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade

The Last Of The Real Ones

So, last night, I got to experience something that I have been waiting years for..

I don’t even really have a good excuse as to why I waited so long… I guess I was just sort of scared of perhaps having to go on my own and thats why I haven’t experienced it until now.

And that experience, is seeing Fall Out Boy live…

(If you’re going to see them for the Mania tour, and don’t want their track-list ruined for yourself, I suggest you don’t read this! Come back and tell me all about it once you have though!)

So, last nights leg of the tour was hosted at the Manchester Arena!

And, towards the end, there was an even a small tribute (or acknowledgement) by Pete Wentz of the Manchester Bombings that happened last year – which obviously touched me, but touched my Mancquinian friends even more because they know of people affected by it.

It’s just nice to know that we’re all in this together sometimes, you know❤

So, now, let us start at the beginning…

My friend Molly. God bless her. The one who bought the tickets. Her life is full of drama, and, after living with her for three years during our university journey, there’s not much that can surprise me.

So, when she looked me dead in the face and said she couldn’t find the tickets. I believed her. I think that part of me wasn’t even shocked…

Obviously, we got there. We searched, we found nothing, and then, Molly’s mum came to the rescue (even though she’s the one who moved them and forgot about them – and we spent an hour trying to phone her and she never picked up).

Still, it was just a part of the experience, and, we still got there in enough time to get a good standing spot and watch the support acts!

For this part of the tour, they got supported by MAX (pictured above) – who was absolutely awesome! He got the crowd going and I’m already planning on going to his headline tour when it comes around!

He reminds me a little of Years and Years, and, if your a fan of them (or even if you’re not), listen to this here video! It’s his first song to be released in the UK! (And if it doesn’t at least get in to the top forty, there’s something wrong with the lot of us).

The second support act was Against the Current; who, if I’m honest, had a good bass and all, but, we could hardly hear the lead singer singing and it almost felt like we were watching a Paramore tribute band!

On closer inspection, their youtube video’s aren’t all that bad, but their still not someone I could really get behind! They didn’t even tells us their names either which irks me a lot..

Still, Max and his craziness (and his glitteryness) made it worth getting there early, and the fact that we were just a few metres away from the middle walkway made all the better!

(The photo above isn’t mine, but its my friend who was stood right next to me so you can sort of see how close we got to be)

To be honest though, after the support acts were done and we were all anticipating the first showing of Andy’s drum kit, I didn’t have a clue what to expect!

I didn’t expect Pete to sound the way he did though… I know their American and all, and no offence, but, he sounded like a hill-billy American. And I just didn’t expect him to sound like that at all, and I’ve watched him in interviews too and… Yeah…

However, Patrick sounded just like he does in the videos… Even better… And can I just say, his impression of Elton John in Save Rock ‘N’ Roll is pure greatness!

And that point just leads me on to something that I loved about the night! The boys played a load of their old songs like Immortals, Irresistable, Thanks for the Memories, Dance Dance, and even Uma Thurman, and with a Kill Bill montage playing in the background, it made the experience all that more better!

They sung Centuries too, which is actually the theme tune for my bad guy in my WIP and also one of my favourite songs aswell!

They also played a lot of the new ones from their album ‘Mania’ like the Last of the Real Ones, Wilson, Champion, Hold Me Tight (Or Don’t) and they even performed Church as well, which was bloody amazing!

And, ofcourse, they had llamas!

(T-shirt throwing llamas)

In all, it was a bloody awesome night, and it just felt like it was over too soon… Everything about it was great and I have no qualms at all, but I wish I could just go again… And again… And again…

And; it sort of made me realise something. I’ve only ever seen these guys online or on TV, and I think you forget that their real people sometimes. That their actually… I don’t know… I really don’t…

I think I might still be a little star struck…

If you’ve never experienced a concert before – of your favourite singer, or band – do it. It can be expensive, but, with enough planning, you can do anything!

And, you can say that you’ve been there and got the t-shirt (literally or not).

This post is late for a Friday, but I spent the morning eating chocolate and shopping, and now I’ve been sat writing this post whilst watching movies and eating more chocolate!

What can I say? I turn 24 tomorrow, and, this week hasn’t been half bad!

Have you ever been to a concert or gig before? Or is there someone you’d love to see one day? I’d love to know!

Until then though,

Just Keep Writing,

Jade x

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

A Beta-Readers Experience

Before last year, I had never read someone elses novel in an unpolished state!

To be honest, I hadn’t really met any other writers who wrote novels, so, all in all, the whole of last year – writer community wise – was a first for me, but that’s another post for another day!

I’ve always been the one who my friends look to, to look over their work. I can be quite a good proofreader when I try, and pair that with a love of reading books, and helping out my fellow writers, I think beta-reading just appealed to me in a way I’d never expected it too!

The first time I beta-read – a retelling of both ‘The Little Mermaid’ & ‘Cinderella’ called ‘Melody’ by Penny Kearney (which should be out sometime this year) – I feel like I came up short a little if I’m honest. I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing, and, although, I answered all of the questions – and highlighted a few flow problems – I liked it too much to say anything bad about it!

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If I looked back at it now, now I’ve sort of realised what my role actually is, I’m sure I’d find characters that need a bit more development, and maybe some more sections that didn’t make all that much sense, but, you have to start somewhere, right?

The next novel I got to beta-read was by someone I met whilst doing my #LetsWriteNaNoWriMo challenge! During the challenge, I learned all about the novel that ‘Andrew Henley’ was editing – called Hayley Soon – and when it came around to him needed beta-readers, I knew I had to take the plunge and see what it was all about!

I didn’t have a clue what to expect – not really – but I’m so glad I answered that question in his comments section! With Hayley Soon, I feel like I was able to give a lot more, and with my feedback, I just sort of ‘let loose’ a little and I’d question this and that, and I can be sarcastic as hell sometimes – which doesn’t come off too great in text – but I feel like I was actually able to help in that development, you know?

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And, I think, as you read more manuscripts, as you read more books, you do get better.

Much like writing!

And, I think, as a writer, you give something different to beta-reading than you would if you were just a reader, you know!

The next one I got to read was the first 20,000 words of an epic fantasy, and like Hayley Soon, I had my thoughts and opinions down. I knew what it was I should be looking out for, you know?

And I don’t think you can teach it to people, the more you do it, I think, the better you become. Practice makes perfect and all that, you know?

At the start of this 2018, I got to beta-read two more in January, one was about a cannibal, which was an experience in itself! And the second was from a total stranger.

You see. I had a message through instagram; this person asking me if I’d like to beta-read their book, and, after telling me what it was about and all that, I said yes.

It’s very unique, this manuscript, it’s a contemporary that looks at some very delicate aspects in the western world right now. It’s definitely going to make people think – and it’s definitely going to be one of those that people either love or they hate.

I love it, and Z, if you’re reading this, I’m still waiting for that chapter!

At the moment, I’m reading another fantasy – which is more nordic and viking like called Whispers of Savage Song by Ashley Earley and I have another Andrew Henley manuscript waiting in the docks called MIRI!

And, you know the best thing about this whole experience is when you see the books you beta-read get published! You were apart of something that means the world to someone.

Andrew Henleys ‘Hayley Soon‘ and Allen Dark’s cannibalistic novel ‘The Black Heart‘ can now both be found on Amazon, and I encourage you to go read them both! Completely different, but completely worth it!

And, until next time guys,

Just Keep Reading (Or even better; beta-reading),

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