Posted in Nanowrimo, update, writing

My first writing retreat!

Hey guys, I know I’ve been /super/ neglectful of late, but I plan to get back to my weekly blog come October (fresh month, fresh start!). This long weekend I’ll be on my first ever writing retreat with Lauren Rose (who, incidentally, is making a brand new site and it is gonna look so rad) and a bunch of others. I have a list of things I want to look into this weekend and start up on here, including critiquing, Nano stuff, and another content creation that I’m looking into. Hopefully a weekend away in the beautiful countryside will awaken the energy I need. Look forward to next week’s blog, which will basically be pretty picture and a possible vlog (Psst, I’ll also be posting a bunch on our bookstagram, if you haven’t already checked it out )! I hope those of you having a long weekend enjoy the extra day to recharge and all my love to you that have a standard weekend ahead. Make sure to take time out and take care of yourself!

As always, happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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Posted in tips, update, writing

Coffee time

Hey guys, I figured it was well and truly time for a catch up, so grab a coffee with me.

So the last few months have been kind of hectic. I hit 90k words and finished the first draft of my current MS, which is super exciting. I also attended the Salisbury Writers’ Festival which I think Lauren Rose is doing a blog on, so goodie. Among all of that though, I realised how little I was involved in the community. Like, yeah, I read a bunch and review stuff and leave feel good comments on twitter and my bookstagram that I run with Lauren. It still doesn’t feel like I’m participating enough. I want to know people, to help people.

I’ve decided on two long term projects that I plan to get up and running because of this (well, three, actually!) You might have already noticed some ‘under construction’ tabs in my menu, too. While I’ll be submitting to more anthologies as well as writing in general more, I’m going to be opening myself up for some critiques after some fantastic feedback from current pieces I’m working on. So I’ll be sorting all of the details for that in the near future. I’ve also decided to do a mental health and writing podcast. MH is something that I am a strong advocate for, and I feel a lot of people use writing as a way to deal with stuff, which is great, I do too. I want to be able to engage and actually connect and let people know ‘hey, it’s OK to feel crappy’. Mental health issues aren’t a death sentence, but they do need some help navigating, and I feel like I have enough tools now to help a bit. So I’ve been looking into outlining some episodes and stuff- tell me if there’s anything you’d like to hear. Finally- I started a wattpad for the stories that I maybe don’t feel as confident about, or that weren’t shortlisted. I don’t want them just ~sitting~ there, so I hope someone enjoys them at least!

I think that’s everything I wanted to chat about/update you all on. It’s weird- my mental health is probably the best it’s been in many years, but I’m trying to be over eager about stuff again and I wear out a lot. I used to take on way, way too much and I burned out hard, and it’s weird to recognise those red flags and be able to halt. All you can do is try, and that’s what I’m going to do- try to the best of my abilities without making myself sick.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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Posted in update, writing

Achievement Unlocked!

Hey guys, I wasn’t going to write today, but figured I would give a little update. I spent today resting because I hit 90k words on my current draft and finished the first draft of it! Yeah, this is a pretty common thing amongst writers- but this is my fourth attempt rewriting this particular piece over the course of a decade, so I’m pretty happy. Anyway, I’m off to sort out everything else while I take a break before the next stage of revising and rewriting.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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Posted in reading, update, writing

Bookstagram

It’s been a while since I did a post, my bad! First things first: I smashed my camp nano goal. My draft is currently at 83k words, and has 2 and a half chapters left until completion, which is super exciting! Because my draft is almost done and I want a break to work on other things/ignore it for a bit before revising and editing, I’ve been started to look at my critiques more, and my bookstagram account.

I decided for today’s blog, I’m going to show the simple background I made to make my photos feel a little more polished. I am beyond amateur at this, but Lauren and I have a lot of fun and that’s all that matters, really.

Supplies: cardboard (free), adhesive vinyl from kmart ($3 for 2 metres), kmart twinkle lights ($5) and hotglue/gun I already had.

  1. Step one involved finding something light, portable and sturdy to use. I ended up salvaging my housemates new pc box, as we were going to recycle it either way. Note: I did cut myself slicing the piece I need, be more careful than me01
  2. Once it was all cut out (albeit roughly), it was pretty straightforward to attach the vinyl. I had to go slow to avoid creases, and make sure you have enough to fold over the edges!02.jpg
  3. Once it was all neatly covered, I arranged the lights in a spiral (I honestly just didn’t know what to do with them) and hot glued them in places, sealing the battery box onto the back.04.jpg
  4. Alright, it looks quite a bit terrible just like this. So, being the hoarder I am, I found some leftover organza from a cosplay and whacked it and hot glued the top on the back, and let it drape down06.jpg
  5. Annnnd this is what it looks like when you cut out the ugly parts!07

It isn’t anything special, but I think it’s pretty cute and a much nicer layout than what I was using. Does anyone else have a book account? If so, comment so I can follow you! I’m off to cry over my last few thousand words of this draft, wish me luck!

Happy writing,

Emm-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, update, writing

A reminder

I’m meant to be working on Camp Nanowrimo right now, but I can’t. I gave myself a deadline for this WIP, and I just can’t do it right now. You know what though? That’s OK. This is just a reminder that you don’t need to push yourself, or rush yourself, or make yourself feel bad. Even as I watch my friends crush their goals and feel bad that I’m not doing more /better, I have to remember- I’m doing the best I can right now. I hope you all are too.

 

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, update, writing

Nano goal: Down. Other goals: Terrifying

So it’s actually Monday right now and dun dun dun…! I finished my Nano goal for the month already. I know it wasn’t the highest goal, but THIS means I have plenty of time to do a lot more and still feel good about myself and not stressed by it.

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No, wait, I lied. I do have another deadline right now. It’s this one.

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I’ve given myself until June 16th to have my WIP first draft done and I am already pretty exhausted, I’m not going to lie. I have my critique partner lined up and raring to rip it apart for me, and some extremely obsessive lists ready. I plan to pitch this story at a Writer’s Festival later this year. This may be a first draft, but this is the FOURTH completely rewrite of this story. I know it pretty intimately. This year is it’s year; I can feel it.

So, in light of that, I’ll be going over rewriting, editing, critiquing, some beta reading, synopsis and preparing for pitches over the next few months. I’ll also be hosting a giveaway hopefully VERY soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that. For now, I’m going to trudge back to this draft, so I can be at 20k well before the week, so that I actually get to rest for five minutes.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in Nanowrimo, update, writing

Camp Nano April 2018

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April is upon us. Easter, family, fun- and April Camp Nanowrimo. This feels really odd to say. Normally I’m excited for Nanowrimo. I like the challenge it presents- how it forces me to get words out, to tackle a project. To genuinely throw myself into my writing without a care.

This April feels different. I’m not as prepared. I have a name. An idea. A vague musing of an outline. That’s it. I haven’t ever been so ill prepared and for once in my life, I’m not anxious about it. I’m not even anxious if I meet my goal or not.

I’ve realised something about writing lately. It’s not the end all if I don’t achieve every one of my goals, or if I take my time getting there. It only matters that I have them. I’ve put so much pressure to be perfect, or have unrealistic expectations to the point that I freeze and ignore my goals- it’s easier to just not do something rather than fail. I couldn’t bear to have my ego hurt like that.

It’s OK now. It’s OK, because I care about writing. That means I can take my time, and have fun, and make mistakes. I’m allowed to make mistakes, because they are what make things better. You learn from them.

I’m going to pants my first Nano. No outlines, no heavily scrawled notes. Just an idea, because writing is a lot like goals. You alter your course as you follow the path, because nothing is going to follow the rigid path you set.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in tips, update, writing

Star Wars: A love letter

Warning: this blog is different to normal and contains spoilers.

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Art by Deya Muniz, a hilarious genius

I was a little girl when the prequels came out. With older siblings that had been born in the seventies, Star Wars was a thing in our house. I had vague memories of it- of a giant Jar Jar Binks statue in the local KFC that scared me, of fighting over Darth Vader Pez dispensers with my older sister. I remember Star Wars, of dashing Han, of Luke and his strength, of the beautiful Princess. It wasn’t until I was an adult that Star Wars clicked with me.

I went to see The Force Awakens on a date, and after that showing, I was obsessed. It wasn’t because it was a new Star Wars, or that I was old enough to properly connect. No- it was because of Kylo Ren.

Now, a lot of you have probably heard people trash on him. I hear it a lot. “He’s such a cry baby”, “he’s more poorly written than Anakin!”, “all he does is whine”. When I look at Kylo, I see a character I relate to. Someone that struggled with rage, who has this idea of who and what they should be shoved onto them from a young age, who has to battle with what others want of him versus what he actually wants.

The Last Jedi was particularly powerful to me. After seeing how scared he was at the idea of killing his father, of the weight of becoming a Sith, a Darth. Then the fear in his eyes, the sheer loneliness, when he couldn’t pull the trigger to kill his mother. You could see the love in his eyes, in his heart. He’s portrayed as this angry, hateful person. You know what makes people angry and hateful? Scared, confused children that don’t have people around them that pay attention. Rey and Kylo are so alike in that regard- different families, similar results. I feel for him. I feel for his character, and my heart breaks for him.

I write about this today because I’ve been worried I’ve been overdoing my own characterization. People don’t want characters to be too nice, or too angsty, too this, too that. That’s not how characters or people work. They’re so much more organic than that, they ripple and flow and change and they feel and experience. Kylo has changed with those things. I have changed with those things. My characters will. So will yours.

Don’t be afraid of the expectations of others. Do what feels right to you.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in reading, update, writing

Rebranding on social media

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Hey guys! This is more of a quick update post than anything. As you may have noticed if you follow me on social media or look at my instagram photos on my front page, my instagram has suffered a bit of a makeover. In conjunction with the beautiful and talented Lauren Rose we’ve started reading, roses and (w)riting, a fun bookstagram style account to track reviews, beautiful covers, and our own writing.

I will be posting snippets of my current W.I.P every Wednesday with an image attached that I find relevant to the story for the first draft to give little hints and excite myself with the project as I go! I really hope to see more of you on social media- while I do update my blog every friday, I like to post stuff in the moment and social media is a lot more accessible for that!

Do any of you have a fun instagram account? Please feel free to drop it in the comments or tag us on instagram for a follow back! We’re always looking for beautiful photos that will sucker us into adding to our TBR pile.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

Posted in tips, writing

Pinteresting things- plotting and structure around images

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So some of you may be aware that Pinterest is a thing. More of you may be aware that authors love Pinterest. I wasn’t really aware of that until recently- I thought it was just something mums did, y’know?

I’ve recently turned to the dark side. Pinterest has been a go to of mine for story planning. I started rewriting a book recently. I mean, I trashed everything but one or two characters, the the feeling I wanted to convey with it. The plot changed, the genre- literally everything. When I first decided I had to scrape this decade old project that I loved so much but knew wasn’t the story it had to be, it hurt. I had no idea where to jump off. So, I turned to pinterest with a few things I did know- what my main characters looked like, and the vibes I wanted to encompass.

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Though these are only a few of the bunch of images I saved, they were a jumping off point. I found reference images I had considered, and built a story around the setting and the moral of the story I wanted to convey.

I still didn’t know WHAT I wanted to happen. I panicked. I had a vague idea now but no real sub plots. So, I did a google. I knew I wanted to write a south gothic/young adult book. That’s when I landed at this incredibly helpful site.

  • Beginning; use voice/mystery/location/atmosphere to drawn in reader
  • Inciting event: what sets the story in motion?
  • What are the goals, motivation, and conflict of the main character?
  • The guts of the story based on these: dialogue, narration, and the right details
  • The black moment: when everything falls apart for dear old protagonist and they’re rammed into a corner
  • Resolution: How do they/don’t they resolve the issue and achieve/not achieve their goals?

Following this super simple formula, based on the fleeting sentence I had for a plot, I put my thoughts into a paragraph for each of these. I expanded and added onto what I already knew and gave voice to the desires of my MC and thought about where their initial actions would lead them.

You know what I did after this? I took facets I built up in these paragraphs (i.e. the conflict) and found images by looking up what happened/how it felt and finding images in pinterest to add to my board. Some of them felt a little silly but I managed to build a clear reference to the setting of my story and the plot began unfurling like flowers on a tree from there!

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Since then I have been scrawling little sub plots and ideas that I want to explore! You know what they said; an image is worth a thousand words.

 

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo