Writing Resources and NaNo Prep: Creating a Story Bible



With NaNoWriMo a little under two weeks away, now is usually about the time I start thinking about which story I’m going to have a bash at telling. I’m kind of a mix between a planner and a panster, to be honest. I always like to start out with a plan (however basic and vague it might be), though plots and characters often end up changing dramatically as I write. But as I get started with my own prep, today I thought I’d share with you a template for my version of a ‘story bible’. Continue reading

My Literary Confessions


  • My favourite first lines are not ones that you’ll find on top ten lists:

“When a day that you happen to know is a Wednesday starts off by sounding like a Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids

“It was a dazzling four-sun afternoon.” – Issac Asmiov and Robert Silverberg, Nightfall

“In defense of Althalus, it should be noted that he was in very tight financial circumstances and more than a little tipsy when he agreed to undertake the theft of the Book.” – David and Leigh Eddings, The Redemption of Althalus Continue reading

Camp Nano: Week One Hiccups



I always been more of a planner than a pantser. I build the outlines of my stories with as much research and precision as I can manage, staring over their blueprints like an architect with a deadline. I never really saw the joy in the pantser perspective – just planting little buds of plot here and there like a gardener and allowing them to grow into whatever the story needed them to be. Because how on earth could you trust the story to tell itself?

Well, for all the ups and downs I’ve had this week, I suppose I’ve discovered that I might have a green thumb after all. Continue reading

White Spaces


Click through to read the story over on JukePop!

The bus was a green line RCL model routemaster, beautifully preserved. The seats were clean and comfortable, the patterns on the fabric the bright and nauseating sort you tended to find on public transport. It looked as though no one had ever sat on them. The metal bars on the backs were polished to a shine and free of fingerprints. Were it not for the lingering whiff of old tobacco in the air, you’d have thought the bus fresh off the production line…

Well, the lovely team over at JukePop Serials accepted my submission, so the first chapter of Underground is now live for you to read! If you fancy a little more dark fantasy in your life, please check it out and let me know what you think. And if you have an account over there already, voting and commenting would be fantastic too!

For those who have read my previous post, you know that Millie’s story has been ten years in the making and I’m really excited about finally sharing it with you all. And also terrified. Maybe a little coffee addled…

I should probably go lie down.

Ten Years in the Making


As any well weathered traveler will tell you, it’s usually best to abide by the rules of the places you find yourself in. But when the first rule is that no one living should be there, abandoning all hope may be the least of your concerns.

When eleven year old Millie finds herself stepping through the dark and onto a strange-looking train, there’s not an awful lot she can do. Without her parents and the comfort of familiar surroundings, Millie is left to ask strangers for help. But the other passengers are silent and sorrowful, looking anywhere but at her – and they won’t tell her the name of the next stop…

It’s hard to believe really, but this novel (my first, completed, honest to god finished novel) has taken me over a decade to write. It started life as short story in my first semester at university and by the end of the term I was pretty damn sure the bloody thing was cursed. Continue reading

Serial Fiction (My Novel, Divided?)

All-the-Year-Round-001It’s 1am, I’m looking at a project in Scrivener and I may be about to do something either crazy, brilliant or the fictional writing equivalent of publishing suicide. Funnily enough, it wouldn’t be the first career decision I’ve made in the middle of the night, and I hope it won’t be the last either – life’s dull enough as it is. Continue reading

Camp NaNo: or A Few Realisations Now the End is Near


Being implanted with an Identity Chip becomes a reality in my NaNo novel. Picture sourced from SingularityHUB, here.

I will apparently end this crazy month the way I began it, running on very little sleep and forgetting to update my word counts. My story will be longer than the 50,000 words that I’ve set myself as a target, but I seem to have moved my focus away from the challenge itself and more towards the story in my head. It keeps getting bigger and I’ve been struggling to keep up as it evolves.

I mentioned at the beginning of the month that I’m not a panster, but as my novel moves away from the basic plotlines I had set out and becomes something different, I can understand why people start this with nothing in their head but a single place or character to work from. Continue reading

My Love Affair With Fiction

Pawn_of_ProphecyI’d love to say I started reading from an early age, with books being such an integral part of my childhood, I wouldn’t know where I’d be without them. But that isn’t entirely true. I have no fond memories of my parents reading me bedtime stories, though I am assured they did.

My first memory of being so drawn in to a fictional place that I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to come out wasn’t until I was thirteen or so. It was thanks to a friend I had made at secondary school called Helen. She brought me in a copy of The Pawn of Prophecy by David and Leigh Eddings. I’d never read a fantasy novel before, outside of the bog standard fairy tales and Disney stories. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, the words on the first page glared out of me, intimidating. It seemed impossible to read that much, the text so small and blanketed, barely split into paragraphs to my eyes.  Continue reading