Self-Editing Tricks to Tuck up Your Sleeve

Whether you’re writing a short story, blog post, poem or working on a novel, at some point you’re going to have to look back over your own words. This comes at different stages in the process for many of us, but we all have to do it eventually. And its a buggering nightmare, most of the time. Mainly because deep down you know you’re never going to catch it all. There’ll be the odd spelling error, a mistyped phrase, an unnecessary adverb or heaven forbid – a misused semi colon.

To be honest, I’ve been caught out so many times now I tend to laugh it off. Discovering all these things and more days or even weeks after some of my work has gone live is always rather  embarrassing. Fortunately, I’ve only ever found myself in the most gentile company of fellow readers and writers, and most of them are very forgiving about obvious mistakes.

But when it comes to my more serious ventures – the ones I intend to make money from, I do everything I can to make sure the text is as polished as possible. And while line and copy editors are a service I think all writers should take advantage of, it never hurts to do as much as you can before handing it off. So here are a few tips and tricks I use to help me weed out even the most easily overlooked mistakes in my prose. Continue reading

It was a Dark, Stormy Morning…


The room is long with a high ceiling, the walls are littered with bookshelves stacked between an old IKEA a style desk. There’s a blackout blind covering the only window.


The screen on the computer monitor reads BLOGGING 101. Today’s Task: Introduce yourself to the world!


ADA sits slumped over in front of it, chin resting on her arms.

Oh dear, I really should have thought this through. Continue reading


Late for the Train by alexiuss (for Romantically Apocoliptic)

Late for the Train by alexiuss (for Romantically Apocalyptic)

They arrived at a brightly lit, mismatched station. Millie ignored the hushed whimpering of her fellow passengers as the train came to a stop. She clambered up onto one of the seats to get a better look. She pressed her hands against the window.

Tall brick columns stretched up into nowhere, as though at some point there had been a ceiling to hold up. There wasn’t one now, and if Millie tilted her head back far enough she could see the gloomy sky above. The platform they had come to a halt in front of was one of many, cut into several rows, with different tracks running between them. Rusted pipelines, some glowing hot, snaked along the outline of the station, spewing steam into the open air…

Hope everyone had a lovely Sunday! As per, a new chapter of Underground is up over on JukePop Serials, you should totally go read it and let me know what you think. :D



Classroom by GIANTSTUDIO

Today Millie was an apostle. The Quiet Room carpet was rough under her knees and her hair tickled the back of her neck as she bent her head, pretending to pray.

Mrs Andrews had started the lesson by telling them a story about the Holy Spirit visiting those chosen men and that they had all ran away at the sight of it. Now the class was acting it out, and while Millie could see the logic behind running from a bright shining light, the figure stumbling towards her didn’t exactly inspire fear…

Hey guys, just a quick post to let you know the second chapter of Underground is up over on JukePop and you can read it by clicking here!

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

The Construct

Toward the Inner Chamber, by Vidom.

Toward the Inner Chamber, by Vidom.

The first breath you take in a VR construct is always an odd experience. Your mind knows it doesn’t need to breathe, that where you are isn’t real and so the air isn’t either, but try holding your breath and see what happens. Kate ignored the illusion of a breeze as it pushed strands of hair away from her face. She didn’t open her eyes, still seeing flashes of a bright white light behind the lids. They were supposed to have fixed that months ago, the transition is meant to be seemless. Close your eyes on an operating table, open them wherever the hell you want. Continue reading

Shelving It

1981b510e2326d3f2781c457c5026510I sometimes wonder how many other aspiring authors have full time jobs. I follow lots on Twitter and WordPress both, and they seem to write a new novel every other month. I work forty to fifty hours most weeks and while I know this isn’t uncommon anymore (they keep putting the price of tea bags up!) I feel suddenly lucky to suffer from insomnia. I’d never get anything done otherwise. Continue reading