Sweat the Small Stuff

I am, first and foremost, a fanfiction writer.  Even when I’m writing original fiction, it’s usually fanfiction of a larger work I’ve not got round to writing yet. The thrill of fanfic, for me, is finding the spaces within the story and filling them. It’s a bit like going on holiday, and wandering the back streets and drinking in bars where they don’t speak English rather than sticking to the tourist trail. The main plot is important, but behind the scenes I can find my own story.

Perhaps because of this, I am a bit anal about my details. Not completely, not to the level of my brother, who once made detailed notes about the real-world weather for each event in his novel and never got around to writing it. But I check routes on Google Maps, research fashion and technology to avoid anachronisms, and build my houses on Sims so I know exactly what I’m looking at. BBC, please take note. (This post will contain spoilers for Doctor Who and Torchwood, and as much of Happy Valley as I gleaned from the promotional material)

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The Tools of my Trade

blog-hop-for-writersAs part of Ruth Snyder’s Blog Hop, today’s post is about the things we use for writing. It’s a post I was going to write anyway, so I just saved it a week or so. It was all part of the plan, not me failing to procrastinate in a useful way from my novel writing, you see.

So I had better stop not procrastinating and start… not procrastinating. Continue reading


Stephen King’s book On Writing is considered to be The Textbook. Here are 7 essential rules drawn from it.



1. Everything Begins With Rejection

Very few writers begin with immediate success, and if there’s anything to be gained from King’s book, it’s that you start with rejection. King began submitting stories to magazines as early as middle school, and whenever he received a rejection, he would pin the letter on a wall. By the time he was 14, he had accumulated so many letters that the pin could hardly support their weight. Yet none of these rejections daunted him. In fact, King says he learned some of his best lessons from the notes scrawled on the slips. One note that told him to cut down on wordiness changed the way he wrote “once and forever.”

2. Read a Lot, and Write A Lot

King argues that if you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all else: read a lot and write a lot: “If you don’t…

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Practice makes perfect

I lost another day to Sims. In my defence, I had given it to myself because I was still feeling lousy, but I shouldn’t have. Even worse, I was working on a challenge that I hadn’t read the rules for, and I discovered this morning that it wasn’t valid, so that wasn’t great.

What it did show, though, was just how good I am at Sims. I mean, I am brilliant. And I should be, I’ve been playing for over a decade. The only exception is building, because I’ve never bothered to learn. I have my Sims live in boxes, or in houses I’ve downloaded, because I had better things to do with my time than polish skills that didn’t come naturally to me. Continue reading