Tuesday, 22 January 2019

From Joey's Instagram

#TEASERTUESDAY Tara is beginning to wonder if she made the right choice trusting Mike. 🤔🤔👮‍♂️👮‍♂️ . Buy here: www.books2read.com/DTSS . . #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #books #bookish #writinglife #joeypaul #readers #readersofinstagram #writingcommunity #indiesofinstagram #booknerd #bookworm #amreading #readersofinstagram #yalit #reading

Monday, 21 January 2019

From Joey's Instagram

Some mornings all you need is a cuppa and a kitty on your shoulder purring in your ear as she gets comfy. And yes she is comfy! A day of writing awaits me! 😺✒😺 . What's on your plan for Monday? . . #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #books #cats #catsofinstagram #kitty #snuggles #pastacats #MissPenne #writinglife #joeypaul #writingcommunity #indiesofinstagram #booknerd #bookworm #amreading #readersofinstagram #yalit #reading

Planning & Plotting - The Creative Process

I've done a few pieces on planning and plotting. It's been something I've talked about on the blog, and also on my Authortube channel. Blog posts are: here, here & here. Videos are here & here. So it's a topic that I've covered, that most writers with advice blogs will cover, but yet I'm doing it again! Why? Maybe it's the fact that it's a new year or just the fact that as I write more, I get better at my own outlining, plotting and planning stages. Who knows, but we're going along for the ride!

So, a few facts before we start. I am a hybrid in that I am both a planner and a panster. I'll discuss pantsing next week, but for now I'll focus on that side of me that needs to have some kind of outline before I can start writing. I've talked about that before too (pieces here, video here) but I feel that it's very important to mention so that everyone knows where I'm coming from and also what tools I've used.

Now if you're someone who wants to plan extensively, that's more than fine, but I don't think this is the blog piece for you. My idea of a plan is writing out days of the week, chapter headings and a few bits and pieces as well as character cards, and then letting myself go off on whatever journey it takes me on. I have some idea of the story before I start. I can't just plot or plan a book that has nothing already thought up. But I do find that I'm slightly less rare that I thought I was. There are a number of people who plan and outline meticulously, and there are those rare few who pants the whole thing, but there are also a whole ton of people who, like me, straddle the two labels. The proper term is plantser but I prefer hybrid because of my Doctor Who roots!

So where do I start? I will, generally, have the ideas phase and then move onto the fleshing out of those ideas. Some call it brainstorming, others call it something else. I picked up the term: thought-dump from Jenna Moreci and I like that one best. I open up a notepad window and I type out everything I can think of that's needed, everything that's inside my brain in terms of the idea and getting it down. I don't have organisation in mind. I'm just typing out everything. This can be from plot points to character descriptions, to even lines of dialogue or prose that I don't want to forget. This stage can take anywhere from a couple of hours, to a week or more. It really depends on how much time I have to devote to it and how much of an idea I have.

When I feel completely dumped out, that's when I'll start creating the chapter plan, which is my version of an outline. I open Word and work out how many chapters. I generally will have the day of the week - I do this because it's nice to have continuity if it's needed, it's not always - and I have the general idea of what the chapter will involve. This can be anything from one word to a short line. And I keep going until I have all the chapters and all the plot points laid out. Then it gets printed and a few other bits and pieces added to it, like page numbers and the day I start and stuff like that.

I do those for a number of reasons, none of which matter in the grand scheme of things, and so we can ignore that. When I've done that and got it all printed out, I move on to character notecards. And these are literally note cards. I did, for a while, think about going digital and got an app where I could type it all out, colour coded and everything. Of course that worked fine, but then I realised I had to scroll to find the ones I needed, and I didn't always write with my tablet/phone nearby. So I'm back to the physical versions and while everything isn't colour-coded, it does mean that I can move things around as the characters become more/less relevant.

So what do I put on those notecards? Characters name (first and last if needed), their physical description and any other information that might be relevant. Like for the Invisible series, I've got notes about what condition they have, when it appeared, and all of that. I also make sure to keep other important info that's happened in previous books on the note card too. This way if I need to check something, I have it all to hand. I learned that while writing the Dying Thoughts series. It was all well and good knowing Tara's description etc off by heart, but sometimes I couldn't remember what she'd done in each book and I needed that continuity!

And once all that is done? Then I'm more than ready to get my backside in my chair and start writing the book! That's just my way of doing things, but I feel like everyone has a slightly different routine and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with outlining, nor pantsing, nor anything in between. You gotta do what works for you and while you may need to experiment slightly to find what fits, it's all about getting the right method and making it your own! Good luck and keep writing!

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Sunday, 20 January 2019

From Joey's Instagram

It's a day off so I have a vlog to record, edit, upload and caption. Other than that I plan to read! 🎥🎥📚📚 . What are you doing today? . . #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #books #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #igwriters #igauthors #writingtips #writinglife #joeypaul #smallyoutuber #readers #readersofinstagram #bookworm #writingcommunity #indiesofinstagram

Saturday, 19 January 2019

From Joey's Instagram

As you all know I'm chronically ill and disabled. I have big problems with neck and back pain while I write so I was super happy to pick up this neck and shoulder heat and massage wrap. It's changing my way of doing things! 🤗🤗♿♿ . What's something you struggle with physically while writing? Or reading? . . #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #books #bookish #writinglife #joeypaul #readers #readersofinstagram #writingcommunity #indiesofinstagram #spoonie #chronicillness #brittleasthma #spoonielife #wheelchairuser #oxygenuser #chronicpain

Friday, 18 January 2019

Interview with Kristin Ward & Review of After The Withered Green

I am delighted to be joined by Kristin Ward today for both an interview and my review of one of her books. Here's a little about Kristin

Kristin Ward lives is a small town in Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and numerous furry and feathered friends. As a nature enthusiast, she infuses her stories with environmental themes and encourages her readers to learn about the world in which they live and strive to do their part to leave it a better place for future generations.

And onto the interview!
Do you read your own genre? Is it a favourite?

I have a rather eclectic taste in books but dystopian is a genre I love. My favorite dystopian series is The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins touched on deep social issues and created a truly frightening world. I'm a classic rereader of books that I love. When the mood strikes, I pick up an old favorite and immerse myself in worlds and characters that I have a strong connection with. One of my favorites is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.

Was writing always your dream choice of career?

I have longed to be an author since seventh grade when my English teacher likened my writing to Saki, author of The Interlopers. While writing is not my career, yet, I strive to bring pieces of this passion into my workplace. I would love to be able to write full time!

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!

My writing favorite space is my grandmother's reclining chair. When I tilt it back at just the right angle, I can prop my laptop on my lap and get into the zone. During the winter months, the woodstove pumps out heat as I type away!

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?

I have three sons. With that in mind, a certain level of noise and disruption is my way of life. I have written a few blogs about the cacophony of my boys. When it comes to writing, I can usually hit the mental mute button and block out the variety of sound effects that emanate from my crew. Adding music into the mix is something that gets through the cracks of my listening filters and can be utterly derailing (especially when I start bopping along to the music and end up accidentally typing the lyrics I'm belting out!).

Which social media do you see as a must for writers?

Twitter and Facebook are major venues for writers as they provide platforms for interaction. I have found these social media outlets to be great resources to connect with writers and explore various topics from the writing process to marketing.

Where do you hang out most online?

If I'm connecting with fellow writers, I spend my time on Twitter and Facebook. However, the bulk of my online usage is not necessarily related to writing. Yes, I do my share of research online but I easily find myself getting sucked into the internet rabbit hole. Is this an intentional derailment? Well, sometimes. Writers, by our very nature, are procrastinators. I have been known to while away hours online getting nothing done!

What's your favourite book you've read?

One of my favorite books is The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. It was this book that began my writing journey all those years ago. I was pulled into the story from the first line and in awe of the fact that it was written by a teenager. Within that book is a poem that also proved to be a catalyst to my own love of poetry. I often write poems on Twitter as I enjoy the challenge of keeping them within the 140 character limit. One day, I hope to publish a collection of these works.

Morning or evening writer?

I am often an evening writer, though not by choice. With a full-time job, I find the bulk of my writing time, when I find the time, to be in the evening. On the weekends, I prefer to write during the day (I'm not a morning person and relish my Saturday and Sunday moments of quiet with a cup of coffee)

If you had a hashtag for your books, what would it be?

Creating a hashtag is not my forte! Sadly, I am rather new to the whole social media thing. I suppose I would use something that relates to the theme of the books - global drought - while also reflective of the title.  #withered seems appropriate!
They tell me the country looked different back then.

They talk of open borders and flowing rivers.

They say the world was green.

But drought swept across the globe and the United States of the past disappeared under a burning sky.

Enora Byrnes lives in the aftermath, a barren world where water has become the global currency. In a life dominated by duty to family and community, Enora is offered a role within an entity that controls everything from water credits to borders. But it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. From the wasted confines of her small town to the bowels of a hidden city, Enora will uncover buried secrets that hide an unthinkable reality.

As truth reveals the brutal face of what she has become, she must ask herself: how far will she go to retain her humanity?
My review: 5 stars
I picked this up because of the blurb and the cover. It starts as a historical telling of what's come before and then jumps right into the action. Enora has hopes and dreams like any teenager about to embark on adulthood, but whether or not she gets to realise them is another matter. The Company control all the resources and against her wishes, Enora is ordered to join. The story is engaging, well-written and flows beautifully. I loved getting to see the sides of the world building without it taking away from the story. I am going to read the next as soon as possible as the ending leaves you wanting more. Highly recommended!

You can follow Kristin on her website, Twitter and Instagram.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

From Joey's Instagram

I've been busy this week reading through and tabbing up my new theasaurses. They are a goldmine of info and I adore them! Have used all six already! 🤓📚🤓 . How do you orangise reference books? I use multi-coloured tabs as you can see! . . #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #books #bookish #writinglife #joeypaul #readers #readersofinstagram #bookworm #writingcommunity #indiesofinstagram #amreading #writingresource #booknerd

Thursday, 17 January 2019

From Joey's Instagram

Today I'm answering all your questions! Giving advice and fessing up on my favourite Doctor! Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/JoeyPaulOnline or the link in my bio! 🤓🤓🤓 . Who's your favourite sci-fi character? . . #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #books #authortube #authortuber #writingvlog #vlogger #writingtips #authortube #lovemyjob #ilovewriting #writinglife #joeypaul #smallyoutuber #readers #readersofinstagram #bookworm #writingcommunity #indiesofinstagram #booknerd #bookish

Questions From Readers - January 2019 [CC]

And answering all the questions from you guys! #Authortube

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

From Joey's Instagram

I have am army of pop vinyls to watch me work! Got some new ones over Christmas and birthday so thought I'd update the picture! . What's on your desk? . . #authorslife #authorsofinstagram #indieauthor #amwriting #writerslife #writersofinstagram #books #read #readers #readersofinstagram #bookworm #wriringcommunity #indiesofinstagram #writinglife #joeypaul #harrypotter #sherlock #doctorwho #marveluniverse