Jun 042013

MegaphoneMy holiday has finally started! Those of you, who read my previous posts, know that this means I have officially started writing my new book.

So far, I have:

  • written four chapters;
  • consulted my toilet door three times to come up with new character names;
  • had a mini writer’s block;
  • got rid of the writer’s block by adding a completely new chapter, which in turn meant an interesting plot change further down the line;
  • had another mini writer’s block, causing me to be unable to make chapter four into a coherent piece of text, which is why I am writing this blog post instead.

I still have no idea how many chapters I will end up with (the estimate is currently 12), or how many words the book will have in the end (probably between 15.000 and 20.000 words).

However, using yWriter to keep track of all the characters and locations has been fun, even though it is a little bit more work copying in the text from Word.
It is worth it, though, as next to the handy word-count gadget, I love yWriter’s ‘play back’ feature, which actually reads the text back to you out loud. It regularly has me in stitches, not because my book is so funny (well, I do hope it eventually is, as it is supposed to be humorous), but because the ‘woman’ who is reading it has a strong American accent and is pronouncing names in a totally different way I had imagined them to be pronounced.
No matter. It is good to hear someone else read your words, even if it is in a metallic computer voice.

That being said, I have decided to skip chapter four for now and continue writing chapter five tomorrow morning. It promises to have an acceleration of the plot, which should be good.
In the meantime, I will reacquaint myself with marketing techniques, a very important part in the life of a self-published author.

Related post: Fiction Writing is Fun!

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May 252013

womanWow, I never knew fiction writing was so much fun! Can’t believe I didn’t try it before.

Although I planned not to start writing my new book until in my holiday, I found myself with inspiration earlier this week. Inspiration should never be wasted (I found that out the hard way), so I started writing the first chapter on Monday. Before I knew it, I was 1300 words further down the road.

What actually started off as a bit of a warm-up exercise (with the goal to get the hang of yWriter), quickly turned into a full-blown writing-mode. Filling in the characters and making up names for them in yWriter, inspired me enormously. However, maybe instead it was the nifty word-count gadget that yWriter has. It keeps track of how many words you still need to write before the book is finished and I just couldn’t bear to have it stand at zero for another fortnight.

Coming up with character names is very new to me. In non-fiction (at least the kind I have written so far), it is not a necessary thing to do. I know some writers use books with baby names for inspiration, but for me it was the inside of my toilet door.
In an attempt to brighten up this little room, I taped an old Ordnance Survey map to its door when I moved in four years ago. Its scale is such that it shows even the tiniest towns and hamlets. These have been a great source for the names of characters and streets in my new book. For instance, Emily’s housemate Jack now has the surname Wilcrick (a tiny hamlet in southeastern Wales) and the road where Emily works is called Woolaston Road (a small town near Chepstow).

Not only do the names on the map give me inspiration for my new book, some names actually spark my imagination. Like Cat’s Ash, a tiny hamlet near Newport. I am sure there is a story in that…

With the word counter now standing on 1300, I just have another six days before my holiday starts. Then I can really start grafting. Can’t wait!

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May 192013

computer womanEarning money with writing and selling your book sounds like a great idea. It’s definitely doable and I am going to give it another go.

Not that I haven’t been earning money with selling my books so far, but the amounts have been, let’s say, more like pocket money, and nowhere near enough to properly live on. Hence my need to earn a ‘respectable’ wage as a receptionist at the town hall.
Now I like to see if I can add a bit to that monthly income, by writing, and hopefully selling, a new series of books. Fiction, this time, but sort-of inspired by the things that happened to me on my travels.

In two weeks time I am going on a three-week holiday. That is to say – I stay at home and do nothing but write. I am looking forward to it very much, and have been gearing up towards it by reading some books about self-publishing (to refresh my memory), looking up categories on Amazon, thinking about a target audience and giving my website a major overhaul.
Moreover, I have started blogging again, which is also writing, so good practise.

My idea is to publish a series of six novellas, each about 20,000 words long, in the next 3-4 years, starting with bringing out the first one in November this year. That is, if I can pull it off to write 20,000 words in three weeks. We will have to wait and see how that pans out.

So far, the following has been established concerning my work in progress.

  • The main character is Emily
  • She lives in a shared house in York


  • Rats are involved
  • Some shady things are going on in the local shopping street
  • There is an agonising bike ride to Appleton-le-Dale (population 117)
  • The church silver is stolen
  • And a protest march is held in the Yorkshire Dales

Fingers crossed it will all work out!

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