Don’t worry about my search history, I’m a writer

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Something wasn’t right. The words were clunky. It just wasn’t working.
Something about my new novel just wasn’t right.
It took me a while to figure it out that it was the plot. The whole plot.

I took a week off, let my subconscious work on it and while I was out on a run (I go running every now and then so I can eat more cake), it hit me.
A new idea. A new plot. …

How my body subtly tells me to get back to writing

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“Walking down the road, her dog trotting in front of her, she eyed up the line of trees and realised she was doing it again. She was narrating her own life. There’s only one possible explanation for this. She hadn’t done any writing in a long time.
How long had it been? With a sigh, she reached the treeline and let her dog wander off to sniff. Three weeks. It’s been three weeks. Three weeks and she’s already narrating her own life.”

True. Story.

Narrating my life to myself…

Yes, you can make money as a writer, here’s how

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I don’t remember how old I was or which teacher it was, but bear with me. One day, when I was a teenager, a teacher asked me what I wanted to do (when I grew up) and I told them I wanted to be a writer.
It was all I’d ever really wanted to be.

The teacher sucked in air, like a tradesperson about to tell me just how much something I wanted doing was going to cost.
“Writers don’t make money,” they told me. …

Making full use of the pandemic emotions to keep your stories coming now and in the future

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In 2020, as the pandemic hit the world and changed our lives, I managed to write four books. This felt amazing considering my usual output was one or two books a year. Despite my spiralling mental health, the tears, the constant fear, I was rather pleased with myself by the end of 2020. I thought 2021 would be much of the same and created an optimistic writing schedule based on my 2020 productivity. That was a stupid thing to do.

The media and social media are awash with how novelists are struggling to find the words. Last year this just…

Write, read, follow the rules then bend them to your will, and soon you’ll have a style all of your own

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“Don’t read books like yours while you’re writing.”
“Don’t copy other people’s style.”
“Write like this, not like that.”

Cor, there are so many writing rules.
Some of those rules are important for the most part. For example, please don’t write a whole novel where you tell instead of show, however a little bit of telling can be a good thing, proving that these ‘rules’ are meant for bending sometimes.

The three ‘rules’ above are all connected to you…

It doesn’t have to all be deep thinking, personality tests and character sheets

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Think back to the last novel you read and truly loved.
Why did you love it?

I’m willing to bet that most of you just said the characters.

Characters can make or break or story. If the characters are weak, boring or two-dimensional, then they won’t grab the reader by the heart and make them want more. …

And the making of an Irish folk legend

Sailing down the Thames was a bold move. The chances were that this wasn’t going to end well. She’d likely be arrested, thrown into a jail cell, not for the first time, given something of a trial and then hanged by the neck until dead. But she had no other option.

This is the story of how a legendary woman met one of England’s most famous queens.

First, let’s set the scene.

In the early 16th century, Ireland was under the control of a mixture of Gaelic and Irish clans led by chieftains, except for Dublin and the surrounding areas…

The first time round…

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Why can’t I write?
Type words into logical, rhythmic sentences that not only tell a story but also make a point?

I know how to do it.
I’ve been doing it since I was at school. I’ve loved doing it since I was at school.

Now, I have the chance to do it and get paid for it and every time I go to write, I…

Freeze.

Back in 2014, I had a breakdown.

These look different for everyone and for me it looked like panic attacks and random nose bleeds and nightmares when I wasn’t suffering with insomnia.

For…

To save you from staring at a blank screen

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When you’re just starting and don’t have your writing process nailed yet, creating the outline can be incredibly daunting.

Don’t worry, it can actually be pretty easy.

Your outline just needs to be a map, pointing you in the right direction while you’re writing your first draft. It’s a place to store your ideas in roughly the correct order.

Getting the outline right to a certain extent means that you won’t start every writing session staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration to hit (if it ever does).

You also don’t need fancy apps or software to create that…

Jenny Lewis

Novelist, freelance editor for authors, freelance writer specialising in the strange, the stories and the characters. Find out more at www.writeintothewoods.com

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