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Happy Easter

He is risen, hallelujah!

Whether you are religious or not, celebrate Easter or not, I wish you all a very joyful, happy, egg-filled Easter!

✝️
Cross facts. This beautiful cross belonged to my Belorussian grandmother. She had quite a life. Whilst a teenager, the Nazis invaded her village doing their thing and they wanted a daughter from my grandmother’s household (There were three, her stepsisters and her). Her stepfather told them to spare his own daughters and take her, so they did. She was then sent to work in concentration camps until the war ended.

Despite the atrocities she lived through and those that she saw, she still wore this cross. I think that is amazing.
✝️

Plotter or Pantser, which are you?

Now, until I’d joined Instagram and befriended other writers, I had never come across these two terms, let alone contemplated which I might be. However, since joining Instagram, I’ve quickly realised I am neither. It turns out I am a Plantser or Plotser, or whatever a hybrid of the two is.

This revelation shocked me quite profoundly as I am OCD. It doesn’t rule my life but it’s there. I like things clean and tidy but I’m not obsessive. My ‘thing’ is checking things: locks, windows, items, is my alarm set? Did I lock the car? Is the window that’s been locked all winter, still locked? Double check, triple check, quadruple check. It’s not (totally) a bad thing because I know for certain if something’s amiss, but it does waste time and I know it’s not healthy. But, I digress.

So, despite being OCD I’m not with regards to my writing. Contradictory, right? I mean, I plot. I have a basic timeline, chapter outline, back stories for my characters, I research names, terms, phenomena, anything and everything that’s relevant. But I don’t have the full outline written down. I know the key points, I know some of what happens in between but not everything; and writing like that suited me fine for Book 1.

However, for Book 2 I’m trying to plot more, not necessarily the entire story, but more. So far, I have worked on my Beats, but I could only plot so many; I have plotted and planned my key characters in more depth, using Sarra Cannon’s freebie “Plot your Novel”; and I am 5,000+ words into typing up my Series Bible (using the free outline courtesy of Bethany Atazadeh). And I’ve still got my plot embryos to draft!

I really recommend the freebies, they’ve given me direction and have made me contemplate things about my characters and world that I would never have done. Which can only be a good thing, right? Nonetheless, it’s been difficult. Not the plotting or Series Bible, they’ve been fun; but the Story Beats (a section within Bethany’s freebie). Bizarrely, pinning them down was really tricky; my brain reached a point where it couldn’t take anymore and suffered a meltdown: “I don’t know! Let’s just write and see!”

I’m certainly not a Plotter! I am determined though to do a month’s more plotting before I start writing. I have a feeling it’ll save me time later, and time is my most precious commodity.

Does this resonate with you? Are you in Team Plotser/Plantser? Or a clearcut Plotter or Pantser? Any tips you’d be happy to share? I’d love to know!

Today I created a #hashtag!

Today I created a hashtag for Urban Fantasy authors: #urbanfantasyauthorcommunity

I’d been think of creating a hashtag for a while but thought I was being silly. Then yesterday, I received a message from a fellow author who said how glad she was to meet a fellow Urban Fantasy author and it struck a chord. So, on checking Instagram and seeing no hashtag had been created, I created a post and made one myself. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive and I’m so excited where this could go!

Building Your Platform – the BuJo Way! (First ever video!!)

Every month, I send out one free Bullet Journal spread to those on my mailing list. For March I’m giving them not one, not two but six (!) spreads to help plan, organise and improve their Author Platforms. However, the spreads are perfect for any creative entrepreneur wishing to review and improve their platforms.

To help introduce them, I have created a video (my first proper one!)

If you’re interested in receiving this month’s free spreads, as well as future ones, please sign up here.

Translating

As a qualified language teacher and translator, words and communication is extremely important to me. As such, I am going to start translating my website into Mandarin Chinese, before translating it into French and Spanish.

对这语言老师和译者来说,语言非常重要。所以,从今我就开始把网页翻译出来中文。然后法语和西班牙语。

What next?

After the festivities of Christmas, reality has set in and whilst I made some big plans at the start of 2019, within weeks it became obvious that these would be unachievable.

It has been a lot to admit that despite my original intention to publish The KeyMaster this autumn, circumstances won’t allow. I was so excited to think that this project I’ve been working on for so long might finally be on its way to the big wide world that it’s been crushing to realise this will just not be possible. Yet.

Besides coming to terms with this sad truth, these last few months have been frustrating for me creatively as my laptop finally gave up the ghost. Its memory had slowly been eaten up until there was nothing left and my documents just wouldn’t open.

I didn’t think it would affect me like it did; as a writer you feel helpless, like your creativity has been squashed. I know you can use paper and to plot I do, but to write I like to type straight away.

This last week, I have been fortunate enough to be gifted a Bluetooth keyboard from a family friend, so I can at least continue typing. But circumstances haven’t changed.

Consequently, my next steps forward are to finish the final edit of The KeyMaster Book 1 and move on to Book 2. There are some plotting and planning techniques I’ve come across through the Instagram writing community that I want to try (If you are a fellow writer, I seriously recommend you using Instagram to connect with like-minded writers. It’s such a vibrant and supportive community.) If you are interested in seeing how they go, keep an eye on my social media and website for posts and (hopefully) videos.