Reading

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

Bridge to HavenBridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Francine Rivers is one of my all-time favourite authors. Her book Redeeming Love is the most read, most tattered, books on my bookshelf (it’s one of the very physical books I have kept since purchasing my Kindle). Bridge to Haven is a brilliant book, and almost matching Redeeming Love for me.

Sprinkled with romance, Hollywood glamour, and God, this is religious fiction which won’t bore you to death, or condemn anyone. I experienced a real sense of grief when I finished this novel, as I loved it so much.

If you’ve never dabbled in Christian Fiction, and fancied giving it a try, Francine Rivers is the BEST place to start.

View all my reviews

Novel Writing

Annoying People Make the Best Characters

I bet you have one, we all do. That person who sets your teeth on edge, who drives you up the wall, who makes you google how to get away with murder (I’m joking about that last one…). That person who makes your life difficult.

Have you ever thought of them as Novel Fodder?

Novel Fodder – Definition by Blissful Scribbles – A person or object that can be directly placed into a work in progress to add tension, drama, and interest. Can sometimes be used passive aggressively, which although best avoided, is incredibly satisfying.

Novel Fodder is a great way of letting out your frustration. Write out that person in minute detail, the exact things they do, put it in a character. The annoying character traits? Give them to an antagonist. 

If a good relationship with said person is preferable or necessary editing will need to include a stringent “identity protection” portion so you can veil your frustration. This is recommended in such instances as your wife’s best friend or you boss.

However, that snarky woman you met in Tescos? Write her up. 

That rude driver with the obscene bumper stickers? Write him up too.

Write them up until the frustration is gone, and you’re left with a novel full of real life people. (Obviously make sure to add a large dollop of characters you DO like, otherwise your novel may miss the mark!)

Reading

The Story of Us by Dani Atkins

The Story of UsThe Story of Us by Dani Atkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you like romance novels? If so, this is the book for you. I loved it.

The characters are painted in great detail and full of life. I felt I could meet them on the high street, they were that realistic.

This book is a lovely romance that weaves it’s way into your heart and leaves you wanting more. It became the highlight of my day.

View all my reviews

Novel Writing

The Benefits of Writing in the Morning

Most writers don’t have the luxury (yet) to write as their day jobs, and some, like me, wouldn’t want to. As an extrovert, I need to see and speak to people for most of the day, so a full-time writer’s life would kill me. Part-time writing comes with its challenges, namely, finding the time to write!

One solution to this problem is to either wake up early or go to bed late. As someone who starts falling asleep on the sofa at 10 pm, I am not a good candidate for late nights. Early mornings, however, I can handle.

Here are the top reasons I love to write before my day begins – 

Peace and Quiet – Does anyone else love the sense of peace that morning holds? I live by the sea and it’s a wonderful place to be in the morning. The fresh sea breeze and seagulls are somehow different in the morning before most human’s wake up. There is space to breathe.

A Clear Head – I’m sure I’m not the only one who tries to cram too much into my brain in one day. As an administrator I am adept at multi-tasking, however, it does leave a hangover of sorts in my head. In the mornings my brain is clear and that helps my writing.

Coffee – Coffee is writing fuel, the petrol to an authors engine. At least that’s the case for me, I write best when I can guzzle caffeine until my heart’s content and not worry about sleeping later on.

The sense of Achievement before the day begins – How wonderful does it feel to have ticked something off your to-do list before your work day even begins? Those who run in the mornings know this feeling well. It works in the exact same way for writers.

Evenings free for Friends and Family – Family time is precious, and I would hate to lock myself away every evening. Although I lose out on sleep or perhaps go to bed earlier than others, at least my family feel they have my full attention in the evenings.

I would love to find out if you agree or to hear from a night owl. All comments are so very welcome. 

 

 

Novel Writing

My Novel Writing Secret – Shhh Don’t Tell

I have a secret, a big, fat, secret. It’s increased my daily word count by a third. Do you want to know what it is? Then read on…

I stopped writing my novel weeks ago.

What? How can you have an amazing word count and have stopped writing, you ask? Let me tell you how.

I started dictating my novel.

I’m using a handy dictation tool on my Chromebook and speaking out my novel as it comes into my head. It took a fair while to get used to it, but now, after weeks of NaNoWriMo practice, I am a whizz at it.

Here is a small list of how dictation has improved my novel writing –

Get more words down in the same amount of time. Enough said. Who wouldn’t want to increase productivity without spending money or extra stress?

Improve the quality of dialogue. When you dictate speech it is more authentic, as, well, speech is spoken word, so doesn’t it make more sense to dictate dialogue?

Less temptation to edit as you write. Nearly every post about dictation mentions this. Dictate helps you get into the mindset of telling a story and stops you becoming distracted by editing as you go.

Kinder to your back. Back pain and RSI can cripple an author. We simply aren’t designed to sit hunched over a computer all day. With dictation you can pop on a headset and wander around your laptop – no back strain for us!

This is a small list, there are plenty more reasons to look into dictation – if you are interested I recommend checking it out. If you are a seasoned pro I would love to hear from you. 

 

Reading

The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent

The Loving HusbandThe Loving Husband by Christobel Kent

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book far more than some others who have reviewed it.

One of the typical complaints is that people guessed the twist right from the start, and I am no exception. However, for some reason, I often guess the end of a book (I can count on one hand the number of books that GENUINELY took me by surprise), so this was no real shock to me.

Fran is a quiet character, who some have described as weak. However I disagree, not all characters need to be larger than life, and sometimes a quiet soul is refreshing.

All in all, I recommend this book, however, don’t expect a shock. Guess the ending and then enjoy watching it unfurl.

View all my reviews