Four Habits of Successful Writers

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All great writers have habits.

Good habits and bad ones. I am by nature a creature of habit, usually, if I can do something for about a month (maybe 2) then I will do it forever unless someone stops me. So naturally I became very interested in writing habits, and how to form good ones. I’ve spent a lot of time researching to emulate the best practices and make myself a better writer.

Today I am going to list my top 5 for you.

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Secrets of Hidden Places Snippet

 

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Secrets of Hidden Places

Melanie took a deep breath, inhaling the soft smell of wood smoke and the sour, sharp smell of old beer. The bar was large, and crowded tables filled the space. She edged forwards, her tights snagging on the splinters in the floor. She glanced down; the wood of the floor was marked with furrows as though a pack of sharp-clawed wolves had dwelt here. Feeling eyes on her, Melanie looked at the bar. Sharp black eyes glared fiercely at her, making her flinch. The woman was bone thin; her greying hair pulled harshly back, making her skeletal appearance much more prominent. Melanie almost fled under the glare, but a hand on her back pushed her forwards.

“Pretty girl.” The boy smiled at her and steered her into the bar. “Raywin you frighten our Secretsfirst new face this Festival. How are we to live if you behave so?”

“Fool Una, Nit has already served her.” The woman, Raywin, said ‘served’ in such a way that Melanie shivered. Una clicked his tongue.

“Nit.” He looked to Melanie, smirked and jumped over the bar. “Her drinks are sticky sweet.” He leant closer till he was almost nose to nose with Melanie. “I can give you something much nicer.” Melanie swallowed the lump in her throat and felt the heat in her belly claw its way up her neck and over her face. Una’s eyes wandered down her body and slowly back to her face, his smile widened.

“What do you recommend?” Melanie said triumphantly that her voice remained steady. Una’s self-satisfied smile became a smirk.

“Many things.” He turned and opened a cupboard filled with bottles. Melanie still felt the burn of Raywin’s glare and risked a look at her out of the corner of her eye. Raywin was watching her, but her look was no longer a glare, it was desperate. Melanie felt her throat clench; she couldn’t breathe. The thump of a shot glass landing in front of her snapped her eyes away from Raywin. Una took her hand and wrapped it around the glass.

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Top three tips on writing short stories

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In this blog, I want to talk about stories, short stories to be exact.

Writing a short story is a particular skill, and while some of the skills gained when writing longer stories can be transferred to short ones,  some skills can only be honed and developed by writing short stories.

I know writers who can pen novels long enough to hold open fire doors and keep you gripped from page one right through to page one thousand and one, who then struggle to write a story three thousand five hundred words long.

With that in mind, I want to share my top three tips for writing good short stories.

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Snippet Stories: Fools Hope

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Fool’s Hope

Halvar second guessed himself for the first time in centuries.

A short few decades ago one of the children, Lorens, had convinced him that a show of force to the humans would make them back off. A show of force would protect the clan and improve moral, no one enjoys the feeling of helplessness that comes from being persecuted. Fighting back would make them feel as if they had some control over their fate. So he had agreed, he had pledged his children to the fight, and they had been victorious. Lorens had been right, the humans had retreated, moral had improved now that they no longer felt helpless. The battles were easily won, and their losses were minimal.

Until the Inquisition reappeared.

Things had become harder after that, battles were becoming fiercer. The losses began to mount up, and some began to lose faith. But those who lost their faith were easily outnumbered by those who had faith. They held hope not because of Halvar but because of Lorens. They had no belief that Lorens cared for them, or that he even really knew what he was doing. But they all saw him fight; they saw him do things alone in minutes that no one army could do in a lifetime.  That he was capable of such things gave them faith, that and his contagious determination.

But determination was not protection from a well-aimed blade.

Now Lorens lay broken before him, blood stained the grass, and his weapon was gone. The Inquisition had done its work. It was over.

But as he turned to walk away he stopped and listened. Over the sound of the flames he could hear Loren breathing, Halvar felt himself smile.

Perhaps they weren’t defeated yet.

Katie Marie wrote a Book. A big one and a couple of little ones. Check them out!

Events: Melksham Comic Con 2014

I’m back, I have returned from the far away land of Wiltshire, and I come with much news!

Comic Con, Interviews and two new short stories!

First of all Comic Con!

Comic Con was awesome! The variety of exhibitors and guests was absolutely astounding. The diversity of what is on offer considering the size of the con is unbelievable. The decision to stretch it over two days was a good one, it allowed an even pace, and gave the con the flexibility to provide so much and keep the relaxed and friendly environment. This was the second time I have had the chance to go to Melksham Comic Con, but my first time as an exhibitor and I have to say that I had more fun as an exhibitor (although cosplaying Harley Quinn last year did rock). I got a small taste of how much work must go into putting a con this great together.

 

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My Name Is Jessica: Free Extract

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My name is Jessica.

I was eight years old when the word ended, I was ten years old when I was identified as a viable host for Weapon, and I was thirteen years old when I saved the world.

The world ended quietly. We did not destroy ourselves as so many had thought we would. Something else did it for us. In the end, the end of the world was, almost, nothing to do with us, it happened around us rather than to us. They came in silent darkness and so many died so quickly. We were obliterated before we knew what had hit us.

But despite this, we were not defeated.

Man can do awful things to survive and unspeakable things when he wants to ‘win’.

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Snippet stories: Ink

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Ink

The Fairy was watching a mortal be tattooed.

The method was very different to how they did it in the Realms. The results were different as well; these men had the ink sit lifelessly in their skin. In the Realms, a tattoo was much more than a drawing. It was a life form in your skin, sentient and independent.

Adrian had a lunar moth done when he was 28. He had asked for it on the shoulder, but now 372 years later it mostly dwelt on his hip. It often crawled, tiny feet biting into his skin and bone, but it was not painful. Now that he was conscious of it and he could feel it twitching. It seemed it could feel his focus on it and it moved around to crouch on his left buttock, hiding from his attention.

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