Why Is Research So Important?

Copy of Autumn (10)

One of the most important parts of writing a novel is the research process.

It should go without saying that a well-researched story is going to flow better than one that is poorly researched.

When you write what you know it allows the reader to be immersed in the world and characters that you have created. Poorly researched writing can be full of errors which can suck the reader right out of the story. For example, if you’re writing a story set in a hospital with your main characters being doctors and patients and you refer to a thermometer as something used to brush a person’s hair then your readers are going to be pulled out of your story and into confusion faster than you can say ‘huh?’ Admittedly this example is a trifle exaggerated but only to make the point that good research is a necessity if you’re going to write good fiction.

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Submission Checklist

Copy of Autumn (10)

This year I’m going to submit more of my short stories to magazines, websites, and blogs. you name it if they accept my genre then I want to find and submit to them.

Obviously, it is my goal to have as many of those submissions accepted as possible, with that in mind I’ve been researching the best ways to go about that and have created my own little checklist, which I want to share with you below.

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2018 The Year of the Short Story

Short Stories2

Here we are at the start of another year.

I’m feeling optimistic and excited to get started. Although, I will confess that after heading straight back to work for a couple of days after traveling back from visiting family for the holiday season has actually left me feeling shattered.

Excited and optimistically shattered, mind you.

I’m really excited about the projects that I’m working on this year, both writing and in my working/day job and personal life.

I considered doing the traditional ‘first of the year’ blog where I talk about my plans, resolutions and the efforts that I’m going to make to try and make 2018 the best year ever. But to be honest, I’m getting a little tired of those blogs. They’re not that interesting for you to read and after writing one every single year for the last however-many years I’m getting fed up writing them as well.

But I still want to talk about something I’m excited about this year, and that is my plan to get more of my short stories published!  I managed to get a few published in 2017 and I want to get more written and published in 2018.

I love writing short stories, and here’s why.

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FREE GIVEAWAY Secrets of Hidden Places

Due to the popularity of the Haloween Giveaway, I have decided to expand it!

It will now include SECRETS OF HIDDEN PLACES!

 

the secrets of hidden places cover

People always disappear during the festival. Every year the island holds the festival but among the ancient rusted iron rides and wooden stalls, Melanie discovers an ancient secret. One that may cost her her life.

 

Secrets of Hidden Places will now be available for FREE from 27th October 2017 until Haloween night (31st October).

Download your own Free Copy Here

 

 

Secrets of Hidden Places

the secrets of hidden places cover

Secrets of hidden Places

The Festival was held in the dying days of summer.

The personality of the Island changed during the Festival, opening the gates for all things to pass. All women were beautiful, and all men were prosperous. It was a time for magic. People found long lost brothers, great treasures and made dangerous promises. Not all who saw it start would see it end.

Melanie took a deep breath through her mouth to avoid smelling the rank stench of the water and almost choked when she tasted it instead. The boat tipped on the grey water, leaning as if to capsize before rolling back. Hanging over the railing Melanie spat out the bile that rose up. When she was confident that the sour taste and the burn in her throat were all that remained she leant back. The wind blew multi-coloured hair into her eyes and worked its way down her back, raising goosebumps. She pulled her artistically ripped leather jacket tighter around herself. It was big enough to fit around her and then some; it had belonged to her father before he had died and was nearly as old as she was. She pulled it up and buried her nose in its sweet smell of leather, perfume and an unknown scent that Melanie was confident was her dad. Her pocket buzzed. She reached in, felt the sweet wrappers and change for her phone, knowing full well who the message was from.

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Secrets of Hidden Places Snippet

Secrets of Hidden Places Cover

Secrets of Hidden Places

The Festival was held in the dying days of summer.

The personality of the Island changed during the Festival, opening the gates for all things to pass. All women were beautiful and all men were prosperous. It was a time for magic. Men found long lost brothers, great treasures and made dangerous promises. Not all who saw it start would see it end.

Melanie took a deep breath through her mouth to avoid smelling the rank stench of the water and almost choked when she tasted it instead. The boat tipped on the grey water, leaning as if to capsize before rolling back. Hanging over the railing Melanie spat out the bile that rose up. When she was certain that the sour taste and the burn in her throat was all that remained she leaned back. The wind blew multi-coloured hair into her eyes and worked its way down her back, raising goosebumps. She pulled her artistically ripped leather jacket tighter around herself. It was big enough to fit around her and then some; it had belonged to her father before he had died and was nearly as old as she was. She pulled it up and buried her nose in its sweet smell of leather, perfume and an unknown scent that Melanie was positive was her dad. Her pocket buzzed. She reached in, felt around the sweet wrappers and change for her phone, knowing full well who the message was from.

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Tips on starting a project, big or small

There are lots of different ways to write, some people sit and write without a great deal of planning, they let the story lead them, let it evolve naturally. Some do a little bit of planning, they get a rough idea what’s going to happen and then let the story tell them the rest. Others (like me) plan the hell out of a story before they write the first word.

With any project, there is a level of commitment, but for a large project you need to be motivated, resilient (to overcome challenges) and have at least some time management skills. While 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 best tips for writing projects both big and small.

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