Week Sixteen

Today is the end of the sixteenth week of the 365 Writing Challenge and I failed dismally this week in way of words added to pieces of fiction and poetry. However, I did write an impressive 2,114 words on my blog. So, that’s a win in my book.

So, what have I accomplished in the past seven days?

Let’s list it shall we and find out!

  • Added 100 words to an Iron Faerie Publishing submission piece.
  • Added 100 words to Le Fay.
  • Submitted one drabble to Black Hare Press.
  • Wrote one poem.
  • Edited a couple of short stories.

And of course, the wait for contest scores continues, as does waiting to hear back on a few – 5 – submissions I’ve sent to publishers in the last month.

Of course, that list doesn’t include my work with The Horror Tree which can often be overwhelming or my work with Iron Faerie Publishing.

Until next week (or the week after that). Happy writing.

Advertisements

You Know You’re a Writer When…

…You stumble upon the fact that blood makes a good egg substitute and you decide to blog about it.

Not grossed out yet? Then keep reading.

So, in an effort to get in the Easter spirit a little bit more I went searching the internet for quick and easy chocolate related recipes today… because while I love my go to chocolate cake, I didn’t just want cake. Turns out, my go to chocolate cake is easy as to make and I can do it in my sleep… so all the other fabulous recipes I found today will have to wait.

However, in the course of looking through all kinds of chocolate recipes I also stumbled across why blood is a good substitute for eggs.

The answer? It’s full of protein.

Of course, if you are squeamish at the sight of blood you might be better sticking to banana or apple sauce as an egg supplement. But I found it fascinating all the same.

So, now that you’re thoroughly creeped out, I’m going to share with you one of the easiest chocolate cake recipes I’ve found to date. My kids love it!

Chocolate Cake Recipe

ingredients

• 1 cup self-raising flour

• 1/3 cup cocoa

• 1 cup caster sugar

• 1/3 cup butter (softened)

• 1/2 cup milk

• 2 eggs (lightly beaten)

• 1 teaspoons of vanilla

method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 24cm cake tin and set aside.

2. Place all ingredients into a bowl and using a mixer, mix ingredients together on high for 4 minutes.

3. Pour into cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the centre.

Alternatively, if you’d rather cupcakes, this recipe will easily make 12. Just bake for 15 minutes at 180°C (160°C fan-forced).

Chocolate Buttercream Icing Recipe

ingredients

• 100g butter, softened

• 2 cups soft icing mixture, sifted

• 1/3 cup cocoa, sifted

• 2 tbsp milk

method

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until pale and fluffy.

2. Add the icing mixture and cocoa a little at a time until fully incorporated.

3. When this is fully combined add the milk and the chocolate buttercream will become light and fluffy.

So, what on your menu for Easter? Anything special? Share in the comments below!

Gargoyles and Grotesques

In the light of the fire that destroyed part of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, I spent the day following the story and try to figure out a way to reflect on it while at the same time not rehashing everything that had been shared through all the various news services.

And as I was trawling through Pinterest an idea came to me.

What better way than to take a look at one of the iconic symbols of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Gargoyle and share a writing prompt.

Gargoyles are a popular choice of architectural design on churches because of the long held belief that they warded away evil spirits, and to divert rainwater.

The word “Gargoyle” originates from an old French word “Gargouille” meaning “throat” but it also describes the gurgling sound of water as it comes down the down pipe.

Technically architects call a waterspout on a building a gargoyle. If a stone carving does not carry water and has a face that resembles a creature, it is technically called a grotesque. And a strange beast which combines several different animals is called a chimera.

As I looked up, I caught sight of a gargoyle.

Happy writing everyone!

Why Writing Isn’t a Chore

Why writing isn’t a chore… and yet I have a list of things to keep me going through to the end of April. And I totally love it, despite how overwhelming it gets some days.

I spent the day organising my writing related to-do list, in between household chores and begging the Gods that it didn’t rain so the washing I had out on the line could actually have a chance to dry, whilst wishing like mad I had a dryer that worked, of course. It’s still not dry…

This is what I have so far… and I swear there’s things I’ve forgotten, so this list will likely be added to over the next few days.

Did I mention I’m trying to keep myself accountable this year? Well I am!

  • Add new words added to a story story. The word count minimum of which is a self imposed 2000, for an Iron Faerie Publishing anthology submission.
  • Add new words to a short story. The word count minimum is 7000 and my current count is 4025.
  • Edit and submit two drabbles for consideration into a Black Hare Press anthology.
  • Organise my poems. Would you believe most are stored in the notes app on my phone? Backed up of course but still.
  • Write more poetry. It should be simple but I get so caught up in my short story submissions that I forget to flex my poetry muscles.
    Edit an author interview I completed for The Horror Tree, ready to send off Wednesday morning.
    Edit short stories. Which short stories? I couldn’t tell you. There’s the several I’ve written in the first quarter of the year that haven’t been sent into anthologies, so I should probably start there…

What’s on your to do list? Anything exciting? My mundane chore list isn’t as exciting as my writing one, but I’ll leave you with the image that is a household of 6 and no dishwasher. Yes, there’s tears and they’re usually all mine.

The 5 Elements of a Story – Character

5 elements of a story - character

There are several things you need to consider when creating a character. Some are obvious while others may not be.

And, more importantly, the needs vary a little between short stories and novels. As with short stories you are merely getting a glimpse into a character whereas in a novel, characters need to be more developed and fleshed out.

Characterisation can be hard to manage and even harder to get right. Discovering who your character is can often be very frustrating.

Which is why character profiles are incredibly useful. Even the simplest character profile will help you in getting to know your character.

Because, let’s face it, when you’re dealing with a novel there’s often quite a few characters involved. At some point remembering who had what eye colour is going to get tricky.

Which is why I create character profiles. If not for all my characters, then for the main characters at the start. The minor character profiles tend to evolve on their own and I write additional profiles as needed.

Below is a black PDF version of the rather basic Character Profile I use. It’s nothing overly elaborate, but it does the job.

Feel free to save it to your computer for use later on.

Character Profile

 

 

Week Fifteen

img_1345

Today is the end of the fifteenth week of the 365 Writing Challenge and I’ve managed to write 1156 words across seven days.

So, what have I accomplished over the past week?

Let’s list it shall we and find out!

  • Wrote a further 644 words and completed Of Blood and Fire. It comes in at 5,044 words and was submitted in the early hours of Thursday, 11th April.
  • Continued work on Le Fay, writing a further 300 words. It’s now sitting at 4,000/6,000 words. I had to push the deadline back two weeks.
  • Wrote two short poems.
  • I’ve sat staring at my untitled story for the Summer Splash anthology more than I would like but I’ve managed to get 156 words down.

Of course, that list doesn’t include my work with The Horror Tree which can often be overwhelming or my work with Iron Faerie Publishing. Or any of the blogs I’ve written over the last week.

Until next week (or the week after that). Happy writing.

Week Thirteen and Fourteen

Today is the end of the fourteenth week of the 365 Writing Challenge and I’ve managed to write 5008 words across fourteen days. Hard to believe, I know. This of course, doesn’t count the words that go into my blog posts, if it did, I can guarantee you the word count would be higher.

So, what have I accomplished in the past two weeks?

Let’s list it shall we and find out!

  • Started work on Of Blood and Fire – I’m 4,408 words into the short story which is centred around King Arthur and Camelot. Complete with dragons and… vampires. Yep! You heard correctly. Vampires!
  • Submitted a poem, Raven Queen to Dragon Soul Press.
  • Edited two short stories.
  • Edited 9,000 words worth of articles for a client.
  • Submitted my short story, The Drowning Pool to Pixie Forest Publishing’s anthology At Death’s Door.
  • Wrote a 600 word scene that will eventually be included in the WIP Eldritch.
  • Wrote two more poems
  • Wrote two drabbles

Of course, that list doesn’t include my work with The Horror Tree which can often be overwhelming or my work with Iron Faerie Publishing.

All up it’s lead to a very busy, but productive two weeks.

Until next week (or the week after that). Happy writing.