Obsessive much? #AtoZChallenge – Peculiar ‘Pen fellows’ – Quirks only a writer can understand

peculiar penfellows


OObsessive much? 

For writers, the editing process is tricky business. Once the first draft is finished, the revision stage begins and by the time it’s ready for another set of eyes, our own are crossed! 

We go through it so many times we start to obsess over the little things, like comma placement. The more we deliberate, the more we doubt ourselves and then we start to pepper them everywhere. Well, okay, not really, but I do have a tendency to get comma happy! 

It’s not surprising, either. As writers we have a tendency to over-analyse. I can’t send an email without checking it a dozen times, and don’t even get me started on text messages. I could write an essay on text speak and the use of acronyms, or worse abbreviations. 

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Chop, Chop, (Choppity Chop) #AtoZChallenge – Peculiar ‘Pen fellows’ – Quirks only a writer can understand


Chop, Chop, (Choppity Chop)

For writers well traversed with the short story, a sweet novella, or an anthology or two, then keeping and sticking to a word limit should be a breeze *cough – yeah right – cough.*

Seriously, though. Most writers will experience a time when their precious words face the chopping block. Like the times when you’re bitten by the bug, inspiration strikes, and you start binge writing like the words are going to run out. Not only will you come out of the fog deliriously happy (or happily delirious), you’ll also have to wait for the major low of realising some of it has to go. Yes, you’re about thirty thousand over your limit, and those babies are not going to make the cut.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating. A little. But there’s nothing worse than pouring your heart onto the page and realising that you need to start hacking away. And I’m not talking about cutting the chaff, the run-on sentences and poor word choices that you’ll happily bury behind the delete button. No, I’m talking about the scenes that don’t make you cringe, the ones you’re actually proud of.

It’s tough. If you’re lucky it means the story develops into something more, from a novella to a full-length novel, or a series. If not, well, sometimes you have to sacrifice those well-earned words and hope they don’t haunt you!

Of course, there are ways to condense your work, ways that allow you to save your precious little gems from the chopping block. You’ll find lots of useful tips from fellow writers, not to mention support from editors, but a useful article caught my eye (the title certainly did!). If you want to check it out, you’ll find ‘How to cut thousands of words without shedding a tear’ by Rachelle Gardner here.

Thanks for stopping by

Not much of a progress report – ROW80

You may have noticed my absence on Wednesday, so I apologise I didn’t have time to participate in either WIPpet Wednesday or ROW80. I’ve been preparing for the release of The Fifth Watcher, and juggling a busy workload, so this week has been chaotic to say the least!

I almost didn’t post today, because I don’t have a great deal to report. I’m on track with my writing, and back to editing. I made progress on my blogging goals, and even managed to post on the Lance Legion blog. Which is all pretty boring, right? I could have tried to make this post more entertaining, but my energy levels are low, and so is my sense of humour it seems!

So, this is me, touching base. I hope you all had a good week, and I hope to learn of your progress when I visit my group.

Until next time.


Crazy Craft Sunday – ROW80 Update

2014-11-09 21.34.08It’s short and sweet from me this week, and when I say sweet I mean sweet. I spent the weekend with my adorable nephew who is a little shining star…he is Z-man 🙂

Though I haven’t done a great deal of writing, I have honoured the arts and spent most of the day creating, painting and generally having fun – food for the soul.

My blogging, writing and editing goals haven’t suffered much. I have 12,260 words in my NaNo bank too, so that’s not half bad!

Before I go, I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Kay, Renee, Amy, Shan Jeniah, Gloria, Ruth and Beth for allowing me to do a guest post/cover reveal for The Fifth Watcher. I really appreciate your support. I’m in the process of writing those posts and I’ll be in touch soon.

I look forward to catching up on your progress.

Until next time.


Last minute changes – WIPpet Wednesday/ROW80

As it’s the first Wednesday of NaNoWriMo I was all set to share with you a snippet from my new project – a continuation of the scene I shared with you last week.  But Tyler will have to wait a while, because my mind is on other things. The short version is that The Fifth Watcher is all set for its release on the 21st of November and, while that should be the end of that, I haven’t been able to get a scene out of my head all day. So I wrote it, and am now considering adding it in (because we all like to make changes at the last minute!).

I’d like to share it with you for WIPpet Wednesday, and am hoping feedback will help me to determine what I should do. You’ve been so helpful in the past when it comes to this project, and I’m grateful for that.

For the math, I added the day and the month together to give me 16 paragraphs. It’s a little on the long side, but I hope there’s enough action to make it worth your while!

I shifted the instant I received confirmation from Havers, the sound of Audrey’s torment travelling with me – a scream which reverberated inside my head long after she’d blacked out.

As I arrived in the small laboratory, I became aware of two things. Audrey’s sister slumped unconscious against the wall, and three armed men piling through the doorway.

I had mere seconds to react. The renegade heading up the crew had already fired his weapon; his henchmen turning towards the prisoner. Diving in their direction, I hit the floor with a resounding thwack, taking all the weight on my right shoulder.

The jolt made my teeth rattle, but I didn’t think about that, or the aroma of burning cloth from the shot which had grazed my arm. I rolled towards Audrey’s sister, disengaging my own weapon as I fired at the nearest scumbag.

Nate loomed behind the group, his arm around the shooter’s throat. “Are you out of your God-damn mind?” he yelled at me.

I took it for a rhetorical question and kicked out to bring the fight to my level. My shot had found its target, rendering the other man unconscious, so it was two against two.

My opponent was surprisingly strong for his size. He was small and wiry, with protruding joints he used to his full advantage. He jammed his elbow into my shoulder, the pleasure in his eyes letting me know how much he relished the fight.

I barely felt the pain because I was pissed. I’d behaved impulsively and deserved the reminder. That didn’t mean I was in the mood to wrestle with an untrained thug. The sound of battle rose up from the hallway, as my men cleared the building. I used it to focus, pinning my scrawny foe to the floor so I could think for a second.

Nate stepped forward, as if on cue, and jabbed him in the neck with a syringe. “Don’t ever pull that shit on me again.” His voice echoed with barely contained rage. “How am I supposed to watch your back, if you take me out of the equation?”

“It won’t happen again.”

“You’ve got that right,” Nate snapped out, clearly working on his anger. “Because if…” He felt the threat the moment I did, and started to turn.

Cursing myself for the complete lack of preparation, I grabbed his weapon from its holster and fired at the doorway; mine was on the damn floor where I’d dropped it.

Nate glanced at my handy work. “Nice shot,” he said, as we rose to assess the damage.

The renegade officer, a bear of a man at least 6ft 3″, had hit the deck hard. Stepping over him I couldn’t help but feel a wave of pity; he might prefer death to Taylor’s brand of interrogation.

“Why don’t you do the honours?” He motioned towards the hall. “Since you’re hell bent on sticking your neck out.”

I ignored the jibe, bobbing my head through the opening to get a better look. “All clear.”

I know it needs a little work, but I’m hoping the bones are there. I will be doing a cover reveal next Friday (the 14th), so if anyone would like to help out by featuring the cover or allowing me to do a guest post, please let me know. That would be great 🙂

Thanks so much to K. L. Schwengel for hosting and providing us with an opportunity to share with and support one another.

ROW80LogocopyI’ve been concentrating on my writing goals this week, for NaNo, and have about 8,900 words so far. I haven’t connected with as many people this time, but I’m hoping to rectify that. I know we write mostly in isolation, but one of the things I loved about NaNo last year was the sense of community.

My editing goals are on track. I wish I could say the same about my blogging goals, but I haven’t made much progress in that department.

Overall things are good. I’m a little tired, but I’ve been interpreting a lot in the past few days so that takes up most of my brain power!

I hope you’re having a good week, and I look forward to catching up with you.

Thanks for stopping by.


Thrills and Chills – ROW80 and NaNoWriMo

Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood… Yes, I know I’m quoting the lyrics from Thriller, but I’m trying to set the scene. My daughters’ persuaded me to go to a Scare Fest last Thursday, close to midnight no less *cue music*  “It’s close to midnight…” Sorry, can’t get the song out of my head!. As I stepped into the woods, gripping tightly to my partner in crime, I expected Michael himself to cross our path – it was like the set of a horror movie! There were a group of us, which added to the fun. We even had the stereotypical tough guy; with his false bravado and constant jokes to compensate for the fact he was way out of his element. He actually made the night…when the first zombie jumped into our path, he screamed louder than I did! It was a lot of fun. The scene wasn’t complete without a cabin in the woods and despite signs warning us against the horrors waiting inside, we entered the fun house. Yes, you guessed it, there were more zombies…this time axe-wielding fire-men.

So, anyway, that leads me onto my own fireman – Tyler Davies. NaNoWriMo is going well. I’m enjoying spending time with Tyler and the gang, and I’ve even found time to continue editing. I don’t have a great deal to update in terms of ROW80. You win some and you lose some. My writing and editing are on target, so this week I plan to concentrate on the blogging elements I’ve failed to complete so far.

How about you? How was your week, and what did you do for Halloween?

Thanks for stopping by.


Chained to my desk…ROW80 update

Happy Sunday everyone 🙂

I’ve spent the last couple of days beta reading. Plus, I’ve almost finished the books I agreed to review in time for the upcoming tours on Writing Room 101 – so the spotlight section is on target! Before you get all excited about my progress though, I must point out I still haven’t written a post for my character blog Lance Legion. In fact, he’s sulking! This was a weekly target and I haven’t managed to achieve it, so yeah…I’d be sulking too!

My writing goals have taken an interesting turn. I managed to hit my weekly target, but most of it was…I hope you’re sitting down…spent planning. Hard to believe, right? I do have a specific reason though, aside from trying to find a little balance – I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo again. Last time I stuck to my usual pantser ways, but this time I’m going into the adventure with a few new tools under my belt. I actually have a plan, as infinitesimal as it may be, it’s there!

Which leads me to my final set of goals – editing. I’ve been chained to my desk for the past few days (hence the title), because I got the notes back from my first round of betas on The Fifth Watcher. For that reason my focus will be on making revisions over the next few weeks. The feedback is positive, but more than one person didn’t bond with Audrey until the third or fourth chapter and this is not good. I need to change that, and so I’ll be banging my head against my desk until the answer comes to me!

So that’s me. I hope you’ve all had a good week, and look forward to catching up with you soon.


All about that bass – ROW80 check in

I don’t have a great deal to report in terms of progress. For those of you who read my mid-week check in, I took a break to help my daughter celebrate becoming a teenager! Yesterday, I took her to the coast (Blackpool Pleasure Beach). She decided at the last minute she wanted to take three friends. As that made four teenagers, I became a glorified taxi driver and I couldn’t even take anyone with me. Despite being ‘cool’ for about five minutes on her birthday (probably due to presents and the hours I spent decorating her bedroom), I’m apparently not cool enough to accompany four girls around the park. So I was relegated! I had to wait in a café, for 6 hours, no less – until they’d been on every ride at least twice! It started off well. I had my phone, my Kindle app, and the novel I’ve been looking forward to (False Awakening by Callum McLaughlin). So, with a latte, a sugary treat, and my trusty app, I began to read. The mechanical sounds of a nearby rollercoaster, music blaring from another ride, screams, chatter and the coffee machine – it all faded away as I slipped into another world. Forty minutes later, my battery died. If I hadn’t looked enough of a loser, I might have wept! Instead I took out my trusty notebook and began to write.

It was along day, made all the longer because of the return trip. I had to listen to four excited girls sing All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor. Let’s just say it was an interesting rendition, and now it’s stuck in my head!

I did manage to get a lot of writing done, which is great. I’ve also spent most of the day editing, so I hit two goals 🙂

I hope you had a productive week, and an enjoyable weekend.

Until next time


On taking a guilt-free break – WIPpet Wednesday and a ROW80 check-in

Welcome to another round of WIPpet Wednesday, a feature created by K. L. Schwengel. This week I’ve been editing The Fractured and, as I wrote a new section, I thought I would share with you. I kept the maths simple, and used fifteen paragraphs to align with the date.

Maddison roamed the great halls, her eyes blind to the ancient beauty of her surroundings. Instead she was tormented by memories of Tobias Locke, the half-blood leader of the Enchanted League.

He needed her help. Tobias trusted few outside the league. As a freelance hunter, she regularly crossed his path. More than once they had formed a tentative alliance, a partnership of sorts.

She hadn’t accepted the assignment. Yet. She would, despite the fact he was an ass. An ass who had kissed her and completely changed the rules of their relationship. He hadn’t just crossed the line, he’d obliterated it. And the worst part. She had enjoyed the kiss. His sensuous mouth had dominated her dreams ever since he’d so carelessly laid one on her. Though at least the fantasies held back her nightmares. Perhaps she should thank him for that. Beating him bloody probably didn’t count.

“Who crapped all over your day?”

She turned to Jonas, their self-proclaimed matriarch at hunters-are-us. He was the only human among their band of merry fighters.

“The Enchanted League,” she grinned at him. “But you know I never turn down a paid gig.”

“Or the chance to get your hands dirty,” he said, eyebrow raised when she opened the electronic door with the flick of a wrist.

“Well there is that.” She laughed, falling into step beside him as they made their way down the long stretch of corridor.

After the demonic war, a battle which had devastated the mortal realm, buildings like this one were all but extinct. Once a prominent part of the community, the town hall was now a base of operations. The former meeting rooms they passed had been transformed into living quarters and housed the mercenaries fighting to keep people safe.

For the most part, humans kept to the major cities. They lived a kind of ignorant bliss; aware that monsters were real, yet convinced they were safe now the war was over.

“Have you thought any more about the Alliance?” Jonas asked, and she wasn’t fooled by his casual tone.

The Race Alliance existed outside of the mortal realm, and had been established to keep order. They had shown an interest in her skills. In a way she was being head-hunted by the big leagues.

“You know me.” She shrugged. “I like my freedom.”

“I get that and, don’t get me wrong, you’re one of the best freelancers we have…”

She stopped outside her room. “But?”

“But I don’t want you to waste an opportunity. The Alliance would be lucky to have you.”

I know you were probably hoping for more from Obadiah, and I haven’t forgotten about him. I’ll probably share him next week, he’s been getting up to mischief 🙂

So, that just leaves my update on ROW80.

I still haven’t made a great deal of progress. My daughter was thirteen yesterday and I’ve given her my undivided attention for the past few days. We’ve had fun, and best of all, the break from writing was guilt free. For the most part I’ve achieved my blogging goals, and though my writing hours leave a lot to be desired, I’m ahead in terms of editing. So, it’s not all doom and gloom, as it was on Sunday!

I hope you’re all have a good week, and look forward to catching up with you soon.

Thanks for stopping by.


Something new to share – WIPpet Wednesday

Before I get started, I want to thank S.L. Schwengel for giving us the opportunity to talk about our WIP’s every week, and build a support network.

I want to start with a quick update on my ROW80 progress first – otherwise my snippet won’t make sense!

Blogging: Writing Room 101 – I’ve prepared a few posts for the author spotlight section, but still need to work on the format for the site. Later this week there will be a special feature, but you’ll just have to wait until then – you’ll get no spoilers in this post J I haven’t done my weekly Lance Legion post, but I will. He’s following me around, and using my guilt against me – I’ve neglected him of late.

Writing: I’m 2,500 words into my 8,000 per week goal. I haven’t come up with a title yet, for my current WIP.

Editing: I’ve edited a few pages of Fractured, and my inner editor is brutal. So, the less said about that the better!


I finally let go of The Fifth Watcher and sent it to my beta-readers. You were all a great source of encouragement during the past few weeks, so thanks again for all your support.

I’ve already mentioned that Lance has been pretty vocal recently. What I haven’t said (but you can probably guess), is that he’s not the only one vying for attention. Obadiah is driving me quite mad, seriously, that man is loud! I swear I hear a constant buzzing in my ears, or maybe that’s tinnitus – I should maybe get it checked out J

Anyway, due to the fact I’m tearing apart Fractured, piece by piece, and I’ve nothing worthy to bring to you right now. I’ve decided to share Obadiah with you. I started bits and pieces of the sequel to Fractured (as you do), because, well, the buzzing. I’ve been working on a scene this morning, and I can’t remember if I’ve shared some of this with you before. Apologies in advance, if I have.

Here are ten paragraphs (for the month), of Obadiah’s introduction to our world:

“Holy shit!” Obadiah slammed into the concrete with enough force to break a dozen newly formed bones. He was as weak as a kitten and he didn’t have a taste for it, or the blood filling his mouth. His power would not return until he’d been through the transition, which meant he was bound to the restrictions of his human body.

And the pain, dear god but it hurt like a bitch. He was a helpless as a new-born, and in some respects that’s what he was.

He spat a wad of blood onto the pavement, surprised he had the energy. Not that it would do a damn bit of good against his enemies; he could barely turn his head.

When he did manage a better view, he caught a glint of steel. It took him a moment to realise the metal covered a toe-capped boot.

A boot which slammed into his shoulder before he could process the new information. He had even less time to be thankful it wasn’t his skull, because the pain stole his breath. The demon attached to those fancy boots didn’t let up. He kicked him again, this time in the ribs.

By then, Obadiah was clenching his jaw so tight he couldn’t be sure which bone cracked. He was only conscious of the sound, followed by a white, hot blast of misery.


He registered a new voice in his foggy brain. It ricocheted off the walls of the alley like the crack of a whip.

“Fuck off,” one half of his welcoming committee said gruffly, the foot not missing a beat.

For a moment, when all he could hear was the crunch of his own bones caving under the onslaught, he thought the bastards had broken him. Where else would the howl be coming from, if not from him? Then it registered, the pathetic whimpering came from the scum-in-boots. A noise so undignified he was almost embarrassed for him, and probably would be, if not for the fact he wanted to hurt him too.

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks, as always, for reading.



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