Beautiful People | Writing Process

Hello dears!

Today I’ve decided to join in with Paper Fury’s “Beautiful People” meme – my first time doing so! Generally the questions are regarding the characters, but this edition is about the author’s writing process.

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So, let’s have a look into my writing life it isn’t very interesting!

 

 

How do you decide which project to work on?

Picking a project to work on? Um, ahaha… that’s something that I have a lot of trouble with. I don’t tend to work on one at a time because I have too much going on idea wise in my head. I just pick the few I have inspiration for. And then I struggle through them. Even if the inspiration vanishes.

Generally though I pick projects that I know I’ll have fun doing. There’s not much point writing if it’s not really going to be fun. It’ll be challenging, for granted. There’ll be times when I don’t want to write. But I make sure it’s fun regardless.

 

How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

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Which part of the project are we talking about finishing? I can write a novel in a month, or a novella in a fortnight. Gosh, I have no clue about it generally. A few months? A year? Until my snacks run out?

 

Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

I’m generally in the writing mood, but it definitely helps to put on my music and get a cup of tea. And spend ten minutes reading wattpad stories.

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What time of day do you write best?

Night time! I’ve let all my thoughts gather and I’ve gotten inspiration from things that have happened through out the day.

 

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

In all honesty? I don’t think so. I have an odd writing style, where I ebb deep into the descriptive grounds and then ebb out.

I would like to say Derek Landy, but that only comes through when I’m writing Skulduggery Pleasant fan fictions. heheh.

 

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I actually can’t remember why I started writing generally, but I started seriously writing at 13, after reading a fan fiction and realising that I could do it too. And then one thing lead to another… and now I’m writing original stories.

 

What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

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Hardest thing? My Skulduggery Pleasant fan fiction. I started writing it after taking a three-ish year break from fan fiction and it felt really weird writing using someone else’s characters. I nearly quit.

I didn’t, but I felt like slightly ashamed to be writing with someone else’s characters.

Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

Oh gosh, yes. There’s two. The “Ruby” rewrite, and then the Rudy prequel.

I don’t want to ruin Ruby and I don’t want to write a crappy prequel. I’m not sure I’m ready to write them yet.

 

What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

I had two writing goals:

  1. Write and publish a book
  2. Meet an author and talk about writing

I met James Dashner and had a quick chat about writing. And I’m writing a book I think is worthy of publishing.

So I’d say they’re going rather well.
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Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

kill em all

 

It’s true. Just ask Cath.

 

Well there we go. My writing life – process – whatever it is. The most important question on how I procrastinate seems to be missing but that’s okay.

Make sure to check out Paper Fury, add her on twitter, tumblr, stalk her, and read everyone else’s answers to this too!

 

Hope everyone’s had a fantastic week!

Willow xx

Writing Tips For Aspiring Authors

    So, you want to be an author?

Same! Join the club. We’ve got a few extra chairs over there. —>    💺💺

 

In all seriousness though, I’ve been in the wannabe author group for a long time, and I’ve seen (and made) quite a few avoidable mistakes. Of course, mistakes are good – they help one to learn and to improve. Although you might be like me and spend ages looking at writing tips because you don’t want to embarrass yourself when talking about your writing.

What I’m going to do is tell you all of the mistakes I’ve came across so that you can learn from them. Or laugh at them. Or both. Whatever floats your boat.

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Tip #1 – Don’t Announce You’re Publishing A Story When You’ve Just Started Plot Planning

I’m not going to give you the satisfaction of knowing whether or not I made this mistake. Generally though, it’s a bad idea to tell people you’re going to publish a story right as you start the planning process of writing it. Even if you were only going to share it on Wattpad.
Otherwise you might feel slightly embarrassed when your friend asks you how the story is going and the answer is that you gave up writing it because you never ended up with a decent storyline.

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Tip #2 – Don’t Hire An Illustrator Before You’ve Got Your First Draft Complete

Okay, fine, I did make this mistake. I had my plot planned, had all the character profiles ready, stocked up on extra corn chips and tea, and then had this idea to hire one of my friends to make a cover for my book. I paid her, got all the details for the cover down, and then I set to work writing the book.
But I couldn’t get past writing chapter one.
Let’s just say I felt like a complete fool when I had to tell her that I wasn’t writing the story anymore.

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Tip #3 – Write The Full Story Before You Share It

This goes for all you online publishers who use sites like Wattpad and Fanfic.net. Don’t end up like as one of those authors who posts chapters the minute they’ve written the chapters. Or do. It’s up to you. But you might end up with quite a few stories that haven’t came to a finish. Which I think looks highly unprofessional why did younger me have to do that

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Tip #4 – Don’t Rely On Friends And Family To Buy Your Books

Maybe you’re super lucky and you have über cool friends and family who will buy your books the minute you self publish them. Or maybe you’ll be like me and only 3 people you know will buy your book.
Your friends and family might promise to buy your books, but they probably won’t. Build a following by running a blog or a wattpad account, advertise your book to your followers.

Or I don’t know maybe your followers on Wattpad or you blog might not buy it and you’ll be disappointed either way. Who knows.

hey maybe you should check out my book Ruby I published it 30th June last year – tomorrow’s its one year anniversary. get it half priced here: https://leanpub.com/ruby-willow-byrne/c/1yearofruby

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Tip #5 – Don’t Get Any Old Person To Be A Draft Reader

Is it proof reader or draft reader I have no clue.
First off, nothing against old people. They’re cool. And I’m sure a lot of them would make fantastic proof readers.
Just, don’t pick a friend at random and ask them to read your draft and ask for feedback. I mean, this is your precious baby we’re talking about. You’ve worked on this project for months (I hope) and the last thing you’ll want is someone to steal all your hard work.
Basically, find someone you trust NOT to steal your work and who will also give great feedback, and get them to proof read it.

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And those were my hopefully incredibly helpful tips on what NOT to do as a budding author. If they were useful, let me know. If they weren’t, then also let me know. I like feedback. Feedback is good.

Oh yeah and please don’t take my word for everything. Maybe some of those this I just said not to do work out fine for how you live. Maybe it doesn’t. I don’t know. Please don’t sue me.

Shout out to Cait from Paper Fury for giving me the inspiration to start doing these sorts of posts again. Go give her a follow on her twitter profile.

I’ll see you all soon (I hope) with some more writing stuff (and book stuff).

2017 Wattys

It’s June, which means the Wattpad community is putting their best works forward and entering them into the 2017 Watty Awards. Everyone is very excited and many are, I can imagine, nervously wondering if their story will win an award.

For those who don’t know what the Wattys are, they are an annual competition held by Wattpad as a celebration of story telling. Anyone can enter, either so long as their book has been being updated since September 2016 with 5+ parts, or a completed story with as little or as many chapters that have been written.

There’s six Awards available – The Originals, The Riveting Reads, The Break Throughs, The Newcomers, The Storysmiths, and The Tap Award. You can read more about them on the Wattys’ website.

I’ve been on Wattpad since this time last year, and I possibly would have entered the Wattys in 2016 but in the end I decided against it, so this year I’ve decided to submit three of my books into the Wattys.

The first book I entered was “RETURN OF THE DEPARTED“, my Skulduggery Pleasant fan fiction. I started writing it when Derek Landy announced that he was planning on writing a tenth book to the series.
https://embed.wattpad.com/story/111888213

The second book was “POWERS“, a short story I wrote for my friend’s writing competition. The idea was to write a story as quickly as possible in a short time frame, so I based the story in a world that I’ve created for my own original book series. So this one is 100% mine.
I had to share it in six different parts though, as it was nearly 4,000 words long, and I figured that might be a bit of a lengthy read if I tried to stuff it all into one chapter.
https://embed.wattpad.com/story/112846211

Last but not least, I entered “A Melody Of Words“,  my book full of short stories and poems. It has a range of different themes, from fan fictions to my own original work.
https://embed.wattpad.com/story/87100887
 

I’m hoping that perhaps I’ll be shortlisted, but there’s a lot of good competition out there! I’d be happy to settle for a few new friends and some readers though… since I seem to be having a hard time attracting readers! 😛

Are you on Wattpad, and if you are, are you entering the 2017 Wattys? I’d love to read your entries!

Goodbye

   “Don’t go,” I say, holding on tightly to his arm. I close my eyes and press my face against his arm.  “Please stay with me.”
He smiles and pulls me into a hug. It’s warm, and I feel reassured by it. I take a deep breath and I hug him back.
“Don’t let go.” I whisper.
“I won’t.” He’s lying, but I ignore it.
The seconds tick by. There’s a clock in front of me, showing how much time is left until the train has to leave, and it’s too soon. I close my eyes to shut it out. We didn’t have enough time.
“I need to go.” he says gently, hugging me tighter.
“Please don’t.”
“I have to.”
He cups my face in his hands, and he looks at me closely. I can feel him memorizing every small detail, the freckles, the baby hairs, the eye lashes, my eyes, my nose, my lips. Then he leans forward and places a gentle kiss on my forehead.

   And then he’s gone.

  “Goodbye,” I whisper.

 

 

 

 

     My thoughts are with all who have been affected by the Manchester explosion at the Ariana Grande concert. It’s a horrendous thing that happened and it sickens me to think that people could be so cruel.
I know that sometimes these sorts of events can make us feel helpless and like we can not stop these events from happening. And while we can’t stop them completely, if we are kind and caring, and can let go of grudges and extend understanding to others, we can form a better world. 

The World’s End

Well I’m writing a second story at the moment, and it’s pretty exciting! The story is called The World’s End, and follows 17 yr old Zoe Crawford as she and her friends flee to the desert in attempt to save themselves from going to the war that’s raging in the majority on the world.

I’ve had a few friends participate by giving me characters (based slightly off themselves) to be used in the story. I really like actually asking people to submit characters, it allows me to have a bit of a play around and a range of characters that are actually not similar forms of characters I’ve written before.

So far the plan is to post up the story on wattpad, and then depending on what happens I may look into publishing an actual book that people can buy. The book will have extra features if I do, and will have a cover illustrated by a friend who does digital art.
Basically, there’ll be the option to read it for free on wattpad or buy a really nice copy with bonus surprises.

There’s already a Preview and Updates book on wattpad, which you guys can find here. The prologue and an authors note are all that’s up so far, but be sure to keep an eye on there if you want to stay up to date.

 

The Crystal Kingdom | My Little Writings

The stars were beautiful, shining brilliantly in the deep blue sky. They shone the same way each night, no matter what the worldly matters were. They shone and revelled in their beauty ignoring the cries of pain or tears of joy down below them.
The Princess watched them from the balcony, having quietly escaped from the meeting her parents were having the with some of the Officers regarding the war. She didn’t like the conversation, the way they didn’t seem to care about what happened to the knights and foot soldiers who went out into the heat of battle only to die far away from their families, friends, lovers.
She could hear the sounds of the battle from her balcony, as an attempted surprise attack from the opponents failed. Apparently their plan had been to sneak into the camp of the Crystal Kingdom and slaughter everyone.
She looked over at the battle field, where she could see glimpses of silver amour flashing in the fire light. The princess could barely see them, the battle was so far away, but she could see enough to know that she didn’t want to keep watching. She looked back up at the stars, the cold, beautiful, and uncaring stars.
Somewhere behind that beautiful veil of stars lived the gods that ruled over the universe. The gods that had decided the fate of the war. How the Princess wished she could talk to them, to ask them to stop this pointless fighting, to ask them to bring peace to the people. To stop the fighting before her childhood friends died.
But the gods wouldn’t care. Why should they? It was their decision to all the war to come about. Perhaps the Crystal Kingdom had done something unforgivable in the eyes of the gods, and this was their punishment. To perish in a war.
It was too hard for the Princess. She gave a small sob, tears sliding down her delicate face. She had to be strong during the war, a sign of hope for her people during dark times. If she showed fear or weakness then the people would become more worried and fearful than ever. But there had been a price to pay for keeping a strong look, and that price was taking it’s toll.

“Will you be fine out there, Lance?” asked the Princess, her purple dress trailing along the ground as she hurried to keep up with her friend.
“It’s nothing I can’t handle.” he replied, giving her a small smile. They stepped into the hall, walking through it briskly. “I will do what is necessary to defend my kingdom. But what of you, Princess? I fear your responsibility will be worse.”
“I won’t be sitting around twiddling my thumbs, if that’s what you mean. A Princess can’t sit around looking pretty in times of danger. I will be helping people in need and helping get supplies for the knights and soldiers.”
Lance shook his head. “I’m afraid you don’t quite understand what I mean, Princess.”
The Princess sighed. “Then explain it to me.”
Lance offered his arm to the Princess, then lead her to a seat by a window overlooking the palace gardens. They sat down, her skirt billowing over the edge of the seat, and Lance took her hands in his.
“During times of war you are right. You cannot sit around looking pretty, and yes, you will be needed to aid the poor and gathering supplies for the warriors going to battle. But you will have to keep a strong face no matter what happens. When people ask what is happening you must answer truthfully, but you cannot show your own fear or distress. You must keep your true emotions to yourself and always be strong. If your friends die in the battle you cannot show your sadness. You must be strong, to give your people hope. No matter what the price you might have to pay.”
The Princess looked down at his hands, the way they lovingly held hers, then up into the face of her childhood friend. She could see the sadness in his eyes. “What is the price I may have to pay?”
It pained Lance to say it. She could see it. “A hard heart and everlasting sadness. You will lose compassion for others or yourself.”
“While the price you may pay for going to defend us is simply death.” replied the Princess slowly. “So while your price is swift and merciful, mine is slow and torturous.”
Lance nodded. “War is no place for anyone, but the people it will affect the most is not the people you rule over, it is you and your family.”
The Princess was silent. She had always been truthful to the people, telling them exactly how she felt, what was happening, how to fix something. She couldn’t bear the idea of becoming the silent, aloof creature that her parents and advisers and encouraged her to become.
Perhaps though they wanted her to become that to save herself the pain.
Lance stood up. “I must go, Princess. We ride in three days and I still have much to do and prepare.”
The Princess stood up. “Will I see you before you go?”
“If fate allows it to be so.”
She stood on tiptoe and gave Lance a small kiss on the cheek before giving him a quick hug. “You have been my friend through my childhood and I would have you be my friend during adulthood too. May the gods allow you to come back to the Kingdom safely and unharmed.”
Lance gave her a low, sweeping bow, then turned and walked briskly down the corridor back to the hall they had walked through before.

The Princess turned to look back at the battlefield. All sounds of battle had faded, replaced by that of the whispering of the trees as the cool breeze caressed their leaves. People seemed to be walking about in the camps, possibly attempting to get more sleep before the morning, when fighting would continue.
Somewhere out there was Lance and his friends. Their brothers and sisters’ lovers. All of them fighting, killing, dying. All of them wondering if they would see tomorrow.
And the Princess was wondering if she would see them again too.
She forced the tears to stop. She could sob, but no good would ever come of it. So she built another wall around her heart and walked back into the palace, determined to not show her pain.

Poetic Pictures | My Little Writings

   I’m not good with words. Are you? I find that they crumble onto the page, dry and feelingless, nothing but dust on my hands. It’s sad really, because I’ve always wanted to be a poet. But who wants to read poems that are as dry as the desert sand?
   So I pushed aside my ambitions to become a poet. I work on instagram now, putting together aesthetics. I pick the colours, the filters, take the shots and keep working. It pays well. At least I have an income. And it’s good to know that this job will continue on even after I’ve left school… so long as I know how to keep it going.
   It wasn’t until I met him though that I discovered that my aesthetics were poetry. We were sitting on the park bench – I was showing him my failed poems.
   “You haven’t failed completely, though.” He said to me, smiling.
   I found this confusing, and told him so, as I put the book of my poems into my satchel.
   “Your photos. Each of them has a different feeling – sadness, peacefulness, happiness. You think your poetry has failed, but it’s in your photos instead – you put your imagination into your pictures instead of into your words.” He smiled again, warmly, reminding me of the warm summer sun.
   When I got home I looked at the photos, and realised he was right. What I couldn’t do with words I had done with images.
   I smiled.

Re: Real Advice From Real People

One thing that has always been rather, well, frustrating to me is the advice that published authors give to aspiring writers. Generally it’s always the same old same old, and a lot of it isn’t very  informative.

Well my good friend Lianna Grace (the wonderful girl behind Hey I’m A Writer) decided that she wanted to get advice from aspiring writers. And I’m one of the people she asked to participate in her post.

Real Advice From Real People has advice from 5 writers (including myself), all with little bits of advice from what they’ve learnt over the years as they’ve explored the boundaries of writing stories. All of the tips are great and should be taken into consideration!

While you’re there, you should subscribe to the email updates on Lianna’s blog. 😉

Holiday Of Giving

The end of the year is coming around and so is Christmas, or (as I sometimes call it) the Holiday of Giving.
 So I have a few things to say.

 Firstly, I will be moving this blog from blogger and onto WordPress. My other two blogs are on WordPress and it’s easier for me to keep them all on the same platform instead of swapping back and forth between there and blogger.
 I’m not sure when I’ll actually move the blog, it’ll probably happen later today or tomorrow but I will post the link to the new blog on here so that you can go over to it.

Secondly, as it’s Christmas, the Holiday of Giving, I’ve decided to put the price down on Ruby! You can now get a copy for free.
 The price won’t go back up until Jan 1st 2017 so you’ve got plenty of time to grab a copy before the price goes up to $1 minimum. Share the link with your friends and spread the Christmas cheer!
https://leanpub.com/ruby-willow-byrne

Merry Christmas everyone! ❤