What I’ve been reading

The volume of books I’ve been reading has been increasing month by month. Now that I’m writing my own book, I’ve found I’m consuming texts faster than ever before. At University we’re encouraged that we should be reading more than we’re writing, something that I was a bit skeptical of at the start, but now I agree with them totally. The more texts I’m reading the better and more confident my own work is becoming.

So today I thought I’d give you a glimpse into some of the books I’ve been reading this year. I use a Kindle for my reading so all of the photos have been sourced from Goodreads. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what your thoughts are of them, I’d love to hear what you guys think of them. As always, if you have any book recommendations then please do let me know and I’ll check them out. At the moment I’m loving the non-fiction genre but we’re encouraged to read widely so I’ll take a chance on most book. Continue reading “What I’ve been reading”

Parent yourself again – book review

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading Parent yourself again by Yong Kang Chan. It’s a non-fiction book that is based on the idea of using mindfulness and self compassion to understand your inner child and inner parent to not only come to a better understanding and relationship with your own parents, but to also parent yourself in the way you’ve always wanted to be.

The full title is, Parent yourself again: Love Yourself the Way You Have Always Wanted to Be Loved. The author’s had a really interesting life, he’s a blogger and private tutor who’s had a verity of jobs like being an accountant all the way to being an animator. Parenting yourself again isn’t his first book, some of his other work includes Empty your cup and The disbelief habit.

If you like shorter reviews do a quick summary up here, and then blows can be a more in depth review of the things I found just weren’t for me, and some of the issues with the writing I did pick up on. Continue reading “Parent yourself again – book review”

Mistakes I made when I outlined my book

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on getting my book sorted. It’s still very early days but I felt I had a good enough grasp on the plan for it to start creating an outline. For those of you who may not know, and outline is a step-by-step plan of what’s going to happen in your book. It can include your main plot, any subplots, important information, locations of particular scenes and the general timeline your book follows.

Outlining is an integral part of writing a book. Yes, you don’t have to outline, and you can still write a book. However, being completely truthful your books is going to have a lot of plot holes and most likely have a weird pace. What outlining does is it makes you think in detail about your plot and by doing this you can notice any plot holes or discrepancies that may be in your book. Another cool thing about creating one is that it can significantly reduce writer’s block. Just think about it for a second, if you’ve got a plan of what’s going to happen in your book your less likely to run out of ideas because the ideas have already been thought of and wrote down.

Basically, it’s a really good idea, and the more detailed it is the easier it should be for you to write your story (in theory).

This is what I’ve been spending most of my free time on as of late. I completed my outline a few weeks ago and have since moved on to creating character profiles and really getting to know the ins and outs of every character in my book. However, as of the doing this and referring back to my outline I’ve noticed there’s a few things that aren’t quite right and that’s what I’m going to discuss today, the mistakes I made when I outlined my book. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and save yourself time and a lot of annoying editing. Continue reading “Mistakes I made when I outlined my book”

Simple writing exercise – Rory’s Story Cubes

If there’s one thing in the writing process I seriously underestimated it would be the importance of warming up before you write. Before university if I was to write something, I would open my laptop, get up a word document and just write. The start of my writing was always a bit clunky; it didn’t flow very well. If anything needed the most editing in my work, I could guarantee you it would be the start. I now understand that was because I didn’t warm up before I wrote anything.

Since being at university I’ve come to realise the importance of being in the right mindset before I write. I’m not talking about making sure I’m relaxed or feeling very motivated, what I’m talking about is making sure the ideas are flowing and I’m warmed up. So far, I’ve been doing this by free writing. I will set a two-minute or five-minute timer on my phone, pick up a pen and write non-stop until the time was up. What this did was let me get most of my clunky writing out of my system before I was working on my manuscript or essay. You don’t have to do this with a pen and paper, it’s just I find it a little bit easier to be less perfect when I’m scribbling down ideas on paper and not typing them.

It’s all been very well and good but over time it’s got a bit boring so when I went back home at Christmas, I found my story cubes and decided to bring them back with me to university.

I’ve had these since I was about 13 and I think they’re so useful. They’re a fantastic way to just have fun thinking of stories and plots. Since I’ve been back at university, I’ve been using these cubes regularly as writing prompts and over time they became my warm up, replacing free writing. What I wanted to share with you all today is how I use these as a professional writer as a method of warming up my writing muscles. I understand they’re designed for children, but I really wouldn’t underestimate them or dismiss them because of the target audience. Continue reading “Simple writing exercise – Rory’s Story Cubes”