How to run a blog as a student

As the new academic year has drawn closer, I’ve been thinking back to when I first started my blog in college. When I started, I couldn’t find much advice on how to navigate all of this. I didn’t know how to plan my time, my content, I thought I needed loads of fancy equipment and I felt a bit lost and lonely in it all. At the moment, I feel that many people will probably be starting their own blogs as they want to document a new and exciting time in their life as they go to college or University. Starting a blog is an awesome hobby, I can never seem to get bored with it. So, for those of you considering starting a blog or have just started one, I wanted to share with you a few tips and a bit of advice that I wished someone had told me when I first started. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but I hope this can help you find your feet as you enter the blogging community.

Continue reading “How to run a blog as a student”

The villain doesn’t have to die – alternative endings for your book

When it came to outlining my book one of the biggest things I had to consider was how the story was going to end, what would the climax be? This was by far the longest part of the whole outlining process for me and arguably the most difficult. Since the age of 16 I’ve wrote YA, young adult fiction was what I read the most and by default was what I wrote the most of. This age range was fantastic because the reader was older enough to understand heavier topics and as a result there was a whole host of possible endings for you book. However, after studying children’s fiction at university I found myself wanting to write a children’s book and this presented me with a few unexpected challenges.

When you write for a different age group to the one that you’re in you have to do far more research. At university I got used to writing for adults, the age of those around me. My work became more mature and I had no issues with touching on hard hitting issues like abuse or murder. But as I stated outlining Mirrors and Magic (working title) I quickly realised this had to change. I was now writing for those under the age of ten and I was not going anywhere near those topics in the way I had done in the past.

In a lot of the short stories I’d drafted that followed the tradition hero’s journey (just like Mirrors and Magic will), I killed off the antagonist at the end and usually at the hands of the hero. But when it came to the ending of Mirrors and Magic, I wasn’t jumping at the idea of having my hero killing off the villain. I’m writing a children’s book with a protagonist who is under ten years old. I can’t say I feel comfortable with a child becoming a killer.

I appreciate that what I’m writing is fiction, so it doesn’t have to play into real world values, but as a writer of children’s fiction I wanted to explore other options and consider there being another ending. As well as it feeling slightly morally wrong, I felt that jumping straight for the hero kills the villain was a bit lazy, it was the easiest option (by the way, there’s nothing wrong with this ending I’m not criticising people who kill off the antagonist of their book. I just felt that I would only be choosing it because it required the less amount of thought for my book). So, I began to explore alternative endings where the villain didn’t have to die, and this lead me down a bit of a rabbit hole I want to share with you all today.

Continue reading “The villain doesn’t have to die – alternative endings for your book”

Movie adaptions of books – are they good or bad?

I was re-watching the Harry Potter series… again… the other day and couldn’t help but start to compare the films to the books, something I’m sure we’ve all done before. I was on the third movie, The Prisoner of Azkaban what is my favourite book to read in the series, but my least favourite film to watch. I just feel as if way too much important information got left out. This got me thinking about movie adaptions of books as a whole, are they something good or bad?

A common misconception is that I’m an English Literature student. Whist you many find me making myself at home in the odd English Lit lecture, it’s not my degree. My full degree is Creative and Professional Writing. I’m not studying the history of literature, I’m studying how to write in the creative and professional field, it’s quite a unique degree. I do your traditional creative writing, like how to write a book, alongside writing for the professional field, so non-fiction, journalism, game design and screenwriting. Yup, I’m learning how to write films.

I study how to write books and screenplays, this gives me a pretty unique stance on the film adaption of books debate as I work with both regularly. So, what do I think about film adaptions? Well, I have quite a few thoughts on the matter so lets dive right into it.

Continue reading “Movie adaptions of books – are they good or bad?”

The importance of having writing buddies

For this month’s chilled out post we’re talking about writing buddies. With everything that’s going off in the world right now I didn’t want to get talking about anything too heavy or personal because I think we’re all reading a little too much negative or worrying content at the moment. There’s also a big push to stay connected and catch up with friends and family members to make sure that everyone is doing ok. So, while everyone is thinking about friendship, I wanted to talk about why having writing friends is an important part of being a writer. Continue reading “The importance of having writing buddies”