Category: Discussions

How Writing By Hand Cured My Writer’s Block

How Writing By Hand Cured My Writer’s Block

Writers tend to fall into two categories; those who swear by writing by hand (at least for a first draft) and those who almost never do it. Until last week I would have placed myself firmly in the latter category: as a younger writer I’ve always had access to a computer and word-processing software, and seen as I type faster than I can write I’ve always felt like my handwriting can’t keep up with my train of thought. However, when I found myself a little low on inspiration last week I decided it was time to mix things up. Anything… Read more »

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What makes a good blog design?

What makes a good blog design?

Well, I’ve gone and done it again! I’ve redesigned my blog for the fourth time in just over a year. I’ve been getting itchy blog design feet again for a while now, but when I saw this post showing all the beautiful things that can be done with the Tweak Me theme I decided to take the plunge. So far I like what I’ve done with it (particularly the new header – which is just an adaptation of the old header really!), although there are still some tweaks I need to make eg. fix the sizing of all the pictures… Read more »

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New Books, Second-hand Books or Ebooks?

New Books, Second-hand Books or Ebooks?

Like many bookworms, I love new books: the shiny, unmarred cover, the uncracked spine, the crisp white pages just waiting to spill their secrets, and of course, that delicious fresh print smell. At the same time, the yellowed, well-thumbed pages of a second-hand book has its own charm. Someone else has already enjoyed its story, already turned those pages, and in a way it’s nice to think about that (so long as they haven’t left any questionable stains on the pages!). So do you prefer new or old books, or a bit of a mixture? Or do you only read… Read more »

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Why I Don’t Request ARCs

Why I Don’t Request ARCs

Back when I started book blogging I had no idea what an ARC was. I soon came to know that it was an ‘advanced reader copy’, or a copy of an as yet unpublished book sent out by publishers to bloggers to review. Now this all sounds very exciting, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest perks of book blogging, but personally, I find that they hold little interest for me. That’s right: free books that haven’t even been released yet hold little interest to me. Yes, I strongly suspect I’m crazy too!

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Book Blogging Tips For Beginners

Book Blogging Tips For Beginners

In just under a month it will be my first blogoversary (hooray!), and whilst a year of blogging hardly makes me an expert, I feel like I’ve learnt a few things that could help out anyone who is thinking about taking the plunge and starting a book blog (or has already plunged and feels a little lost!). So here are a few tips I would give to those people who are where I was a year ago, and about to embark on a journey into the wonderful (yet totally confusing and crazy) world of book blogging: Choose your platform wisely…. Read more »

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Why do you write?

Why do you write?

I write… …because I’m good at it. I’m not good at a lot of things: I can’t draw, for example, or paint, or make things, and I’m not great at Maths or Science. I can’t speak any other languages beside English and GCSE level German, I can’t play an instrument and I can’t do perfect make-up…but I can write. I can take words and fashion them into what I hope are half-decent sentences, and I can order them so that they have meaning. Sometimes it’s hard – really hard in fact – and I hate every single word that I… Read more »

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Writers: How do you create characters?

Writers: How do you create characters?

Characters can without a doubt, make or break a piece of fiction: they are the beating heart of a story. I know from my own experience as a reader that it doesn’t matter how good a concept the story has, or how well plotted it is, if the characters are flat and lifeless. Readers need to care about characters and feel invested in them in order to engage with the story, which is why creating characters can be such a difficult part of writing.

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How do you choose books?

How do you choose books?

Until recently, I’ve never thought too much about how I choose my next read – it just seems like such a natural process. By this point in my reading life, I’ve a pretty good idea of what sort of thing I’ll like and usually go off instinct (not that this is foolproof!), although I’ve noticed there are a few things that tend to guide my decision:

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Writers: Where do you get inspiration?

Writers: Where do you get inspiration?

Inspiration is by nature elusive and hard to come by, yet it can make a huge difference to your writing productivity. Any writer knows that it is 100 times easier to sit down and write when your head is buzzing with ideas that you just have to get down, than when your mind is blank and resembles a tumbleweed-strewn desert. But where can you find it? Where does inspiration come from and how can you harness it? These are a few ways I get ideas or get inspired, and I’d be interested to know where other writers and bloggers get… Read more »

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My Own ‘Manifesto On How To Be Interesting’

My Own ‘Manifesto On How To Be Interesting’

Recently I read a book by Holly Bourne called The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting, which was actually pretty good (I’d give it 3 or 4 out of 5). Whilst I don’t feel I have enough to say about it to write up an entire review, I thought it would be pretty cool to write my own ‘Manifesto On How To Be Interesting.’ And on that note, I should start this post with a bit of an admission – most of my real life acquaintances think I’m really boring (which is why it’s pretty ironic that I’m writing a… Read more »

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