If you’ve been scrolling through the bookstaverse on Instagram, you will have invariably come across ‘edits’. These are collages of images that allude to elements, scenes and characters in a story. Usually made by fans, they can also be created by authors, and are a wonderful way to create a mood and add visual context to the book they reference.
As a writer, I’m more concerned with telling a story and taking characters and readers on a journey than I am with monitoring how many times I use certain words. However, once the first draft is set down and the editing process begins, then the spectre of ‘overused words’ rears it’s spectrely head like a spectre from another world entirely habited by spectres…
There have been many great contributions to the world of literature. Gutenberg invented the printing press, Shakespeare invented romantic comedy, and J K Rowling invented Harry Potter. However, all of these achievements pale into insignificance compared to my contribution - the sex index. Seeing a hole, I filled it. Finding a gap, I plugged it. My invention of a sex index at the back of a romance novel is hands down the most exciting new development since the Kindle. So join me, readers and fellow authors, to drill down into what a sex index is, and what it can do for you…
So how do you write a sex scene? Where do you start? I’ve put a lot of thought into this having written countless scenes as well as having helped other authors when they are struggling to write theirs. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the world of writing sex.
Having a cover designed for your books is one of the most exciting parts of the whole publishing journey and this blog takes you through every step, from initial ideas and inspiration to the finished product. Step behind the scenes and check out the cover design process for Highland Games!
When you can’t see the wood for the trees, an editor can bring out their chainsaw or clippers, cut out the dead wood, prune your sentences, and give your words room to breathe. Many editors also specialise in certain genres and stages of production.
Never has it been so important to look after every aspect of my life in this current incarnation. I’m going to share some of the strategies that have worked for me and other authors in this blog. Hopefully it will help you, and also serve as a reminder that I need to practice what I preach…
When this comes to finding characters for my stories, I usually don’t have a problem. I think about an idea for someone, and then look at what events in their culture or childhood have shaped them the way they are. Then I ask what their wants and needs are at the start of the story and how I can make it difficult for them to achieve what they desire.
Tropes are everywhere. In Shakespeare, Austen, everyday language and your favourite TV shows. Tropes are common situations in narratives that help structure a story. ‘Enemies to Lovers’ is a very popular trope which can be found in The Taming of the Shrew, Pride and Prejudice, The Hating Game, and You’ve got Mail. Tropes are commonly used story devices that we all recognise on some level.
Writing is a deceptively complicated business. I’d devoured books all my life and spent my life using words in one form or another. How hard could it be to put them in an order that resulted in a book? Here are the three things I wished I had known before I set sail in HMS Blissful Ignorance to write (and actually finish) my first full length story.