The Pirate Code: Sometimes Guidelines Are Worth Following

Hello hello. Wednesday is a busy day. Busy busy. Classes started back at uni this week and so far I’ve only had three of my four classes but they are all really exciting and interesting. :D I’m really looking forward to the rest of semester, which is not something I’ve wholeheartedly said before so that’s something.

For those of you interested in what else I’ve been up to, especially in relation to writing etc, you can read my latest ROW80 contribution.

You will be excited to know that this week, I used a little creativity with my WIPpet math and managed to find something to share with you that a) I haven’t shown you before, b) doesn’t contain spoilers and c) follows the WIPpet rules (which, if we’re honest, are more a set of guidelines :P).

The math is as follows: 30 (for the day) – 7 (for the month) = 23 = chapter 23 from Queen of Hearts. In my draft, the title of this chapter has a love heart next to it because what follows this snippet is one of my favourite scenes. :) Context: who needs it? As the following excerpt is also the first lines of the chapter, feedback is appreciated. :)

Some travel advice, for free; never travel in Bashraan during a Succession. Blood floods through the streets and those who shed it do not give a damn where it comes from.

As always, you can join us here, or just use this handy linky tool to quietly stalk our profiles, whichever. :)


Three weeks in. Or is it four? A Tale of ROW80.

So a few weeks have passed since the beginning of ROW80 although I’ve kind of lost track of how many exactly. As for my goals, they are progressing as predicted. The ones I knew I’d be able to meet, I’ve met and the ones I knew I’d struggle with I’ve so far ignored. Which is potentially an issue but not a huge one.

Edit Queen of Hearts

I’ve managed to edit and rewrite the first three chapters according to the feedback provided by my betas. This feedback has helped so much because it has allowed me to pinpoint the areas that I consistently fall down on and so I can target my energies. I’ve been experimenting with changing scene POV where I can, just to break it up a bit because originally, it was all in Kara’s POV and even I was getting sick of that. I also did a very exciting thing – I cut a scene that I liked but which did absolutely nothing for character or plot. I think the reason its stayed in there so long is because it was the initial opening scene and pretty much the evolution of the first thing I ever wrote for Queen of Hearts. But now it is where it belongs, in the scrap heap.


I’ve come up with a few more ideas for short stories and have been considering what I want to work on for NaNoWriMo. At this stage, I don’t think I’ll be starting anything new. Instead, I’ll be revamping or finishing one of my previous works, just because I already have those fermenting in my mind.


Second blog post this week. Goal – scored!


While I haven’t done any work on my own language, I met up with a friend on Monday who wanted help creating a language for his world. It was actually a lot more fun brainstorming and creating with someone else and I’m pretty proud of what we achieved in about five or so hours. He also gave me some really good advice for characters in Queen of Hearts so overall, a very productive day. :)

Wednesday WIPpet

So last week I posted a totally irrelevant one-liner and I think that for the next few weeks while I’m editing, I’ll continue to do the same. As always, you are welcome to join us here. Like last week’s offering to the WIPpet gods, this one liner is currently a stand alone thing. :)

Freedom is not about the cages we see, it’s about the cages we cannot see, those of our own making.

Look out for ROW80 update on Sunday :)

On a ROWl: A Terrible Pun

First of all, thank you to everyone who read and commented on my WIPpet Wednesday post. I was pleasantly surprised that it had the most traffic of any post in a long time considering it totaled about 100 words and contained only one line of prose. Made me happy :)

Anyway, onto the real business…

So, it’s Sunday which means I’ve been working on my ROW80 goals for two weeks now. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been attending every check-in, mostly because my work tends to be sporadic and so I post an update after my most productive part of the week but as I haven’t posted an update for a week and a half I have a decent amount of progress to report which is exciting. :)

Edit Queen of Hearts

I received the edits from my betas and have been going through and applying their suggestions to the first seven chapters. I’m still not totally happy with these yet and I’ve uncovered a few annoying plot holes that I need to work out but in terms of progress, I’m happy.

I also bought a self-edit book which I intend to write a review of eventually and which I’m hoping will help me with my edits. The best part about the betas is that they’ve pinpointed some things I need to work on that I was having trouble pick up myself.


Not anything actually done on this front but I’ve come up with a few ideas and written down about 200 words worth of random unconnected quotes. I’ve also started looking at NaNoWriMo ideas. A little early, I know, but I want to be properly prepared this time around.


This post + Wednesday’s post = 2

2 blog posts = success :)


I designed a basic script but apart from that its on standby at the moment. I have an exam for Ancient Greek on Monday and I’m confused enough about it already without mixing in my own language at the same time. That said, the topic is always at the back of my mind and I look forward to returning to it.

Fraud on Wednesday

I’m afraid to say that despite having copious tales in the works, I don’t have anything ready to share with you today from my works in progress. What I have instead is a one liner I found in my notebook. It has absolutely nothing to do with today’s date or in fact anything at all but I like it. :)

As for ROW80, I’ll be making my check-in on Sunday.

It starts with burning books and ends with burning men.

ROW80 and WIPpet: A Tale of Acronyms

Hi everyone! If you saw my blog post on Monday you’ll know that I am officially returned from my exam induced hiatus and have put my name down for the current round of ROW80. That means that as well as a WIPpet for you today I also have a quick ROW80 update:


Read over Queen of Hearts draft. Laughed at amount of typos. Although to be fair, today’s WIPpet was edited(ish) today so that’s something.


I’ve jotted down a few quotes and ideas in my notebook. That’s about it/


This. This is blogging. Yay.


No progress in the last couple f days but hope to work on it over the weekend.

And now, onto the fun bit – WIPpet Wednesday  hosted as always by K.L. Schwengel. Unable to find something that correlated to the date I decided to take a chunk from Queen of Hearts that I liked and do a quick edit so this excerpt relates to the date because I edited it today and because math. When I was editing I was trying to focus on showing rather than telling and incorporating the senses into the piece without it being too clunky. Any feedback in this department would be appreciated. :)

Context: Things are happening. Murder! Mayhem! Plots! Plots everywhere!

Smoke hung over the city, trapped by low temperatures and intrigue.  Eriden wished for less of both. As she wound her way through the predawn streets to the tune of trickling sewerage and distant screams, Eriden could not shake the feeling of unease settled about her shoulders like a winter mantle. She arrived at the Guild House and was met not by the usual doorman but by Alyan’s protégé. He smiled a greeting but she ignored him, following him in silence to Alyan’s office on the first floor. They had slept together once, she and Bren, when they were both young and foolish and drunk on sweet wine after a kill. Not that that meant anything now.

Every instinct told her to run. When they entered the office, Alyan was standing behind the expensive desk, a frown crinkling his gruff features.

“Close the door.” Alyan snapped.

Eriden did as she was told and waited to be invited to sit. No such invitation was forthcoming.

“Are you getting soft, girl?” he demanded.

“Don’t speak in riddles, Alyan.” She’d slept with him too, when she was old enough to have known better. She had blamed it on heart’s folly and tried to forget his kisses.

“The royal brat. She should be dead. Or have you forgotten?”

“I have a very good memory, Alyan.”

“Then why, by Nare, is she still alive?”

“I didn’t take you for a religious man.”

In his corner, Bren quirked a smile.

The Guild Master ignored her jibe, “When a client pays for a job to be done, they expect it to be done.”

“Feeling pressured by the nobility? That’s not like you,” Eriden’s brow furrowed in thought, “They have something on you, don’t they? Duke Hallten knows something about you that could jeopardise you.”

“Who ordered the hit is of no consequence.”

“Oh, I disagree. This job is personal.”

“The client-”


“Fine, yes, Hallten, asked for you in particular.”

“Then he’s an idiot.” Eriden replied, crossing her arms across her chest.

“As long as he pays, I don’t care what sort of fool he is. So I’ll ask you again, why isn’t the brat dead?”

“I’m biding my time.”

“To what end?”

“To gain her trust.”

“What use is the trust of a dead woman?”

“And to ensure that when I do complete my task, no blame will fall on me.”

“Blame is an assassin’s game, Eriden.”

“I won’t hang for it. If the duke wants her dead, and by my hand, then he must learn patience.”

“If Karavere is not finished with by summers end, I’ll send Bren after you. He can finish the job if you won’t. And you along with it.”

Eriden faltered, dread swirling around her chest. She turned on Bren “How much did he promise to pay you?”

“A vast sum,” Bren replied, leaning against the book case, “I refused it, of course.” He smiled, “Some marks are just for fun.”

Return of the Blogger: ROW80 initiation

I’ve been gone from here for a while now. That is partly due to exams and partly due to other things as well which I won’t go into detail here. In the time I’ve been absent I’ve done an abysmally non-existent amount of writing and while I should feel some level of guilt, I don’t. The thing is, as much as I love writing and despite the emotional investment I have in my characters and stories I have never been the sort to sit down and over the period of a few months, write a novel. I write in snippets; I might have a good day or week or even month but then I’ll save the document and it will sit there untouched for six months or more. This fact has made me question a lot of things, including whether or not I am serious about this writing thing, whether I really am aiming to be a published author or whether I’m using writing as a procrastination tool. I think the answer is a mixture of both really. I do really want to be a published author but I don’t think I’m ready to be heading down that path just yet. Despite this blog being initially a place to document the journey from manuscript to publication, I know that right now, my writing isn’t ready and I’m not ready. And that’s ok. So for now, yes, writing may just be a hobby, a way to procrastinate, something I do every now and then rather than every day but I don’t mind. My worst fear, I suppose, is that were I to take this whole writing gig too seriously, I would grow to hate it. I don’t deal well with structure and boundaries, with cage like deadlines and expectations that I do something a certain way. This is the moment when I stop writing the way I’ve been told, the way others write, and begin to explore my own style. I’ve done copious amounts of research while I’ve not been writing but now it is time to forge my own path.

With that in mind, I’ve put my name down for this cycle of ROW80. (You can find out more about ROW80 on their blog.) This was really a spur of the moment decision but we’ll see how it goes. I’m not going to promise you the earth, I won’t be able to make two posts a week about this and my goals will be long term rather than weekly or daily.

So here goes:

Edit Queen of Hearts

It currently stands at about 30 chapters. I doubt I’ll finish edits within this cycle but I hope to edit a chapter a week. By the end of this week I should have the feedback from my betas who were kind enough to review the first seven chapters for me so that will hopefully lead to some major overhauls where appropriate.


At least brainstorm and plan if not write a short story (between 1500-3000 words) every month so by the end of the cycle I should have three done.


Twice a week when I can, no guilt when I can’t.


While I’ve been on hiatus I’ve been dabbling in language creation, taking the mess of language I’d already created and adding structure to it. I hope to write a post about it in the next few weeks because I find it fascinating and I would love to share it with you.

A bunch of authors dressed up as their favourite literary characters and it was brilliant

Amelia E. Browne:

How amazing are these pictures?

Originally posted on Metro:

Terrty Pratchet as Just William.jpg Photographer Cambridge Jones has collaborated with The Story Museum for its latest exhibition which celebrates childhood story heroes and sees well-known authors dress up as their favourite literary characters.  All Photos: © Cambridge Jones

Terrty Pratchet as Just William (Picture: Cambridge Jones)

Photographer Cambridge Jones has taken a series of amazing photographs in which authors dress up as their favourite characters from fiction.

Authors dressed up as their favourite literary characters as part of The Story Museum’s latest exhibition, which celebrates childhood book heroes.

Neil Gaiman, Malorie Blackman and Terry Pratchett are just some of the popular writers involved in the project.

As you can see, the resulting photos are nothing short of wonderful.

Neil Gaiman as Badger.jpg  Photographer Cambridge Jones has collaborated with The Story Museum for its latest exhibition which celebrates childhood story heroes and sees well-known authors dress up as their favourite literary characters.  All Photos: © Cambridge Jones

Neil Gaiman as Badger

Jones said that when he came up with the idea for the series, he wanted to create images that would turn heads.

Francesca Simon as the Queen of Hearts (Picture: Cambridge Jones)

Francesca Simon as the Queen of Hearts (Picture: Cambridge Jones)

He told Metro: ‘The Story Museum in Oxford approached me and asked whether I would be interested in doing a series of portraits to celebrate the museum opening. I said that I had…

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Revising Your Manuscript: A Flowchart Guide

Amelia E. Browne:

It’s a flowchart! Everyone loves a flowchart! :D

Originally posted on Julie Israel:

Here it is, guys– the illustrated page I promised on revising your manuscript! I couldn’t decide what color I liked best, so I went for a Dr. Seussian/robin’s egg blue and am also posting the original black and white design for coloring purposes :) Click the images to enlarge them.

Please feel free to print this page, color it, share it– and by all means, use it!

Revising Your MS Flowchart - blue 2

Revising Your MS Flowchart

View original


So we all know what day it is, no need to go over that. As it’s been super busy with uni over the last few weeks and it will only get worse now that we are only a few weeks from exams. Therefore, after this week, I won’t be posting any new material for a few weeks but I will be back mid June with bells on. :D So now for my last hurrah for a little while, 14 lines from Queen of Hearts. 

As always, we pay homage to our queen, K.L. Schwengel and you are more than welcome to join us. You can find all the other participants here.

Context: who needs it? :P

Actually, on second thoughts, this makes no sense without context. Okay, so Kara and her new found companions have just begun their first day of training with Anotis, a member of the king’s guard.

“Tell me, what is a soldier’s most valued attribute?”


“What is your name?”

“Aurelia, sir.”

“Lovely name. Awful answer. Anyone else? Yes, you.”




“Meghan, I hope your father’s tavern provides better brew than you do answers.”

“Purpose.” Offered Kara.

Anotis turned to Eriden, “Your thoughts?”

“A soldier must follow orders. Without exception.”

“Yes. Good. Thank you.”