Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope the Easter bunny brought you lots of chocolates!

In true Aussie style, I’m off to spend the day at a friend’s BBQ.

Have a good day x

Easter morning:

The day after:

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Like a Virgin, #LV14, Blog Hop

This year, I’m lucky enough to be a part of the Like a Virgin Pitch Contest. As part of the experience, from the 18th to the 20th of April the competition is hosting a “Getting to know you” blog hop.

1.How do you remember your first kiss?
I remember being really underwhelmed like, oh, is this it? It wasn’t very exciting at all, but it did have all those ‘first’ kiss issues – clashing teeth and way too much wetness. Ah, the memories.

2.What was your first favourite love song?
*wracks memories* I don’t think I ever had one. Even now, I can’t think of a love song I like enough to call my ‘favourite’. One of the first bands I ever loved was Hanson… does that count? I do love Kiss by the Rose by Seal. That’s a great song. And Unchained Melody, that’s good too.

3.What’s the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day?
I generally clean. Which I know sounds weird but I can’t sit down and relax if my house is a mess. So I’ll do a quick run around, make sure everything is in its place and then I’ll settle in to write.

4.Who’s the first writer who truly inspired you to become a writer?
The first books that I really fell in love with was the Harry Potter series. They’re still my favourite books in the whole wide world. But I don’t necessarily thing that JK Rowling inspired me. I guess the person who really inspired me to commit to my dream to become a writer was my best friend Lyn. She started querying and writing seriously way before I did and I was inspired by her success. I always thought publishing was an elusive dream that would never happen, but Lyn’s a reminder that good things can happen if you word hard and commit to your ambitions.

5.Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with?
My first book is still in revisions :) I’ve made revisions by myself, with beta-readers, even with a potential agent. In the end, the chapter’s beginning was different but everything else was pretty much the same.

6.For your first book, which came first: major characters, plot or setting?
Characters. I always introduce characters first. I think you need to know who you’re reading about before you realise why you’re reading about them. I write character driven stories.

7.What’s the first word you want to roll off the tip of someone’s tongue when they think of your writing?
Light. I want to write the sort of books that people sit down and can read in one sitting. Books that are fun and make you feel good in the end. Books that maybe even teach you something. But I want them to be light and simple, character driven, and engaging.

This was fun, looking forward to reading other #LV14 blog hop responses.

For those of you who are interested in entering some pitch competitions, Pitch Slam is coming up very soon. You should also follow Sub It Club for details on upcoming competitions.

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The Writing Process Survey

I found this survey on Katy Upperman’s blog, but it originated from the Absolute Write Forums. So I thought I’d share my answers with everyone and you guys can share your answers with me.

Here we go:

DEMOGRAPHICS:

What genre do you write: I write young adult fiction and have dabbled in science fiction, urban fantasy, fantasy, but I think I’ve finally found my home in contemporary YA fiction.

How many books have you written: I’m currently writing my fourth. But of those four, only one is really polished.

Are you published? Not yet, but it’s my aspiration to be traditionally published.

PLANNING:

How long do you let an idea “simmer” before you start writing? I’m an immediate gratification kind of girl so I usually dive right in. But I let my urban fantasy about Purgatory simmer for about six years until I felt like I had the skills to get it down on paper.

How much pre-story planning do you do in the form of outlines, character sketches, maps, etc.? Not much. I get an idea, dive right in and figure out everything else along the way. I like to have a general road map of where the story is going, but that tends to come about in an organic way.

If you use an outline, what type do you use (snowflake, index card, etc): I have a notebook that I write everything in and usually have a spare word document where I write down in chapter format where the story has been and where it’s going.

REVISING:

How many drafts do you usually go through before you’re “done”? Can a novel ever be done? I suppose I’ll stop drafting and revising when a novel eventually goes to a publisher :)

How long does it take you to write a first draft? I really like Stephen King’s quote that a novel should be written in three months. That equates to about 1,000 words a day and I like that.

How long do revisions usually take you? As above, I think they’re endless. I don’t really have a time frame, it depends how bad the first draft it and how quick critiques are coming back from beta-readers.

Are your revised drafts substantially different plot-wise from your first draft? It depends on the book. SECTOR12 was pretty much the same but I think when I get around to revising WRAPPED IN DARKNESS, it will be completely different.

On a side note, my mum (being the proud mum that she is) entered me in the Best Australian Blogging Awards. So if you have a spare couple of seconds, feel free to vote for me. I’m listed as Jodie Llewellyn.

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When did you start writing?

I got an email from David a few days ago and he suggested I do a blog post asking when everyone started writing:

You should do a blog post asking everyone how they got into the writing that they do, how long ago, etc.

Which is a great question :)

So how did everyone’s writing journey begin?

I guess for me… I’ve been writing since I was young. I started keeping a daily journal when I was eleven-years-old and I still write in it to this day. I started writing fiction when I was sixteen or seventeen. That was the age I started getting into fandoms so I wrote a lot of fanfiction and read a lot of fanfiction.

I wrote SECTOR12 two years ago and it really came about as a dare. I’d heard about the Amazon Writer’s Awards and expressed an interest in entering, so Lyn basically dared me to write a novel in 2.5 weeks and enter. So I did :)

After that craziness, I didn’t write anything substantial for a while, and it wasn’t until September last year that I really decide to commit to my dream of becoming an author.

So that’s my story. How did you guys get to where you are now?

If you have a suggestion for what you’d like to see on this blog, please email me or let me know in the comments.

On a side note, my mum (being the proud mum that she is) entered me in the Best Australian Blogging Awards. So if you have a spare couple of seconds, feel free to vote for me. I’m listed as Jodie Llewellyn.

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Are you confident in your writing?

A little while ago, someone asked me to do a blog post on confidence and how to become confident in your writing.

It’s a good topic, isn’t it? Are you confident in your writing? And if so, how did you become confident? If you’re not confident… how does that affect your writing?

On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most confident, I’d say I’m around an eight. I say that, not because I think my writing is amazing, but because I’ve read enough to know when something is wrong. I can churn out a first draft and know it’s awful, but I can also work on it and know when it’s starting to come together even if it still needs a lot of work. So that’s why I’m confident. I’m detached enough to know when something isn’t working.

I’m also confident because I’ve worked with a lot of beta-readers and critique partners and my writing has improved so much in the last six months. I’ve learnt a lot about the mechanics of writing and storytelling, so I really feel like my writing is in a better place.

I think that’s the only way to gain confidence in your writing. Write a lot, take critique’s on board and see an improvement. That’s where my confidence came from.

What about you guys? Are you confident in your writing? Or do you hide it from the world?

On a side note, my mum (being the proud mum that she is) entered me in the Best Australian Blogging Awards. So if you have a spare couple of seconds, feel free to vote for me. I’m listed as Jodie Llewellyn.

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How many words are in a chapter?

This was one of the first writing questions that I ever typed into Google. When I started writing SECTOR12, I remember getting most of a chapter down and then wondering what I should be aiming for. How long is a chapter? How many words is a good length?

So I Google’d it. Most of the answers were along the lines of “Don’t worry about it, just write your story, chapters vary in length”. An answer that really didn’t work for me because when I want to know something – I want to know it.

Since that time, I’ve decided that a good chapter length for me is 4,000 words. That way, if I’m writing a 70,000 word novel, I know I have to plan for around seventeen chapters.

How many words are in your chapters? And don’t be like other sites and say ‘chapters vary’. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t, but what do you aim for? If everyone gives an answer, then I can average them off and have a solid ‘This is how long a chapter should be’ answer :) Let’s talk about chapter length.

Meanwhile, just a quick Camp Nanowrimo update. How are all my fellow campers doing? I have about 23,000 words down and the first five chapters. Things are coming along nicely. I hope everyone else is doing well too.

On a side note, my mum (being the proud mum that she is) entered me in the Best Australian Blogging Awards. So if you have a spare couple of seconds, feel free to vote for me. I’m listed as Jodie Llewellyn.

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What person and tense do you write in?

First person, second person, third person.
Past tense, present tense, omniscient.

The choices are endless!

I know some people have a really firm preference about what person and tense they read and write in. But I don’t think I really have one. Or maybe I do, I don’t know. I’ve written in third person and first person but always in past tense. I just prefer it.

Reading wise, I’ll happily pick up anything regardless of the way it’s written… although duel perspective, first person is a little hit or miss. And second person sort of freaks me out… but aside from that, I’m open.

What are your thoughts on the person and tense? What person and tense do you write in? Do you have a preference for what you like to read? Can tense or perspective make or break a book for you?

Let’s have a discussion :)

If you need me, I’ll be at Camp Nanowrimo.

On a side note, my mum (being the proud mum that she is) entered me in the Best Australian Blogging Awards. So if you have a spare couple of seconds, feel free to vote for me. I’m listed as Jodie Llewellyn.

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