Project January

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This is the titular chapter from my latest book, Project January: A Sequel About Writing.

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If you’ve read my book Project December: A Book About Writing or the various Project… blog posts on this blog, then you’ll know Project October is about intensive writing, Project November is about editing and revision, and Project December is about getting your book published. And, of course, I hope it makes sense that Project January is about starting all over again.

The pride and relief at finishing and finally publishing a book is wonderful. But the realisation that all that hard work, all the blood, sweat and tears that it took, all the back and forth, all of the begging for beta readers, all the doubt and belief and doubt again, the realisation that all of it simply rewinds to deposit you back at the beginning again can be hard.

Some people only want to write one book, only have one book in them. If that’s you and you’re okay with it, great. For the rest us who don’t want to be one-book wonders, we’re confronted with an entirely different set of problems from when we began writing our first books. So here are a few things to consider to help get you back on track to another Project October, Project November and Project December. Continue reading

The Pros & Cons of a Pen Name (With a Little Help from KK Ness)

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In 2012, when I released my debut novel, Enemies Closer, I decided to use the pseudonym “LE Truscott”. The book was action adventure and I was concerned (perhaps unnecessarily) that male readers wouldn’t be interested in reading a woman writing in the genre. I didn’t think too long or too hard about what the drawbacks might be. But just as there were benefits, there were also disadvantages.

KK Ness has recently released her first book, Messenger, in The Shifter War fantasy series and her pseudonym is a complete departure from her actual name (as opposed to the partial disguise I chose). I asked her a few questions about her choice to help illustrate the pros and cons of using a pen name. Continue reading

Realism Versus Escapism Versus Absurdism

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When we first start writing fiction, we do it because it’s fun, because we enjoy it, because it allows us to create and exist in worlds and amongst people that we are unlikely to ever encounter in our real lives. Sometimes that includes worlds and people we would never want to meet in real life.

It’s often only when others start reading our fiction that analysis begins and labels are bandied about. Genres are so varied and specific these days that there is almost always one to suit anything that is being written. And if there isn’t, we create new ones.

Beyond genre, though, there are three categories into which everyone’s writing will fall. They are categories that when we are writing we don’t think much about. But our writing will inevitably fall into one or snugly somewhere between two. Those three categories are realism, escapism and absurdism. Continue reading

An Introduction and an Apology

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The apology first:
I’m sorry – because, yes, I am yet another writer. You know the type. Disillusioned from years of work loosely related or completely unrelated to writing, which serves a financial purpose but adds up to a lot of regret about wasted time.
And now here I am, starting yet another writing blog and hoping someone, somewhere will see it and save me from thirty more years of disillusionment.

Continue reading