Sunday, 25 August 2013

External Readers

We have given the novel to our parents to read. We have asked them to read it like any novel they pulled off the shelf, not to edit it (except for grammatical errors and typos) but I think they're finding it hard. I don't want them to look at it as something to edit. I want them to read it as if they can't ever talk to the authors. But parents never do as they're told.
I've seen that Dad has underlined loads of stuff in the copy already...kind of annoying because now I can't give that copy to anyone else because it has his notes on it. I'll have to print other's a lot of paper...
I've also created a facebook page for it! When the time comes to let the bird fly it's nest, I'll let everyone I know on facebook know about it and ask loads of people to like it.
We have plans to advertise it in Ben's school and also in his best friend's school.
But, as I said, it is not yet time for the bird to fly its nest.
When the time comes, I'll give you the facebook link on here :)
My stomach is telling me it needs feeding.
I don't even know if there's anything to eat in the house.
Wish me luck!
M. x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Ben and I decided to leave the novel for a few days - entirely forget about it - so that we could try and come back to it fresh the next Monday.
That didn't turn out nearly as easy as I thought it would be. I kept saying to myself - stop thinking about it, focus on a different project, so, of course, my mind could think of nothing but the novel! The weekend was a real struggle, especially because I had so much time to myself that I had nothing to distract me from thinking about it!
So I took to reading the Harry Potters - again - which helped to distract me enough. In about five days, I've managed to read through the first three books and I'm now on chapter nine of the fourth!
So yesterday, I went to Dad's and we printed out the whole thing in A4 which comes to 123 pages. Ben and I spent a lot of time over the last two days sitting together and reading it through, just to get the bigger picture and see if it's actually readable as a novel. I guess it was like a director watching over their movie for the first time after all the special effects and so on had been added.
Reading through it, I found myself amazed! It was a lot better than I thought it was!
If you've ever written something, you'll probably recognise the feeling I get when I usually read over my work. I completely cringe like I'm watching myself do the most embarrassing things over and over.
But with this, I didn't cringe once! I'm really happy with it!
I also found myself addicted to it which I really didn't expect. I honestly thought reading it would make my brain reel, after having read through it so many times, but, even though I knew exactly what was coming (I even knew the descriptions and words that were coming), I really wanted to carry on reading.
That's got to give it some credit, hasn't it?
I am one of the most judgemental people over my own work so I am really happy with that outcome!
Of course, knowing it so well, I hardly had to take my time understand the information given so it took me about 5-6 hours to read it total over two days.
It's 32 chapters long and I really don't think we could have done any better!
M. x

Thursday, 15 August 2013


That's right!
I finished editing today!
I edited 6 chapters in one day with a real drive to get them done!
I have written a novel called Departure.
It's kinda cool to be able to say that...
I knew I'd get it written before uni started!
That was our first goal - get it written before uni.
And then the goal was to get it edited by uni.
Now, it's to get it sent off to publishers by uni.
This is gonna happen!
I will put all my driving force into pushing this.
I will get it published somehow.
We may have to go the Kindle route but if so, then that's what we have to play with.
If so, I'll do the donkey work and advertise advertise advertise!
This has to happen.
It has to.
M. x
P.S. Just finished watching The Social Network.
That's probably why I'm so pumped with this right now...

Friday, 9 August 2013

Major Catch Up Time!

So...I've been a crap blogger recently!
The book went from 12 chapters, to 9 chapters, to 16 chapters, to 32 chapters to 34 chapters and has settled on 32 chapters. I just spent a week in Wales with Ben and we finished writing all of the chapters! One of them is going to need a lot of editing was crap.
Editing shouldn't take too long if I just knuckle down and do it. And then it's all done! Departure is almost complete!!! :D
M. x

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


The titles have changed.

Now that the original three books are split into three trilogies, I worked out I need 13 titles...

1. - An overall title
2, 3, 4, - a title for each trilogy
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 - a title for each book

I have decided that the first trilogy title will be Motherland.
The three books under this trilogy will be:
- Departure
- Adventure
- Arrival

Not sure about the last one, Arrival.
I've been trying to find titles that fit with each/most of the POV's and the first 2 do...
I haven't planned out each chapter/event for the new POV's in the third book so I'm not decided about the last title.

Really struggling for an overall title!!!
M. x

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Yeah, Yeah, I Know...

Okay so I said novel one is finished and just needs editing, right?
Well I've changed my mind. Again. Yeah, yeah, I know; at this rate it looks like the novel will never be finished!

I realised that every POV in the novel needs to start somewhere, develop, and finish somewhere...probably on a cliff-hanger for the next book. So I've now got 33 chapters, not 19. I just needed to add it stories for each individual POV.

I have 5 in the first novel.

- Bastion Gray (just wrote one of his 5 new chapters)
- Henry Barlow
- Malina Goodwin (finished - just needs editing)
- Etillie Longthorn
- Augustus Longthorn

I've planned the new chapters so it shouldn't take long for me to write them...

M. x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Novel One!!!

After taking a look at the size of part one, we realised that in print, it would be about the size of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone!
We have had this idea in our minds for a while but never really elaborated on it because we weren't quite sure that it would work.

The first book was originally going to have 3 parts.

Part One - 9 chapters
Part Two - 12 chapters
Part Three - about 10 chapters.

Now that we have added the many different Points Of View, Part One grew to 19 chapters! Part One added about 5 more characters to the story. Part Two will add 2 more. We realised that in Part One, not that much happens, yet still we managed to add 10 more chapters and still more needs to be added to them.

In Part Two, a lot more happens in each story. Therefore, each POV will need more chapters.
In Part Three, each POV gets even more interesting.
Can you imagine the size of that one book?
If the smallest is the size of the first Harry Potter...that would be a slog to get through and would surely put off many readers, merely because of the size of the book.

We realised with grim expressions.

The only way to fix this was to split the three parts into individual novels.

There were originally going to be 3 novels. It looks like there will be 9 now!

This means that I have written a novel!
I just need to edit it now...

It's really hard to talk about it now, though, because everyone else has heard us talking about them as Part One, Two and Three...and now they're going to be books One, Two and Three. Even Ben and I confuse ourselves when talking about them!
So the next step is book titles.
We need a title for all 3 of the first trilogy.
Yeah, we're going to split them into 3 trilogies.

If we had titles, everything would be a lot easier to understand!
At the moment, we're having to refer to them as "the original part one that is now book one" and it's driving me  - I don't know about Ben - mad.

I really need to think about this and I really don't have the time for novel thinking at the moment!!!
Titles, titles, titles.
They've always been my weak point...
M. x

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Part One. Again.

Okay, I know I've said this loads of times but Part One really honestly is very close to being finished! I'm going to see little Benny tomorrow and we'll do a load of work on the last chapter (which is only one A4 page at the moment!) and then Bob's your Uncle! You have 19 chapters for one part!
It used to be 9 chapters!
I'm in a weird mood so I should probably go before my weirdness shows too much on here.
Weird, Weird, Weird.
Read my other blog and you'll discover that I'm moving to Norwich in a week!
From Sussex to East Anglia! What a move! It's is scary. I am scared. But I will be fine.

I'll still be able to write.
I've pretty much (it's kinda complicated) got a job up there but it's commission work so I'm gonna take the weekends off for writing and me time :)
If I don't get enough time to myself, I'll go a bit doolally...

Anywho, I need to sleep now.
Part One should be finished by tomorrow!!

M. x

Friday, 3 May 2013

Returned Traveller!

I got back from my trip around Britain last night! It was AMAZING. I loved it!
I kinda wish I was still out there. Home is nice...for a few hours ahah!

Anyways, I added in loads of chapters to Part One because I now have a lot more Points Of View (POV's).
I think there's about 6-7 now and there are more coming! So part one has gone from 9 chapters to 19!!
I much prefer it, now. My writing has got better and it just makes the story a lot more interesting because the reader is following so many different stories, some more important than others.
I wrote about 5 chapters while travelling - one of the chapters is for the beginning of book 3! I got a bit ahead of myself...but I just had a burst of inspiration!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


I'm meant to be sleeping right now because I'm getting a very early start (6am!) and going on my month long travels!!! I doubt I'll get a chance to post up on here in the next month so in a flash, here's the latest update:

I was watching Game Of Thrones and I realised that what makes these stories interesting is many, many different POV's (points of view) that somehow intertwine. So I've added in something like...5 or 6 new POV's other than my main character, Malina, just to jazz it up.
So now Part One has gone from 9 chapters to 17 chapters!!!
I've written most of them already (they're pretty short) - I just need to add 2 more, now....
And there you have it!
See you in a month!
M. x

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Chapter Five, Part Two

In the last three days, I have edited Chapter Five three times!
I read through it the first time and found so much to add in! I began to edit it then realised I didn't have enough space to do all the edits at once or the mind capacity to think of so many changes at once!
So I wrote them all down, edited it on the computer and printed it out again.
I then edited the edit.
And the same problem occured, yet again.
I printed the new edit and have just been through it again. The scary thing is that each edit has turned the pages completely red with edits!
I am relatively happy with it now - there will only be a few sentences to tweak, now. So I'm going to leave it to the very last edit. It's good enough for me to feel relatively satisfied, now!

While writing, I have discovered the best music to edit to!

- Jon Boden's A Folk Song A Day - hundreds of folk songs that are all gorgeous!
- Billy Bragg's album "Tooth And Nail." It's brilliant!
- Eric Bogle - especially the song Leaving Nancy.

What music do you listen to when writing/editing?

M. x

P.S. Referencing to an earlier post - I don't know if the magazine is ever going to happen. I don't really have the time, I don't really know how to do it and I don't know how to find out how to do it! It requires a lot of effort and time - both of which I have little of for new projects! It may happen eventually - perhaps when I go to University...

In other news...I'm travelling around Britain for two months...and I'm leaving in 2 weeks!!! Ahhh! I am really excited! The only problem is that I haven't actually booked everything yet...
Okay, I have just done a long bought of editing...maybe I should take a breather and book some more of my trip...x

Monday, 11 March 2013

Research And Inspiration

Today, I sat in a library researching Folk Music in the USA for 3 hours!
From it, I got loads of ideas for the fantasy novel!
I thought of loads of background ideas like myths and legends, songs and poems.
I also got inspiration for how societies should be run which is really helpful for the editing of Part Two.
I also found some wise words I hope to use from a myth I read about Hercules.

And that's another very short post for you!
I haven't been doing much for the fantasy novel recently - I've been completely caught up in the folk world! I'm going to folk workshops, researching into folk histories and I'm thinking of joining a folk club in the local town. I've been a little bit distracted recently...
I've also been very busy so haven't had much time to just sit down and edit/write.
I have a relatively free day tomorrow so will do some editing! :)

M. x

Sunday, 10 March 2013


This is a very simple post.
I apologise for the inaction. I just haven't got around to doing much fantasy novel stuff recently.
I'm on Chapter Two of Part Three. Part Two is still being edited.
M. x

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Three Books

The whole story will be written over three books. It's decided. It can't be more than that or less, it will be three books. Ben and I planned the first two books meticulously but the third - which had to happen - was always a bit of a blur. We had no idea what to do with it, and we've had so many different plots for it!
I talked to my boyfriend, WS, about it and he said maybe there could be another driving force that blackmails Malina into working with them?
I won't say how i've used that idea, but thanks WS! You have helped me soo much!
I have now planned out book three and I really think it's going to stick!
I usually create a plot for book three, sleep on it, then decide it's crap. But I think I'm truly happy with it this time! There are twists and discoveries and loads of awesome new ideas that I just came up with last night...with a lot of inspirational help from the first series of Game Of Thrones... (I watched 8 episodes in one day! I declare myself addicted!)
I know this is another short post, but, really, there's not much else to say! I'm still editing the second part of the first novel - it takes time, of which I have little.
Patience is a virtue, friends!
M. x

Monday, 18 February 2013

Third Part Plans

We have planned the 9 chapters for the third part but are struggling to actually start writing it. I'm still editing part 2 - I'm on chapter 5 of 12 so there's still a way to go!
We just have no inspiration for the next part!
We have no idea how to start it or what to do. I think they call it writers block.
I'm going to sit down when I have some time and just start and, hopefully, the creative juices will start flowing. Hopefully. They probably won't. I'm just a bit preoccupied at the moment.
I don't know. We'll see.
Sorry for the short post!
M. x

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Flash New Ideas!

I know I'm always saying I'm giving myself way too many projects at once -
- I'm learning Latin,
- Reading a book a week,
- Writing two novels,
- Always writing other stuff as well (like poetry),
- Running three blogs,
- I have two jobs
- And I'm trying to keep sociable.

But I like new projects.

So the other day, I was looking into publishing poetry in magazines but it is impossible to find somewhere! It seems that every magazine out there is ridiculously elite - they only want the people who have been mentioned before somewhere or who have already been published. They want the people who have already got their big break.
But why should we all wait for the big break that always happens to someone else but you?
So I decided to make my own online magazine, dedicated to promoting those artists (of all sorts) and giving them the chance to get known.
I've called it 'The New Frontier Magazine' because I wanted to represent the new generation of fighters.
On this magazine, I will post photography, art, songs, poetry, flash fiction (at most 300 words) blog posts, travel writing, maybe a serialized story, and more.

It's a really excited new project for me because I am really serious about it! I want it to get big! At the moment, it's on Tumblr. I think that will help people to find me and once I've got a big fan base (if I ever do!), I hope to set up my own website domain.

I am currently looking for posts for the first edition. (I'm having 15 pieces per edition) and I have 10 out of 15 posts already! Okay, I don't actually have the documents (and for one of them, I need to do a fashion shoot with my friend!) but everyone who's contributing will send their works when I ask them :)

If you're interested, please email:

I haven't yet got any posts up anywhere, but to support me and the cause (getting artists known), please like/follow these various sites:



The actual magazine on Tumblr:

There's nothing interesting on any of them yet, but there will be soon! It would really mean a lot if you could follow/like it!

M. x

Friday, 1 February 2013

Editing. Again.

I printed part two today to edit. It find it much easier to edit with pens rather than on the computer. I can see more things at one time, that way. It's so fiddly on the computer!
Part Two, in 1.5 spacing, 12.5 Times New Roman Font, A4 normal print paper is about 1.3 cm thick.
I'm pleased with that!
Yes, yes, I know - quality not quantity! But it's still nice to know that this is going to be a relatively thick book. I haven't put the two parts together yet. I want to see how thick it is so far.

I'm going to edit all of this and then head on to part three. I've just edited chapter one which really isn't that bad! There will be far less edits needed in this part than in the last part! But that's probably because my writing has improved. It's actually amazing to see how far it has come!

Sorry this was such a short update. I am so exhausted, my eyes don't want to stay open!
Ciao for now (it rhymes!!!)
M. x

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Steaming Ahead!

Like a snail on strychnine, I had an amazing spurt of writing this weekend!
I finished chapter four on Saturday morning and closed Part Two at chapter twelve at 3:30am Monday morning!
The first part of the novel took MONTHS to write! I think it was because we had a pause after every chapter, letting other people edit it before we moved on. But this time, I have managed twelve chapters in two weeks! - or is it three? - But still! That is bloody crazy!
We have also got much better at writing! Okay, so I've done most of the actual writing and Ben has helped a load with ideas and inspiration etc. So I guess I should say my writing has got better.
So now I'm going to print it off and go through the long editing process all over again!
I kind of hoped I would have a nice long break from that!
Ahh well...
Part three shouldn't take too long, either. We've planned out most of it already.
I'll then have to go over the whole thing and do a major edit so that the writing style stays the same throughout the book. I won't go over the first part just yet, because I know my writing will get even better once I've finished part three, so I might as well change it then!
This project really might be do-able!
I mean, I now have until late September to get it all finished and perfected!
However, I fear that I'll use that badly and will squandor my time. I'll tell myself I have ages and won't do the boring editing bits until I'm pressed for time and then I won't have the chance to get it as good as possible.
I know myself.
So I'm really going to need some support to keep me working!
M. x

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Chapter 8-10

That's right!
I have written chapters 4-10 in two days!
Today, I started on chapter 8 and just finished chapter 10!
Okay, so I know there is a lot to add in and edit etc but there was loads more to do when I neared the end of the last part!
This part of the novel is 12 chapters long! I can't believe I'm almost there! I've got to be over half way through the whole book now!
It took many months to write the first part of the novel - okay, so it was the hardest bit to write and we knew it would be before we even started it...but still...many months! It has taken me about 2 weeks to write this part! And this part is longer! The first part is 9 chaps and this is 12!
This is definitely a very proud moment for me :)
I'll be able to finish the next to chapters easily! I could finish them tonight but I am a bit emotionally exhausted  after writing three very hard-hitting and emotional chapters. It's always felt like I've gone through the ordeals I describe, myself.
Can I carry on tonight? I'm not sure. I guess I could give it a try...

And now, I have decided you need some music to keep you all happy :) I am very happy at the moment (especially because of the gorgeous weather we had today! Clear blue skies and fresh windy air!) and want to spread the happiness :)

I was there!!! :)

Now go and listen to the rest of their music on spotify/youtube/however you can!
M. x

Chapters 4-7

Today, we sat ourselves down from 10:30am to 8:30pm and wrote four chapters.

Okay, scratch that sentence.

Today, we sat ourselves down from 10:30am to 8:30pm and I...yes, just me...I wrote four chapters.
Ben got bored very quickly and started playing on endless computer games on his laptop while I slaved away, trying to make these chapters remotely interesting.
There's not much action in them so we didn't really know what was going to happen and how we'd write it. So I just made it up as I went along, with the thinnest of structures to guide me.
I occasionally asked for Ben's consent, but all I got in reply was a grunt. He was too busy shooting zombies.
You see, Ben prefers to write the action filled parts. And, yes, I prefer them too, but I do also like writing character development scenes. And in these four chapters, our main character, Malina, really comes into herself. Instead of being pushed into situations, she takes action and changes things for herself.
For example, instead of sitting back and letting things wash over her, she allows herself to make friends. Instead of being given information, she goes to look for it, sparking interest in the man who gives her the answers.
I don't want to tell anymore than that. All I'm saying is that Part Two is a new beginning for her and she really matures and develops. She takes her own initiative a lot more than she did in Part One. I like having a developing character and I like writing about her development and giving little hints here and there, while Ben finds it deadly boring and would rather shoot zombies.
So most of the day today, I have been writing, writing, writing. I am in the middle of chapter seven now, and I am about to go and finish it (or try to, anyway!)
I thought I would give a picture which inspired our image of how Malina looks:

Here, she is wearing the dress she wears to an Outlaw party I have just written about. Yes, she is living with Outlaws at the moment. The real question is, are Outlaws an amalgamation of many different types of people (dwarves, elves, humans and others etc) or are they a race of their own?
I will be using this debate in the book...not quite sure how, yet though!

I hope this has raised your interests!
M. x

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Part Two!

We have now started writing Part Two!
It's really exciting!
Things really start to change now and the reader learns more about the world we have created, even some of it's history.
I have just finished Chapter Three, after which, the real changes start happening.
We're about to meet those people who will be with us for the rest of the whole adventure - the rest of this book and the next two books!
This part introduces us to very important people and set her up for a lot of her future.
Sorry this was so short and sweet!
M. x

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Homeland (?), Part One

I have finished editing and writing the first part of Homeland!
There will be three parts which we already have planned.
It's amazing to read the first time we ever wrote the first chapter and to see how far our writing has progressed! We really have learned a lot throughout this process!

It's really nice to be able to print out the 9 chapters of Part One and hand it over to all those people I promised it to! Okay, I promised it to far more people than I should have. I now don't want so many people to have a look at it before it is fully finished.
It is very likely that this part will have very few changes in the future because it is really the beginning of everything and plays a very minor part in the rest of the story. I don't think the ideas that will come later will hugely affect this Part. So it's amazing to be able to say how finished it is!
And I can now focus all my attention on Part Two and get even closer to finishing the whole novel!
And overall finish is, of course, still miles and miles away but it now actually seems possible!
We started creating this in January and started writing in June
We have spent 8 months writing the hardest part of the whole novel.
We now have half of January, 7 months and half of september (so, basically, 8 months) to complete the rest. It may seem difficult from where I am now - it's like being a third of the way up a mountain and knowing that I have only 8 hours to reach the top - but I really do think it is possible because the next two parts aren't so difficult (I don't think!) because we know a little bit about our main character now and about the world.

Cross my fingers!

Well, it is a good day :) We are officially a third of the way through!

The major question now is what shall our book title be? Homeland is a very famous TV program (I probably didn't need to tell you that!) calling our book 'Homeland' isn't the best idea...I don't know. Maybe we can keep it like that. It is the perfect title! Maybe by the time we start to advertise it, the TV program Homeland won't be so famous anymore. Who knows?
We also want a trilogy or Chronicles name:
- The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness (Wolf Brother, etc.)
- His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass etc.)

You get what I mean.
Any ideas, anyone?
M. x

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Last Four Days

Isn't it funny how it can takes weeks to do one chapter and then, suddenly, only four days to accomplish a HUGE amount? I guess it's just to do with motivation...

Four days ago, I went to my Dad's house and worked on the novel with my little brother. Aside from cutting four totally pointless chapters from the book (which I mentioned in my last post), we planned the whole trilogy! We thought it was necessary to do this, so that we could add in links from each of the books, for example, something you see in the first book that is only ever answered in the third get what I mean, right?

We also re-created the whole map, doubled it in size and created names for every major river, lake, wood, mountain and hill and added cities, village and plains! We have a really cool map now with really believable names. I hate books with place names that you can't pronounce or that sound really stupid:

Mount Woogalooga (Sounds like a kids programe on CBeebies!)
The River of Bagatron (Sounds like a futuristic robot!)
Xuphalionibus City (Ummm...wut?)

And then today, we wrote two chapters for the second part (of three parts)! Two chapters! That is a lot of work for four days! I feel completely sapped on writing genius now so, instead, I'm about to do the last bits of editing on Part One...and then.......IT WILL BE FINISHED!....ish.....

Okay, so we'll have to do a major edit right at the very end, but it will be good enough to let people read it! And it will be good enough to leave alone until the very end! That feels amazing to say! And it will feel even more amazing when it's done!

So now I have to go and actually do it...!

Oh, and Happy New Year!

What a good way to start the new year :)
M. x