A new month, Three new challenges!

A new challenge

A new challenge

This year has been a funny year, for the last few months I’ve felt as if I’m in some sort of a fog. In short, I’ve been disorganised, the house is a mess, nothing much has been getting done. To be honest, I’m amazed I’ve achieved what I have!

I finally feel as though the fog is lifting… The ideas are starting to get down on paper (or in my computer) and things are happening!

For April, I have three challenges! Call me crazy, but here they are…

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Chapter Book Challenge Update – Nearly there #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2016

Chapter Book Challenge 2016

It’s nearly the end of March and things are going really well. I have two stories that are progressing well, but the biggest surprise of all happened last weekend.

Last Thursday, I ran the usual Teen Writers Group at the local library and we had some Easter goodies as writing prompts. These included eggs, bunnies, chickens, and hot cross buns. I started writing a story called “The Great Easter Egg Disaster”, just for fun.

When I got home, I decided to keep writing. I had a chat with my friend, Julie Anne Grasso, author of the Frankie Dupont Mysteries, to get some tips on writing a mystery, and then kept writing.

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Chapter Book Challenge 2016 – The first two weeks #ChaBooCha

Chapter Book Challenge 2016

Chapter Book Challenge 2016

I can’t believe this years Chapter Book Challenge is half over! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know I usually write a blog post with my progress each week! For some reason this year, time has slipped away.

At the start of the month, I had two stories I wanted to work on. One was a new Green Oaks Primary School story, and the other was one I was playing with last year, then for some reason, another idea popped into my head last week!

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Getting ready for a Challenge!

My first ChaBooCha winner badge!

My first ChaBooCha winner badge!

I’m so excited. In a matter of days, the 2016 Chapter Book Challenge kicks off. For anyone who doesn’t know about this, it’s a challenge held every March to write the first draft of a children’s or YA novel in a month. I have been participating since 2012 and have used my first winners badge in this post because I’m too excited to wait for this years images to be ready to post about it!!

Last year was the first year I didn’t complete a full manuscript, however the following month I did. That story is about to be published! We are aiming for a 12 May launch.

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Dreams to novels?

Dream to a novel...

Dream to a novel…

A few days ago, I had a dream. When I woke up, I thought “Wow, that would make a great novel”!

There were some really strange elements to the story, but the main arc of the dream has potential, with a bit of work. The main character was there, along with parts of her story.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a dream like this. I have notebooks of ideas that have come from dreams. The good ones, the ones worth pursuing, often come up over multiple nights.

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Getting off track?

Going off track, or finding my way?

Going off track, or finding my way?

I’ve been working on my first grown up novel. I have attempted them in the past, but haven’t got very far. So far, I’ve written over 30 parts that are 750+ words.

The last few days, I’ve been writing random chapters, some have an obvious place, and others don’t. Last night, I wrote a section that, on reflection, was a whole lot of waffle. It didn’t make the story go forward and sounded like I was writing it for the sake of writing!

There is a reason this is called a First Draft.

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Stories take time…

12 Days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas – lessons

The last few days, I’ve been participating in Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas for Writers program. The most recent challenge was to list some of our failures or disappointments in 2015. For each one, list the big fat judgement, then list the truth. Following on from that, today’s challenge was to turn the truth’s into lessons.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that stories take time.

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Successes for 2015

Successes for 2015

Successes for 2015

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2015. [Read more…]

Writing when you don’t have time! #amwriting

Writing when you don't have time!

Writing when you don’t have time!

I’ve recently been working on a new story. It’s also the end of the school year here in Australia, I have one child graduating from primary school, a 12th birthday tomorrow, Christmas next week, work, doctors appointments, and a long list of other activities that come with the end of the year.

In spite of all of this, I’m getting a lot of writing done! I’ve got further through this novel than I have for a long time. Last night, I finished part 10!

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My first draft IS my plan…

First draft IS my plan

First draft IS my plan

After writing my post yesterday, I realised something – my first draft IS my plan! And it has been ever since I was in high school…

Let me explain.

When I start writing, I have a vague idea of where I want the story to go. I usually have a beginning and an ending, but the rest needs filling out. If I try and write a paragraph by paragraph or chapter by chapter synopsis in dot points before I start, I tend to write down anything at all, but it doesn’t necessarily flow. I’ve found that when I start writing, the story doesn’t usually follow the points!

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