Tag Archives: writing motivation

How Long Should A Book Series Go For?

I am currently reading the second last book out of the Pretty Little Liars book series and it has got me thinking about when a book series should end. The Pretty Little Liars series was supposed to end at book 8 but has since gone on for another eight books. The last four books seem to be very drawn out so far. It feels like Sara Shepard has begun running out of things for the last four books (I am reading the last few books to find out who A is and how they stop A). It reminds me of the last few Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood books – those felt like Charlaine Harris was running out of story but kept going because of the TV show. Those last few books weren’t as strong as the rest of the books in the series.

So when would be a great time to finish a book series?

I feel it could be when there’s enough strong story lines to finish the series without making it drawn out with thin story lines. For example, the Pretty Little Liars series should have finished at book 8 but could have just finished at book 12 without having another four books afterwards.

But how does a writer/author of a series know when it’s a good time to finish a series? How do they know when enough is enough? I know that there are fans out there who would love to know more and have more books written about their favourite characters. Or that there’s also a TV show going on as well and they want to keep up with it, but is that really necessary? If the series is still strong, does it really need more books after the last published book?

It just seems so much easier saying a book series needs to finish as an outsider compared to a writer who has invested so much time and effort into writing, editing and publishing the books.


A Case of Writer’s Block??

I feel like writing and writing and writing. But it’s getting clouded by the need to look after a baby, doing the housework and helping the other half out with his businesses. Which then leads to not a lot of time to write. Or read the ever growing pile of to-read books that I have stashed away.

And then when I do want to write and sit down to do it, I feel a little stuck, like I’m not sure where to go from point A to point B and there’s no inspiration popping up to help out (although my baby does seem like an inspiration point for one of the stories I want to write).

Perhaps I have a case of writer’s block or perhaps I procrastinate too much (or maybe it’s just a combination of both those things).

I really do need to put my writer’s hat on and make time to write …..


7 Lessons I Wish Someone Had Taught Me Before I Started Writing

Sacha Black

lessons learntWhen I first started writing, I was worse than a kid in a toy store. I wanted it ALL…NOW. I was desperate to be ‘good’ at writing. I didn’t want to just ‘be’ a writer, I wanted to Stephen King that shit.

I was deluded. Not because of my dream, but because I was unconsciously incompetent!

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Which frankly, at that point, was less than fuck all. So I set about rampaging my way through everything that had even the faintest whiff of ‘writing tips’ attached to it.

The problem was, I got overwhelmed, saturated with conflicting advice and utterly bewildered as to which direction to go in. I didn’t know what to learn or how to learn it.

I realised there was no avoiding the fact it really does just take time to develop your writing muscle. However… along the way, I also picked up some pretty nifty tricks that…

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Happy 2 Year Anniversary To Me!

With an ever changing and quickly growing baby taking up most of my time, I have missed the date for my two year anniversary for having this blog (hence why this blog post is a little late in the making).

Well, what can I say? This year’s blogging journey was certainly different to last year’s blogging journey. There has been a few big things in my personal non-online life happen – getting a job and becoming a mother, for example – that have changed things a lot for me. It has definitely changed the amount of time I have to blog (but perhaps create more ideas and inspirations to create blog posts with :D). I have grown a little as a person and as a blogger and a writer too (I think). And I seem to have started to go in another direction with the blog posts. Or just really added another dimension to things.

I can’t wait to see what the next year of blogging will bring and where it will lead to …


Writing Outside The Box

Thanks for the post!

Live to Write - Write to Live

“Think outside the box” has always been one of the phrases I love to hate. In my agency days, it was something that echoed up and down the corridors, usually tripping lightly off the tongue of some overpaid creative director-type who couldn’t come up with a more helpful way to articulate his “vision.” The writers and designers would cringe in unison and wonder exactly what the hell they were supposed to do. Most of the time, they weren’t even aware they were in a box, never mind understanding how to get out of it.

Still, getting “outside the box” does have some validity in the world of marketing if you think of the box as the “shoulds” of marketing.

The myth of “best practices”

I have some bad news: there is no silver bullet, no 100% guaranteed roadmap, no one-size-fits-all solution. I also have some good news: there is no…

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Life tips from a writing class

Live to Write - Write to Live

It’s the end of another semester. My Professional Writing and Presentation Skills students are getting ready to fly from the proverbial academic nest.

blackboardWay back, on that first day of class, I told them all that this course would be one they would remember for the rest of their lives. I promised they would be getting life skills that would help them going forward. Of course I saw many eye rolls when I said that, but I told them to stick with it, come to every class, listen, and participate – and at the end of the semester, they could tell me if they agreed.

It’s now the end of the semester and every single student agreed that they learned important life lessons from the class. Oh sure, I taught them how to organize writing and incorporate best practices when formatting documents, but because *I* was their instructor, they also…

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What I’m Currently Reading

I actually finished reading this book a while ago. It was one of the many books that have been stashed away in my handbag for reading when I was waiting for appointments or been out to lunch by myself when I’ve been running errands.

The book in question is Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. It is one of his collections of short stories that he has put together to be published as one book.

I enjoy reading Stephen King’s short stories as much as I enjoy reading his novels. I like the fact that he writes the short stories in between writing his novels and that he continues to hone his writing skills between the writing and editing and rewriting of the longer stories. I like the fact that he continues to write short stories even after he is making money on full length novels now and not have to scrape by on the short stories he would send into magazines to help keep his family afloat. I like the fact that you don’t always have to know what story is coming up next and where it would lead you.

I would definitely recommend reading the Stephen King short stories that are available.

skeleton crew


Directional Plans

So the other day, I was thinking I was going to do a lot of writing – well, more than what I would normally do when I do decide to do some writing.

But instead (in amongst getting sidetracked) I ended up starting to plot one of the stories that I’m currently trying to write.  For some reason, I feel like the story is somewhat flat and I think that if I start to plot the story and the characters, perhaps it would help me lift the story.

I’m not big of plotting a story – not in a lot of detail anyway. I’m more into letting the story grow organically while I’m writing it and editing it and rewriting it.

I have tried letting this particular story to grow organically but it doesn’t seem to be quite there yet. Yes, it has grown and started going in a particular direction which I think is good for the story. But I don’t think it’s quite there yet and I’m hoping that the plotting I’m in the process of doing is going to help it.

Does anyone else have similar problems when writing?


Veering In Another Direction

Okay, I think it’s time for me to get away from writing about the depressing stuff. Yes, I do have some things that I need to work through, but I have to start focusing on some positives as well. Just focusing on the negatives isn’t going to help me or anyone around me.

One of those positive things (for me anyway) is getting back into writing. I’ve always wanted to write fictional stories ever since I was a child. I’m going to have to get back into that and start writing some more. I can’t sit around and not write anything (even if I am good at procrastinating). All the published writers continued writing until they finished their story and continued writing until it was better than their best (unless you’re Stephenie Meyer hahaha).

I think I can write well. I have read books from a range of people – great writers, good writers, mediocre writers and bad writers. Books by good or great writers who don’t always write a good or great book every time they publish a book.

That has to count for something, right?


How To Become A Writer

Some writing advice and something to think about.