Blog

Adventures of the bookish kind

Owner’s Manual: Creativity 101

Disclaimer: this is a humourous post meant to amuse, not to instruct. You have been warned. 😉 Keeping your Creativity healthy is a hugely important thing to remember as a writer---or as any sort of an artist. Sometimes we can be smashing through all the word counts,...

read more

When NaNo Eats your Blog Schedule: NaNoWriMo Recap

Sometimes NaNoWriMo eats your blog schedule, hat, coat, feathers, and all. I had good intentions to hit 50k on Friday, then write this blog post right afterward. I did hit the 50k, but then I forgot all about the blog post part until almost ten at night. It just one...

read more

Flash Fiction: The Odds

A few months ago, I tried my hand at some flash fiction and, despite being mildly terrified while deciding if I should actually post it or not, I actually came out the other side determined to do it again one day. So here I am, only four months later, with another...

read more

The Facade of Perfect: Online vs Real Life

The online world is amazing. You can meet people with similar passions and callings and personality as you. You can find accountability, encouragement, inspiration. Friends and role models. I love being a part of the online community. I love connecting with writers...

read more

Five Middle Grade Novels I Love

Young Adult fiction is totally my favourite thing when it comes to books, but sometimes I need a bit of a break from the thick monsters that people call YA these days (looking right at you, Brandon Sanderson), and middle grade fiction is a wonderful place to go.   Why...

read more

Introducing My NaNoWriMo Project

I've been making hints about my next book for a few weeks now, in both blog posts and newsletters, but always being very vague and mysterious about it. Because I, frankly, didn't know enough about it to actually explain it any more than 'it's about secret agents',...

read more

Recipe: Plot Twists 101

Disclaimer: this is a humourous post meant to amuse, not to instruct. You have been warned. 😉 We've all had that one book that totally blew our minds with the crazy twists and turns of the plot, always keeping us on our toes. How do authors come up with such stunning...

read more

Am Currently – Updates on All the Things

I haven't done a life update post for AGES. I think it was about April when I did my last one and somehow the year has just continued doing its thing, and we're actually already closer to the end of October than the beginning. So it's high time for me to do a little...

read more

Why To Find A Brainstorm Buddy

I mentioned the term 'brainstorm buddy' in my last post, and this week I'm actually staying with one of my brainstorm buddies, so what better time to talk about how amazing they are?   Every time I'm stuck in my novel I go hunt down a brainstorm buddy and I never fail...

read more

My Plotting Process: Making a Concept into a Story

National Novel Writing Month (more commonly dubbed 'NaNoWriMo') is coming up in just a few weeks, so I thought it would be a fun time to take a peek into a bit of my novelling process. Every time I write a book, I use a slightly different process, because I like...

read more

Cover Reveal: ROMANOV, Nadine Brandes

I find it ironic that since doing a post on 'how to afford books as a broke bookworm' I have done three posts. Two out of those three have been me getting excited about books. Is that going to stop me from continuing with this post of all my book-excitement?...

read more

The Get To Know Me Tag – Writer’s Edition

I love seeing these questionnaire tags that drift across the online universe, partly because I love learning more about my friends, and also because the writing community is all so interconnected and it's wonderful to see such a supportive friend group. But today I'm...

read more

Book Review: WHAT BLOOMS FROM DUST, James Markert

One of my favourite parts about being a reader is when I read what I thought was just a general book and then it smacks me in the face and jumps onto my favourites list right away. There's nothing like a happy surprise. 😛 What Blooms From Dust was one of those sorts...

read more

It’s an Anniversary! (+ GIVEAWAY AWESOMENESS)

In case you're one of those people who skip over post titles, I've got an announcement for you. *drumroll*   IT'S MY WEBSITE'S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!   One year ago, on September 1st, this site went live (and everything crashed, as websites like to do) and I started...

read more

Touring My TBR

Several months ago I came up with this brilliant idea that I could do a fun post about my TBR for the second half of the year. Unfortunately...I completely forgot. And now there's only four-and-a-bit months left. Is that stopping me from doing this anyway? Absolutely...

read more

How to Make Your Characters Real 101

Disclaimer: this is a satirical post meant to amuse, not to instruct. You have been warned. 😉 Having realistic characters is a huge step toward having a great book. The readers will have someone to relate to and to cheer for. Some characters take a lot of time to...

read more

How to Survive Editing Your Manuscript

Editing other peoples' manuscripts is really fun. I love helping them out. I love reading their stories. I love suggesting ways to make the story better and greater and more amazing than ever. When it comes to editing my own books...it's a whole lot harder.   Four...

read more

Top Ten Favourite Friendships in Fiction

It's been a while since I've done a ramble-about-books post aside from reivews and launches, so when some suggested I post about fictional friendships I thought it was the perfect opportunity. Obviously, I could've done a post about why friendships are so good to have...

read more

Flash Fiction: The Man Wearing Black

Despite it being a Camp NaNoWriMo month—and thus having me busy writing the first draft of a new novel—I've been in a bit of a short story mood recently. New characters appearing and bouncing around inside my head until I grant them a short scene, old characters...

read more

Why You Should Never Become Part of a Book Fandom 101

Fangirls. Fanboys. Most likely you've heard the terms at least once before. The fandom life might look appealing from the outside, but it has many unexpected dangers within. You never know what you might be getting yourself into. 😉 So today I'm here to save you all a...

read more

The 777 Challenge – Falling Sun

I've only got a fairly short post today, but I'm going to point it all on Camp NaNo. (Because I need a scapegoat and that is as good as I can get. 😛 ) July is almost halfway done, and the writing has been all happening like usual. I feel like I haven't been writing...

read more

Book Review: FAWKES, Nadine Brandes

Remember, remember, the fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason why the Gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot!   I have flailed about Nadine Brandes several times on this site, but just in case you don't remember the other times:...

read more

Tapping the Secret of Character Voice

Considering the writing craft is a lot about silently sitting in a cosy corner and transferring your brain onto a page, there's a lot of terms and confusing jargon about Voice. Author voice, character voice, tiny-little-grammar-Nazi-on-your-shoulder voice. Needless to...

read more

How to Write a Book 101

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed" —Ernest Hemingway   Writing a book can sound very complicated and time consuming, but it's not as confusing as everyone makes out. I mean, obviously there's the struggles of 'how to...

read more

The Songkeeper Chronicles – Review + Fangirling

A couple of months ago, cover reveals were rife all over the blogosphere. I did several myself too. Time has passed and the looooong wait for the book releases is almost!! over!!! *shrieks* Flashback to when I did the cover reveal for the amazing cover of Song of...

read more

Be Still and Listen

In the chaos of life, it's very easy to get lost. To get sucked into the everyday, and let that creeping feeling of stress and responsibilities overwhelm us. Even the most chill, relaxed person in the world stresses about things. How on earth am I possibly going to...

read more

Why You Should Read Your Old Writing

Writers, as with all craftsmen/women, are constantly growing in their craft. We work on it every week, every month, every year, and as time goes on we learn how to make our stories better, stronger, deeper. With that quality development, it's very easy to look back on...

read more

What Star Wars Can Teach Us About Storytelling

First of all, may the fourth be with you. In honour of this day, here's a photo of me and my friends/family cosplaying as Star Wars characters. 😛   It's Star Wars day today. The day on which we say nerdy puns and should all speak in Han Solo quotes because he's got...

read more

Sometimes Good Things Must Come to an End

As an author and editor, the internet is a huge part of what I do. I blog, I'm on social media and forums, I meet new people, I build my platform---it's a way of building relationships, and I'm so glad that it exists. The internet = an amazing tool, but also a very...

read more

April Camp NaNo: RECAP

April has been a little bit of a whirlwind for me. Deadlines to meet, books to read, adventures to have, and Camp NaNo to win. Despite all efforts to the contrary, I've pulled through with my head still on my shoulders and my brain still in there somewhere too---so...

read more

The Story Peddler – Lindsay A. Franklin – Book Review

Today I have the honour of being part of a blog tour for a stunning new novel about to be released to the world! The Story Peddler is Lindsay Franklin's debut speculative fiction novel and can I just have a moment to fangirl here? The title is so cool. The cover is so...

read more

That Time I Messed up My Train Ticket Booking

This past week, I've been away at my cousin's farm on what I'm calling a 'writing retreat.' It was a wonderful time of hanging out, talking, and a little bit of editing thrown in there. 😉 This morning, after a productive editing session, I packed up my bag ready to...

read more

The Joyful Tag for Writers

I'm dropping in today from in the middle of a mini 'writing retreat week' to do a little tag that Hannah Gaudette created a few days ago. The joyful tag for writers! That sounds like a perfect tag for me. I'm going to be taking my WIP-related answers from A Sprig of...

read more

Cover Reveal — The Stealthmaster’s Shadow

Here's a fun fact for you: before I started this website, I had a different blog for four years. In all those four years I never did a cover reveal. And now. Here I am. With...yet another book that is soon to be released into the wild of published-dom. 😯   I've had...

read more

What IS an Adventure?

Some people are quite like hobbits. Happy at home, in the comfort of their sitting room and pantry. Aaand then the ones who are also like hobbits. Specifically, the hobbits with a Tookish side. The people with the Tookish side are always ready to leap over the garden...

read more

Top Theme Recommendations—A Resource List

My series on theme is almost over, but not until I leave you with one last post. This isn't at all like my normal posts, more of a resource list, I guess you could call it. Basically, I've compiled a list of my personal theme go-tos and haunts.   Just a quick recap of...

read more

Currently In Life…

March is gone and April has come in it's place. We're a quarter of the way through the year, yet it feels like it only just began. Today I've got a sort of random, rambly blog post, which is pretty much just a little update on my life at the moment. Basically this is...

read more

It Is Finished

Easter is here. That weekend of chocolate and rabbits and eggs and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (And also, as it happens, the weekend where I forget to publish my post, not just write it.) Something that comes to my mind almost every Easter is the...

read more

Book Review: The Girl Who Could See

Sometimes I get time to read books...only to pick up my book and realise that I have totally forgotten everything about what was happening because the last chance I'd had to read was two weeks beforehand. Cue sad Jane. Also cue Jane having to go back and scan over...

read more

A Guide to Torturing Your Characters

Out of all the characters you've ever written, how many of them have a happy story the whole way through? What about your favourite books? Do the characters in them have happy, fun-times all their lives? I can certainly say a big "no" to that question. I'm not very...

read more

Writing Update – Death to Fantasy Cliches

Yes hello I'm back because it's high time for another writing update! In my last writing update I told you about how I was going through A Sprig of Green with some edits and revisions. I also told you about how in March I was going to finish off my edits and plan for...

read more

Putting Yourself into Your Character’s Shoes

Inventing new characters is a favourite pastime of mine. A young emperor's son, a wise war general, a runaway, a secret agent. There's just something incredible about crafting these brand new humans and giving them a story and a home and a voice. But then I sit down...

read more

Why All Writers Should be Martial Artists

When you chose the writer's life, you probably had peaceful images of sitting in the sun with a cup of tea and a laptop, writing about tales of knights and princesses. Nothing about karate tournaments, parkour, and punching bags. However, if you're writing any sort of...

read more

Aesthetic Collages – The Making Of

It's a worldwide recognised fact that Jane Maree loves making collages. Or, at least, it should be a worldwide recognised fact. 😉 I love making collages for my stories and characters (or other people's characters for that matter). Recently I was doing some plotting...

read more

Character Arcs – Tying Characters and Theme Together

Unique and realistic characters are something we all strive to write. No one wants to hear that the readers can't connect or care for the characters we worked so hard on and spent so much time with. So we try to make them unique. We give them quirks and personality...

read more

Book Review: Knife – R. J. Anderson

Sometimes I write a blog post at least a day early, have it all ready for the day of posting...and then completely forget to post it. And then the next day I have to sneak in with a blog post that is shockingly LATE and OUT OF SCHEDULE and just hope that you'll all...

read more

Author Platform – What is it, and can I do it?

When I started looking into the great, scary world of publishing, there was one piece of advice that kept popping up all around the place. "Build an author platform." When I read that, my thoughts went something along the lines of "Well great, thanks for that amazing...

read more

COVER REVEAL – Phoenix Fire, S.D. Grimm

"Don't judge a book by it's cover." People say this all the time, but honestly? We all do it anyway. If a book has a boring cover, the book immediately seems a little 'eh.' But if the cover is gorgeous and beautiful? It's 10000% more likely that I'll pick up that...

read more

The First Cheerleader

I started writing quite a few years ago now. Normally if someone asks me, I'll tell them that my 'origin story' came from the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum which kicked me off into the world of writing. I don't remember writing much or planning to be an author...

read more

Why Everyone Should Read the Classics

Why are the classics called the classics? What sets them apart from the books written today? 'The classics' can easily set the modern reader groaning at the very thought. Long, boring books, full of huge long paragraphs and complicated words and weird, confusing...

read more

Time for Edits – Writing Update

It's been quite a while since I actually did a post about what I'm writing at the moment—actually, I don't think I've done one this year yet—so it's high time this post came along. This is going to be a bit of a rambly post to catch you up to what I've been doing with...

read more

On my Bookshelf: Fantasy

Who doesn't like curling up in a pile of cushions with a mug of your drink of choice (chai for me 😉 ) and delving into a new fantasy realm full of magic and surprises?   Fantasy has always had a special place in my heart. From fairy stories when I was a little girl,...

read more

Q+A Vlog (Part Two!)

Here I'm am again with the promised second half of the Q+A vlog! It took me a little longer than I originally intended before I got this up, but it's here now anyway. This is the writerly vlog, where I answer the various questions about writing. Some humorous, others...

read more

Theme in Action – Experiments in Living

So far in our theme series, we've covered What Theme Actually Is, how to Narrow Down Your Theme into a focusing question, but how do any of these actually work in the story itself? It's all well and good to have a handy little focusing question and a bunch of answers,...

read more

The Power of a Name

I'm stepping out of my normal blog post space today (and a little out of my comfort zone 😉 ), and this is more of a post about some thoughts I've been thinking lately. Specifically, thoughts about names.   Names are powerful things. It's not uncommon to have a book...

read more

From a First Draft Into Edits

Your novel is done. You've typed those two majestic words onto the bottom of your manuscript: the end. But then...what next? Your precious baby of a novel is a massive jumble of...well...rubbish. The time has come for edits. If you're anything like me, editing is a...

read more

Q+A Vlog (Part One)

My first vlog of 2018 is up and ready for you to watch. I got a ton of questions, and I wasn't possibly going to be able to answer them in a decent amount of time, so I had to split this vlog in two. In today's, I'll be answering my favourites of the 'random'...

read more

Focusing Your Theme

Blog post #2 of my theme series has come. It's been a while since the first post (sorry) so if you forgot everything about that post or didn't read it then, hop over here to read it again (or just scan over the important parts). Today I'm moving on from the basic...

read more

Ask Me: Questions Wanted for a Q+A Vlog!

About twelve months ago I released my first ever youtube vlog—featuring an awkward, uncertain me who really didn't know what she was doing. So much has happened since then, and I've even done a couple other vlogs and videos and it's been a lot of fun. But recently I...

read more

Five Brand New Books I Want to Write in 2018

Happy new year, everyone! 😀 *hands out pizza and confetti all around*   Since it's the beginning of the year, I've been thinking about my plans for writing. What am I writing, when am I writing, how am I writing, and more. Realistically, I plan to write three first...

read more

My 2017: I Wrote 300k and Discovered My Extrovert

2017 has been a year of busyness and adventures and struggles and joys and learning. It seems like aaages since the beginning of the year, and yet at the same time...it wasn't that long ago at all. What is time anymore. I'm confused. 😛 And as we all should know by...

read more

What is Theme?

Theme is one of those 'writerly' words that people sometimes talk about, and say is important, but don't actually have that much to share about it. It's one of the most underrated parts of storytelling. This is the first post in a series about theme. I'll probably do...

read more

Elements of a Good Critique

I've been critique reading for a fair while now, but when I first started off, I was absolutely clueless of what I was meant to do. Basically all I said was "I like this part" and "I like that character" and I didn't say anything about things I didn't like. Keep it...

read more

How to Make Time for Reading 101

We all should know by now that reading is an essential part of being a good writer, but finding the time to actually read can be a challenging process. All you crying book dragons out there---this post is just for you. Spare a moment from your busy lives and read this...

read more

The Dying Art of Strong Female Characters

Strong female characters are one of the hardest sorts of characters to write realistically. Harder than writing a realistic POV character from the opposite gender. Harder even than not killing off your mentor character. 😛 Now, before we go any further, I should...

read more

NaNoWriMo: Stats and Superheroes

Even though November feels like it started just a few days ago, it's already so close to being over. Since I was participating in NaNoWriMo I planned my month to be packed full of writing like a crazy superhero, but there was also another whole layer of other life...

read more

Three Ways to Avoid a Writing Burnout

Do you ever have those times where you're pounding out words for hour after hour and then---kaboom. All that is left of your brain is a couple of smoky remnants. That is what I call a burnout. It's like all your creativity has turned to ashes and your imagination is...

read more

How Well Do You Know Me? {Tag}

A few weeks ago, my good friend Sarah tagged me for the Blue Sky Tag, so I thought I'd slip this little post in here today for your enjoyment. Consider it a little 'get to know me better' sort of thing. These questions are totally random (and some of them had me...

read more

Writing from a Guy’s POV When You’re a Girl

Writing from the POV (point of view) of someone of the opposite gender can be challenging to do realistically, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. If you're a girl, writing from a girl's perspective will naturally come easier simply because girls know how girls...

read more

Nadine Brandes Cover Reveal!!

If someone asks me who my favourite authors are, there's always a fairly similar reply. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis must be on the list, of course, otherwise I'd be too shamed to be called a book dragon. In the past few years though, several more names have gotten onto the...

read more

Know Your World – Guest Post by C. L. Farrelly

Good morn all. Today I have the lovely C. L. Farrelly here to chat about worldbuilding! I'm not really a person for extensive or very skilled worldbuilding so I can't wait to apply what she has to say. So I'll step back and let you enjoy! 🙂 ~ ♦ ~ Jane asked me to do...

read more

What I’m Writing for NaNoWriMo 2017

November has come once again, folks. The writerly blogs are falling into the pattern of posts about NaNoWriMo the same as last year...and the year before...and the year before... 😛 I resisted thus far, but now that November and NaNo have begun, I decided it was high...

read more

There are Never Too Many Bookshelves

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you might remember that in October's newsletter I had a few photos of a building project. I may have also mentioned it in passing in a blog post at some stage. (Pizza for anyone who actually does remember! 😛 ) For those who don't...

read more

Dos and Don’ts For Young Characters

One of the things in some books that really peeves me is young characters written unrealistically. It seems that 90% of the time that small kiddos appear in YA fiction, they're either completely flat characters just there to look cute, or they're completely...

read more

When Inspiration Flees…

Writing is hard. I think everyone who does it can agree: it's tough. We cocoon ourselves up into little balls of insanity and sit and write words. Every day. Sometimes all day. Every now and then I just get those days where I don't feel inspired to try. I know I could...

read more

Rising Author Vlog-Tag!

I have a list of tags that I've been given. A list about 7-tags long. I don't want to bore you all with 'oh, and yet another tag post' so I decided to find a new and different way to answer these questions. Today, I'm eliminating one of the seven tags and am going to...

read more

Behind the Scenes of Burning Rose: Rose of the Oath

You all should remember a few weeks ago, I took part in the Burning Rose cover reveal. This week, Burning Rose released to the world! I'm so excited for this book, and I can't possibly recommend it enough. I received an ARC of this, and it was absolutely worth every...

read more

On My Bookshelf: Contemporary

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. From a smol toddler, to the current me, I've devoured many, many books. I have a bookshelf with five decent sized shelves and each one absolutely packed and double layered to the bargain. So I thought it would be fun to...

read more

What Makes Tolkien’s Stories Timeless?

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort...   Today—on the...

read more

Seven Tips for Writing Unique Characters

“Your characters are cliché.” Isn’t that one of the worst things that a writer can hear? The precious babies that you’ve spent so much time on sound like just another Harry Potter. Just another Disney princess. But with the amount of books in the world today, how can...

read more

Burning Rose Cover Reveal – Hope Ann

My author friend Hope Ann is gearing up to release Burning Rose, a paperback collection of the first three Legends of Light novellas! And now we all get to feast our eyes on the gorgeous cover!! A war, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches...

read more

Giveaway Winner and a Q+A Writer’s Tag

It's been one whole week since my website launched! *cue confetti explosions* You guys are all so amazing and flooded me with comments and emails and I'm still so overwhelmed with your encouragement. 🙂 But now that it's been a week, the time has come. I have drawn...

read more

Website Launch, Newsletter, and GIVEAWAY!

Today is the official launch of my author website (as you can hopefully tell). Needless to say, much flailing and shrieking and excitement has been happening. Along with much work and photos and brainstorming. (Shout out to my epic sisters Clare—who took my photo—and...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest