National Novel Writing Month
2018 Diary
Day 3

Thank goodness that this isn’t my first year! I have already proved that I take a while to get going. I have already proved that it takes me a while to train myself out of re-reading what I have just written and correcting what I have typed. I have already proved to myself that I will make it to 50,000 words but it will take me the whole month to do so. 


Day 1 – 966
Day 2 – 0
Day 3 – 1,672

There have been some lows…

And some highs…

But the most important thing to remember is that the story has started! 

Well that and I can fix the fact that I am dancing between different tenses later. 

Tools I used today: 

Book Cover Experiments

While I continue to #NaNoPrep and get excited for Thursday, I have been playing around with ideas for book covers. Canva is a great (and free) tool for this as it allows you to duplicate and tweak things easily. Here is what I came up with:

As you can probably tell, much of my story takes place in a forest. 

A Change of Plan

While on a walk recently, I decided to drastically changed a key part of my story. Initially, two of my characters were going to wash down stream and then have to work their way back to where they live. Now, only the MC will be washing down stream and will meet a cast of additional characters once there. 

Earlier this year when I read a book about the impact of gender pronouns I started thinking about whether there could ever be a world where they were removed completely. It occurred to me that because these words were so ingrained in our society it would be difficult. But what if society got a do-over? 

What would you change? 

I started thinking about all of the problems in society today and what I could do to fix them. One of them was to remove the issue of people being different. Everyone wears what are essentially grey sacks (so no one has a shape) and has their hair cut really short (or maybe hair doesn’t grow any more – it is a post apocalyptic world after all). People are taught to notice things (for ‘things’ read ‘differences’) but to not pass judgement on them (taking the idea from meditation – notice but pass no judgement). 

People are also not allowed to touch. Lets face it, sex is the most natural thing in the world, but my goodness does it screw things up. Instead people are taught to self pleasure but this isn’t seen as a sexual act. No one knows what sex is! (Population is controlled another way) 

People don’t know what sex is, or what people’s biological sex is. They have no sense of whether they are a boy or a girl. They have no idea if anyone else looks the same as them under their sacks. 

There is no closeness in society at all.

 It should be pretty obvious dear reader that some people are going to have their eyes opened across the course of the story! 

So Far So… {Week Ending 30th September}

Hello Story Lovers! Welcome to my Sunday update post where I share mid-way reviews on my current reads with the hashtag #SoFarSo.

‘The Sword of Shannara’
by Terry Brooks

So far so… classic fantasy adventure 

Number of Pages Read: 269/664 (41%)

Quick Notes: This is the biggest book I have read in a long time and I seem to be making slow progress. This isn’t a reflection of the story (although it did take a little while to find its feet), but more the writing style. I tend to read pulpy quick reads that I am able to speed read. This isn’t possible when you are coming across sentences like this:

This isn’t an issue as much as an observation and something to keep in mind when tackling a new read (especially if you running out of time with your goodreads challenge). 

Want to join in? Use the prompts above to write your own mini review of what you are #currentlyreading. Then share your mini reviews using the hashtag #SoFarSo and link your blog posts in the comments below.

NaNoWriMo Prep

Today I have spent some time researching using The Better Novel Project. I am determined to go into NaNoWriMo this year with more of a plan than last time.

@mystorynotes (1).png

I am using ‘The Master Outline‘ that has been put together by Christine over at The Better Novel Project. She has deconstructed novels such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight and pulled together a list of key elements.

While this isn’t a new idea (I attended many a lecture on how there are only a limited number of stories) it is helpful to curtail my ideas into a structure that I can work through during November. In fact, Christine has been helpful enough to break her Master Outline into a 30 day plan especially for NaNoWriMo.



REVIEW: The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne

The Red House Mystery

Book Title: The Red House Mystery
Author: A.A. Milne
Series: N/A
Genres: Mystery, Classics, Crime
Format: Paperback

Goodreads Button


Goodreads Synopsis

Far from the gentle slopes of the Hundred Acre Wood lies The Red House, the setting for A.A Milne’s only detective story, where secret passages, uninvited guests, a sinister valet and a puzzling murder lay the foundations for a classic crime caper. And when the local police prove baffled, it is up to a guest at a local inn to appoint himself ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and, together with his friend and loyal ‘Watson’, delve deeper into the mysteries of the dead man.

‘The Red House Mystery’ is a lost gem from a time before Tigger and a perfectly crafted whodunit with witty dialogue, deft plotting and a most curious cast of characters.

As soon as I saw that the legendary A. A. Milne had written a mystery novel I knew I needed to read it. I bought it back in January during my birthday book haul but it took me until August to actually get around to it.

Unusually for me I also read the introduction. To hear the author talk in that familiar style about his writing process was fascinating to me. As was his use of the word “watsonize” which may be my favourite thing to come out of reading it.

The story itself was frightfully British and in the ilk of Agatha Christie. There is a grand house and a visitor who sticks his nose in while trying to solve the crime. While this isn’t a ground breaking formula, it is something I can read time and time again without getting bored.

The twists and turns in this mystery really kept me guessing (as proved by my tweets below).

Other reviewers have suggested that the story is a parody. I’m not sure about that but it is true that the book didn’t take itself too seriously.

There is probably an argument that I am one of those book reviewers who give out 5 stars too easily. But this book was just perfect for me so it would be wrong for me to give it any less.

Perfect for me. Likely to talk about it during reading. Might re-read as I enjoyed it so much.