Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How I Write - My Writing Process

Every writer is different in coming up with story ideas and getting them down on paper. Some brainstorm for hours coming up with different story ideas and then pick the best one, some watch movies or read books and ask themselves "what if?". Still others watch people or sight-see and make up stories about real people and things.

Even getting it down on paper can be tricky - plotting, outlining, just going for it, editing as you go, not editing at all, or using the Snowflake Method

This is my writing process.


There is no one hard and fast rule for generating story ideas, my ideas come from all over. Such as After Life came from a time when all I watched were crime shows on TV, and I thought to myself, 'what would happen if a ghost tried to solve crime?' and the story evolved from there.

Other times, I use my nightly dreams to power a story idea. The main scene from A Disturbing Affair came from a dream I once had. Occasionally I find myself daydreaming and come up with a story idea that way too.

I use Google Tasks to keep track of my story ideas.


I don't plot or outline. I just sit down and write, and turn my internal editor off. If I get stuck, I'll take a break for awhile and just think of the characters and the story line and what needs to happen. Most of the time I'll be ready to go again within an hour, sometimes less.

When I sit down to write I have a general idea of where the story needs to go, but sometimes the characters takeover and make the story their own and that's ok too. I just go with it, I can always go back and edit out the bits that don't make any sense. Right now all I'm doing is getting it out of my head, which, for me, is the most important part.

I  use Google Drive to write my stories.


When I have the story finished I set it aside for a month, maybe more, since I do all the editing myself. I want to come back to it with fresh eyes, as it were. One of the first things I do is run spell check, and even though I do a lot of writing, I still make spelling and grammar mistakes.

After that I start reading through, correcting mistakes spell check didn't catch and looking for plot holes. I rewrite paragraphs and sometimes delete them entirely. Sometimes I'll ask a friend to read a section or two if I can't decide what's wrong with it.

When I'm happy that I can't make my story any better, it's finished.


NB: No affiliate links in this post, however there are links to sites I am affiliated with.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

TERRIBLEMINDS: Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: The Phone Call
Prompt: They Fight Crime
WC: 263

He's an all-American hunchbacked werewolf living undercover at Ringling Bros. Circus. She's a sarcastic hip-hop stripper on her way to prison for a murder she didn't commit. They fight crime!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Writer's Block - Procrastination

What Is Procrastination?

Ways to Fight Procrastination

To Do Lists & Trackers

  • 43 Things - Make a list of goals, 43 goals to be exact, make friends who are pursuing similar goals. 
  • Day Zero Project - Similar to 43 things, but can set up different lists and projects, such as Things To Do Before You're 40.
  • Habit RPG - A game version of a to do list. Earn gold for completing tasks, and lose HP when you fall behind. Level up to unlock more 'rewards'. 
  • Google Tasks - A straight forward to-do list without bells and whistles. Can set up multiple lists to categorize your tasks.
  • Remember The Milk - Another simple to-do list application, similar to Google Tasks. Has a mobile phone app. 

NB: No affiliate links are in this post, however the video is monetized. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Smashwords Summer Sale!

Smashwords is currently having their Summer Sale. It lasts throughout the entire month of July, and many ebooks are 25% off or more!

Crime Trilogy is 50% off with code SSW50

A trilogy of crime, thrills, and deceit! Ghosts do exist in the mystery of After Life. Follow three spirits as they hunt down the criminal who sent them to their graves. Murder is an art for Adam Kennedy, a man with a strange past and even stranger future in Bleed. What would you do in Janice Porter's position? In A Disturbing Affair, Janice's choices are few and far between.

Love Hearts is 100% off with code SW100

Three romantic short stories all rolled into one! Karen’s work is stressful and her boyfriend is distracted. If only Karen knew The Simple Truth. Something strange is happening at Leanne's workplace, and a handsome police officer shows up to prove Love Wears a Uniform. Amy's ex keeps her after she's found a new boyfriend, what’s going on with Her Persistent Ex?

Haunted City and Living & Dying are FREE

Haunted City: Alice Green is a little girl with a big problem. Everyone is ignoring her, and the Pastor is claiming she'd dead. Only Uncle Patrick seems to react to her presence. Maybe... just maybe... Uncle can see her?

Living & Dying: Detective David Rossi has his eye on partner Mason Fletcher's little sister. Mason reluctantly agrees to let David ask her out, but things go terribly awry...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Liebster Award

So I was randomly selected to receive a Liebster Award from fellow writing blogger Wayne L Murphy last month. I've only now been able to make a post to receive it officially. Honestly never thought I would get any kind of awards for my blog so I'm a bit stunned. 

"The Liebster Award is for bloggers with under 300 followers and the rules of the award is that the nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."

11 random facts about me:

1. I have 13 piercings and one tattoo.
2. I am divorced.
3. I love spicy food, Mexican and Indian are my favorites, but Italian is good too.
4. I think it would be fun to have a pet skunk.
5. I originally went to college to learn web design.
6. I wanted to be Vet growing but decided against it because it meant putting my hands up a cow's bum.
7. I have played an online MMORPG for the past 9 years and met both of my partners on it.
8. I have known my best friend for 10 years <3
9. I started seriously writing almost 2 years ago when I found Feedbooks. I now use Smashwords only.
10. I write four blogs, though it might be too many as I have trouble keeping on top of them.
11. I lived in England for 4 years.

My answers to the 11 questions:
1. Where would you like to travel? I would like to see more of the US.
2. If you were a superhero what would your superpower be? I would love to be able to fly.
3. What was your first car? A 1994 Chevy Cavalier
4. Who is your favorite author? Stephen King
5. Do you prefer cold weather or warm weather? Warm Weather
6. When was the last time you built a snowman? Over 4 years ago, it doesn't snow enough in England
7. Who is your favorite actor or actress? Chris Evans
8. At what age did you start writing or drawing? I drew a lot throughout grade school, writing came a bit later in high school
9. What do you enjoy most about your art? Coming up with names for my characters.
10. Who would you like to see in concert? Pink or Aqua
11. Do you know anyone you would take a bullet for? Yep, my BFF, or my close family members.

My 11 questions to pass on:
1. What is your favorite pastime or hobby?
2. Have you ever been on an airplane?
3. What's your favorite writing technique?
4. When did you start seriously writing?
5. Do you have a day job (apart from blogging)?
6. Can you whistle?
7. How long have you known your BFF?
8. If you could live any where, where would you go?
9. What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
10. Do you plan your blog posts in advance?
11. How did you come up with the name of your blog?

11 Blogs that I would like to pass the Liebster Award onto:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ten Questions About 'A Disturbing Affair'

Tell Us About Yourself:Who Am I?:

My name is Sarah O'Hara, female, thirty, and married. I grew up in the states somewhere in the bible belt. These days I live across the pond with a man I found there and eventually married. I work part time at the local post office and it's completely true what they say about postal workers. 

Give Us the Elevator Pitch:

Some people will do anything to have a paycheck, and some people take advantage of that fact.

Where Does This Story Come From?:

This makes it sound like I have a mental disorder. The idea for this came from a dream I had about Elizabeth Hurley. If you do take the time to read it, the dream was most of the scene in the art gallery.

How is This a Story Only I Could Have Written?:

Well, it was my dream! I suppose someone else would have just dismissed the dream offhand and not written about it all, but I thought it was interesting enough to pursue it further and A DISTRUBING AFFAIR came from it.

What Was the Hardest Thing About Writing A DISTURBING AFFAIR?:

Probably just writing it. I start it with NaNoWriMo and got interrupted and was unable to finish it for another six months.

What Did I Learn Writing A DISTURBING AFFAIR?:

I already had the main scene 'pre-written' as it were and building an entire book around that scene was something I hadn't done before. I knew I couldn't just plonk it down in the middle and hope it would work, so getting things sorted took some brainstorming.


It is a really unique story, it may be a bit too out there for some readers, but this was a story I enjoyed writing because it seemed more personal to me. It was something born out of my unconsciousness.

What Would I Do Differently Next Time?:

Not wait so long after being interrupted to finish a story, though I kind of did that with my most recent work too, so maybe not!

Give Us Your Favorite Paragraph from the Story:

Deidre polished off her wine glass and set it on a side table next to an ornate antique phone. "Now then, shall we get started? I've missed you terribly Janice." Deidre advanced on her. Janice darted across the lounge to the other side, but Deidre was quicker and grabbed her left arm halting her escape. She twisted it around behind Janice and pinned her between the side table and herself. "That's not very friendly now Janice. Perhaps you need a little persuasion, I had hoped we were past that now." Deidre fumbled around in the drawer of the side table and came away with a small syringe. Janice gasped and struggled against her, but Deidre was stronger than she looked and held firm. As Deidre slide the syringe open Janice groped behind her for something to use as a weapon. She felt the sturdy base of the antique telephone and gripped it tightly.

What's Next for Me as a Storyteller?:

Hopefully getting another book or two out this year. I'm in a slight backlog of things that need to be published.

A Disturbing Affair: Smashwords / Amazon UK / Amazon US / CreateSpace