Posted in Blog, Fiction, Novel, Novel Planning, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Into The Darkest Places, Planning CHAPTER PLAN

I continued planning my new novel, Into The Darkest Places.

I continued the final stage, writing the chapter plan.

The novel will be split into sections. The sections are numbered. I may decide on a title at a later date.

I wrote the chapter plan for section 4:


  • Franklyn Rose is found dead in his cell with the word CHILD MOLESTER carved into him

Chapter Plan:

  • Franklyn Rose is awakened in the middle of the night in his prison cell. He’s sure he heard a noise. It’s dark but there appears to be nothing there. He berates himself for letting his imagination get the better of him and closes, his eyes, planning to go back to sleep. Someone puts a hand over his mouth. He stares up into someone’s face. It’s too dark in his cell to see them. The person whispers in his ear, telling him he’s a despicable excuse for a human being and ne needs to be punished. Before Franklyn can raise the alarm the man covers his mouth with one hand, cutting off his breathing. Franklyn struggles but can’t push the man’s hand away. The man slits Franklyn’s throat. Franklyn struggles for moments and lies still. The man quickly undresses Franklyn and uses a knife to carve the words CHILD MOLESTER across his chest
  • In the morning, the prison guard’s are pissed off when Franklyn isn’t standing outside his cell the same as the other prisoner’s. One guard kicks the door of his cell, threatening to break his skull unless he comes out. Franklyn doesn’t appear. Two guard open the door of his cell and slip in the blood. One guard, a young one who’s only been on the job a few weeks almost lands of top of Franklyn’s body and starts screaming. Covered in blood, he runs out the cell and runs towards the governor’s office. He tells the shocked governor who call the police
  • Ronnie is enjoying a lie in while her partner Dan is making breakfast. She’s looking forward to going to visit Jena at the clinic later. She’s watching TV and having a cup of tea when she hears the front doorbell and hushed voices. Dan comes into the room. He looks pale and shocked. He tells her the police are hear to speak to her. She gets out of bed, quickly dresses and goes with Dan into the living room. The police tell her Franklyn has been murdered in his cell in prison. They are investigating but at the moment they think another prisoner killed him even though they are denying it. They don’t see how it could have been anyone else. Ronnie thanks them for letting her know. She isn’t very upset. They are divorced and he was in prison for sexually abusing their daughter
Posted in Blog, Fiction, First Drafts, Short Story, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff


Free stock photo of beach, holiday, vacation, armI started the first draft of a new story called Couplet.

The story is based on a poem with the same title I wrote years ago. I decided the piece didn’t work as a poem and had the potential to be something much bigger so am using it as the springboard for a short story.

Couplet is about a woman who’s in a long-term relationship and feels very happy. She reflects on her life when she was single, comparing it to her life now. Her view of her life as a singleton is father cynical.

The story uses a first-person narrator.

The story is split into sections, alternating between the present and the past.

I wrote the first section which explores a typical night out when my main character was single. The character drinks far too much and ends up puking her guts in the toilets at the end of the night, wishing there was someone around to hold back her hair.

Posted in Blog, Fiction, Novel, Novel Planning, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Into The Darkest Places, Planning CHAPTER PLAN

I continued planning my new novel, Into The Darkest Places.

I continued the final stage, writing the chapter plan.

The novel will be split into sections. The sections are numbered. I may decide on a title at a later date.

I wrote the chapter plan for section 3:


  • Jena wakes up from her coma after three months but has no memory of the accident
  • Jena recovers from her ordeal at a private clinic
  • Jena learns her accident is believed to be failed suicide attempt
  • Jena learns she was five times over the limit and her burned-out car was full of empty bottles
  • Jena learns Helena and Bobby have been missing since the night of the accident
  • Jena denies trying to kill herself even though she has a history of depression

Chapter Plan:

  • Three months pass. One morning a young doctor doing the rounds comes in to Jena’s room to check on her. He’s using a small light to check her eyes and gets the fright of his life when her eyes roll open. He presses the alarm at the side of her bed. Doctors swarm the room. She is confused and disorientated. She doesn’t remember the car accident or events leading up to it. She’s very tired. The hospital schedules a series of test
  • Ronnie is woken in the middle of the night by her phone ringing. She expects the worse when she goes to answer it. It’s the hospital, telling her Jena is awake. She phones her children. They meet at the hospital and are allowed to see Jena. Jena seems fine. She feels exhausted but her vital signs are good. The doctor’s explain they have a few more tests to run. The family are left alone with Jena. Ronnie tells her the police believe the accident was a failed suicide attempt Jena is angry and denies this. Ronnie points out that she has a history of being suicidal
  • Jena sleeps for most of the day. Ronnie is worried this is a bad sign because she’s been in a coma. The doctor’s reassure her this is perfectly normal. A coma isn’t like being asleep. She’s sleeping a lot which means her body is trying to heal. They do a brain scan which shows there is no lasting damage from the head injuries inflicted in the accident. Ronnie thanks the doctors for everything they’ve done and advises she is having Jena moved to a private clinic where she can recover at her own pace. She can easily come back to the hospital if they want to do more tests
  • Jena’s family help her move into a private clinic. She still feels very tired and is quite slow and sluggish at times. The clinic has arranged for her to have regular check up’s with them. The clinic will help her rehabilitation by giving her extensive physiotherapy. Jena is in a wheelchair because of spinal injuries sustained in the accident. She is very angry about this and finds it hard to adjust. She feels helpless and doesn’t like it. Her family help her settle into her private room at the clinic. The room looks more like a bedroom in a house rather than the room at the hospital
  • Jena has been at the clinic for a few days when the police pay her a visit. They question her about the accident. She doesn’t remember anything. Greg who runs the clinic is with her. He tells the police she has amnesia and he can’t guarantee she’ll ever recover her memories. The police tell her about their suicide attempt theory. She was seen driving off in a state of great distress. Her blood alcohol level was five times over the limit. Several empty bottles were recovered from the vehicle at the scene along with an empty bottle of anti-depressants. Jena remembers none of this and insists she didn’t try to kill herself. The police tell her several witnesses saw her in a heated argument with her ex Bobby and her twin sister, Helena. She doesn’t remember the fight. The police tell her Bobby and Helena have been missing since that night. Jena becomes distraught and Greg makes the police leave
Posted in Blog, Fiction, Novel, Novel Planning, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Into The Darkest Places, Planning CHAPTER PLAN

I continued planning my new novel, Into The Darkest Places.

I continued the final stage, writing the chapter plan.

The novel will be split into sections. The sections are numbered. I may decide on a title at a later date.

I wrote the chapter plan for section 2:


  • Several hours later Jena’s burned-out wreck of a car is found at the bottom of a ravine
  • Jena has been thrown clear of her car but has suffered several injuries including head injuries
  • Jena is rushed to hospital but slips into a coma as a result of her injuries

Chapter Plan:

  • A young man called Brian is walking home from a night on the tiles. He’s a bit tipsy. He’s walking along the road that leads from the local village when he spots some kind of glow coming out of a ravine by the side of the road. He takes a look. There’s a burning car at the bottom of the ravine. He can see someone, badly injured who’s been thrown clear. He’s uses his mobile to dial 999
  • The police and ambulance arrive at the scene. The police take a statement from the young man. The paramedics lift the injured woman onto a gurney and air lift her into an ambulance. The woman has ID that identifies her as Jena Rose. The police take a look at the scene while waiting for forensics to arrive. The car is full with empty and half empty bottles of booze. They find a bottle of sleeping pills which is almost empty. The police think Jena took pills, got drunk and deliberately drove her car into the ravine
  • Jena drifts in and out of consciousness on her way to hospital. She’s in a lot of pain and disorientated. The paramedics question her. She’s confused and not making a lot of sense. She was thrown clear of the car through the front windscreen but sustained massive head injuries. She sustained serious injuries to the rest of her boy from the impact of hitting the ground. She blacks out and doesn’t wake up. By the time the ambulance arrives she’s slipped into a coma
  • Jena’s mother Ronnie, who now lives in Edinburgh with her partner, is woken in the middle of the night by her ringing phone. It’s the police. They tell her about Jena’s accident and ask her to come. Jena wakes her partner. They get dressed. Ronnie calls her other children and tells them what happened. They arrange to meet at the hospital. Ronnie and her lover talk, speculating about Jena’s accident
  • The family are united at the hospital. The neurosurgeon dealing with Jena’s case comes to speak to them. He explains what injuries Jena has and why. The police tell them that witnesses saw her in a heated argument with her ex, Bobby and her twin sister Helena. She was very distraught and was seen leaving the bar and driving like a maniac. Bobby and Helena seem to have vanished into thin air. The police tell them about the broken bottles found in the car. It looks like Jena took pills, got drunk and intentionally and drove her car into the ravine. They are treating this as a failed suicide attempt until she wakes up and they can get the whole story
Posted in Blog, First Drafts, Poetry, poetry collection, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

The Art Of Not Fitting In FIRST DRAFT

Image result for BULLYING KIDSI continued working on my poetry collection about bullying and sexuality, The Art Of Fitting In.

I wrote the second poem, The First Incident.

In this poem, the bully picks on the new girl for the first time.

The bully is afraid someone will realise that she’s attracted to the new girl. Her feelings frighten her. She lashes out to divert imagined attention away from her.

The poem contains stanzas from the viewpoint of all the characters. The bully feels guilty about picking on her but is terrified people will find out how she really feels. The new girl is confused by the bullies actions. The bullies minions are glad she’s no longer looking at the new girl all doe-eyed. The girl who becomes the main character’s love interest wants to speak up but is afraid of being targeted.

Now I’ve started writing The Art of Not Fitting In I’m really enjoying it. It’s shaping up better than I expected.


Posted in Blog, Fiction, Novel, Novel Planning, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Into The Darkest Places, Planning CHAPTER PLAN

I continued planning my new novel, Into The Darkest Places.

I continued the final stage, writing the chapter plan.

The novel will be split into sections. The sections are numbered. I may decide on a title at a later date.

I’ve come up with a list of events I want to write into the novel. The chapter plan is a matter of going through these and writing notes about how this will be worked into the story line.

I wrote the chapter plan for section 1:


  • Jena spots her twin sister Helena in an intimate position with her lover Bobby and they argue
  • The argument fizzles out when Bobby reveals Helena is pregnant
  • Jena leaves the club in tears and drives off like a maniac
  • Bobby, Helena and Jeff go after her but she speeds out of sight


  • Jena is singing with her band on stage at a local bar. A couple canoodling in the corner catch her attention; it’s her estranged lover Bobby and her twin sister, Helena. Jena takes a break from performing and confronts them. Bobby admits they have been seeing each other for some time. Jena is furious, yelling and shouting at them both. She goes to slap Helena when Bobby confirms she’s pregnant with her child
  • Jena is so distraught she can’t look at either of them. They both start talking, hoping to calm her down. She tells them to stay out of her life, they are dead to her and she wants nothing to do with them. Before anything else can be set she runs from the club in tears. Bobby runs after her. Sensing something has happened, Jeff goes after her. She’s very distraught
  • Jeff and Bobby leave the club in time to see Jena get into her car and drive off like a maniac


Posted in Blog, self publishing, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Choosing Self-Publishing Distributors

Free stock photo of hands, woman, apple, deskI’ve decided what distributor’s to use when I self-publish early in 2017.

I’ve chosen to go with three. The ones I chose and the reasons why are detailed below. These were my first choices and I dithered about and kept changing my mind.

I’ve decided to go with my first instinct.


I will use Smashwords for all ebook versions except Kindle. Smashwords don’t distribute every ebook to Kindle. I want to use them for a few reasons. I’ve read some great, high-quality Indie books from Smashwords. The site seems to be easy to use. They distribute to the places I want my books to be available. I was considering not using them because they don’t offer DRM protection. However, you can download free tools to strip DRM from ebooks anyway so this isn’t a good enough reason not to use them.

Kindle Direct Publishing

I will use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for Kindle Versions of my books. I want my books to be available to Kindle users so choosing them was a no-brainer’s. The site seems easy to use.


I’ve chosen Lulu as the POD (print on demand) for my paperbacks and hardbacks. I like the site. It seems easy to use. I’ve read books produced by them and the quality is really high.

I haven’t registered with any of these distributors yet. I plan to do this at some point in December so I can have everything ready for publishing early 2017. Each distributor has handy to read guides with advice and videos so I want to make sure I know what I’m going before I take the plunge. I also need to find our what I need to do for paying tax. I’ve plenty to research over the next couple of months.

Posted in Blog, Poetry, poetry collection, self publishing, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Creating My First E-Book

paris-stories-2010So today I decided to have a bash at creating my first ebook poetry collection including the cover.

It was surprisingly easy.

I have word document templates already created for easy conversion into a range of ebooks. Ages ago, I read an article online which offered good advice on how to structure and layout a word document to create seamless conversion.

I don’t remember where I read the article but the gist is:

  • Don’t include a header or footer
  • Don’t insert page numbers
  • Use words table of contents tool to insert a table of contents. You need to have chapter headings / poem titles/ story titles as Heading1 using the format toolbar. If your work is split into sections have the section heading as Heading1 and the chapter titles etc as Heading2. It’s easy to insert a table of contents from word. If you shift stuff around or insert more pages you just need to update the table and the new order will be reflected
  • Save the file when your reading as a Web Page (not Web Page Filtered)
  • Download the fantastic free tool Calibre to convert your file
  • Open Calibre
  • Upload your saved Web Page (there are tutorials on Calbre’s site if you don’t know what to do
  • Choose what you want to convert the file to (I created 2 files, a Mobi and an Epub)
  • Upload your cover
  • In Calbre choose H1 in the table of contents section
  • Hit OK and your file will be converted and saved onto your hard-drive

The image above shows the cover I created using Canva. I cannot recommend this site enough. You choose what format of cover you want to create and the site is easy to follow. They have a lot of free templates or can buy images from them or upload your own. The image above is my own, from one of the holiday snaps taken by my partner during the trip the collection is about. Once your happy with your cover you just download it and bobs your uncle. You can also share your cover on social media is you or email it to anyone.

I have over 500 photos taken my myself and my partner over the years. I also have a lot of discs with clip art and photos on them that I bought. I also found this great site, Pexels which offers completely free stock images.

So I created an ebook cover, a Mobi ebook and an epub ebook for free in about twenty minutes.

I have Kindle for PC and Adobe Digital Editions. I’d recommend having both of these free software on your PC or laptop so you can see what your ebook will actually look like if someone bought it. I’ve emailed mine to my kindle to read as well so I can get a feel or what it’s like and see if I want to change anything.

Posted in Blog, Ideas Book, Inspiration, self publishing, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Taking Baby Steps (or finally deciding to take my finger out and self-publish)

download-1So, after more than a year of deliberating (i.e arguing with myself) I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start to self-publish my work early 2017.

I plan to start small, publishing some poetry collections, sequences and stories before moving on to larger projects.

My budget for this I hear you ask = zero, zilch, nada. You heard it, I don’t plan to spend a penny. I may need to spend some money to market the books but actually putting it all together will cost me nothing. I have no money anyway.

I will format my work, create the cover and upload it to my chosen distributor for free. I will proof-read it myself or blackmail/threaten someone into proof-reading it for free or cake of some kind.

I don’t have any money to spend on paying for someone to design a cover or proof-reading. Even the cheapest ones cost more money than I have.

I’ve been looking into this for more than a year so I’ve done a lot of background research.

I want to offer my work in ebook across multiple devices but I want people to be able to buy a paperback if they want. For some projects such as a novel I might offer hardbacks as well.

At the moment, here is a list of things I need to set up / research in the coming months:

  • Decide what distributor’s I want to use. I want to offer ebooks and paperbacks and hardbacks later for certain things such as novels
  • Set up a Pinterest business account for myself as a writer (I have a separate email account for my writing so this should be simple)
  • Set up a Facebook author page
  • Decide what I want to publish first and design the covers. I found a great site called Canva that will let me do this for free. I can use template or buy images from them or upload my own
  • Brainstorm marketing/promotion ideas
  • Consider setting up an Etsy store to sell my work
  • Consider using Photobox to create merchandise of my work (i.e. mugs with poems printed on them, calendars etc)
  • Join the Alliance of Independent Authors
  • Come up with a list of people to approach to review ARC’s
  • Create a Good Reads author page

I have my work cut out. I will post at a later date a more detailed explanation of why I’ve decided to self-publish.

NB: The list above will be expanded as more and more things occur to me