Which Child Are You?

Lacey Taylor is the star of her own series of books, first introduced in My Husband’s Sin before moving forward in Don’t Call Me Mum. With the Lacey Taylor story due to continue in book three next year, I thought it’d be a fun and enriching experience to explore her character and her backstory in more detail. And so was born Letters From Lacey, online exclusive stories from her past to run alongside the books. I’m delighted to dive deeper into this wonderful character as time goes on! And who knows, if all goes well, I may start expanding other characters from the books too!


Dear Readers,

I hadn’t realised that Lacey was writing to you and that our brother, Robert, has even slipped a note in once, so I thought I would write one too. I’m Sally, one of Lacey’s older sisters.

Lacey is such a strong young woman, she has faced much heartache and still only starting out in her twenties. She adores Robert, her big brother as she calls him. But I being older see it differently, he’s my young brother and I should mind him! Isn’t it amazing how where we come in our family can alter our perception of everything? I wonder what Willow, the eldest of us all thinks? Does she carry a sense of duty to look out for us? Maybe she doesn’t think anything about being the eldest.

But deep down I believe she does and won’t admit to it. I know she had a special relationship with Mum, she wanted to be like her in many ways, yet I wasn’t as drawn to Mum or Dad, I love doing my thing, my way. I like to be me. Is this because I’m not the eldest so I don’t have to forge paths for those to follow? I’m not the son who is expected to step in to Dad’s shoes now he is gone? I’m not the baby so there’s no fuss about me, no minding me?

I’m forgotten, I can slide in and out under the radar, which can be lonely if I’m honest and yet I want to look out for them all. So now to a New Year, we Taylor’s may see things differently but we will all feel the same, loss and grief makes us share the same cloak. I think Lacey will survive this, do you?

Family – a group of people raised together in the same house but so unique.

Where do you fit in your family?

Later,

Love Lacey xxx


If you love Lacey as much as I do, be sure to check out her series and follow for more 😊 I plan to publish each week, alongside the usual writing tips and updates you’d expect. For fans of the series, be sure to share this with your friends and family… It’s more Lacey! And you won’t find these stories in her books…

What Is Plot?

In this, another of my writing tips page, I share what are my opinions, you may agree or not, but I do hope you find what I have to share helpful. A plot is a casual sequence of events. It draws the reader in to the characters’ lives and so the reader understands the choices the characters make. It is the story, the start, middle and the end.

The opening is a vital component of the story. It must grab the reader and give them a need to know more. Introduce the main character from the outset and pose the story’s conflict or question that needs to be resolved. No plot is without conflict /crisis / change.

The type of conflict can be social, circumstance or emotional. Conflict is critical to the story as it is this point that change occurs to your main character. Having conflict gives drama or suspense to the story. In a short story there is usually only one crisis as words are limited.

In a novel, you may have many moments of drama as the word count is so large and it is these moments of suspense that makes the reader want to turn the page to find out what happens next. This all happens in the middle of your book.

The end of the story should arrive at a natural conclusion. All threads teased out through your characters actions and the storyline must be neatly sewn up at the end. It does not need to be a happy ending always, but it must be a satisfying end for the reader. The reader must be left feeling good, that justice was served.

SOURCES FOR PLOT IDEAS: 

  • Your personal experience is best
  • Other people’s experiences, hearing stories or conversations.
  • Research
  • Imagination, what if…? why does…? 
  • Observation: newspapers, magazines, sitting in a café, theatre etc.

If writing historical or setting your story in locations you may not have visited then you need to do research. 

You must give the reader a sense of being there with your characters so knowing the historical era is vital to draw your reader in.

As a writer, observation of life needs to be developed. The five senses, taste, touch, hearing, sight and smell all need to be triggered. The most powerful of the senses is smell; it can arouse so many emotions and memories.

The idea for a story is its theme. This could be romance, murder, historical or fantasy etc.  

POV (Point of View) Who is telling the story?

It is usually either written in the first person or third person. When writing in the first person, the sentences have a tendency to be short and snappy. The story is being told from one person’s point of view so can be trickier to deal with. as the main character can only describe what he/she thinks the other characters feel. It is only the narrator’s view we have to believe to tell us the truth. When using the third person, it is more comfortable to write as each character has a voice and the narrator just fills in the background. Writing in the second person can/has been done but is unusual.

Consider the following: It is late on a Saturday night and a crowd are queuing to get into the local nightclub. An argument takes place between two people and a fight erupts. Regarding points of view, there are many. There are the two people who started the argument, there are those who were within earshot, there is the club doorman who is keeping an eye on proceedings and then the Gardaí when they arrive. So you have many points of view so therefore you have many different descriptions of the one event. From whose POV would you tell the story from? You could use it as an exercise and try different POV, see what you are comfortable writing in.

Bear the following in mind when writing your story:

Exposition———-Complication————Climax————–Resolution   

 “When written in Chinese the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity”                  

John F Kennedy, April 12th 1959. 

5 Beginner Tips For Becoming a Writer

At the beginning of your writing career, you are writer, agent, bookkeeper, marketer, web designer, social media manager, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Today I hope to make that a little easier of a burden to bear, with 5 beginner tips for becoming a writer.

When becoming a writer, we hardly expect to be millionaires. Well, maybe we do, but only because we don’t know how impossibly hard it is to reach that status yet. Once we do, we accept that we’re here for the love of the craft, for the need to create. Money is the bonus that comes at the end of hard work and persistence, but certainly not the driving force. That said, you should treat your writing as a serious business. It involves time management, connections and correspondence, a budget, and marketing efforts. At the beginning of your writing career, you are writer, agent, bookkeeper, marketer, web designer, social media manager, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Today I hope to make that a little easier of a burden to bear, with 5 beginner tips for becoming a writer.

TIP #1  Setting A Budget 

This year I entered short story competitions and I shall be doing so again. It’s a good way of getting your work out there and by writing to different guidelines, it expands your writing experience too. But entering these competitions can be costly so in order to do that I don’t go crazy with my hard earned cash, I set myself an annual budget and I stick to it. Not all competitions cost money, many are free to enter so I suggest checking websites by putting in Free Writing Competitions or something similar. So that is my tip #1, set a budget that you are comfortable with and that way you stay in control.

TIP#2  Maintain A To-do List

We all live busy lives and without my to-do list I would be running around in a panic. It is invaluable for my writing. Each evening I write my list for the next day such as, emails I must send/reply to, stories to send out, fill in my worksheet, phone calls to make/return etc. If I have not ticked off all on that day’s list I carry them over to the next day. If I have not completed a task and it has been carried over for two/three days then I make it a priority to be dealt with first on the list. The satisfaction of ticking off chores is delightful and it gives a sense of achievement at the end of the day. Of course to-do lists are not for writing only; it is a very useful habit to have to keep check of daily life in general.

TIP#3  Keep A Writing Record  

I would be lost without Excel. On it I have entered the title of my stories, where I have sent them, Accepted/Rejected, Competition/Magazine, Payment/prize etc. So at a glance I know where each story is. There are many different programmes you can use, find the one you feel comfortable working with. If you find it difficult you can always use a large A4 book and using a double page spread, mark it in to different columns and title each column, then fill in the details beneath. It is another useful tool in keeping me organised and one that I would encourage any writer to have. Of course it works for submitting to agents or publishers, poetry, songs and plays also.

TIP#4  Always Say Thank You

In a fast changing world many of life’s little things can get lost. Saying thank you can be one of those basic little things. In connection to writing, I believe saying thanks is important. When I receive an email whether it is bringing rejection of my story/novel or telling me my story/novel is accepted, I like to reply with a thank you. By saying thank you, I am acknowledging the time and response that was given to me. I make a connection by doing this and if you are a nice person to deal with, you will be remembered. After all part of being a writer is building relationships and making connections. So whether it is a nay or yay, a thank you can go along way and it costs nothing to be nice.

TIP#5  Reward Yourself

Right, you have worked hard all week. You have been writing furiously, finishing that story/letter/poem and you have watched your competition budget and also entered any work that has gone out/returned into your records. You even remembered to say thank you. It is now reward time. You are entitled to a treat, some new lipstick/ magazine/CD/DVD or a cupcake or two, even time out to read or walk, meet a friend for coffee and a chat. It doesn’t have to cost money; it only needs to make you feel good for all your hard work. There must be enjoyment too from your writing apart from getting acceptances which is the best reward of all. So, little treats now and then encourage us to carry on through the tough times.

So there you have my 5 beginner tips for becoming a writer. As you can see, writing is filled with its own unique highs and lows, but with a little management, you’ll soon have a portfolio of work you can call your own! Happy writing lovelies, and feel free to ask about any and all things writing. As a published author, I understand the stumbling blocks more than most!