Blog post compilation from writing draft 1

[This post is imported from my old Livejournal account, where I blogged from 2007-2015. These are the posts I wrote about writing whilst I was drafting the first version of THE NEXT TOGETHER, then called THE RED EARTH ROLLS. In 2009 I was sixteen.]


Brilliant news! I’ve come up with a storyline! I don’t wanna say too much in case it jinxes it, but I’ve been trying to decide on what to do for ages so I could START writing, and I finally can. It’s a reincarnation love story.

5TH-FEB-2009 – Snow day!

Yay! No school! I’m stupid- I got up at 7.30, despite there being no school. I’ve been writing, it’s addictive. And easy, so far. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.So my mum woke me up at 7.00, telling me I had to walk to school in the snow, cause she didn’t wanna get the car out. Luckily I checked my phone, and my form tutor had sent me a text saying school was cancelled. I sat with my mum and brother and ate porridge and had a cup of tea and watched a squirrel play in the snow, then went back to bed and wrote.

I’ll post again later, with pictures of the snow, I’m going sledging with my little cousins. Yay!

Oh, do this for me?


16TH-FEB-2009  – Question: Do you believe in reincarnation?

I don’t, but this is something I’m writing about in my story. So, I suppose I sort of do. Maybe. I don’t know. I think we don’t get reincarnated, but I  like the fairy tale idea of it. What happens to true love if you get reincarnated?, etc.

I’m not going to say yet what my story is about in case I jinx it- but hopefully I’ll post it sometime. 🙂


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The beginning of my story:

She saw him first. She was walking home from school with Chris after swimming training, shivering in the icy winter air, hair like an icicle down her back. They walked along the edge of the Rugby pitch, an out of bounds shortcut they could only take advantage of long after school had let out for the day and the teachers had given up control and gone home.  The PE teachers running the training session currently going couldn’t have shown an ounce of discipline even if they’d wanted to; they couldn’t care less. Rugby training. That was another plus to this route home.  They had a familiar routine, Kate focussing on her favourite player from the year belows rugby team to ogle whilst showing total and utter indifference and contempt for them. Chris used to tease her about it, in between describing his latest crush in great detail.  It was a skill they’d honed with practice.

He was new. She’d been admiring his shoulders when he turned and she’d realised those were shoulders she’d never mentally gawked over before. She’d been wondering where they’d been hiding, surely she’d have noticed them before.

“Who is that?” She inquired under her breath to her friend. She had to repeat herself to get Chris’ attention- he’d been extolling the virtues of his crush’s backside with a great deal of concentration. 

“Um, sorry- who?” Kate would have grinned if she hadn’t been so intent on the new guy. Chris was hopeless.

“The new guy by the goal. He’s cuuute.” He was. His broad shoulders were joined by an impressive six-pack, dark hair which curled over his eyes, a dark green, and the rest of his body continued a pattern set by his jawbone- crisp, cool and totally-unfair-but-We’re-not-complaining-beautiful.

“Oh, yeah, he’s new. He started when you were in Florida. Why, fancy a piece of that?”

Kate blushed. “Chris, you are so crude! Of course not.  What’s his name? What A levels are he doing? Is he in any of my classes?”

“Slow down, will you? God, someone’s got a crush. He’s called Matt. As for the rest, I have no idea, I’ve never spoken to him. He’s just the hot gossip amongst every girl in the school.”

“Hot is right.”

They lingered near the edge of the pitch, Kate needing a last glance before they headed off shivering for the warmth of home. But her minds stayed on smooth muscles and rugby kits.

Kate lay on her bed, drying her hair. She couldn’t stop thinking about his eyes. God that sounded sad. She hadn’t had a crush like this since Primary school. Usually she just admired what was around. Not focussed on one face until she could trace it in her sleep, the smooth lips, open in a pant from jogging, leading to his neck…wow. She’d only caught a glimpse of him for godsake! This was ridiculous. But so, so perfect.

The next day, she was on high alert, desperate for another glimpse, to see if she had been exaggerating his features. He was in her Maths class, it turned out. Sitting in front of her. Perfect. She grinned. She could stare at him unnoticed. Even if she did end up looking like she was enjoying maths far too much. His hair curled into his neck, which was a dark auburn colour. She spent a great deal of time admiring the fine hairs at the back of his neck, numbers washing over her. Over her shoulder she could see him doodling on a scrap of paper. Annoyingly, she couldn’t make out what he was drawing. 2 hours passed in a haze, then the bell went, startling her. Quickly she packed her stuff away, watching him sling his rucksack over on broad shoulder. Later, she realised she had no idea what the lesson had been about, and thought how unfair it was that he had come here and taken up her head so fully with his perfectness. But just then, her whole mind was focussed on him, and the scrap of paper he left lying on the desk when he left.


Kate stared at the note, trying to decipher the scribbles. It looked like a barbed wire fence, but why would he be drawing that?

Chris nudged her, bringing her out of her pondering. He was staring at her from across the canteen. She blushed, pleased, and quickly looked away.

“Have you spoken to him yet?” Chris whispered.

”No. He’s in my maths class, sitting in front of me.”

“So why didn’t you introduce yourself! He’s new, it’s expected!”

“I couldn’t. He’s too cute. I’d be scared to.”


She grinned at her, and stole a glance at Matt. He was still staring, a slight frown marking his face. Kate looked away quickly and widened her eyes at Chris.

“He’s still staring!”

“Of course he is. Go and talk to him.”

“No. Not now, anyway. I will in maths, ‘kay?”


Kate sighed, and bit her lip.

The next day, she walked to maths very slowly, both dreading and anticipating what she was about to do. He had arrived before her, and was sitting watching the door as she entered. Blushing, she walked towards him with her head down, watching the floor. He was obviously waiting for someone. She’d talk to him after the lesson. Maybe. So it surprised her when h stood up and cleared his throat in front of her. She stared up at him, confused. He was beaming down at her, hand stretched out.

“Hi! I’m Matthew. Pleased to meet you.”

Oh, but he was too amazing for words! Handshakes, honey smooth voice and everything. And his whole face just lit up when he smiled. She stuck out her hand, lips twisting upwards at the formality of it all. He grasped it and jiggled it up and down.

“Kate,” she replied simply.

“Oh, I know.” His grin widened. “I can’t believe it’s you; after all this time! I nearly had a heart attack when I saw your face.”

“Whaa..?” She frowned up at him.

“Oh, you don’t remember me. Bugger. It was the other way around, last time. What did you say…? Um, okay.. So, yeah. You’re my soul mate.”

Kate stared up at him, open-mouthed. He was completely insane. He beamed back at her. He didn’t say anything. Neither did she. They stayed that way until the teacher cleared his throat.

“If you don’t mind..?”

Kate realised they were holding hands, staring into each other’s eyes in the middle of a maths class staring at them. She let go of his hand like it had scalded her and nudged past him, dropping into her seat and staring red faced at her desk.

Damn. That was weird. Trust her to develop a major crush over the freakiest boy in school. He’d looked so normal, and gorgeous. Maybe that should have started the warning bells ringing. Noone that perfect would be interested in her.

This was unbelievable. Totally crazy. Kate lifted her head up, she’d better at least pretend she was paying attention to the teacher’s lecture on imaginary numbers. Oh no, everyone was looking at her. Everyone. She glared in a random direction around her, then looked determinedly at the whiteboard. Helplessly, however, her eyes slid down to Matthew’s hair, and neck, and shoulders. Maybe it didn’t matter that he was completely insane? She could overlook that, right? For his jawbone, arms, eyes?

No. This was stupid. The first thing he’d even said to her was complete nonsense. No one was that mad, surely? Then she froze. Exactly. No one was that mad, who wasn’t locked up. He’d been playing with her. He’d seen her looking at him, and popular, cool and evil as he was; he’d decided to have some fun. That scheming little weasel. Sometimes looks could be so misleading. She stared lasers at the back of his head, spending the rest of the lesson trying to kill him with her stare. When the bell rang, another lesson missed, she swept out, purposefully, looking anywhere but at him, and ignoring his half spoken words aimed at her as he gathered his things. He stood behind her, staring after her in disappointment.

“Oh my god, Chris, you’ll never believe what just happened!” Kate cried to Chris the minute she sat down with her tray of food.

Chris grinned, “What? Did you talk to him?”

“Yes! And it serves me right! He’s absolutely insane. He started talking nonsense! Went on about how we were soul mates, or something!”

“Whit woo!”

“Shut up Chris. It was really scary!”

“He can’t have been being serious, I mean, he’s made loads of friends. He’s really popular.”

“Looks can be deceptive. He clearly believed whatever he was going on about. I mean what kind of-“

“Kate!” Chris glared at her, and gave her a meaningful glance which Kate completely failed to understand the meaning of.

“Why are you looking at me like you’re about to throw up?”

“That would be because of me.” Kate turned, and suddenly it made sense. Standing behind her was Matt.

“Oh. Uh, hi.”

“Yeah. Hi. So, um, I need to talk to you. Now.”

“Why, so you can freak me out again?”

“No, so I can explain why I freaked you out the first time.”

Kate stared at him hard, and sighed.

“Fine. Lets go outside.” She said goodbye to Chris and left the canteen, ignoring Matt trailing behind her. She stopped at a bench and sat down, dumping her bag on the floor next to it, and frowning as he sat down beside her and turned to stare at her.


“I’m sorry.”

Kate stared at him, uncertain whether this was another trick. Was he really sorry for teasing her?

“What are you sorry for?”

“I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that. It’s not fair on you.”

“Oh! Er, okay.” Kate bit her lip.

“I mean, springing it all on you like that. I know I didn’t believe it at first.”

“What’s your problem? I get it! I’m a geek, ridiculous, etc. etc. Jokes over. Leave me alone.”

She stood up quickly and strode off. Some people were just too unbelievable. Was she really that blatantly sad? Gullible looking?

“Kate!” Matt called after her. She ignored him and walked faster. She could hear him striding to catch her up. He reached her and grabbed her arm.


She turned angrily to him, ready to scream if he didn’t let her go, when he quickly added, “You forgot your bag.”

Kate stared unseeing at it, then quickly grabbed it off him and shrugged it over her shoulder.

“Thanks” She turned away.

“Please, Kitty.” He pleaded.

Closing her eyes, she gritted her teeth.

“Leave. Me. Alone.” She said, facing away from him. “And my name is Kate.”

He was silent. After a long pause, he said, “Fine. I’ll give you some space.”

When she didn’t reply, or even move, he walked away. She listened to his footsteps, fuming.

Thank god he was only in her maths class.

2ND-NOV-2010 – NaNoWriMo, day 1: 1771 words.

I love how the NaNo site is already completely down and its the first of November

Is it bad that my 1st scene is set in a lab and uses the words centrifuge, petri dish, pipette, incubated and bacteria? OH HI SCIENCE NERD

My story is a post-apocalyptic, conspiracy theory, reincarnation type thing with lots of scientists. 😀

I started writing about reincarnation a year ago and this story is not the same plot but the idea of reincarnation is the same. i’ve just matured and improved it. last time i had that idea and tried to build a plot around it, and so i didn’t really get inspired by it much, this time i have a proper story line which i love. something about the idea of reincarnation really appeals to me though.

Here is a small extract for you to peruse at your leisure:

After his speech, most people turned back to their work, talking across the lab benches, to each other. Kate stayed where she was, watching Dr Galloway as he finally wrestled his way into a sparkling new lab coat, dumping its contents on a desk (he’d been using it as some kind of bag type receptacle) and rescuing an apple from where it bounced across the floor.  He turned around, and blushed again when he noticed her watching. He looked away, pretending to glance around the lab, but Kate carried on watching. There was something….familiar about him.

Finally, he gave in and walked over to her, clearing his throat. Kate didn’t let him speak, instead, saying, “You know, I knew exactly what your voice would sound like before you spoke. Why would that be, do you think?”

He looked even more confused at this than he had at her socially unacceptable staring, and gaped at her momentarily. She stared at him with an amused expression until he recovered.

“Sorry, what was your name?” he asked, looking her up and down, from her curling hair to her Completely Inappropriate For a Lab sandals, and labcoat decorated with badges and beads.

“Kate. I know you from somewhere. Have we met before?”

“We haven’t met before. I would have remembered.” He blushed bright red, then stammered, “I mean, I haven’t been here before.”

“Hmmm.” She eyed him speculatively. “You don’t look the type to hang around internet forums bemoaning the hidden conspiracy theories in the government, either. So where do I know you from?”

He frowned at her, working this out in his head. “Wait, what do you mean? You are?”

Kate coughed, startled, looking around hurriedly. “Never mind that. So, you’re working with my tutor, then. You’ve probably heard about me.” She said, clearing her throat.

A look of understanding dawned on his face. “Oh, you’re Kate. James warned me to keep away from you.”

Kate looked immeasurably pleased at this. “Did he really? Glad to hear I’m not letting the old lad down.”

“What did you do exactly? He said if I valued my sanity, and more importantly my thesis, I should stay away from you.”

“I think in order to maintain my air of mystery we shall leave it at that for now,” Kate winked at him, turning her back to him, and grabbing rubber gloves from a box on her bench. “I’m sure you have some important supervising to do.”

The doctor stood behind her, and she could feel the skin on the back of her neck prickling as he watched her press test tubes into a centrifuge. As he was turning to leave, she turned her head and called out, “Oh, and Matt? You have your lab coat on inside out.”

He looked startled and looked down, blushing a familiar red. He walked off quickly, ignoring her, and stripped off the offending article to turn it the right way around as he left her side.


Hi guys! I’ve been Doing Things this week.

I’m about 6K into my story, and I’m not slowing down yet. I keep itching to write a scene I’ve just pictured, and I love my main characters, they almost write themselves.

9TH-NOV-2010 – I’ve passed the 10,000 words barrier! *dances*

Question for computer people: if you left a working laptop in a dry loft for about 70 years, would the battery work if you tried to charge?

Update, answer: “Once lithium-ion batteries have expired, simply place them on a charger and allow them to be re-filled with power. Very low self discharge rate. Can retain charge for up to ten years. ”


never mind I should be >20,000 by now, its AWESOME NEWS THATS 32 PAGES


So I’ve been thinking lately I need to get back into writing again. I haven’t really done much since NaNoWriMo, and I really should because I really enjoy it. So today I was sitting in a 2 hour biology lecture (I don’t even do biology) (It’s a long story) (I was coerced.)(Actually that was quite short) and I decided to make a list of all the elements of books and films and tv shows that make it a show that I like. It… turned out to be quite long, so I thought I’d share it. If you have any additions, comment with them if you feel like it. You don’t have to.

Oh, in brackets is what I’ve seen this in that I like.

· Thieves (the lies of locke lamora, fingersmith, firefly)

· Historical or future (not modern)

· Funny in a confident sort of way (Doctor Who, Misfits, Green Wing)

· Steampunk

· Reincarnation, soulmates

· Long boat journeys where you have to avoid someone on board

· A rivalry

· Strong, intelligent women beating the men

· Successful orphans

· Old books/caves/secret passageways

· Discoveries (harry potter, sandman)

· Outfits- bow ties, waistcoats, dresses, hats

· Secret hoards of weapons/money (watchmen)

· Forgeries- inks, different types of paper in scrolls, lots of stationary

· Someone in the police who knows you and gets annoyed by your antics (Sherlock, Dirk Gently)

· A mystery you can’t talk about (from a buick 8)

· Oddball anecdotes (Amelie, Watchmen)

· Science labs- if in past, glimpses of the beginnings of modern discoveries for readers to notice (sandman)

· Normal people thrust into impossible situations (neverwhere)

· Strange situations in normal places (green wing, black books, spaced)

· Drunkards causing trouble (black books, father ted)

· A den/home ground (sandman, misfits, doctor who, black books, spaced)

· Carriages

· A quirky pet who saves the day

· Getting out of hopeless situations in a genuinely intelligent way (misfits, doctor who)

· Going against the law in a cheeky manner

· Secret identities

· Strange talents (cats cradle, men who knit) which later come in useful

· Secret escape routes/passageways made by paranoid people (RED, enid blyton, watchmen)

· Annoying families who you love

· Surprise! Twists in the plot (fingersmith)

Obviously that isn’t everything, but its good enough to give me some ideas.



Flist, what is your favourite period in history? Regency, Tudor, Victorian, Medieval, Roman? It’s very important, please answer? Cheersss..


Yesterday i got out the library 3 books on the Crimean war as research for writing. Is that bad, or good, doing research as a hobby?


I’ve written ~5000 words since Monday for my story. It’s a past/present/future one, the one I did for nanowrimo was the future part, set in an apocalypse nuclear bunker with my characters solving a conspiracy, and I got about 2/3 through that storyline, before I hit a dead end. Now I’ve started the ‘past’ one, which is set during the Crimean war and has a girl thief dressed as a boy pretending to be an assistant to a war reporter to avoid getting caught by the police, and has lots of delicious situations where she steals stuff and has it hide the fact that she’s a girl when they live together in a tent. The third segment, is either modern day, or further in the past, I haven’t decided yet. Anyway, I’m really, really enjoying writing again.


i’ve finished my exams! which means nothing until october except holidays, and writing. I am just going to reread my ~25,000 words of reincarnation romance (so far split unevenly between scifi thriller and victorian thieves at war, and a whole third of the plot has yet to be decided on) and see how crap it is and then get back to it. i’ve missed it so much!
i want to set up a writing club over summer with fabbii , thecatinthetree , and ghosted and anyone else around coventry who is interested, where we sit in a cafe all afternoon on our laptops and write, because that is just my perfect day I think.

now i’ve got a dog’s head on my knee and a printout of words, so i’m content.

eta: is it weird that the sexiest scene is basically just Pen Porn? i have the strangest kinks

“So, shall I just assume you don’t know any letters, and start from the very beginning,” he said wryly as he flipped his notebook to a fresh page.

Katy nodded eagerly, and he continued, smiling. “Ok, this one,” he rested a finger below the first shape, and she bent closer to memorise it, “is A.” He paused, and she looked up at him, face closer than she’d intended. She realised he wanted her to repeat it.

Self consciously, she shot nervous glances at the soldiers around them and then said quietly, “A,” trying to hold back a laugh that was brushing the back of her throat at the situation, and a rush of something else at the feel of his breath on her cheek.

“B,” he murmured, finger sliding to the next letter, but eyes holding hers. She turned her gaze back towards the paper reluctantly, trying to concentrate on the shape and not on the scattering of freckles she’d discovered on the bridge of his nose.


They continued along the line, and Katy lost her self-consciousness at saying the noises out loud, along with him, and became immersed in the new world he was showing her. It was with a shock, that she realised he had reached the end of the line.

“Right. That’s all the letters you need to know. Once you know those, you can start looking at words and guessing what they spell from the sounds the letters make,” he looked down at the letters, not meeting her gaze, “So you need to learn the sounds. But the best way to do that, I think, is to write them out.”

He pulled his pen from his pocket and handed it to her. “Write the letters out underneath, and tell me the sounds they make, if you can. Don’t worry if you can’t, it will take a few goes to get them all. But can you remember the first one?”

She looked at the shape of the letter, the triangular top, and remembered the colour of his eyes as he’d told her the sound.

“A,” she whispered. She felt him nod from the movement against her hair, but kept her eyes on the black lines, afraid to look up in case her eyes showed too much.

“Well done. Want to have a go at writing it?”

She looked down at the pen, warm in her grasp, so small for something so powerful, and carefully pulled off the lid, hearing a low, satisfying click as they separated. She held it up, twisting it to look at the nib, silver and sharp.

He pushed his ink well towards her, and she unscrewed the lid, dipping in the pen nib. She looked to him for reassurance she was doing it right, and he nodded encouragingly.

“That’s it, now wipe the end on the edge of the well, so it doesn’t drip… and you are ready to go.” he directed, and passed her the notebook which she rested on her own knees, “Be slow and careful, don’t rush.”

She held the pen awkwardly in her right hand, as Matthew had done, and pressed the end to the page. Immediately a dot of ink appeared, spreading across the surface. She pulled back, startled, and then did it again. This time it only left a small dot, the excess ink had gone. She drew a line across the sheet, and frowned as nothing happened. She tried again, and realised that the nib needed to be pulled in a certain way to let the ink flow. She twisted the pen with her left hand, altering the angle. It was hard to hold, but she thought it must be something you got used to.

19TH-JUN-2011 I feel like I should update but I don’t know what to say ahhhh

Since I got back from spain I have been:

1) trying my hardest to become nocturnal
2)worrying about exam results (monday gdjskskcjdnsm)
3) trying to write- I’ve done about 2000 words, so not too bad but NOT GOOD enough. i had great hopes to write the whole thing this summer but its not going to happen lol

In the comments, could you please tell me what you would do if you were stuck on a ship for 10 days, without any books or anything? GO ON WRITE MY NOVEL FOR ME.


-put a shitton of crap on ebay
-wrote notes on a primary source about the crimean war FOR FUN*
-made a picspam of my characters**
-ate trifle
-forgot to brush my hair and only realised when my mum came home from work and called it a birds nest

*for research for my book
** Oh LOOK I have nothing else to do so here it is
Basic idea: the same 2 characters are in different time periods, so we have, SCIENCE MODE:


VICTORIAN MODE (yeah ignore the fact that she’s underwater or whatever, thats her LOOK:



What do you think? There aren’t enough redheaded pictures out there so the girl is varied but the boy is Cillain Murphy through and through. He even has tiny little freckles on his nose! Exactly as I’ve described him. He’s a bit brooding though, my character is more cheerful.

ETA: I just hit ~*~thirty thousand words~*~!!!

Some of it is notes, but still 30,000!! Thats over half of NaNoWriMo!


Also I now have plotted out every chapter to the very end, and I know exactly how it’s going to end (its a killer because I am a tease and love upsetting endings).


now if only i could make myself write more often.


so i’ve given in writing in order and i’m now hopping back and forth to the interesting bits. is that greedy or productive? i can’t decide


Authors never mention the gut clenching fear when you writing a sorry that someone will get there first, write your idea and get it published.

It only started recently (which I suppose is when I decided I was going to do it, I wasn’t going to give up this time) but everytime I read a blurb summary now, it comes with a kind of stress in case one of my ideas is in it.

The other day I read a blurb of a book- not a particularly famous book, I’d never heard of it before and it was in a charity shop. It started off in the crimea, and for a while the character was a journalist (which is what I am doing about). It obviously wasn’t a big part of the book- even the blurb only mentioned it briefly before he went on to have more adventures- but I nearly threw up. I froze for about 5 minutes, because it was like being stabbed in the heart.

You feel intensely protective of your area- which for me is kind of everything because that’s how I’m trying to write it, spread over time and genres. An apocalpse novel, how dare they! Maybe I am just too possessive, I don’t know, but if someone publishes a novel too similar before I have finished writing mine, Im not sure I can deal with that.

I know it’s silly, because when a popular novel theme exists people look for similar ones, like twilight did for vampire novels. so it can only help, but still jsfdljslfjsdl

i don’t want to read any of the competition in case it alters how i write it, expecially fro something as changable as reincarnation. but ive been reading lots of historical research and that helps


Here is a little extract for you, my lovely flist, because I was pleased with it. If you read it and like it, comment? 😀

Oh! I don’t know if I said, but I now have a title. The red Earth rolls, from this poem (the last two lines are appropriate).

[Katy has just mistakening flirted with a woman (she’s pretending to be a boy). At this point Matthew knows shes a girl, but only recently found out]

“Oh, yes! I’m sure Christopher here could row us out, couldn’t you?” Mrs McKenna looked at her from beneath her eyelashes. Katy was unsure how to reply, but was prevented from doing so by Matthew’s sudden arrival. He coughed from behind Katy, and she turned in surprise. He moved to her side, a look on his face she’d never seen before- something like envy, or jealousy.

“If you will excuse me, ladies, I need Kit’s help,” he said. He sounded polite but Katy knew him well enough to hear the protectiveness beneath it. She blushed, taken aback but pleased. He took her shoulder and led her away, nodding his head to the women.

“Sorry,” she added, as she followed. When they were out of hearing distance, alone in the corridor, he commented to her, “You need to be careful. They think you are a boy- someone’s feelings could get hurt.”

She grinned, thinking that his already had been apparently. “It wasn’t my fault. I smiled at her, that’s all! Is my smile that charming it sends women swooning left, right and centre?”

He smiled back at the image, commenting, “Yes, well. We are in a war; you have no reason to be smiling at women. Or men, for that matter,” he said, his voice hardening, “Just be careful in future. Mrs McKenna is working her way through the ranks, from what I’ve heard.”

“I’ll reserve my smiles solely for you in future,” she replied softly. He didn’t answer, ignoring her comment, and instead replied, “It has stopped raining. Shall we walk on deck?”

Katy nodded, and then left the metal interior for the cold but refreshing sea air. A dark, cloudlike line was visible on the grey water, and Katy realised with a shock that she was probably seeing her first glimpse of another country, having missed seeing Malta. She pointed it out to Matthew.

“That’s good. We should arrive in two days or so, if the good weather continues.”

The deck was wet and they gingerly made their way over to the rigging, holding on as they walked to avoid slipping. They walked in silence for a while, both awkward to speak now the truth was known. They would have to rebuild their easy banter from scratch, if it was possible at all. Katy was determined not to stop trying to get it back.

She stopped suddenly, catching sight of a brown blur in the rigging ahead of her, high up.

“Matthew, is that a bird?”

He peered upwards following her pointing finger, and cried out. “Yes! It’s a little brown owl, trapped in the rigging.”

“We need to help it!” Katy walked to where it was, and tentatively put her foot on the rope, testing it. It held her weight, and she began climbing up the rigging to the bird.

“Kit, what are you doing? You can’t do that!” Matthew hissed. She looked down from her perch above his head, grinning at him.

“I must say, climbing is much easier in trousers! Usually I have to tuck my dress into my bloomers.”

Matthew opened his mouth, gawping at her, and she giggled, turning back to climb further. She had nearly reached the bird, which was tangled in the ropes. It was still, obviously exhausted from trying to escape. She climbed beside it, moving slowly so as not to scare it.

Matthew had recovered his speech and was calling up to her in a flustered voice to be careful. She smiled but ignored him, focussed on the tiny creature. She tentatively reached towards it, brushing her fingers on its soft feathers. It started then settled back down when she pulled away. One of the ropes was wrapped around its wing, and she pulled the free end towards the owl, giving it slack so she could untangle it.

When released it flapped its wing madly, obviously unhurt, and she moved onto another rope around its leg. How it had gotten into such a mess she couldn’t imagine. The owl was now wiggling madly, desperate to escape and get away from her. When she released its leg it slipped easily out of the remaining rope and was off, wing brushing her face and ticking the skin. She turned, leaning against the rigging, and watched it fly off towards the coast until it was barely a speck on the horizon.

Then she looked down at Matthew, who was watching her with a small smile on his face. She smiled back, and he called up.

“Well done. But please come down before you fall into the sea!”

She laughed out loud, the excitement of rescuing a living creature making her dizzy- or maybe that was the height. She turned and carefully made her way down. The ropes were slippery from the rain, now she was paying attention to them and not teasing Matthew. It was harder climbing down, but as she reached the bottom Matthew was there to help her down, gentle hands around her waist. She turned to him, a wide smile splitting her face. He was closer to her than she realised, and she could see the freckles around his nose, the small kiss curls in his hair, made as it had dried from the rain. He didn’t pull away and she stared into his eyes, smile dropping and her breath catching. After a moment he shook himself, releasing her waist and stepping back. He asked in a stunned voice, “What’s your real name?”

“You need to keep calling me Kit, for other people’s sake,” she said gently and he frowned slightly.

“I know. But I want to know.”

“It’s Katherine. I don’t have a real family name, but in the orphanage they called me Katherine Russell.”

“Katherine,” he repeated. The way he said her name made her stomach trip over itself. In his Scottish burr it sounded like a caress. After a stunned moment she added, “My friends’ call- well, called, I guess- me Katy.”



hey guys!

i can’t even remember what i was whittering on about last time i posted so here is a picture of stuff i have looked at recently


what my notemaking has devolved into


Since when have you been writing, and what type of stories do you write? Why?

I started by writing fanfiction about my dogs. This is from when I was about 12 or 13 maximum. I’m not sure when I started it though:

The door into the warm house closed on the dogs, leaving them in the dark garden. Once they realised that all that was happening was the chance to empty their bladders before bedtime, they disappointedly set off for a night time ramble. They were followed by a black and white cat called Perkins.

There were 5 dogs in the group. Clara, the mother figure of the group, and actual mother of Merlin, was an elegant lady poodle with long curly ears down either side of the face. Her fur, she insisted was ‘blue’ but was really grey. As a dog she was quite unique because she could sit and gaze at a human for hours, wanting to be stroked.

Her son Merlin was, well let’s just say large in size but not in IQ. His fluffy black top-knot had given him the nickname Pom-Pom, which could always be seen nearby at dinnertime. He was amazingly strong, so all the other dogs refused to play tug-o-war with him. But he was also very loveable.

Tommy, the loudest of the group, was a white mongrel terrier who couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He had a serious addiction with stones, which he loved to hunt. He would have been an excellent guard dog, but he tried to stop everyone entering the house with his insistent barking.

Sophie, a black white and ginger collie, had been through so many homes she couldn’t count them on a paw, which was strange as she was the nicest dog out of the lot, although she was a bit shy, and her bark was very squeaky and immensely annoying.
And finally, Jake, a hunting border terrier, who if let off the lead on a walk would not be seen for 3 days and nights. He could either be a grumpy old dog, or a loving, sneezing, affectionate terrier, and no-one could predict beforehand which it would be.
Tommy broke the silence of the night first.

“Right then! What now?” He squeaked, a look of pure joy on his face as he found a stone he had lost. ‘Right then’ was one of the few human phrases he knew, ‘walkies’, and ‘lets go’ being his other favourites.

Perkins, the cat, sniffed disdainfully at Tommy and purred, “I’m going hunting.”

He then strolled away, tail up high and once out of sight entered the house through an open window.

At the mention of hunting, Clara’s eyes had misted over with longing and Jake had begun to quiver. Merlin had trotted off to find his ball, Sophie dashing after him, yelping madly. Tommy meanwhile barked at his pebble.
“Let’s go!” Clara whispered in Jake’s ear, grabbing his leg and attempting to drag him by it. She didn’t need to encourage him, he was only too eager.

I like how I introduce new characters by giving interesting details, which is something I struggle to do now. The rest of it is a bit cringy though. It made me a bit teary that since I wrote this, Jake, Perkins and Sophie have died.

Now, I am writing a plotty novel, the main idea of which has gone through about 3 different incarnations, and I (hope) I’ve settled on an actual novel form, which is currently 65,000 words. My main objectives when writing it is to get in everything I love in books (i think i posted a list I compiled of things I love, I’ll fish it out if anyone is interested?), and fix everything that annoys me. For example: typical romance novel cliches actually being used reasonably, romance being part of the plot instead of *being* the plot, not enough plot to keep you interested, etc etc.

Since I posted the first thing I wrote properly, here is the most recent (from last night):

Once the conversation turned to Alfred’s forthcoming nuptials, Katherine excused herself for some fresh air, and went to find Matthew. She found him talking to the stableboy, who ducked away when he saw Katherine.

“Sorry,” she said apologetically, “Did I interrupt?”

“No,” he said, turning, “It’s alright. That’s my cousin.”

“Ah,” she said, casting an eye over the working boy, “I see the resemblance now.” Matthew and the boy had a similar physique, all sharp edges and angles.

“You do?” Matthew turned, eying up his cousin curiously. “Where?”

“The freckles,” she said teasingly, and he mock sighed at her, so she added cheekily, “He’s more elegant, though. There’s something about his posture that is just more dignified.”

“Excuse me, ma’am, but I have better things to do with my time than be insulted,” he said stiffly, eyes twinkling, and bowed before turning to walk away.

“Don’t trip!” she called after him, and his formal pose broke as he snorted. She laughed with him, and caught up with him as he returned to the carriage.

“Did you hear about Glasgow?” she commented.

“Yes. Did you hear about Dublane?”

“Dublane? No, what happened there?”

“Before they reached Glasgow, they passed through Dublane. I heard a story about one of the rebels. It is not as interesting as many, but I thought it was good.”

“What did he do?” she asked, curiosity piqued.

“He read a bible passage as they rode through the town.”

“A bible passage? Which?”

Matthew cleared his throat, closing his eyes and preparing himself like he was about to perform a play. She beamed at him in delight.
Without opening his eyes, he said, “Stop grinning,” and Katherine controlled her expression. “Sorry.”

He shushed her and after a moment began, voice strained to sound slightly mysterious.

“And thou profane wicked Prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end. Thus saith the lord God, remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it to him.”

The quote sent a shiver down her spine, and Matthew looked down at her wide eyed expression with satisfaction.

“That’s…. scarily apt.” She said, after too long a pause.


i wrote the death scene for my novel. death scenes are the most fun to write.

i dont care if that is mean but it is so true

sex scenes are good but just embarrasing because im like OMG, MY MUM WILL DEFINATELY READ THIS ONE DAY SOON

and exposition is good but im all ‘what adjective should i use to describe the speech here’

but death scenes are so, so great

you dont need to worry about any of that

because the more out of control the writing is the better

and there is a challenge of can i make myself cry when writing this (yes) and if so you win all the awards and its just brilliant ok


also: Prince Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart

what a name

what a man

i hope his friends called him maria

oh no wait they called him bonnie


About half an hour ago I hit 70,000 words! ~*~party~*~ still no closer to the end, though. It feels at the minute that every little bit of progress I make I discover another chapter of plot that needs to be written. I’ve written my first death and sex scenes, though. So that’s progress.




Why the convoluted sentences, people of the past? “If only we knew what was happening, this is bullshit.” sorted


Write about your favourite book.

The boring but accurate answer is that my favourite book changes all the time. So I will recommend instead a book I think everyone should read.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is one of the longest books I have ever read. It is written in old fashioned language, with lots of footnotes, and nothing memorable really happens in the plot. But it is something every writer or booklover should read, just because it is a brilliant lesson in world building, and keeping an audience captivated for months and months of reading. There is something so perfect and quirky about it that you don’t find very often, and for me it changed how I see books- they can do more than tell a story for a few hours; they can make a whole new place you can live in and want to know every tiny detail about without getting bored. Basically, its the perfect book. READ IT.

Post something you are proud that you’ve written.

I don’t usually like what I write until a few months afterwards. But here is something I wrote today that I was pleased with:

“I think I’ve found my calling. Strip shows- to keep the men’s spirits high!”

“As long as you practise for me first I have no problem with that.”

She giggled and leant down, kissing him thoroughly in delight. Focussing again on her he rolled her underneath him, and began to make use of her newly revealed form. They spent the rest of that evening together, blocking out the world and relearning each other, before falling into a deep sleep.

The next morning they woke up to find the tent so cold their breath misted in the air. Katy pushed closer against Matthew, who wrapped an arm around her. She shivered still, and tentatively pulled an arm out from under the blanket, hair standing up in the cold air. She reached, glad for once the tent was so small, and grabbed their discarded clothes, pulling them on top of the blankets. They may have to start sleeping in their clothes to avoid freezing.

Settling back against Matthew, she tried to go back to sleep, but her mind kept drifting back to what was awaiting them outside. Her stomach rumbled and she reluctantly sat up, reaching for their baggage. The food they had brought would only last them a few more days, and then they would be forced to beg distrusting officers for food.

But for this morning she pulled apart some bread, and cut slices of cheese with her dirk, making sandwiches for her and Matthew. She ate hers in under a minute, wanting more immediately but knowing she should save the rest until dinner.
She began dressing, carefully picking her clothes off Matthew so she didn’t wake him. It was hard to dress in the bulky skirts in the small tent, especially as she still wasn’t used to such complicated clothing- it had been a lot more basic when she lived on the streets.

Matthew didn’t wake however, and she made her way out into the cold morning air. She self-consciously weaved her way through the curious stares of soldiers, returning to the hospital. She passed a funeral possession on her way, and noticed that all along the path was a row of graves. The general opinion was that if you entered the packed hospital, you were unlikely to leave alive. Judging by the amount of soldiers whose primary occupation was digging the graves of their comrades, she could see why.  Katy noticed one of the graves was half dug up; wild dogs had been scavenging. She blanched and looked away quickly, but the image of a torn limb, bone visible and gnawed, was imprinted on her eyelids.


More time to write. I’m just getting back into it and taking it slowly at the minute to get into the story, and the other day i passed 80,000 words 😀 If only I didn’t have like three lab reports due in and coursework and exams in a few months, right?


So, I mentioned in my last post that I’m doing chapter intros for my book. I wanted to write little funny snippets of Kate’s and Matt’s life at the start of each, so that you see what they are like when they are together, seeing as the whole novel is full of drama and tension and they never actually just hang out. So here’s a little bit of it. The chapters alternate between Kate and Matt and it’s all stuff they write to each other, like facebook posts and text messages, and this bit is notes they leave on the fridge:

Chapter 31: Jumping

Section 3 Bunker, 2080

Matt hereby declares that Katherine Galloway is retroactively responsible for all embarrassing and painful incidents that have occurred in his life to date. Including but not limited to that time that he broke his own nose with a tennis racket in year nine. KATE’S FAULT.

There are no naked pictures of me on the internet!! None!! That is a barefaced lie!!


Chapter 32: Stolen Thunder

Matt, you need to watch out, you are starting to sound like me. You do realise you used MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS in your last note. What happened to ‘Excessive use of punctuation is for idiots and chavs, please don’t email me if you can’t control your typing, Miss Finchley’ and ‘Stop shouting at me in capitals Kate, it’s weird and doesn’t make your point anymore valid, the data still doesn’t fit the hypothesis’? I’ve trained you so well. :’) One day you might even be cool!

Chapter 33

I’m cool! Just because I don’t communicate like a drunken teenager doesn’t mean I’m not hip. Or ‘epic’, or ‘gangsta’ or whatever I’m supposed to call it, because I know you are laughing at me for using the word hip, don’t lie. Maybe you are wearing off on me a little bit, though. It’s kind of fun, messing around with notes on the fridge. (Also, did our relationship really start with me telling you off for your grammar? Why did you even go out with me?)

Chapter 34

Matt, our relationship started because I wouldn’t leave you alone until you took me out for dinner, remember? You were all determined to keep it purely casual because we worked together and everything, but I pestered you until you gave in. How can you have already forgotten that? YOU DIDN’T THINK YOU HAD ANY CHOICE IN THIS, DO YOU?

A dramatic re-enactment of how it went down:

K: Hey, sexy, nice to meet you, I’m Kate!

M: You used too many commas in that sentence.

K: Let’s make out now

M: No. Please leave me to die alone and miserable in a pit of despair.

K: But look at my charming sense of humour! My fabulous breasts! How good I am at error analysis! We should make out.

M: But, we work together! I’m reserved and no fun!

K: Did I mention my fabulous breasts?

M: Sure, let’s make out.

Chapter 35

I love how you describe things you’ve made up in your head like they are facts. That isn’t how it happened! You are a liar. The truth:

K: Excuse me, DUDE, I know you are right in middle of a very important and delicate experiment but I’m new here and from now on I will take up all of your attention and you won’t ever escape me, so get used to it! So, yeah, if I ever give you a chance to speak could you show me how to requisition new chemicals?

M: Wow. Did you even pause for breath in there? Sure, I’ll help you. I’m Matt, a fool who doesn’t know what he’s letting himself in for.

K: Nice to know, I’ll be sure to pester you almost incessantly for the rest of your life. Where’s the best place to buy alcohol around here? I’ve only been here four hours and I really need to get drunk!

M: ……. um what

K: Never mind! So, requisition forms? That’s an interesting cupboard. I can’t wait to have sex in it!

M: …..what

[Cut to a few months later, when I had got used to your….Kateness]

M: Hey Kate, I know you are weir d and have no brain to mouth filter and think you are a teenager and everything, but somehow I find it oddly charming. I don’t know, maybe you’ve brainwashed me, but it’s too late to do anything about it now! So, yeah. Drink?

K: We’ve been going out for like a year what is wrong with you.

M: What?!?

I’m worried about a few things. First, I can’t tell if it’s actually funny or if it’s just me. I think it’s hilarious, but I don’t know if it’s a kind of Tumblr Based funny that isn’t actually funny. So, is it fun? It’s supposed to be a contrast to the angst happening in the story.

Second, I’m very aware of the John Green Funny Writing Style, where all the banter is funny but all the characters sound the same. So, could you tell me what you can gather about the characters from this? Do they all sound like the same person, i.e., me? Or do they sound like their own people? Any feedback would be awesome! This is all I’m thinking about at the minute, mainly because it’s FUN, like writing fanfiction for my own story. I don’t have to worry about planning plots, I just get to play and make myself laugh, and it’s a productive way to avoid doing the actual writing (at the minute I’m trying to decide how best to write a transcript of a video they are watching that has Important Exposition, and make it sound interesting….also I’m on the final climax of the storyline and I can’t bring myself to finish it, because it’s so scary! I’ve nearly finished my story!! I’ve never done something so big before).


Now exams are over Ive been writing like crazy and I’ve finished a huge section! I’ve written a full plot arc, from start to finish with an ending and plot twists and drama and romance and ahhhhh! That’s something I’ve never done before. My current word count is scarily close to 100,000, may have a heart attack when I go over that, we shall see.  I’m confident I can get draft zero done before I go to the US, which is perfect timing to leave it in a drawer for a year and come back to it when it’s matured a bit. I’ve nearly written a novel, guys!
2090 apocalypse scientists  storyline: DONEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
1745 Jacobite uprising/time travel plot: not even close to being done; about 3 chapters or a fifth of the way in


Also I started planning a sequel :3 already. They storyline I finished is the v end of the book so I started planning what would happen next, and then realised I still have to write the rest of this book. AH WELL SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
ummm thats all my news, London on friday! LONDON, BABY!


I’ve written a novel! How did that happen? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhh What do I do now?
It was a really undramatic finish because I’d had the last few chapters done for months and i was just matching up the ends, but it’s done!! Ended up 254 pages, 121,000 words.


Now I have to sit and watch people read it :S I managed to get a bound copy printed for £11.50 which is amazingly cheap. I’m going to get everyone to pass it around and write all over it so I can correct it in one go. If anyone fancies a read…that would be cool? Scary, but cool. Mel, Sarah, Lambie (if you read these??) if you want to read it and tell me what you think that would be AMAZING. I’ll send you a pdf.



So Sarah gave me some questions, a while ago but I HAVE A BUSY LIFE OKAY, so here’s me answering those. Because she has a hard time being nice, she gave me some mean questions first:

1. why do you suck so bad
2. why aren’t you awesome like me
3. is it hard knowing you’ll never be as cool as i am
4. what are the best things about being my friend TRICK QUESTION everything is the best thing

So take a moment to appreciate those for the high humour they are so Sarah can feel happy with herself. Now, the REAL STUFF.

What was your favourite thing to research for The Red Earth Rolls? Or your favourite part about writing it generally?

I did a LOT of research because I chose the worst kind of novel; a historical one set in MULTIPLE TIME PERIODS, URGGGGGGH, past!Lauren you are a crazy, heartless slave driver. Here are a few of my bookmarks, to give you an idea:

That is only a small selection, mainly because most of the others are Wikipedia links and it’s far too embarrassing to share with the world how lazy my research techniques are.

My favourite bits are the diaries from the Crimean war, because some of the anecdotes are so crazy I could barely believe they were true. At one point the soldiers were marching on the Russians, who were firing at them from the other side of the riverbank. The Brits stopped on the riveredge to pick grapes, IN THE MIDDLE OF A BATTLE, RIGHT, GUYS, and then waded through the river, shooting at the Russians, with bunches of grapes clenched between their teeth. Soldiers were dying, clutching bunches of grapes. THAT IS A THING THAT HAPPENED, HISTORICALLY. If that was in a film people would think it was too farfetched to be accurate.

My favourite part of writing in general was probably the diary entries, because that gave me a chance to show off my well-honed Blogging for Tumblr skills. Basically they were extracts from a diary written in 2012, so I tried to make them really popculture-y and modern to contrast with the old fashioned parts. It was one of the only parts I felt really confident doing, because WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW, or whatever, and I KNOW blogging, trust me. Apart from that it was just hilarious, because Kate is hilarious and naive and I love writing her a lot. A tiny extract:

Tuesday 5th June 2014
So, I’ve decided to be even more fantastic and mysterious and write in code, partly because Matthew and I have been discussing something recently which I need to write down- but I don’t feel comfortable leaving it around for anyone to read, but mainly because it’s the coolest possible thing in the world. I WANT TO BE A SPY WHY AREN’T I A SPY WHEN DID MY LIFE GO WRONG.
So, despite the deep wrong the universe has given me by making me a paltry research scientist rather than a kick ass spy, I do have something kind of terrifying to discuss. Over dinner last week, Matt told me that he’d been talking to Mick about his work. Shocking, I know. Save some excitement for me, guys.
I’d been thinking he was going to mention the baby thing again, considering he had taken me out for a posh meal and told me to wear the sexy dress he can’t get enough of, but no, apparently he has a life changing and dangerous dilemma he wanted to discuss instead. It looks like babies are going to have to wait until all this has blown over. So YEAH, I wasn’t really paying attention when he started talking about Mick, considering it was an UTTERLY DULL TOPIC OF CONVERSATION, WAY TO SPOIL THE MOOD DUDE, but then he said something so seriously that it completely took me by surprise. Like, he said it as if he wasn’t even sure he could trust me enough to tell me that he’d had a conversation with Mick about the labs.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THEN READ MY BOOK. No, seriously, read it, that would be amazing. Only two people have finished it so far, I WANT OPINIONS!

How would you describe your sense of humour?

My sense of humour is a really important, defining part of my personality, and something I value in people a lot more than usual, I think. I tend to deal with things by finding the humour in them, and generally I try to make friends with people who have the same sense of humour. If we don’t have much in common, that doesn’t matter so much as being able to joke around with them, I’ve found. Which is why I’ve been hanging around with Brazilians, cause we all have the same insulting way of teasing which a few Americans have been really confused by so far.

Anyway! I think my humour is very dry, sarcastic, and insulting. Alice summed it up perfectly the other day when she said “English people are horrible to their friends and extremely polite to their enemies.” If I insult you, then I’m comfortable around you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about humour this summer, especially on rereading Draft Zero. The style of writing changed a lot as I wrote and discovered my own abilities, and one of the things that changed the most is the humour. I’ve found a good way of writing humour that isn’t oneliners; in the words. I’m not really sure how to describe it, so here’s an example.

“I’m going to ask Colonel Durand!” Katherine exclaimed, running into the stables midsentence. Matthew was cleaning the wheels of the carriage. He dropped a washcloth into a bucket with a heavy sigh before turning to her.

“Kathy,” he replied, in a long-suffering tone. “Do you remember me telling you that I have to present for the entire conversation- you can’t just filter me in at the end?”

“Sure, of course,” she said, not really listening. “I said I’m going to ask him. I want to learn to fire the cannons!”

“What? Is this a joke?” he hedged.

“No! Every morning we get more and more news of the Jacobites fighting their way closer to Carlisle. They are going to be here any week now, and despite Durand’s fine speeches, we aren’t ready. There isn’t enough time. There aren’t enough soldiers!”

“That doesn’t mean you have to become one, Kathy, you are being ridiculous.”

She could feel her expression souring dramatically. “I’m not! You’ve heard the militia talk- more of them are leaving to go back to their families than are arriving. By the time the Highlanders get here there is going to be no one left to defend us! I’m willing and able to help fight, and I want to offer to help. Don’t you?”

“You can’t fire the cannons, Kathy.”

“Wha- Why not?” she spluttered indignantly. She’d been planning that speech all afternoon as she worked on her embroidery with Elizabeth, and Matthew’s resolute disapproval wasn’t the reaction she’d expected. She had thought he would approve of her plan. “Matthew, you can’t stop me.”

Matthew started a brief staring contest, which was apparently his new method of persuading Katherine to agree to his point of view without the hassle of actually yelling. She deflated slightly, squirming under his steady gaze.

I really like using uncommon words to bring a bit of humour to the situation, and I’ve gotten better at doing that. It’s also really good for succinctly describing a person’s attitude in an unexpected way, like ‘deflated’ used to describe Katherine giving in. I don’t know, I guess I like the subtle ways of lightly saying something that is matter of fact. This ended up less about my sense of humour and more about my writing, but whatever. They are linked; and I think in the next draft I’m going to do more of this style of prose- a bit informal, but more relatable. Sour expressions and indignant splutters are so much more fun than dramatic arguments, I think.

What are your top 5 favourite TV shows and why?

Doctor Who, Spaced, Green Wing, Merlin, Black Books.
Those are all British, which was unintentional. I do watch American stuff too, but my favourites are all homegrown. They are all my favourites because of the sense of humour (except for Merlin, which, not gonna lie, I like because of the blatant fan service. I’m hardly there for the writing, anyway. Arthur’s bare chest is its own character at this point.), the actors, the way they make me feel instantly calm even though I know episode off by heart. They are my comfort zone, I guess.

Who would you say are your main ~creative influences~?

My mum. She is the funniest person I know, and I try to make her laugh. If I can do that, then I’m on the right track. This is going to sound super lame, but I really like the new writing styles that are coming out of the online community. Because everyone knows the same in-jokes and people are writing for their friends, and no one is editing writing for a mainstream audience, there tends to be a lot more references and Dinosaur comic, slang type sentences in stuff. It makes prose a lot more interesting to read, and I’ve tried to copy that a bit and make it more relevant, rather than just being used to describe couples kissing in a way that hasn’t been done twenty four times in just this fandom. ANYWAY, YES. I’m not going to say fanfiction is my influence, but bringing Internet into real fiction is a Thing for me. Real authors: Terry Pratchett, obviously, because he has comic humour down to an art. In terms of plots, I love Moffat. He’s got a few problems but I do love the stuff he does with time travel in DW, and how that effect character interactions, rather than just the currentOMG! ADVENTURE plotline. I want to do a bit more research into cultural differences across time in the next draft, so I can really get some comparisons in there about the separate timelines. I’ve left all that stuff for now so I can get the plot down; I haven’t even put in accents yet (Matt is Scottish but his dialogue is still pure English, it really frustrates my mum, hah).

How did YOU end up on Livejournal?

Ooh, no idea. It was 2007, so I was fourteen? I think I was looking for Harry/Ginny fanfic, actually. Hah! What bad taste I had in those days. I don’t think I’d discovered non-canon pairings yet.

Why is everyone on about Teen Wolf?

Ok, I have two reasons for watching this programme, which is mainly kind of terrible.
Number one: Stiles.

Stiles, guys. STILES.

Number two: this is probably the first time the popular slash ship has a chance of becoming canon. And it really, really does. This explains it a lot better than I ever could, but basically the network is MTV, so they only have to worry about what teenage girls want, and they have a tumblr account, so they know. They showed Sterek fanart on tv and ask fans for their fic. They tag posts as sterek, and make promos where the actors are cuddling on a ‘ship‘, are you even serious with this right now. One of the actors made a joke about Sterek not actually being real and the network EDITED IT OUT of the clip so people wouldn’t get confused about whether it was happening or not. The writer is gay, and the actors said that there was a 50/50 chance of it actually happening. So….it’s a pretty big deal, for the LGBT community and for fangirls in general. If it happens the main pairing on a mainstream show is going to be a gay couple. Guys!
Also, the couple are perfect and I want it to happen so much, guys, I can’t even explain. IT’S SO GOOD.

We ALL KNOW about your TRER fancastings, but how would you feel about an actual movie adaptation? (Except for “!!!”) What do you think they’d inevitably mess up? What would translate really well to the screen? How much are you still expecting me to make a fanmix for your novel? (I’m DOIN’ IT.)
Aw man, I’m totally all about the fancastings. Jessica Chastain and Ben Whishaw are currently in the lead. I…don’t know how I’d feel about a film. Maybe a BBC short series? That would be a lot more appropriate. I’ve just seen Cloud Atlas, and the whole intertwining storylines thing in a film didn’t really work. It was too long, and also too short, because you don’t get enough of the stories to care about any of the plots. I think the same would apply to mine- it needs a bit more time to give enough attention to all of the timelines. (Make me a fanmix omg so excited)

Published by Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including Green Rising, The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. She is a RLF Royal Fellow, freelance editor and screenwriter. Lauren is the founder of the Climate Fiction Writers League, and on the board of the Authors & Illustrators Sustainability Working Group through the Society of Authors. Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide and been translated into six languages. The Quiet at the End of the World was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and many of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2022. She has taught creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands.

2 thoughts on “Blog post compilation from writing draft 1

  1. These posts are so interesting to read! And I love that you imagined Matthew as Cillian Murphy, I definitely have a slight obsession with Cillian Murphy haha. Thanks for posting these!


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