Tips for Writing Unique Content Like a Pro

Tips for writing unique content
Written by Christina Battons
In today’s world of content writing, producing high quality and unique content is a prerequisite for gaining top ranking by most search engines. Even though writing is a passion for many, not everyone is keen on providing unique content, which is rather demoralising. Instead of writing original texts, some writers try to use shortcuts and duplicate material from other websites, which not only taints the profession of content writing but throws shade on the value of being honest and professional when writing content. 

Apparently, not many people understand what plagiarism is and what its consequences are. It’s like they don’t have a clue on what differentiates original text and plagiarised content. And instead of writing for themselves, they choose to duplicate content from other websites and pass the copied material to unsuspecting clients. 

Well, for starters, plagiarism is using someone else’s written ideas as your own without acknowledging the author. Simply put, plagiarism is intellectual theft, and those who engage in it are no better than pirates, who thrive on stealing other people’s intellectual property. 

To aspiring writers, there are many ways through which one can produce original content without copying another person’s work. 

This article looks at how a writer can produce top-quality original content without plagiarism. So, begin:

plagorism, unique writing

Rule Number 1: Avoid Plagiarism

Before attempting any writing project, it is best to first learn about the far-reaching consequences of plagiarism. Plagiarism is intellectual theft, and it is a serious offence. A person who plagiarises material, also known as a plagiarist, is not respected in the writing sector and is forever viewed with suspicion. 

The consequences of plagiarism include destroying the reputation  and legal repercussions. Therefore, it is extremely important for an aspiring writer to avoid plagiarism, especially now that there is quite many effective plagiarism detection software available online. Every day, many writers are busted for plagiarising online content, and most of them claim they only did it out of ignorance. 

As it seems, many writers do not understand the basic techniques for avoiding plagiarism. Here are a few effective ones:
  1. You must use quotation marks whenever you use the language of the source and cite the source accordingly;
  2. If you don't write from scratch, you must cite it;
  3. Paraphrasing is not advisable.
The cardinal rule in the world of content writing is to always be original and to avoid plagiarism, because this way, you’ll be able to come up with great content that is not only unique but original and interesting to read. 

Rule Number 2: Find your own voice and apply it to a unique style

To enable you to write unique content every day, you need to find your voice as a writer. This means that you need to establish your authorial personality each time you write. Every writer has his or her own writing style, and the earlier you develop your own, the easier it will be for you to write text each day. This is because the voice of writing comes from within yourself. Hence, it won't be difficult to express yourself when writing using your voice compared to when you copy another person’s style. It is easy to maintain a style you own than a copied one. 

Rule Number 3: Use plagiarism detection software

With the advent of technology, many programs have been coded to detect instances of plagiarism. You only need to highlight a particular section of the text, and it will compare the similarity index with other articles published online. These plagiarism checkers have been quite effective in catching incompetent writers who steal other people’s content. 

There are many effective plagiarism detection softwares that can help you reduce the chances of publishing unoriginal content. Sometimes, considering that writers engage extensive research in developing comprehensive content, there may be cases of verbatim plagiarism. 

However, before publishing the content, it is recommended that you use the effective plagiarism detection software to detect unoriginal phrases in your text and edit them accordingly. Prevention is better than cure, and considering that it’s almost impossible to reverse the ramifications of plagiarism, the use of this software can help you reduce chances of posting plagiarised content. 

Rule Number 4: Apply own reasoning

Rather than copy word by word from any information resource, it is advisable to use your own reasoning so that you explain concepts how you understand them. This way, the content will be written unique and original. People make the mistakes rewriting content using synonyms just to avoid the plagiarism detection. However, this is not right at all. 

Instead, experts advise to read the information resource to get an understanding of the concepts you are researching on. Then, using this understanding, explain the concept how you understand it, and not how the original author had expressed it. This technique will not only improve your writing style but will enhance your writer voice as well. Additionally, it will train you to develop unique content every time you write.

writing unique content
If you'll engage these pointers when writing content, you will never have problems with plagiarism. Additionally, you can subscribe to plagiarism checking software that is readily available online.  
Also, if you apply your own reasoning, the text will come out unique, especially since you have used your critical thinking to 
conjure original words to structure into an essay. It is better to be cautious than sorry. 

BIO: Christina Battons, writer and blogger, who specialises on topics about education, writing, blogging and likes to share with people my knowledge and ideas. Currently, I write for various blogs. My free time I spend with my family, friends and like to ride a bicycle. You can see my other articles by clicking this link. Also, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebookand Google+.

Exercises That Will Help You to Improve Your Writing Skills

Writing is a process of permanent improvement of your language and style. In this sphere, the perfection never comes although you need to struggle to achieve this result. Even professional and well-known writers perform everyday work to enhance their writing skill and develop new opportunities for their language. For an ordinary person, writing seems something uncomplicated and easily understandable. However, when a person tries to write something, even a business letter to the colleagues, he faces various problems. What words should I choose? How should I build the sentences? Does the meaning of this word correspond to the context? If you have met problems with the writing, you definitely need to know how to overcome them. In this article, you can read several methods that will help you write better. You can unleash your inner writer simply adhering these tips. So, begin:

Investigate thesaurus

When we write, we use the words that we commonly use in our everyday life. This is called an active vocabulary. Our passive vocabulary is wider and it includes thousands of words and word combinations. If you can't recall all of them when you write something, just use the thesaurus. It will help you clarify the meaning of the word and provide you with several examples of the words with the common meanings that are different in some small peculiarities. Thus, you will be able to find a word that describes your idea perfectly.

Play with word associations

To write flawlessly, you need to be able to create images in the heads of your readers. Sometimes, to create a proper image it is not enough to choose a word with a particular meaning. You need to go further and discover the associative link to this meaning. 

Edit and proofread

Editing and proofreading are two important skills for an advanced writing. However, before you start to edit yourself, you need to edit texts written by other people.  It will help you understand the common mistakes, different types of styles (and how authors to mix them in the writing), unappropriated structures, etc. It is difficult to notice all these mistakes in your own writing, so you need to get at least some experience.

Try different styles

If you write only a business letter, try to write a fiction story. This method is helpful in several ways. The first one, to write good you have to practice a lot. Secondly, when you choose another field of activity, you brain processes start to activate and you become more open to getting new knowledge and enhance the skills that you have. And thirdly, writing something unusual wakes up your creativity and opens new prospects for your writing development. Also, you may try to write on subjects that you do not know. First, you investigate it, and then you try to compile everything in a piece of writing.

Work on your grammar and spelling

You cannot write sufficiently when you do not know at least basic rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. If you misplace apostrophes, confuse you and you’re, mix fewer and less, you cannot write professionally. Of course, modern text editors automatically check and fix your mistakes, but sometimes it is not enough. To enhance your practical skills of writing, you can use apps that are intended to improve your English knowledge. These apps are generally developed for non-native speakers, but they can also be useful for those whose mother tongue is English.

These 5 exercises are easy to perform every day. They do not require too much time and you can do them when you have 5 or 10 minutes of free time at work or before you go to sleep. To get a better effect, use all of them, and they will help you to master your writing skill in a couple of weeks. After several months of regular exercising, you will notice that your writing will become so good that you can even want to write some book or a story to become a published author. 

Bio: Christina Battons, writer and blogger, who specialises on topics about education, writing, blogging and likes to share with people my knowledge and ideas. Currently, I write for various blogs. My free time I spend with my family, friends and like to  ride a bicycle. You can see my other articles by clicking this link. Also, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Character Assassination – Bumping Someone Off…

One of the elements that I have absolutely loved doing when it comes to planning out a storyline, is creating the characters that are central to the plot.

Originally, my book the House of Seer was a complete story, centred on two people who fell in love trying to solve an ancient prophecy. Yes, it got rejected and pushed back a number of times and looking back I understand why – it was basic, scant and ‘luke warm’. 
how to create a characterI had created other ‘secondary’ characters that, as one editor put it, were equally intriguing. So after a few months pondering the storyline, the Forces of Nature trilogy was born and I now have a central cast of twelve!

These twelve individuals wander around in my head waiting for a call of action to come and do something within a chapter. Over the past three years I have come to know them, to understand them and enjoy writing about them – even the baddies. 
So it was really hard to consider bumping one of them off! I struggled with the thought process behind how and when they would die, because I had actually become quite attached to them.

Building the background, history, behaviours and personality of your characters is fun and exciting, but often challenging. To create them so they are likeable or loathed is hard work without becoming attached to them. Because these people exist in your imagination, they are nurtured through creativity to become meaningful – you wouldn’t have a story about them if this were otherwise. 

The way that you respond to your characters is an emotional response as a writer; as a reader you want to feel something similar. 
I think it is part of our human nature to enjoy a good story that we want love, peril, action, adversity, courage and death in the books that we read. As readers, our yearning to be moved by words is the challenge faced by the writer. 

Nothing evokes emotion quite as good as falling in love and of course death. Having completed the love task – cue mini little dance and a glass of wine – my thoughts then turn to the unfortunate task of bumping someone off. 
But, who? 
This is probably as powerful as I will ever feel. Trust me, trying to assert myself with a 4year old and a 5year old is a constant battle that I often lose, but in the realms of my imagination, I am the overlady!
Initially I thought that it had to be the baddie. I imagined my readers clapping and cheering at their demise. But then again, this would be expected wouldn’t it? And therefore, would this pull the emotional response I wanted?
Perhaps not.  So, who could it be? Who’s death would mean the most – perhaps not to me, but to one of my characters? And then suddenly my dilemma was resolved. I hadn’t considered the impact of a death on any of the characters that I had spent so much time creating. For it to mean something to the reader, it had to mean something for them.

I am now nearing the end of book two in the trilogy, The Gates of Peretyr, and I am faced with the option of another death.
“Do they have to die?” asks my mother/editor/ProofReader/NumberOneFan.
I shake my head slowly. No, they don’t…but it’s kind of cool if they did. I want the reader to get to that page in the book and gasp or cry or shout ‘Noooo’! Because then I have instigated an emotional response in them, and surely that is something writers want to do. 
“Ok,” says my mother. And then, as she’s walking off she says adamantly, “just don’t kill off the dog.”

I raise my eyebrows…Ahhh, I didn’t think of the dog…

Eleanor Elliott

Facebook – AuthorEleanorElliott

Twitter – @Elle_cymru

How Can You Conquer Writer's Block?

It happens to every creator. It’s inevitable. Your prose has turned to mush, you don’t have an original bone left on your body, and conjointly you would like to throw in the towel. Writer's block is something each author struggles with. But what you are doing with it is what sincerely matters. Before we tend to communicate regarding answers, though, let’s communicate regarding the effort.

Common causes of author’s block

The reasons for your block could in addition vary, but a couple of common ones encompass:
  • Timing: Your ideas could in addition need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
  • Fear: Several writers struggle with being afraid, with setting their thoughts (and themselves) obtainable for each body to critique. Worry may be a prime cause a couple of writers.
  • Perfectionism: You wish everything to be merely correct before you ever place pen to paper or finger to keyboard. Thus, without clarity, you have no means by which begin. So can we overcome this enemy?
It’s a tough question to reply to and quite frankly, we don’t have a primary correct answer. All have wrestled with creator’s block on several occasions, and each finish looked exceptional.

Innovative answers to author’s block

Right here square measure a couple of thoughts which will assist you to work your artistic drought:
  • Go for a walk.
  • Put off distractions 
  • Do one thing to induce your blood flowing. (Consider walking.)
  • Play. (Or try your hand in LEGOS.)
Change your surroundings. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to gain inspiration. Often times, we get stuck as we see the same sights and experience the same events. That can be quite boring for the creative mind and quite stifle. Venture out and learn new things. This might even improve the quality of your writing as you have new adventures to contribute.
Read an ebook.


Listen to music (Try classical or jazz to mix it up).

Brew some coffee (Is this not your personal favourite?).

Create a regimen. several well-known writers have day by day exercises to summon the inspiration.

Spend time with a friend. At times writers have the tendency to remain in their writing lofts apart from the existing world around them, neglecting friends and family members. This is all for the sake of writing. This should not be. Call up a friend and invite them to brunch. Connect with someone you have not gotten the chance to catch up with. You might realise that all you need for your writer's block is a little human interaction. 

Meet new people.

Brainstorm ideas in bullet points.

The possibilities are infinite, but consideration is vital. You need to get momentum to induce from your funk.

After you begin heading on a route, it’s easier to pick out up speed. And before you're tuned into it, your block may be a far-flung reminiscence and you’ll be doing what you need to do in order to achieve high levels of success. You will be writing quality content that will impact the world.

How not to conquer author’s block

And only for fun, here are some anti-solutions to the current problem:

You do not overcome writer's block by daydreaming and daydreaming about a day that you will overcome this hurdle. However, you are not putting in the necessary work.

You will certainly not overcome author’s block from wallowing in sorrow. Pick up your creative brain and use it!

You do not conquer creator’s block with the help of procrastinating or creating excuses. Stop making excuses and blaming others for your lack of motivation. Your skill is yours. In this way, you are responsible for honing that gift and using it in the best way possible. Don't waste time on rehearsing arguments that do not propel you forward. 

You do not conquer writer’s block with the help of watching TV. Turn off your television. This is not helping you creatively. In fact, you are harming your creative energy by allowing your electronic device to do all of the thinking for you. 

You do not conquer writer’s block by simply reading articles on how to conquer writer’s block. (Kind of shot us in the foot there, huh?) Nonetheless, it is a truth that must be spoken.

You do not conquer author's block by comparing yourself to other great authors.

In truth, you’ve been warding off this issue  this whole time, as a result of it and precisely you don’t wish to listen.

You conquer author’s block by writing. 

Begin somewhere, anywhere. Write a couple of lines. Say one thing. and spot what happens. Don’t exaggerate about the minor issues that come up while attempting to do so. Avoid overthinking, editing, and proofreading during this very moment. Just write. It doesn’t need to be silver-tongued or presentable; it simply has to be written.

Write for the pleasure of writing. As a result, you will gain your ground as you come out of your lack of inspiration. Don’t decide to say or manufacture something; merely get some words on paper now. No excuses or justifications. Just get to it. Someone is waiting for your wonderful gift to shine again!

Bottom Line

You CAN write! Don’t make it more difficult than it should be. Merely find the words. They don’t have to be correct (all 1st drafts suck). It just has to be written. After, you then have one thing to figure it. You can tweak from there.

If you are on your way to doing this, you’ll get past the hump. It is a promise. The excellence among professional writers and amateurs is based on this: everyone has roadblocks, but the most successful ones push through while the others remain paralysed. 

Don't allow writer's block to rob you of another day in your writing career. Simply include these proven tips the next time you feel like you are in a drought. Stay encouraged and keep writing!

Author's Bio

Richard Nolan is a blogger and a private tutor,  sharing his experience in spheres of  blogging, self-growth, and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers, students, and teachers. You can learn more about Richard on Facebook, Google+, Twitter 

How To Make Your Main Character More Interesting

Us writers are a peculiar bunch though inside we are all pretty similar. We all secretly grow to love our characters more than we love our children, have all experienced sleepless nights whilst desperately trying to figure out our new plot twists and we’ve all been there, that dreaded moment when we realise that actually, our main character isn't that interesting. 
It’s a defining moment in your writing journey, one where you can either crash and burn in the blaze that is your seemingly failed book or rise from its ashes like a phoenix. 
In this post I hope to give you some gentle guidance on how to make your main character more interesting. 

Get to know your character

If you don’t know your main character, how do you expect your readers to? 
If you want to make your main character interesting, find out what’s interesting about them. Take some time out from writing and work on the creation of your characters. I recommend writing a backstory, this post by Alice Jones has some great tips on character depth and creating back stories, click here
Your backstory doesn’t have to be anything amazing, a simple timeline or bullet points will do and remember that once you know them you own them and you’ll be ready for whatever your character throws at you during your writing process. 

Know your secondary characters

You don’t have to go to the extent of writing a backstory for these characters but make sure you know their reason for being in your novel, if you’re struggling to find one they’re not needed. 
A problem a lot of us writers face is we have the tendency in the first draft to make some secondary characters more interesting that our main character. This is a big no-no. If one of your secondary character is stealing spotlight, either rethink who your main character is or tone it down a notch. 

Everyone has flaws so why doesn’t your main character?

What’s more interesting? The popular cheerleader who lands the most incredible moves every time and always gets the guy or the lonely outcast who has never even done a roly-poly for a reason down to the writer joins the cheerleading squad, lands the most incredible move when all odds were against them and eventually gets the guy who in all other circumstances would have been out of their league. It’s a story as old as time, lonely outcast turn prom queen but it works. 
Giving your characters flaws is a sure fire way to make your characters more interesting. Tying in with the next section: Your readers aren’t perfect so neither should your main character be, making your main character relatable to your readers is so important. 

Make your main character relatable

If your readers can’t relate to your characters then why would they invest their time in your book? 
Get to know your target audience and make your main character as relatable as you can. 
If your book is aimed at teenage boys who love science and hate football but your main character is forty year old woman who hates science and loves football then something somewhere has went seriously wrong, do you see where I’m coming from?
Reliability is so important. Readers like to see themselves in your characters so don’t let them down. 


Conflict is a writer’s best friend. No question about it. Conflict provides the possibility of page turning plot twists and edge of your seat reading if written correctly, Arrr a writer’s dream. So, what does conflict bring to your main character? Writing your main character into conflicting situations naturally makes them more interesting. If written correctly your readers will be desperate to know how they not only react in those situations but will be rooting for certain outcomes, it’s up to you as the writer to give in to those outcomes or show a little of your evil side (which all of us writers have) and do the complete opposite. 
Another way to create conflict is to give your protagonist an antagonist. 
It’s pretty much book law that in every story there has to be an antagonist as well as a protagonist but keep in mind that the antagonist doesn’t necessarily have to be human. In Susan Lewis’s The Choice the antagonist was her baby's illness. 
We will be publishing a post very soon on the different types of antagonists and how to create the perfect one so follow this blog to make sure you don’t miss it. 

To summerise: 

Your main character is the driving force of your novel so invest as much of your time into their creation and getting to know them as you can. Make sure they aren’t flawless and are relatable to your target audience. Remember, conflict is a writer’s best friend so take some time out to think of all the things that can go wrong for your character, choose the best ones and voila! You’ve got yourself a page turner. 

I really hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any tips for making your main character more interesting please let us know in the comments below! 

Happy writing guys. 

J A Shaw

Breaking the ‘It Has to be Perfect on the First Draft’ Ideology

For some reason, 90% of new and aspiring writers (myself included when I first started out!) have bought into the concept that their first draft has to be perfect.
After classing myself as a writer for some years now, thinking about this actually baffles me. Going from my own personal experience, when I first started out the idea of a ‘rough draft’ was foreign to me. I somehow had got it into my head that everything I wrote had to be publishing ready and this my fellow writers is why it took me three months to write a chapter. 
So, in this post I’m hoping to break this crazy ideology.

No one's first draft is perfect!

Do you think Pride and Prejudice was completed in one draft? Or how about the Harry Potter series? I doubt it very much. The reason these authors completed their books to a publishing standard is because they not only understood why first drafts existed but they also knew how to use them rather than having the lack of description and horrendous plot holes deflate them and put them off writing for life.

So, what is a first draft?

The words ‘first draft’ are pretty self explanatory but trust me when I say it goes so much deeper than that.
Your first draft is your chance to just go wild, to forget about all the pickiness of grammar and punctuation and to forget about the perfect wording and the cliffhangers that keep us writers up at night (This is all to an extent, don’t make your second draft harder than it needs to be!).
Your first draft is your chance to create the basics and the backbone of your story and spend 70 - 100 thousand words getting to know your characters.

Use your first draft to get the damn book written!

When I write a first draft I try not to bother with the description to much unless it comes naturally. If I have to sit thinking about it and it’s eating into my writing time I just write the basics of what I want to say and move on. You can write the most beautifully descriptive paragraph in the world but if that's all you write, what's the point?
I understand the importance of showing rather than telling but that’s what your second draft is for, changing those ‘tells’ into ‘shows’.
When I write I also try not to read over the previous chapters. I found that when I did I’d spend days even weeks just re-reading them and editing them to the point of no return and then in the end I was just left with eight chapters and six months of my life gone. Now, when I write, I write. I let my imagination take me to where it needs to go because I know once that first draft is finished I can sit back, read through and swap, change, delete and edit until my hearts content. At least at that point I’ll have a full book to do it with.
So guys, use that first draft to just write the book and worry about all the picky stuff later.
If you're struggling to get your first draft written because of other commitments, take a look at this post for some tips on how to juggle a writing career as well as a full time job. 

Let your characters run free!

Every writer knows that no matter how much you put into planning and creating a character as soon as they get on the page they take a life of their own. Most would panic at this and fall down at the first hurdle their character throws at them but honestly, calm yourself down and just go with the flow. Use your first draft to let your characters take you in the right direction.
If you put your characters in a box and never let them step outside the lines you’ll miss out on so much creativity that you never even knew you had.
It’s your characters story so let them tell it, you can reign them in where needed in your second draft.

So, why do we feel it has to be perfect?

I believe that the reason we feel our first draft has to be perfect is because us writers are a proud bunch. We are so passionate about our work that anything less than perfect is just not stood for. This is a mentality to keep but keep in mind that you are working towards perfection and that’s what your final draft should be.

To summarise…

First drafts are there for you to learn your story and your characters, not to be perfect.

Second drafts are where you put the meat on the bones. Rewrite those chapters, describe that beautiful summers day and the smouldering look on your protagonist's lover's face. Make the reader feel what you want them to feel. 

Your final draft is for perfection. You know your story, you know your characters better than you know yourself and you’ve edited those chapters to within an inch of your life so use your final draft to make it perfect. Tie up those loose ends, fill in those plot holes and get some twists and turns in there that will drive your readers wild!

Writing is a three stage process, don’t be stuck at the first hurdle because you’re heading for the finish line before you even know your way around the track

Happy writing guys! 

How to Earn Money from Blogging

How to earn money from blogging
A question as old as time (well, as old as the internet) is how do I make money from blogging?
When the internet was first invented I truly believe that even the inventors didn’t realise its true potential. I’m sure they thought it would be used by governments and the military but if only they realised how huge and powerful the internet could be! I mean how else would we watch cats trying to jump from one thing to another or find the most ultimate fail compilations known to man?
Not being able to do this just doesn’t bare thinking about, I know.
Another phenomenon the internet has given us is blogging. For those of you who are unsure what a blog is, a blog in a whole is basically a website but with a more personal touch and writing a blog post is basically writing an article or for some, a journal entry.
People blog about pretty much anything: holidays/traveling, food, weight loss, exercise, you name it -people blog about it.
A question a lot of wannabe bloggers want to know is: How do I make money from blogging? And that’s a question I hope to answer for you today. 

First Things First, you can’t make money from blogging without a blog.

Seems obvious doesn’t it, but you’d be surprised how many people ask how they can make money from blogging before they’ve even written a word. So just for a moment, lets go back to basics.

Choose your blogging platform.

There are some fantastic free blogging platforms out there so it’s really just a case of picking the best one for you. 

Here’s a few to get you started: 


Once you’ve chosen your platform you’ll need to have a think about your content. Your content not only needs to be unique in its own way, it needs to stand out to the right audience.
So what’s your niche and who are your audience?
The truth is, there are thousands of blogs out there so if you’re serious about blogging to make money you need to have a sit down and a serious think about what you’re going to write about.
Quality is key.

The questions you need to ask yourself are:
Has it been done before?
If it has, how can I make my content unique?
Once you’ve answered these questions it’s time for you to get to blogging!

What now?

Okay, so you’ve chosen your platform, you’ve made your content unique to your audience and you’ve published your first blog post. What now? 

A lot of people think that once their blog is live on the internet that that’s it and suddenly they will gain millions of views and miraculously earn thousands of pounds/dollars over night. I’m sorry to be the one to burst your bubble but the cut throat blogging industry doesn’t quite work like that. 

Before you can even think about making money from blogging you’ll need to build a following. As mentioned before, there are thousands of blogs out there so you need to give people a reason to click on yours. 

First step is advertising.
Share your posts via social media eg. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram to start letting people know that your blog is out there. 
If you’re serious, you can even go to the extent of paid advertising via social media which is a great way to get your blog known to an audience other than your friends and family.
Google offers some great advertising opportunities through Adwords

Once you’ve gained a following you’ll be ready to move on to the next step and start making money from your blog.

Advertising ON your blog.
The way 99% of bloggers make money through blogging is through advertisements.
The first thing you need to do is decide which advertising platform is best for you. 

Here’s a few to take a look at:

I cannot stress this enough: READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF YOUR CHOSEN COMPANY. Each of them have certain criteria your blog needs to hit so make sure your blog hits that criteria before trying to apply or else your just going to end up disappointed.

Okay, so you’ve created and published your blog, you’ve let the world know it’s out there and have been accepted by your chosen advertising company. It’s incredible how many people think that that’s it. Wannabe bloggers… it’s only just begun. 

If you truly want your blog to be a success, persistence is key. 

I recommend aiming for at least 1 or 2 blog posts per week to keep your content fresh. 

Share every post and encourage friends, family and followers to like and share as well. 

Once you have a number of posts, to keep your traffic on the up and up re-share old posts, not everybody would have seen them the first time around so don’t just dump them in the blog post scrap yard!

If you follow these steps the sky is the limit. 

Persistence and commitment are a bloggers key words so keep them in mind!

Happy blogging guys.

P.S. There are also a lot of other factors to take into consideration with blogging eg. SEO, research etc. We'll be doing a post going into more detail about blogging very soon so remember to follow this blog so you don't miss it!

Review: The Poison Princess by Kresley Cole (The Arcana Chronicles)

I am well aware this blog is beginning to look like more of a Kresley Cole fan site, but after finishing all three books in her series The Arcana Chronicles in like a week, I just knew I had to review them.
The Poison Princess

This incredible piece of work literally has everything.Teen drama, love, hate, passion; magic, zombies, the apocalypse! Need I say more?

So, I suppose I’d better stop this nattering and get reviewing.

The Poison Princess is the first book in the series, written in fist person as the character Evie Green.

Evie is a typical sixteen year old girl, she goes to high school and has a great group of friends but for the past year she has been hiding a secret.

Unknown to her friends, for the past year Evie had been fiercely battling with her mental health. Though on the outside to everyone else she was just the same old Evie, daily she was struggling with twisted apocalyptic visions and tormenting voices. Oh… and plants being attracted to her (Just thought I’d throw that in there!).

Just when Evie felt she couldn’t possibly take anymore a Cajun spanner by the name of Jack is thrown into the works.

Something about Jack fascinated Evie. From the wrong side of the Bayou, Jack was a force to be reckoned with; the deep scars on his knuckles a warning to anyone who dared to press on his patience, but the line between lust and hate for Evie was thin.

Throughout this book we hang off of every paragraph as the unlikely pairs romance blossoms with a constant ‘will they won’t they’ feel to their journey.

After the ‘Flash’ -the apocalyptic disaster that destroyed most of the world along with her best friends- Evie is left alone with no family and only the Cajun to rely on. It is then that she finds out she is more than just a mentally ill teenager and instead she is The Empress -the same one pictured on Tarot cards; in fact, that the cards themselves were created to commemorate her and twenty-one other kids with otherworldly abilities.

It is then that Evie also discovers that not only is she a Major Arcana but that she is unwillingly in the middle of a supernatural fight to the death game between all the Arcana's… and only one will survive.

Their prize: Immortality.

As Evie and Jack cross the country in search for her grandmother in hope that they can end the game, we are left biting our fingers down to bone as they trek through zombie ridden towns (Bagmen), slaver territories and cannibals mines collecting other Arcana kids along the way, each one hungry for icons and drawn to the promised prize of immortality.

This book truly is one of the best books I have ever read. Kresley’s originality and just sheer genius is mind boggling.

Her take on how lonely and misunderstood people struggling with mental health problems can be at the beginning of the book is admirable and her ability to write a series that truly does have everything a fantasy fanatic could ever wish for is well… I take my hat of to you Miss Cole.

If you're looking for a series that will have you calling in sick to school or work so you can read just one more page this really is the series for you.

I’ve left a lot out of this review as this book is a constant page turner with twists and turns everywhere so I hope you appreciate the non spoilers when you come to read them.

Happy reading.

J A Shaw.

Review of The Professional Part 1 by Kresley Cole

Kresley ColeAs a huge fan of everything that is ‘Kresley Cole’ and in serious withdrawal mode waiting for the next instalment of her incredibly addictive ‘IAD’ series, it was understandable that when I heard of the release of The Professional Part 1, I HAD TO HAVE IT. For ages I put it off, refusing to purchase it until all three instalments were released and fighting back the tears, spurts of anger and brief moments of hatred for all things around me (everything seeming to remind me that out there, just one click away, the one thing that would feed my craving was available –and for only 99p!) I managed it. I forced myself to wait and trust me when I say… it was totally worth it.
So used to Kresley Cole’s adult fantasy, I was in two minds of how I would react to a three part serial with no Valkyries, vampires or werewolves in sight… I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Yet again, Kresley has pulled out a blinder! Our heroine is as humorous and snarky as ever (could have totally seen her being a Valkyrie!) and our brooding alpha male Sevastyan is as sexy, mysterious and dangerously intriguing as all the rest of KC’s heroes we have come to know and want… huhum, sorry, love. Yes, The Professional has definitely matched up to the incredibly high standards of the rest of her literary work.
Told through the point of view of tantalising red head Natalie Porter, a twenty-four year old virgin farm girl from Nebraska, KC introduces The Game Maker series with a bang. Taking us into the farfetched yet somehow believable world of the Russian Mafiya, we see how -after working her fingers to the bone in three jobs while studying for her history PHD- Natalie finally manages to track down her birth father; though what follows was far from anything she and we could have ever dreamed. Natalie is suddenly thrown into a world which is far from the innocent Nebraska lifestyle she grew up in and to top it all off, Sevastyan ‘the Siberian’, the Bratva’s top mob enforcer; her bodyguard, had captured her sights in the darkest of ways…
This book kept me page turning to the very end and finishing on a hot, steamy, TEASING cliff-hanger (Kresley you naughty lady!) I am dying to get cracking with the next instalment!
Kresley Cole Book Review

Kresley Cole is famous for not only her incredible erotic writing skills but her ability to create a story that pulls you in and keeps you page turning to the very end, then biting your nails till your fingers are raw while you’re waiting for the next book to be released! The Professional did this. 

Kresley hit the nail on the head. You go KC!
Hot, enthralling and extremely addictive, The Professional is most definitely one for your reading bucket list.
Written by J A Shaw

Husbands, kids, dogs, bosses and writing…Who’s first priority?

House of Seer book 1
'Forces of Nature' Trilogy
My life has changed. Not in the ‘oh my god I’m now a best selling author’ type of way, (unfortunately), but definitely changed. I hadn’t anticipated just how much becoming an author would consume me – or my spare time – when I embarked on my life long goal of writing a book. I also underestimated that at my stage of life, there are certain other priorities which demand attention just as much as my characters!

I have wanted to write since the age of nine, when I read ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier; it remains my favourite book, and I have revisited it many times over. The opening lines are considered the best of all time, and quite rightly so. The magic, mystery and spookiness of that first paragraph still gives me goose bumps! 
Reading ‘Rebecca’ sparked a desire to write, and I was encouraged all the way by a fantastic English teacher, who loved everything I wrote apart from the horror stories – they gave him nightmares (mission accomplished). I continued to write into my late teens and early twenties, and published short romances in a student magazine. I then retreated from writing as my other career in HR/Learning & Development took over, along with attempting to become a grown up. 
I met my husband and we filled our spare time socialising and holidaying (bliss!), before getting married and starting a family.
Suddenly my spare time was filled with a tiny human being as opposed to leisurely lunches at the pub, or Friday night rugby games and karaoke. Then I had another tiny human being, and sometime after this we also acquired a dog…

So it’s rather bizarre that about three years ago I had an idea for a story. It was actually a dream…one of those full-blown detailed dreams that played out before me. I could sense the emotion, see the characters and the landscapes, and woke up to write as much of it down as possible. 
Over the course of two years I messed about with the story and attempted to write it – I had lots of doubts, wrote then re-wrote numerous scenes, ditched thousands of words, then reapplied them, stepped away for almost three months and chastised myself for ‘playing’ at being a writer…it was like trying to put together a 70,000 piece jigsaw whilst on a gigantic rollercoaster.

But I did it. And my book ‘House of Seer’ - the first in the ‘Forces of Nature’ trilogy - was released in June this year, and it’s doing well. 
Shocks the hell out of me…

I expected to sell a few copies to friends and family, and drift away into obscurity, pleased that I had fulfilled my dream. I didn’t actually expect to continue with the story in book two, (which is now in demand and the readers are getting impatient!), nor the time it takes to market and promote via social media. I’m very new to all of this, and haven’t as yet sussed out what other vehicles I can trust to help and support me!

And then there is the actual writing. Yeah…that’s when life gets complicated! 

I still have those two human beings, although they’re not so tiny any more, I still have a husband (thankfully), and I still have my career…oh and we still have the dog!
My life is busy and finding time to write is hard (thank you Scooby-Doo for keeping my small ones captivated whilst I write this blog!).

There is something called work/life balance, which most people strive to achieve; there is also living for the moment, when you can grasp precious time and dedicate it to something you love to do. For me this is when I have to prioritise and this can be hard going.
For example, I may choose to write rather than play with the small humans; I may finish a chapter I’ve been struggling with, as opposed to having a date night with the husband; I will prefer to edit than go out with my team mates, and miss the fun and frolics they get up to!
And how do I feel at the end of all these decisions? Guilty. I feel guilty for choosing to write…but I’m also learning that this is worth it. 

My choice to write is having a positive impact.

For my small humans, they now want to read all sorts of books, and ‘write’ their own stories, (as far as four and five year olds can do), and it amazes me the power of their imagination. I believe that I am encouraging this development - coaching it, letting it free to explore as far as their own limits…the imagination is an amazing thing and both my girls have vivid ones.
For my husband, it’s having some time for us to explore our own interests, so that when we have a date night it’s exciting to talk about what I’ve been working on. My ideas are usually formed, chapters written enough to start to flesh out, and he provides a great opinion, because he is so removed from the process. He’s my critique, my confidante, my cheer squad and my reality.
With work, my teammates and my boss show how proud they are because they are so supportive of my efforts. They have all read my first book, and are keen for the second, and their enthusiasm is infectious. Sometimes I get home from chatting with them about a scene, or a character, and their conversations excite me so much that the words just come!

And then there’s the dog. My gorgeous cocker spaniel who can’t tell me to ‘just write it’, to reassure me when I have doubts, to cheer me on and offer feedback. Instead she constantly tries to sit on my lap when I get the laptop out, or launches herself on me, mid-type-flow, for a cwtch! She breaks my concentration with love. 
Often I need a break…
But she also allows me to explore my imagination when I take her on walks in the forest or to the beach. She waits patiently when I stop to try and think of a word for something, or a name for a character. She accepts my mumblings out loud and hopefully doesn’t think I’m crazy. So for that, she can jump on my laptop! 

As long as I’ve just pressed ‘save’…

Written by Eleanor Elliott

Backstory Cliches and Tropes: Beginners Guide to Fiction

When a writer works on their novel with inspiration, they surely think that their novel is amazing just as it is. However, there’s a possibility that editors and literature agents might think otherwise and reject this novel because it isn’t unique at all.
It’s really hard to write a unique fiction story these days: this genre has bloomed over past years and so nowadays the book market is filled with so many fiction bestsellers that are pretty much the same plot. One can read a number of books, trying to avoid the most obvious tropes, and still miss something. However, there are simpler ways to improve one’s writing: all you need to do is to learn the most popular clichés and tropes from others sources.
There is so much information about clichés on-line and it’s simply impossible to fit all of it into one article. That’s why I decided to focus on different types of clichés and tell you about them.

  • Characters.

When a writer adores their main character, they sometimes tend to over-emphasize these characters’ virtues: that’s how Mary Sues and Gary Stues appear. If you are writing about a skilled and beautiful character, who’s immediately loved and adored by everyone, you’re most likely creating another Mary Sue or Gary Stu. 
To avoid this, try making your characters more human: they need to have their flaws, enemies, and weaknesses, make their mistakes, and so on.
“A chosen one” character is another cliché you have to avoid. Though it has been used brilliantly in the past years (remember Star Wars and Harry Potter?), it is also a very common trope. 
Be careful with fantasy creatures too: if you really want to write about them, you’ll have to make them as less stereotypical as possible.

  • Relationships between characters.

Love, hate and other strong feelings have to be described very well if you want your readers to believe you. Sometimes people write about so-called “puppy love”: they make their characters blush, stutter, and act silly in front of their love interest. This can look realistic if you are writing about teenagers, but when two adults act this way, it looks ridiculous. The same goes for hate: when your character is bullied and hated without any reason, this looks weird and rarely causes sympathy.
Lack of characters’ motivation along with various “dramatic” things (like dramatic attraction, fatal desire, etc.) looks bad. Using stereotypical motivations like revenge is bad too. Try developing more deep and original motivation, explaining why your characters act this way, why they have such relationships, and so on. The readers like good justification.

  • Locations.

It isn’t forbidden to write about an old castle, a spaceship, a magic school and so on. However, you have to remember that these things were described in so many details in other fantasy pieces, and it’s quite hard to make such locations really unique. Moreover, beginner authors often make one common mistake when it comes to choosing a location: they choose a certain one but don’t do their research. 
For example, old castles are usually described as big and spooky, when in reality they are quite small. If one is writing about a spaceship but has no understanding of how does it works, this will most likely look bad. It’s always better to write about things that are already familiar to you instead of choosing a stereotypical location because you’ve seen it on some TV show, etc. 

  • Plot.

Most of the clichés are plot twists: you may think they look good, but in reality, they are predictable and boring to your readers. Moreover, some of these plot tropes actually make your fiction worse: for example, when it turns out that all story was just a dream or when everything is explained by magic.
Another popular (and boring) trope is the “Deus Ex Machina” one: when a certain character appears just to drastically change the story by doing or saying something, or solving a certain problem, etc. Though it was used often in the past, these days it has become a cliché, and when you use it, you can look like a weak writer, who’s unable to solve the novel’s conflict in a more interesting way. 
Writing is a pleasant process, but it is complex too: you have to avoid clichés, work on your style, choose the right methods to express something, and so on. I wish you good luck with that and hope that you’ll become a brilliant writer one day!

If you enjoyed this post please check out: Methods of expressive means you need to know

Written by Alice Jones

Hunting For Ideas: Plot Bunnies And Where To Find Them

I was asked what the best pet for a writer would be, my answer: A Plot Bunny. You cannot buy a plot bunny in a store or find it in a field. A plot bunny is born and raised in your head, and if you take care of your bunny, nurture it and give it all of your love, imagination, and creativity, you eventually have a whole farm of bunnies.

John Steinbeck once said: ‘Ideas are like rabbits. You get a few and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.’ These are the words which made a plot bunny a real character or rather a technique for a writer. A good writer knows that feeling when the idea is born and you can do nothing until you write it down. This what your plot bunny does. It generates the ideas which you cannot get rid of until the story is ready. (Removed sentence)

Plot bunny and your creativity

Of course, a plot bunny is not a real animal but it does need to be fed. Another name for plot bunnies is creativity. A creative person has the ability to create a masterpiece from nothing with a little persistence and commitment. The same is with a good writer: he/she can always find a plot bunny in their head and tame it. 

Being creative creatures, plot bunnies live in our dreams, experiences, and observations. It seems that they come from nowhere, but they actually born from our subconscious. The most interesting thing is that one plot bunny always attracts another one. If you treat them well, you will find hundreds of plot bunnies in your garden of creativity. 

Plot bunnies are pretentious creatures. If you do not feed them, do not love them and do not spend enough time with them, they will leave you. Plot bunnies are born when you read, when you listen to other people, when you pay attention to the smallest details that surround you. When they are satisfied, they start to generate ideas which in turn will enhance your writing.

Plot bunnies and their types

Just like real bunnies have different breeds, plot bunnies also have different types. If you know how to nurse bunnies, new breeds of them will eventually come to you.

Killing bunny

If you want to add some suspense to your story, the killing bunny can help you with that. Be unexpected and kill the character which is important to the plot. Once this killing bunny comes, he tells you what to do. Perhaps, you have already thought about killing someone in your story but did not understand how it would affect the plot. Killing bunnies know exactly what will happen after that, just listen and nurture.

Cupid bunny

Unlike his older brother, The Cupid bunny adds love to your story. You can think up your characters even without an assumption that they will end up together. The Cupid bunny knows better and with a bit of nurture he’l show you who can create a perfect and non-boring love story without making the plot predictable.

Travel bunny

Why not change the location of your story? The Travel bunny does not want to sit in one location -neither does your reader. It wants to travel and find new places and ideas to develop your plot. Listen to the Travel bunny: send your characters on a trip or vacation and watch how the plot starts to develop.

Magic bunny

J.K. Rowling has done her best to tame this magic bunny and she did a pretty good job of it! Why don’t you try to do the same? Adding magic to your story could reveal new options for your characters. You don’t have to make them wizards but add some mysterious details − that will be enough to enhance your plot.

Liar bunny

In real life, people lie and it can be aweful but in a fiction, a lie can be the much needed spark of new and unexpected decisions. A liar can change the development of your plot and make your story more captivating. Do you remember Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn? She created the perfect liar. Use this and try putting it into your own work and see where your pot bunny takes you. 

Truth bunny

When a truth bunny comes, everything becomes crystal clear. Remember that the Liar bunny and truth bunny always come in a pair. The truth bunny reveals all the secrets and speaks for the advantage of good characters. As keen as the Truth bunny is, make sure he doesn’t reveal all to early.

Break-up bunny

While the Cupid bunny wants to add more love to your story, the break-up bunny wants to add some drama. Though it’s not necessary the two come as a pair, they do work great together.  The perfect love story with no bumps in the road? It rarely happens in life, so it should rarely happen in fiction. This bunny will break any couple, and who knows what consequences it will lead to…

Add-a-character bunny

A new character has the amazing potential to create a new plot. This character can change everything. Add-a-character bunny is a good friend of any other bunny. It can diversify any plot and make it even more interesting for your readers. If you work on a saga or a very long novel, make add-a-character bunny your best friend. Use these characters to keep your readers guessing at every turn. 

Crazy bunny

Last but not least, The Crazy bunny. No one really expects that a mad man/women will appear in a story. Especially when you write a love story. As a warning, this bunny needs to be handled with care, don’t plonk this type of character smack bang in the middle of your book and expect your readers to just be okay with that. Nurture it and let it grow throughout your story. Just do not go crazy together with this bunny! You need to write your story, remember?

What kind of bunny will visit you next time? What ever bunny it is, make sure to feed it, nurture it and above all else listen to it. Plot bunnies travel in packs, use each one to their full potential and take your readers on the journey of a lifetime. 

Written by Alice Jones