Posted in Book Reviews, Marketing books, Publishing, The Zanzibar Moon, Travel, Writing tips

Happy Thursday and it feels like Friday

Happy Thursday and it feels like Friday

It feels like Friday because today is the last day of my working week. Happy dance! From Friday I will be on a week’s leave. A small thing to be grateful for but I am. My week’s leave will include a short break to the Sunshine Coast, then I’ll be embarking on some serious writing. I know the weather will be perfect for reading beside a pool or at the beach (I might fit a bit in) but I have writing deadlines to meet. I must point out though – every writer should read. Perhaps I can figure out a way that my laptop won’t reflect sunlight and work outside. Surely there’s a screen I can add. There’s another thing to Google this week. Anyone know where I can get one?

Warm Witty Words writing tips

You might thinking, where has Donna been? She hasn’t posted for weeks. I haven’t travelled anywhere (oh, unless you count where I go in my head, like Zanzibar, Borneo, USA, Kenya and the Northern Territory). I’ve been writing and organising upcoming writing work. I love my blog and the readers of my blog, but as a writer, the most important thing is to write. I have lots of exciting things in the pipeline that I’ll be sharing later. For now I’ll just leave you with a writing tip and promise I’ll do a post on the Sunshine Coast Readers and Writers Festival. I’ll be attending the event on Sunday. I love the vibe of these sorts of festival. I always walk away enthused to write and full of ideas. If you’re up that way (it is at Coolum) why not check it out?

The latest reviews of The Zanzibar Moon:

“I just read your book and luvved it. I laughed. I cried and I’m inspired. Thanks for all the emotions. Hurry up with the next one. I’m telling all my friends.”

“Just finished The Zanzibar Moon. F#$@&! brilliant book.”

“I got told about your book by a friend. It’s been highly recommended as a erotic, but fun read. I can’t wait to begin.”

“It makes me want to go back to Zanzibar. Wow, you really sent the reader there. Oh yeah and Kendwa is hot, hot, hot.”

“I can’t wait for the sequel. I want to know what happens next. I was really invested in the characters.”

“I love the style of writing. It’s quirky and easy-to-read and it brings out the emotions of the characters nicely. Loved it.”


Posted in Publishing, The Zanzibar Moon, Writers, Writing tips

Unlock Writer’s Block with Awesome Characters

Unlock Writer’s Block with Awesome Characters

When a writer falls in love with their characters the readers will know. The characters will be believable, raw, real and unforgettable. My readers have told me they want to know more, both before and after. I had to agree with them. I loved The Zanzibar Moon characters so much that I never wanted to say goodbye to them.

Writers block - great characters
Unforgettable characters can help keep writer’s block at bay.

I had not planned a series. The Zanzibar Moon was a stand-alone book. Then the characters (and readers) decided otherwise. Writer’s ask what, why, how, when, where? Once I started asking these questions there was no doubt I had to start a sequel or a prequel.

The prequel won out because I wanted to answer these questions first:

  • What happened early in Kendwa’s life to make him the strong but compassionate man he became?
  • How and where did he meet his wife Sharli?
  • What was Sharli’s story?
  • What happened in Kendwa’s family life that made him have no family left by the time of The Zanzibar Moon?
  • Are there further secrets to be revealed?

With those questions in my head I started searching for the answers. Bringing the early story alive and revisiting strong, loveable and interesting characters created easy, flowing writing. People asked, if after putting my heart and soul into The Zanzibar Moon would it give me writers block? I think if I had written another stand-alone book with no crossover characters it would have taken longer for the muse to arrive. Maybe I’d still be pondering a possible story line.

Doing a prequel has ended up being the only choice. I’m enjoying my characters so much that the words are flowing. It’s like the characters are telling me the story themselves. I’m just at my computer ghost writing for them. Sharli has turned out a beautiful, strong, compassionate young woman who selflessly puts her life on hold to look after her ill mother. Kendwa is a gorgeous, brave, caring man who has further secrets and complications (not revealed in The Zanzibar Moon). Then there are the other character, some new, some familiar, that add depth to Kendwa and Sharli’s story.

I won’t reveal too much more but let’s just say, this story is taking me places I never expected to go, like Borneo.

The reason I titled this post ‘Unlock Writer’s Block with Awesome Characters’ is because it feels true to me, now that I have these amazing characters back for more. To prove I have no writer’s block I’ll give you the writing stats so far.

The Zanzibar Moon took three months for the first drafts completion. Then about nine further drafts, edits, production and then the release two years later.

Kendwa’s Secret (tentative title, but possible) began July 3rd. It’s now sixteen days later and I’m thirteen chapters down and 28,500 words. This is while only finding time to write before my full-time job, at lunch time, after work and on the weekends.

At this rate my first draft should be finished in about 42 days. I have other writing projects coming up, so if I do get the first draft complete by then, it’s possible the book will be completed and released for Christmas. Books for Christmas gifts. That’s my idea of perfect presents.

If you’re a writer, do awesome characters stop your writers block and help your writing flow? Or do they create further problems? It is hard to keep control of them sometimes but that’s okay if it becomes their story, because in the end it really is. Unruly characters are fun characters to write. Writer’s block – at the moment, to me, there is no such thing.