Writing

Creative Writing Prompts – Monthly Ideas

28/09/2019

Creative Writing Prompts For Every Month

Finding an idea for your next piece of writing can be super hard.
Because I know how you feel, I have created a post with monthly ideas for you.
These are all creative writing prompts that I have thought of myself.

I do have another post on finding your idea if you would like to think of it all by yourself!

What is a prompt?

A prompt within writing is something that will bring on an idea.
Prompts will give you a little bit of information for which you should then create the cause of the prompt in your story, or create what will happen; before, within, or after the prompt given.

For example – The waves crashed against the boat, smashing it against the rocks.
You are then prompted to write what happens before, during, and after this scene.

Got it?

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

― Sylvia Plath

Types of Writing

Creative writing comes in lots of different forms, here I will cover some for you;

Types of Creative Writing; The prompts I will give you can be used for each of the following, but are best used for the ones in bold*.

  • Poetry*
  • Fiction*
  • Songs
  • Scripts*
  • Speeches
  • Essays

Once you have decided which creative writing outlet you are going to have, you can choose any of these creative writing prompts to help you with your next piece.

Wait!

Before you go any further. Have you subscribed yet?
When you do, you will receive a FREE short story planning kit… It may come in handy after this post!

Monthly Writing Prompts!

Here we, the following part of this post will give you a writing prompt from January – December.

Some of the prompts follow the themes that certain months carry, but mostly, they’re pretty random!
You don’t have to stick to the months if you don’t want too, you can take these prompts and do whatever you want with them! Preferably include them into a fantastic story though…

JANUARY

  • As jane put down the tree, she noticed something move inside it. So that’s who’s been eating the chocolates…
  • It wasn’t until I studied the necklace, I saw that he had left me a clue all along.
  • The fireworks masked the bang that came through my front door that night, no one believes me.

FEBRUARY

  • I just never ever thought about being in a relationship with my best friend but after last night…
  • Isn’t it romantic? The way he crashed into my car and stole my purse. Just what I wanted from my husband this valentines day.
  • And it was like that, simple, plain, easy. Well, I guess I’m in love with him.

MARCH

  • I never noticed the mark on her leg, after all these years. Its the same as mine.
  • It just fell from the tree. Like I was meant to find it… It has these initials T.R engraved when I open it.
  • They just started to grow around her grave one day, these plants that formed letters; L E T M E O U T

APRIL

  • “I have never admitted this before. But I am totally, and utterly, obsessed with you.” He said
    “Well, that’s totally inconvenient, isn’t it.” She said, shutting the door.
  • This time last year, I was sunbathing. Look at me now, I haven’t seen the sun for five months.
  • I can control it, with my mind, they don’t know it, but I’m controlling them.

MAY

  • Neither of them had been back to the diner, but here they were. Drinking the same milkshakes they were ten years ago, opposite each other.
  • “If you would just let me ex…”
    “Explain what! You sold it!” She said and stormed out the door with her suitcase.
  • “They’re both the same!”
    “Yes, that’s what twins are, Mrs Loc…” The doctor stopped, dropped his tea, and watched the boys scratch their knees and sit down at the same time. “Mum we’re hungry,” They both said in unison, reaching out their hands.

JUNE

  • When I walked through that door, I wasn’t expecting to end up back here. Is this a sign? I guess I didn’t pass the test then…
  • I’m sure someone brought him to my life to turn it upside down, literally. How do I explain this?
  • I knocked on the door five times. I wasn’t expecting her to answer. I’m not disappointed either.

JULY

  • It was on that island, that their lives changed forever. The next generation of Kirks vanished.
  • The summer was supposed to have been the ‘best time of my life’ after what had happened. I knew I shouldn’t have followed her.
  • “Well, this is nice,” she said as they sat down for their picnic. “Do you know what’s nicer?” He said as he reached into his back pocket.

AUGUST

  • “I thought you were gone?” He asked Mr Dunn.
    “No, don’t be silly. I came back for you.” He said flatly as he pushed the door open.
  • “We need to go.” Her mum panicked…
    “You’re telling me, that the lab wants to have my eyes? How will I see through walls then?”
  • The letter was delivered to her work address, along with a bunch of flowers.
    “Wait, how does he know you work here?”

SEPTEMBER

  • It wasn’t until he was standing right in front of me, that I realised. This is the happiest I have ever been, and ever will be.
  • She is the craziest girl I’ve ever met.
    “Hey, I can hear you…”
    “Stop reading my mind!”
  • I’m new here. they don’t know I am the living breathing human form of Karma, yet. But they will, especially if they take my lunch again.

OCTOBER

  • “No, why would I want to go inside? She was weird, and died there!”
    “She wasn’t just weird, she’s a witch”
    “You mean she was a witch?” As the words left Carrie’s mouth, a figure appeared behind her.
    “Carrie…”
  • “Don’t say that name!” He slammed the book closed.
    “Or what? They’ll invade our spirits as we sleep? Yeah right.”
  • He engraved it into the pumpkin, that thing he was dying to tell me.

NOVEMBER

  • It was so peaceful at the cabin, no one could hear us for miles, and we couldn’t hear anything.
    “Did you hear that scream?”
  • I had to make a decision, the bad one, or the good one… The one my parents would like, or the one who would take me away.
  • Every year on this date, I seal the package and send it off to the other side of the world. That’s where I think she is.

DECEMBER

  • I thought I was spending this Christmas alone. Then he showed up.
  • “Open it!” The children squealed,
    “Wait, honey. Leave that one till last…”
  • I was given the gift of life this year. They finally took them away, I’d never see them again.

What to do now…
When you have your idea, read this post to help with planning the story.

If you enjoyed this post, id love to know! Also if you have used one of these prompts to write a story, I’d love to know about it!

Remember to check out some of my other posts on writing for more help!

And subscribe to get the free planner!

Writing

15 Ways to Stay Focused and Achieve your goals

23/09/2019

Stay Focused – Goals and Writing!

It’s hard to stay focused on your goals and when you have so many things going on in your life…
Because of life, we put things to the back, and then we end up in a circle of feeling unmotivated, and unfocused on what we really want.

Wanting to stay focused also applies to us who are writing.
Those who write set their own goals to achieve within certain time frames, word counts, and so on…

I am going to give you a few tips on how to stay focused, achieve your goals, and finish that story!

How to Stay Focused on Any Goal

This little section will help with anything you need to focus on. This could range from your fitness, self-help, to learning a new skill.

  • Write it down

Write down what it is you want to achieve, write it into existence! Once you have written something down; you have to do it. Whether it takes you a day or a week… Eventually, you will get it done.

  • Make a finish by date

By creating a finish date, you will manage your time better.
In the back of your mind, you will know you need to get a certain job done, and it will annoy you until you complete it. So, have a finish date, work towards one thing at a time, and get it done.

  • Reward yourself for being on time

When you have finished some work you wanted to have completed, reward yourself!
Book a day off, go out, or maybe just sit and chill out for an hour or so and get back to work afterwards.
It’s important to give yourself rewards and things to look forward too, otherwise, what’s the point in working so hard?

  • Motivate yourself

Keeping yourself motivated is so difficult, I know that.
It’s important to keep yourself going though, once you lose the motivation, it’s hard to get it back!
Stay motivated by being excited about your goals, look forward to where your hard work will get you. Just keep thinking about yourself, think about others who inspire you and remember you want to be there, or even further than they are.
Remember that the only way for you to succeed is to keep doing what you’re doing. Stay focused, stay motivated to create a better life.

  • Keep learning, research if you get stuck.

Don’t stop learning.
There is so much to learn and so much to do.
Stay up to date with social media, stay up to date with internet trends, blogging trends.
Also keep learning about what you want to do, for example, if you write, keep learning! There isn’t a cut-off point to information, your mind can keep going, and so can your skills.

  • Don’t quit. It will take longer! 

Such a big one! Do not quit.
There is literally NO POINT unless you really don’t want to do something anymore, or you have found another passion. Don’t quit because you have a hard day or even a hard week. Take your time, push yourself slowly. Stay focused. Quitting will only take you longer to reach where you aspire to be.

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

Dale Carnegie

Stay Focused When Writing

Here are the tips for when you are writing.
It can be so draining to sit at your desk writing for hours on end and not really wanting to do it. Thus, creating poor content, and feeling no motivation whatsoever.

  • Plan the story fully
    (Use my planning kit to help! It’s free when you subscribe!)

So, the planning kit that you receive when you subscribe is my super easy kit, you can plan and create a story in a day if you want too. I don’t always plan intricately, but I do plan so I know what I am going to write for each part.
That’s the best thing to do.
Once you reach a section of your book you haven’t even mildly planned for, that’s when you get stuck and think there’s no point. It’s helpful to even have a brief outline.

  • Have a finish date

Once again, stay focused and motivated by creating a finish by date. Think of it like you’re at school or college, and if you don’t finish in time, then you will not be rewarded, or you won’t pass the test. Finish your work on time for yourself.

  • Motivate yourself with inspiration

Create a mood board of the story you are writing, make it pretty.
I do this so I feel excited about writing my story. You can also stay inspired by doing other creative things; draw, or create music, or even write some poetry. It’s important to keep yourself inspired by your ability to create.

  • Keep a checklist

Create a checklist in order of priority.
For example;
plan book/write a cover/write the first paragraph/have 2,000 words written… etc.
Writing things in order of importance will keep you productive, and you will get things done!

  • Don’t pressure yourself, even writing 100 words in a day is still writing.

Don’t get mad when you haven’t reached your daily goal. It’s fine.
Just know that you will write double the next day or make up for it by being productive and completing another task.

  • Take breaks every twenty minutes

Don’t overdo it.
After a while you can begin to feel drained, you might go off track with what you’re doing and that’s not good!
So, take a break to refresh your mind, have a think and get back to it.
If you don’t feel you need one every twenty minutes, adjust the time to what you can personally handle. If you are on a roll with your writing, keep going.

  • Make sure you stay hydrated

Just because this is an important everyday life tip, and when you are writing in the zone, it’s easy to let hours pass without eating or drinking anything.
Have a bottle of water ready (a reusable one) and keep filling it up.

  • Get snacks!

Even the best writers have to stay full of food and nutrition.
Don’t eat a load of rubbish.
You have the time to create a healthy meal and healthy snacks, so do it.

  • Go for a walk/run to clear your mind

When it all becomes a bit too much, make sure you give yourself time away from everything.
Go have a breather.
Remember your mental health is important, so take some time off before you explode.
Go and be outside, get away from your writing environment for a little while and let your mind breath again.

Writing can also be a lonely thing, so if you’re struggling to be alone, I also have a post about that too here!

If you want to stay up to date and read daily reminders, follow my Instagram and Twitter.

If you have any other ways to stay focused on your goals, or what you find helps with your writing, please leave a comment below!

Thank you for reading, see you soon.

Life Self Help / Advice

Create a Self-Care Plan – Easy Journal Ideas

18/09/2019

Having a self- care plan in place is super important, it’s one of those things you need to try and not forget about. You know, amidst the bustle of working, life, family, friends. You need to remember to take care of you and notice what you need.

self-care-bullet-journal-ideas

Overview

I have written eight things for you to include in your daily bullet journal to implement self-care.
Self-care is super important to include in our everyday lives, because after all, who is important? You are.
The ideas I am about to share with you are just a guideline, they may or may not work for you. They are very easy to start doing, and I am almost 100% sure you will see a difference after a few weeks of making these self-care changes.
However, if you don’t think these ideas will work for you, I would love to know what daily things you include in your self-care plan!

Self-Care Plan & Journalling

Many of you may already have a journal because you love to brain dump, or because you like to try your hand at bullet journaling.

Brain dump Journal = Writing down all of your thoughts onto however many pages it takes up to create some more headspace

Bullet Journal = Sometimes a very creative space to fulfil multiple needs such as; time blocking, tracking, tasks, and so on.

But, I can guarantee most of you don’t include a self-care plan into your journals. Now, if you are already brain dumping then you’re doing a good job. Emptying all of your thoughts is a great way to practise self-care already. Now just add in a few more things and you’ll be grand.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

Audre Lorde
self-care-daily-plans

Journaling

I mean, how are you supposed to start including a self-care plan into your bullet journal if you don’t even have one yet?

I love to use the Leuchtturm 1917 journals, but there are tons out there!

Find a journal here –

My two Leuchttum Journals!
The orange one is lined, the yellow is squared.
I use the yellow one for bullet journaling, and the orange for my writing (brain dumping).

The things you want in a bullet journal are;

  • Hardback
    Not everyone likes a hardback journal, but I like the sturdier feel, and if it is in your bag, its less likely to get crumpled up. All personal preference though.
  • A5 size
    This is also a preference, if you want a full-size A4, go for it.
  • Quality paper
  • Squares? Lines? Dots?
    The paper can come in different forms, I prefer to use the squares.
  • Back Pocket
    Most journals have a pocket at the back for you to put notes in, or maybe photos.

Anything else that the journal is missing, you can add in yourself. That’s the beauty of bullet journaling.

books-journals-pens

Things To Log

Here are the 8 things you can log in your bullet journal to promote self-care.

You may not want to do all of these, or you might already have some ideas of your own… I have tons of pins on my board about self-help etc.

Eights Ideas For Your Journal

1

  • Track your sleep.
    Getting enough sleep is so important. You already know what happens to your body when you are tired.
    You’ll be grumpy, unmotivated, and all-round in a bad way. You will spend your whole day waiting to get back into bed! This site has some good sleep tips and statistics for you if you want to take a look – Sleep Council.org.uk – Sleep Stats

2

  • Plan your meals.
    I am rubbish at doing this, so planning what I am going to eat is something I have started to do. It is so important to make sure you are eating throughout the day to avoid burnout. It is too easy to work through your break, and feel like rubbish by the end of the day because you have 0 energy left! Look at food as our petrol, you need it to keep going.

3

  • Log your movement.
    By this I mean, make sure you include time into your day to move. Get out of bed, move from the sofa, maybe even go for a slow jog if you’re feeling up for it. I have to admit. I’m also not the best at this. Another thing I will be adding to my journal.

4

  • Measure screen time.
    Spending too much time looking at our phones is ruining us. It really is! Do you really need to sit scrolling through social media for four hours per day? Think about what you could be getting done instead of that! You can track your screen time using apps, or taking a look in your settings.
    Here is a very detailed post about Screen Time – Inc.com

5

  • Check into your body.
    Is it time to wash your hair? Shave your legs? Paint your nails? Check into your body, take a good look at it! It’s your body and the only one you have, so look after it. Maybe even pamper it now and then.

6

  • Hobby log.
    Don’t forget to do the things you love, if you wanted to schedule an hour into your day just for reading, or going to the gym, then do it. An hour of your time for yourself if really not a lot, so if you arent even spending that much time doing something you enjoy, then start tracking it!

7

  • Night-time routine.
    I love having a nighttime routine. It’s the best way to get prepared for a good nights sleep. Well, know what happens when we have a good night sleep! Log the time you are going to get into bed, and what you are going to do to preop for this; bath, read, hot drink, film?

8

  • Daily gratitudes.
    My favourite thing to add to my self-care plan. Writing down one thing every day that you are grateful for, or that you have loved, can really help to lift your spirits and see the good in every day.

Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.

Unknown
self-care-plan

Thank you for reading, I hope this post has given you some useful information and encouraged you to include some self-care into your daily routines! I will have a more in-depth blog post on how to include self-care every day of the week for self-employed/working from home people.

Other related posts you can take a look at are;

Don’t forget to subscribe to get monthly updates from the blog. You now also get a FREE SHORT STORY planning kit when you subscribe!

Life

Bookstagram For Beginners – The Easy Guide

13/09/2019

#BookstagramLife

I started the bookstagram life a few years ago now… It took me a while to get used to it since I had no idea what to really post, or what to put in my captions.
Now I have learnt, you can do whatever you want really, just make it look nice…

First of all, I didn’t really know what I was going to post. I had no plan, no structure and no idea…

Bookstagram doesn’t have to just be books… It can be anything bookish, writing-wise, and even life wise!

Since writing full time and trying to get my name out there, I update my Instagram regularly with all kinds of posts, varying from personal ones, to writing ones, to purely books.

So, I am writing this post for you today to share my tips and tricks for taking photos, and ideas for captions and posts. Hopefully, you will find it of some use and will be able to integrate some of these tips into your account.

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
bookstagram-list-ideas-help

Post Ideas

Most of the time I just post however I am feeling that day.

If I have been clever, I will already have a backlog of photos I can. However, if I have been lazy, I’ll set up and take a picture of what I am currently doing.

Photo Ideas

  • Monochrome Books.
    Post a picture of books that are all the same colour, talk about what themes they have in common (if they do). Or, in contrast to that, post a rainbow picture, very aesthetically pleasing.
  • Books depending on the occasion.
    For example, around Halloween, you can post your favourite scary story, or Valentine’s day – Post your favourite love story.
  • Books in public places.
    Geotag where you’re reading! It’s fun and interesting, and you’ll most likely get a good photo.
  • Your reading corners.
    Do you have a cosy place to read? Or a place for inspiration? Post that on insta with the hashtag #readingnook #cosycorners or anything along those lines.
  • Your TBR pile (stands for to be read…)
    It’s cool to see what others are reading or thinking about reading next. Share the books on your pile and ask for recommendations to spark some conversation.
  • Food/Coffee
    Everyone looks a little coffee and food pic here and there. You can pretty much squeeze some books into anywhere and get a bookstagram worthy image. Also because who doesn’t like books and coffee?
  • Bookish things.
    By this I mean, candles, mugs, props, fairy lights…
    All can be included in your photos; some people even have their own shops where they sell their own!
bullet-journal-book-photo

Caption Ideas

  • Books reviews… Obviously!
    Make your reviews more interesting by adding emojis, maybe a different point of view/angle.
    You don’t need to go in-depth here if I’m honest, I hardly ever read the super long captions. A short and to the point summary does the trick. In return, you will probably get some feedback from others who have read the same book.
  • A quote from the book you are reading.
    You’ve probably already told everyone what you’re reading by now, so insert a quote that stood out to you. This may even influence someone else to buy the book.
  • Monthly Updates.
    Share what you read that month, what theme you followed (if you did).
    Add a star rating to each book, which ones you loved/didn’t.
  • Do a QUOTD (Question of the day).
    Ask your followers your most burning questions! Stick to the theme of books, writing, literature etc though.
  • Life updates.
    Don’t forget, you’re a real person, and so are your followers! A little life update or a #meetthebookstagrammer post will boot your recognition as a person, not just a reader.
outdoor-book-pictures

Days of The Week Inspo

Sometimes it can be easier to create a days of the week plan, just so you know exactly what to post.

Hashtags are super helpful when posting as it helps your images be seen because it kind of connects you together with everyone else who is posting the same sort of stuff.

A good blog to read for WAY more hashtag inspo than what I have provided is – www.theriversidelibrary.com

Monday –

I love a good #mondaymotivation
Besides the fact its the start of a new week, it may also be the start of a new book! Share your plans for the week, what you want to achieve, and where you’re going to start.

Tuesday –

You can go down the path of a #tuesdaythoughts or #tuesdaytransformation.
What did your insta look like a month ago? Compare how far have you come/improved?

Wednesday –

During this time of the week, I like to reflect on the week and rethink how the rest of the week will go. So, a #wednesdaywisdom or #wednesdaywellness hashtag is a good place to start.
Share something you have learnt about yourself, or what your most recent read has taught you.

Thursday –

#throwbackthursday is a classic but you could also do a #tbr or #thoughtfulthursday.
Along with the #feels hashtag, you can also interject a little bit of self-help advice here, or maybe spark conversation with others about what they are reading, or what their thoughts are about a certain topic.

Friday –

#Fridayfeels is easy to remember.
It’s the end of the week! Without a doubt, the best day of the week for some of us. You can talk about what you have done, what you have achieved. Maybe even go over your goals for next week! Recap over the book/s you have read, how did it make you feel?

Saturday –

#saturdaymornings to share some weekend motivation or #saturdayselfie to show your followers you are a person…
I tend to always forget to post on Saturdays, so having old photos ready is helpful!

Sunday –

The end of the week, and time to chill! #Sundaychills #Sundayslumber
Take a photo of you and your books looking all cosy with coffee and snacks, maybe even share what film you are watching etc (my favourite kind of bookstagram post). Furthermore, you can drop another weekly overview in there too.

My Bookstagram/Writing Instagram

instagram-prntscrn-bookstagram

Writtenbycharlotte_

There are also tons of accounts to follow, simply search the hashtag #bookstagram and lots will show up.
I will be sharing accounts I love on my Instagram too, so make sure you are there to check it out.

Finally, we have come to the end!

I hope all those random bits of information help you at least get started with your bookstagram journey! When you have created one, comment your link down below!

Writing

How To Find Your Next Story Idea

23/08/2019

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

― Octavia E. Butler

Thinking of your next story idea is probably the most important, and the best place to start when writing. Without an idea, where do you go from there?

This is post will tell you how to come up with your next idea to help you plan your story.

Remember, you don’t need a very intricate idea to start with, just the main premise.

This is my way of doing things, it might not be how everyone else plans or writes…

First, I like to create my main character, and the thing they will do; Overcome something, find something, achieve something etc…

For example, “Boy buys a pair of shoes that transport him to the previous owner’s life.” – Yes, I did just think of that on the spot…
Within that example, you have an understanding of what the MC (the main character) is going to do, to set off the story.
You can then plan how he comes about getting the shoes, and what happens after.
Easy right?

The biggest tip I have is – Just don’t overthink it, go with it.

If you have started an idea that you then begin to hate, see if you can tweak it around a little bit.
If not, start again! No one likes to write a story they already dislike.
Write about what you want to read.


story-idea-planning

Lets Start Writing!

Let start with the characters, the most exciting part!

I love creating characters and having them be exactly how I want them.

Depending on their character and personality, I find it easier to then create the main premise around them.

Or, on the other hand, you might want to think of the main plot first, then choose a character to fit within it.


Finding Your Character

You might want to look around and find some inspiration first. This could be a character from a film you have watched or even someone you know.

I tend to look on sites like Pinterest or Tumblr for physical features I like, just search for character inspiration or models with attributes you’re thinking of.

Once you have a bit of physical inspiration, its easier to create an image if you don’t already have one.

Now let’s create your MC.

  • Think of what sexuality you want them to be, and their sexual preference (or it could be anonymous).
    This is a huge part of a character, once you have decided this, it’s easier to create their image and personality, and in the long run, decide who the other characters will be.
  • How old you do want them to be?
    Think about their age. This also leads to discovering their maturity levels, and the background bits; do they go to school or have a job etc…
  • Personality.
    Before you can create their image, think of what their personality will be like.
    Are they outgoing or shy?
    Do they invite people in or shut them out?
    You can find lists online to creating your characters in-depth, here is one I have used before! – Character Questionnaire
  • Their appearance!
    You don’t need to go into too much detail when thinking of the main story idea, but it’s nice to have the image in your head.
    Think about the main immediate things like; hair colour, skin colour, height, weight, clothing preference and their different features (freckles, tattoos, scars?).

Now you should have a better idea of your main character, mostly for you to be able to have them in your head and see them as if they are a real person! Don’t worry if you don’t fully understand your character yet, you can always go back to planning them again in more detail.


short-story-idea-writing-planning

The Main Story Idea

Now we can think of the basics of what is going to happen in the story. Remember again, you don’t need to go in-depth here yet either, you can go into that later.

Here we are just thinking of that main sentence or even a short synopsis of what’s going to happen in the story.

Character First

  • You either have figured out your main character by now, or you are doing that next. This step requires the main character in mind.
    What do you want them to achieve?
    Do you want them to overcome something and rise above a personal issue, or something physical?
    Your main character should develop throughout the story. Otherwise, what’s the point?
    Write down a few scenarios, for example; Tommy wants to win the race, Tommy wants to gain confidence and join the sports team, Tommy wants to save his mother from a house engulfed in flames.
    (Wow you can really see how my story writing mind works here!)

Setting First

  • Let’s have a look at finding the idea without the main character in mind too.
    I find it easier to think of the setting first, or you could think of the type of conflict you want to happen
  • Choose the setting – If you don’t have your character yet, or if you do, find the setting you want them to be in.
    For example, maybe you could have them in a school, on a holiday, at a camp, or just in their hometown.
  • Choose the conflict/s – Again, you can decide this with or without the main character in mind, but it does help to have an understanding of the personality of the character first before deciding the conflict.
    You might think of; Beating the bully, getting the girlfriend, or surviving a disaster. Try to think of multiple things and write them down.

Tie It Together

  • Now tie them all together to create a mini synopsis or paragraph of your story idea!
    Here’s the one I have from what’s written above;

Tommy isn’t very big, or very strong. He wants to join the rugby team since his dad is so disappointed, he is nothing like him. So, Tommy joins the summer camp scheme and comes home bigger and stronger. His dad, however, doesn’t care, until Tommy saves their lives after a disaster in their home. 

Now, of course, I don’t think that idea is exactly amazing, but it’s a story! A very simple short story that can be easily written. Of course, if you are writing a longer story, include more scenes and more detail.

If I was to write this story, I would start with Tommy’s relationship with his dad, then him joining the camp, then him saving their lives. OR you can go backwards. Start with the disaster in small detail, then go back to the start and give the story more depth.


To conclude, I really hope that helped you to come up with your short story idea.

When you are ready, make sure you read my post on How To Plan a Short Story In Four Easy Steps so you can continue your story writing process!

If you need any more help or want to talk about ideas, message me on social media!

Find me on social media

When you subscribe to the blog now, you also get a FREE SHORT STORY PLANNING KIT! What are you waiting for?

Life Self Help / Advice

Five Steps To Get Back On Track

14/08/2019

Getting back on track is hard sometimes since life is a literal rollercoaster that does not stop going.

There is no off button, or break button.

This isn’t the film ‘Click’…

We can’t fast forward, or rewind time. All we must do is just keep going forward.

An important thing to remember though, before you start pushing yourself to breaking point. Is to always think about you.
If you’re feeling stressed, burn out, or about to give up.

Then it is okay to stop and take a break. If you like to read in your break and you are also out of the routine of doing that, read this post here – Get back into reading

Just don’t break and sleep for five weeks, keep in mind what you want.

So, when he hit the upside down twists and turns, it knocks us off track.

So, here are my five steps to get back on track, when you feel like you’re spiralling out of control, and away from what you want to achieve.


The Five Steps – Get Back on Track

Getting back on track is always the main goal when you’ve found yourself wasting time when you have better things to do. Most of the time it’s the silliest of things that make you lose control of your routine, and where you want to be.

For me, it’s my new baby. No, it’s not a human, he’s a tortoise. Meet Frankie. The pain in the arse who I cannot stop worrying about as if he is an actual child. (I love him though, just as much as a real human, I just wish he would chill out.)

get back on track, make lists

ONE
First Step to Getting on Track – What do you want?

Write down all the following

  • What you want to achieve.
  • Where you want to be in a years’ time.
  • Why you want to do it.
  • How you are going to do it.
  • Who can help you?

Once you have done this, it should be clear in your mind what your goals are now.

This is the most essential step when you’re trying to get back on track, you may well have written these lists before, but do them again.


TWO
Next, What is Stopping You?

Think about your time each day, what do you do every day? More importantly, what is wasting your time/what are you wasting time worrying about.

You cannot get back on track, if you keep on stopping!

Once you have identified your problems, think about how you are going to fix them.

At the moment, my tortoise is driving me crazy because all he wants to do is escape, and he keeps flipping on his back. Therefore, I am spending all my time watching him, and stressing about building a new tortoise table. Not ideal.

So, to fix this problem, I am going to build him a new table (and hope for the best).

Write another list of all your distractions and how to overcome them.


Getting back on track, bullet journalling, planning, productivity

THREE
Stop Stopping Yourself

Sounds ridiculous enough, right? Overcome all the things you listed in step two, or at least be starting to overcome them.

Sometimes it’s not as easy to fix problems in a day, or even a week. As long as you know you are finally sorting out the things you need too, you can move on and focus on yourself.

Remember the most important thing is you, and you are the only person that can get things done for yourself.

So, do it.

No more distractions. Reward yourself, or even tell yourself off!


FOUR
Write More Lists

Lists are the best, if you do them right. It easy to write lists and get carried away with all the things you want to get done.

Don’t write ten thousand word lists, you’ll get lost, frustrated, and you’ll be back at square one!

I mean, write a list of three or four things each day, depending on the time you have, and complete them.

I like to write down lists and goals in my bullet journal, I use a Leuchtturm, you can buy one here! 

Other lists you can write are;

  • Things you want to achieve in the next month
  • what you want to achieve in the next six months
  • what you want to achieve in the next year

These lists help keep your head in the game, and your mind focused!

Then you can write under each one, the big tasks you need to get done, then under those, write the small details on how to do it.

For example, if you decide you want to publish a book, you can’t just find one in thin air, you need to work. Plan the novel, write it, edit it… Then you need an agent, and a publisher, then you need to market it. Once you have outlined all your steps, it will seem a lot simpler!

If you decide you want to plan a short story, I have already written a super simple post on how to do so! – Four steps to plan a short story.


FIVE
Calm down, you’ve got this.

If you feel yourself falling back off track, you now have the five steps to get back on track.

Remember that you must allow life to take its twists and turns, and to not get frustrated if you are set back, just keep pushing forwards.

Stay calm and focus on yourself and what you want to achieve, and everything else will fall into place.

This step is mostly about staying on track, but also about giving yourself time.

If you feel yourself getting overheated. Stop before you burn out.

Have a well-deserved day off, take some time to chill, and be ready to get back to it.

five ways to get back on track, reading, writing, planning


If you feel like you need anymore help, dont hesitate to follow me, and message me on social media! I am always happy to have a chat, and help wherever I can. I would also love to hear your side of the story and learn how you get yourself back on track…


Some of the ways I am getting myself back on track is by freelance writing!
So if you know anyone, or need a writer, you can hire me!

View my portfolio here – Freelance Portfolio


Take a look at my other posts below and share some love!

Books and Reviews

Get Back Into Reading Books

02/08/2019

*This post contains Affiliate Links*

Do you need to get back into reading? Have you lost the mojo, or fallen out of a routine? The slump has fully hit you.

It is possibly the most annoying this ever when you lose the reading bug. Especially when you know deep down that you love reading.

So, here is my post about how to get back into reading!

I have always read books from a young age, but only started to really love reading around age 16, when I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower… You can find this super old post about it here…

You are probably the same, being 16 is easy, you have time to read! Then life happens, and suddenly you are an adult with one million things to do before bedtime and reading just doesn’t fall into it.

I have been there, multiple times, and I always manage to pull myself out of it…

A few easy things you can do are;

  • Setting time aside/reading before bed.
  • Take a book and read that instead of scrolling through your phone.
  • Make time to relax and use it to read, not sleep midday.
  • Try different book genres.

Here are a few things to help you beat the curse and get back into reading.

Get-Back-Into-Reading

INSTAGRAM

This sounds like such a whatever comment, but I love my book/writing account I get to share the books I am reading, talk to others about them, and talk about my writing too.

I have connected and spoken to so many people that love books, reading and writing.

Instagram is a great way to get into a community that motivates you too. Its also fun to take cute pictures and share them online, sparking conversations about books as well.

I like to see others TBR (to be read) piles, because this gives me inspiration on what books to possibly buy next.

Its also good to read others reviews of books they have read; I have bought some books I have never heard of but purchased because someone I follow liked it!

The best thing about your insta account, is that its yours! Follow the accounts that red the same genre as you so their content will always be something you want to see on your feed. Follow anyone who inspires you, engages with you, and creates content that you love. Then do the same!

Here is my Instagram account below, as you can see, I am still growing it, but my pictures are improving, and so is my engagement.

I will do another post about Instagram another time, a more in-depth version.

Get-Back-Into-Reading

GOODREADS

I did use to use Goodreads all the time, but I have gotten out of the flow! Although I have re downloaded the app, I am yet to update it yet… STAY TUNED FOR THAT LOL.

Anyway, I do think this is a great resource for some, you can follow people’s reviews, see what books the best right are now, what others are reading, what they don’t want to read. Once again, you can connect with others, share reviews and write your own.

Writing reviews helps me get back into reading because I like sharing what I loved and what I didn’t about a book, especially if I enjoyed reading it.

So, get into the flow of remembering things about books, maybe even taking notes, and write some reviews for your blog, or your Goodreads account.


Get Back Into Reading – Some Books to Try

Here are some books that I personally have read that helped me get back into reading.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I whizzed through this book when I was a teenager and I absolutely loved it.

Its short, sweet, and intense.

A book everyone should read.

Fantastic Beasts

These books are just great. Although they are written in script, it’s a fun new way to read, and it’s also quick.

Maybe it’s because I picture Eddie as the main character is what makes me enjoy them more.

Only Time Will Tell

My dad actually MADE me read this.

He went on and on about it for a while, until I caved and read a book I usually wouldn’t.

And I loved it.

I haven’t read the other ones, and I really want to.

But it did the trick to get me back into reading.

Where Rainbows End

Cecelia Ahern usually writes books that are always so lovely. Admittedly I don’t usually read books as ‘nice’ as this, but once again… I had been converted.

The story altogether is great, and the characters are easy to love.

It did take a while to read, but opened up a different genre for me.

Normal People

LOVED READING THIS.

I don’t need to say much, just read my review here. 

Roar

Currently reading this and its fair to say this is one of my all time favourites already.

A book full of short stories all about women.

Amazing.

(A review will be up when I am finished.)


If you need more help with reading, have a look at this post by Kristi Craig too! Covering a few different areas to what I have – The Wonder Forest – Get back into the habit of Reading

So, thank you for reading, I really hope this helps you get back into reading  (if it does, comment below!)

Be sure to follow me on social media for more updates and pictures…

Also, take a look at some of my other posts below!

Books and Reviews

Mini Book Review // Normal People by Sally Rooney

24/07/2019

pinterest-graphic-book-review-books-normal-people-readers

A Mini book review of Normal People by Sally Rooney.

I have been reading for a long while, and I totally got out of sync with it all, until I read Normal People… I saw the cover on Instagram for ages before I finally decided to order it.

I’m glad I did! There are lots of elements to this book that I loved, and a few that I would maybe change. Not that I disagree with the writer or anything, the whole book is extremely well written, there’s just parts I found uncomfortable, and I think a few others agree.

Anyway, a slight disclaimer; I only review books I have actually liked otherwise I see no point, and all views in this post are my own.

So, here is my mini book review! (Sorry if it’s a bit squeaky, I haven’t done one for a while).

My last book review was actually How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, (which is a great book, I 100% recommend).


About Normal People

Normal People is about Marianne and Connell.

The novel tells the story of their life from their school years, and through college.

The two of them have a secret romance which is too graphic for me to write about here on the internet.

ANYWAY, despite it being slightly awkward at times… It’s nice to read about how they change and people and develop differently throughout.

They both move away after school to go to a different college, Marianne in fact was the one who convinced Connell to do the same, if she hadn’t, his life and hers would have turned out very different.

Connell, who was once seemingly confident, and a friends with everyone person,  and Marianne who didn’t really have any friends and was deemed as the weirdo, reversed roles. They were now living each others social status, and it’s great.

I don’t want to really go into much detail because I want you to read the book and I hope I am not giving away too many spoilers (I may already have…)

But, in a nutshell, Normal people, I think, is really about how no one is normal, what is normal?

There is no such thing as a ‘normal person’. We are all our own selves, with individual personalities and appearances.

In one aspect of their life Connell was totally normal, but in another, it was Marianne.
Although her life is very different to most, there are lots of people with lives like her, and lives like Connell, so in turn, they’re both ‘Normal People’, just living hard lives!

The book basically portrays how their friendships and their romances are affected by their status and the people around them throughout the book, splitting them up, but always finding a way for them to be magnetised back together.

Wow I hope that makes sense…

reading-normal-people-by-sally-rooney-book-review-written-by-charlotte

What I Liked 

Since this is a ‘mini book review’ I’ll keep this short and sweet.

I loved how easy it was to read, the words and sentences flow into one, and the dialogue is very pleasing to read throughout.

I do love reading contemporary writing because it does feel real. It’s like these people do exist, especially because there isn’t too many main characters, or characters you really needed to focus on other than Connell and Marianne.
Although I wouldn’t want to live their life, it helps me connect with the characters and really visualise them.

I liked how there was lots of twists and turns in their relationship throughout, and how different characters changed the dynamics.

The main thing I liked, is the size of the book, it’s the perfect length. Not too long, and not too short.

What I Didn’t Like

I’m not sure if I liked how detailed and graphic it all was, or maybe it’s me just being a baby.

I suppose I would read another book like this though, I think I feel this way because I personally wouldn’t be able to write in that context, purely because I know my parents might read it! I suppose as an adult, that shouldn’t really be a problem…

Well, I think I’ve just convinced myself to try a new style…

I didn’t like how it ended! Only because I want to know more.

I do think it’s really clever when a book just ends with a cliffhanger, it makes me think about it for a long time. Which I suppose is the aim of the author really. So well done Sally.

Positive/Negative Content

Some of the content is a little harsh, I however am fine with reading things that might suggest triggering content; however, I did find a lot of the writing rather sad and depressing, and it did affect me slightly…

Although I was, and am fine, I can understand why some individuals might not like all of it.

I do like how Marianne has a supposedly better time at college to begin with, as the reader I felt happy for her since she now had friends, and was living the life of a ‘more normal person’.

I also enjoyed the parts where the two main characters found themselves back together, but they always found a way to be apart again!

So as soon as you read a positive part, the negatived seep in and weight it all back out again.

Normal-people-sally-rooney-book-review-charlotte-dawson

Overall 

Overall, I think this book was amazing. I loved reading it. I didn’t find it at any point boring or a drag.
Also, I didn’t want to rush through it at all.

There are probably some parts I would have liked to have been a little bit milder, but then maybe that would have taken away the end feeling of the book?

So again, overall. Great read and I do really recommend.

Star Rating

I am giving this book four and a half stars.

I want to give it five but there’s just something there that is stopping me!

Maybe it’s my babyishness to reading detailed intercourse scenes haha.


You can buy the book here! This is an affiliate link.

I have more mini book reviews to come so stay connected via my Instagram page for updates on new blog posts!


Older book reviews from AGES AGO can be found here;

Rupi Kaur Poetry Review – Milk and Honey // The Sun and Her Flowers

Turtles All The Way Down – John Green // Book Review

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt // Book Review

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // Book Review

 

 

Writing

How To Plan a Short Story In Four Easy Steps

13/07/2019

Four Simple Steps – Condensed down to make the whole process a lot less stressful easier.

So you want to write a short story…

I am not an expert, and i haven’t got a number one bestseller (YET), but here is my post about how to easily plan a short story.

You might be writing stories to self-publish like i am at the moment, or just for fun (or a school project or something like that.)

Most of my research comes from Pinterest. People make some amazing easy to follow info-graphics that do the job. On my Pinterest account i have a board dedicated to all things writing. Take a look if you need some more research!

If you have the urge and the creative flair to write, this post will help you do so! Stay tuned.

What is a short story?

A short story is a piece of writing  that is around 1,500 words to 30,000 words. I know that seems a lot, but when you’re in the flow of your story, it’s not too hard to write nearly 30,000 words without you even knowing it.

My short stories range from 5,000 to 10,000 words. I have written some shorter, some longer, but i like to give myself a 10,000 word target (then usually go over).

Novellas can be from 30,000 to 50,000 ish.

A whole novel can be anywhere from 50,000 to 300,000 words…

That being said, there is no rule really. Just write and see what happens!

I have written a post already about the first short story i self published, and what i have learnt.

Four Steps For Writing A Short Story

These four steps have been simplified for beginners, or for those who like to rush/get too excited about starting.

I give myself the time frame of a month to write the first draft of a short story, because i work full time.
If you have more time you may be able to do it quicker.

Choose when you want it to be finished, that way you will stay motivated, and feel accomplished when its done.

If you dont decide when you want your short story to be finished by, then you could go on forever and ever writing it, editing it, tweaking it.

Just plan it, write it, edit it, upload it (or hide it).

Step One – Brainstorm

I like this to be the first step because it gets a whole lot confusing when you decide to brainstorm after any other step. I also think it’s just common sense to get your ideas all out first.

If you have too many floating around in your head, jot them all down, choose the ones that match and would go in a short story nicely, and go back to the others for the next story.

Think about how you want the short story to be for the reader (emotional/funny/happy/sad/bad ending/good ending…)

Then think about the number of characters, for short stories, stick with a maximum of three characters, you can do more but sometimes it gets confusing.

Remember the think about the length of the story too.

Then write a little summary.

You can brainstorm all of your ideas to help;

  • You can do it the bubble method you probably learnt in school.
  • Or just scribble on the page.
  • You can write down the places you have been.
  • People who have noticed.
  • Endings you want.
  • Names of characters or places.
  • A scenario you have been in/or someone you know has been in.

I tend to sit for a moment, think, then write an idea down.

For example;

‘Main character lives on top of a hill surrounded by nature, she goes through the seasons expressing the different emotions for each one. Summer – Happy. Winter – Sad. 
She needs to character develop in the sense of expressing herself through better means, painting/dancing/writing… MC stars a class and finally meets friends, likewise to her, but push her to exit her lonely shell on top of the hill. In the end, she turns out to sell hundreds of paintings of the seasons/ writes poems/a novel/ choreographs a play…’

So that is a real quick summary of a tiny thought in my head. Now that it’s written down, the idea can be extended.

Basically, step one = Write down all the jumbled mini stories in your head, mix them up, ponder on them, tweak them.

Step Two – The Character

how-to-write-a-short-story-four-easy-steps

If you’re writing a short story, stick to only a couple of characters otherwise it can get confusing for yourself, and the reader. If there are lots of characters to ‘bond’ with and the story is only fifty pages long, its just not going to happen.

So choose a main character, the protagonist (good guy).
The protagonist doesn’t have the be a ‘human’ it can be anything. I just like to do this.
Your protagonist can be an animal, an alien, anything!

Likewise the antagonist (bad guy) can be anything too. It could even be the main character themselves, by this i mean inside their own mind. The MC can be holding themselves back, or letting themselves be dragged down. (Depending on what story you are writing.)
Other examples of antagonists could be; the weather, time, a place…

Anyway.

I create my character simply too.

I first like to think about what they are going to look like; hair colour, height, weight, clothing…
Then what type of person they are; shy, confident, anxious, over the top, overpowering, strong, timid…
Once i have sort of outlined those, i like to name them! The best bit, and the hardest. Its like naming a child. I search Pinterest, or use a random name generator until i have a name that fits the person i have created inside my head.

I ‘sometimes’ use sites like the one below to help with names…

RANDOM NAME GENERATOR.

Then i just write a little about them, like you wrote about yourself when you wrote ‘about me’ pages in school.

Step Three – The Setting

how-to-write-a-short-story-four-easy-steps

If you have travelled to lots of places,and seen many things, you can use this to help with your ideas and to get the inspo flowing.

First, think of where you want the character to live; in a house, caravan, flat, tent???

Then decide what location this will be in, for example; what i wrote previously was just a little house on the top of a hill. A totally made up destination. I have never seen or been to a house on a hill.

But this is a fictional short story, it’s all made up!

To help me keep on track with the theme and setting of the story, i like to create a mood board on my phone. Download an app like Over or Canva and just create a collage of images you find on Pinterest and Tumblr.

When setting the scene, there’s a few things to ponder on;
This is a short story, so keep it short and simple!

  • Where the character lives and its surroundings aka; does it have a shop nearby? A park? Or just any place your character might visit.
  • The weather during the time of the story, this helps to create what the outside will look like. Of course if it’s winter there might be snow, spring there might be flowers etc.

Step Four – The Outline 

how-to-write-a-short-story-four-easy-steps

This seems like a really broad subject, BUT ITS NOT.
Think about extending what you have written in step one, remember that super short summary?

I usually write around a page for this.
Like a super short and really rubbish version of the real thing you’re about to write.

Add in more detail about the characters personality now you have had time to think about it, write how they integrate in their setting and the location.

Writers around the world will disagree with this BUT, when planning and creating the outline, write a beginning, middle, and end…
(Of course, when you actually write stories it’s not as simple as that.)
This just allows you to see how the story will pan out, simply.

  • Beginning – Either start half way through what’s going to happen and go backwards, then end it again…
    If that makes sense… (Middle, beginning, end.)
    I usually either enter with the character in their own setting, i don’t describe them all in one go either.
    By the end of the first part the reader should have an understanding and be able to create an image in their head.
  • Middle – If you’re writing in order, then this is the part where its supposed to get juicy.
    The climax is about to happen…
    Set the character up for the ‘battle’ meaning whatever the antagonist is going to throw at them.
    By the end of the middle part, the character should be half way through overcoming it.
  • End – The character is showing their development here.
    Whatever it was they are overcoming or ‘battling’ is fading away, either completely, or just for now (to come back in another series of the books perhaps.)
    It’s hard to plan the ending because when you write, it kind of just happens…
    I like to have an idea of if the ending is going to be a happy or sad one, then roll with it.

All in all, i plan it to death and end up winging the whole thing.

That’s it, literally.

If you then want to go in and plan it more until you reach the nitty gritty details then i probably suggest doing that too.

You can always go back through step four and think about the chapters or parts, and what will happen at the start and end of each one.

Thank you for reading this post, if you would like to read my own little self publishing’s, i have two short stories available on Amazon, and one on the way! Don’t worry if you dont have kindle, it’s easy to download the app so you can read them on there.

SUBSCRIBE to get a FREE SHORT STORY PLANNING KIT!

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