Writing Process

NK Chats To… Laura Briggs

Hello Laura and welcome to Novel Kicks. Can you tell me a bit about your book, Sea Holly and Mistletoe Kisses?

Hi Laura, and thanks so much for inviting me to share with your readers! Sea Holly and Mistletoe Kisses is a cosy Christmas read and the third book in my romance series known as ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’. It continues the adventures of Maisie Clark, an aspiring author who follows her writing dreams across the Pond to a quaint Cornish hotel by the sea. Readers can expect a festive, feel-good read, as Maisie and the rest of the staff at the Penmarrow prepare to host an ice sculpting competition at the historic hotel.

 

Are you able to tell me a little about what you’re currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on the edits for Book Four in the series, The Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise. It features a daring heist, an unexpected secret, and a romantic crossroads that Maisie never expected!

 

When you begin a novel, what do you focus on first?

Hmmmm. I think it varies from project to project, but I tend to focus first on the central plotline or event that kicks off the story. Then the characters tend to develop alongside the twists and turns in the plot that help to bring the whole story together.

 

Which songs would be on a playlist for Sea Holly and Mistletoe Kisses?

Christmas songs! I have everything from classic to modern on my holiday music playlists, so it could feature anything from Bing Crosby to Mariah Carey songs.

 

What is your idea of a perfect Christmas? 

Oooh, that’s a tough one! I think something peaceful but festive and cozy that involves sharing the joy of the season with others would be a good place to start!

 

How do you approach the editing process and what is the biggest mistake that new writers make do you think?

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Witchy AGM

It’s Friday which means it’s time to start writing some fiction.

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can.

Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

 

Today’s prompt: Witch AGM. 

Your character is on their way to the annual witch meeting. The Witch AGM.

On the agenda, ‘Witches are not hags. Helping debunk the bad myths and stereotypes.’

What we can do to help our image. A practical workshop.

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Structure

I am currently preparing for National Novel Writing Month. October is known as Preptober.

This got me thinking about structure and I have come across many variants of a three-act structure.

Take an idea you have and plan the plot using the following as a guide.

 

Act One:

1. Introduce your character and their world.
2. An event that sets the story in motion.
3. Determine what happens next.

 

Act Two:

4. Determine the goal that isn’t going to come easily.
5. The game changer.
6. The decision.

 

Act Three:

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Go Back and Read The Instructions

It’s Friday which means it’s time to start writing some fiction.

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can.

Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

 

Today’s prompt: Go back and read the instructions.

Your character has invented a time machine. Now it is time to write the instruction manual, including a content page.

For example:

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Alphabet Story

Welcome back to another writing exercise. 

Today, I wanted to do an alphabet story. This exercise sounds fun but also a challenge.

Write a story but start each sentence with a different letter of the alphabet. In order.

For example…

Albert heard a knock and immediately opened the door.

Beaming at him, Tina stood in the hallway, a bag of groceries in her hand.

Come in,’ he said, stepping aside and letting her into the flat.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Unexpected Speech

It’s Friday which means it’s time to start writing some fiction.

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can.

Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

 

Today’s prompt: Unexpected Speech. 

 

Your character is walking along the street when they are called over by a person they have never met before.

Before they know it, they are being led, by this stranger down a narrow corridor, through a door and onto a stage where there is an unusual looking audience.

Your character is asked a question. All eyes are on them.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Pictorial Inspiration

It’s Friday which means it’s time to start writing some fiction.

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can.

Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

 

Today’s prompt: Pictorial Inspiration. 

Write about what this picture inspires….

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Step Back in Time

It’s Friday which means it’s time to start writing some fiction.

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can.

Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

 

Today’s prompt: Step Back in Time. 

Your character is disillusioned with life.

He or she is going through a marriage break up, the children don’t want to know them and to add insult to injury, they have lost their job.

They are sat drinking and then make a wish to be able to have a do-over.

When they wake up, they are eighteen again. Carry on the story…

 

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Edit, Edit, Edit

For today’s exercise, I wanted to look at editing. 

Rewrite the following passage. Write up to 500 words. Try making it less passive, adding more emotion and details.

How did you find it?

*****

 

Mark goes into the flat and he sat down. 

It had not changed much since he’d left a year ago. 

He listened to Beth, getting the tea ready in the kitchen, She didn’t know what he was going to say to her. 

She carried the tray in and handed him a mug. His favourite mug. 

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Confession

It’s Friday which means it’s time to start writing some fiction.

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can.

Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: Confession. 

Your character is living in a country that, to the outside world is perfect. The truth is that the government is oppressing its citizens.

This character has lived in this country all their lives.  Age, sex and life situation is your choice.

Your story begins when your character commits a serious crime.

Law enforcement is trying to get a confession and your character has been given a piece of paper and pencil.

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Freewriting with Prompts

It’s another freewriting exercise today. 

If you have something in mind already, then fantastic.

Write up to a 1000 words.

If you’re stuck as to where to start, there are five prompts below to hopefully inspire a story. You could always combine a couple if you like.

 

1. Write a letter to September.

2. Your character wakes up discovering that they are back at school.

3. You are stuck in a locked room alone with the person you despise the most.

4. You are confronted by the person you’ve been saying horrible things about online and they know it’s you.

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Alphabet Sentences

It’s Friday which means it’s time to start writing some fiction.

Fiction Friday is our weekly writing prompt.

The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can.

Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

 

Today’s prompt: Alphabet sentences.

Your first sentence for today’s story is ‘All he could see was smoke.’

Now, carry on the story but with a little twist.

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: Putting an Idea Together

With National Novel Writing Month just over a month and a half away, I thought it would be nice today to generate some ideas using magazines as inspiration.

This part of the writing process has been scary for me but I also find it fun, especially when doing something like the following exercise.

Gather as many magazines as you can. Cut out any words, images and phrases that interest you/catches your eye for any reason.

Once you’ve done that, put them all in a hat.

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NK Chats To… Laura Briggs

Hi Laura. It’s lovely to welcome you to Novel Kicks today and happy book birthday for A Wedding in Cornwall. Can you tell me a little about it and what inspired it?

Thanks so much, and very excited to share with your readers today! The romance read A Wedding in Cornwall is the first novella in a series that focuses on an American event planner’s adventures working at a Cornish manor house in a remote village. It was heavily inspired by other Cornish-themed stories, including the television shows Poldark and Doc Martin.

 

What’s your writing process like, from idea to final draft and how has it evolved from your first novel?

My writing process is actually much the same as when I first started. I usually start with brainstorming some notes, and then create an outline. This can range from anything from a few lines to describe each scene to a more full-blown, descriptive document outlining what happens in the story. From there, it’s just a matter of getting it all on paper and then onto revisions and editing for the final draft.

 

Where do you like to write, do you prefer silence and do you write longhand? Need coffee?

I work with a laptop, but my work station is most often in my living room (usually with a cat or two on hand for company!). I often work to music or sometimes a favourite television program, although silence is okay too. No coffee, but occasionally a cup of hot chocolate in the winter time!

 

What elements need to be in place for beginning a novel?

For me, the basic events of the story need to be outlined, so I don’t get too off track, so to speak! And I need to have some basic notes on character background too, even though certain things about both plot or characters may change as the story goes on paper.

 

Do you think plot or character is more important?

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Novel Kicks Writing Room: The Middle is now the Beginning

Today, I wanted to look at beginning in the middle. 

Look through your current work in progress or your idea book, preferably picking something where you know how you want to begin.

As usual, if you’d prefer to use a book you’ve recently read, that’s OK.

Have a think about the three major events that will happen in the middle of your book. Pick one.

Now, write that scene as though it is the beginning of your story.

Write about 500-750 words.

How was it? What does it do to your plot as it stands?

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Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.

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