The Story Snippets Challenge

I love the photo prompt challenges on Instagram, especially those that inspire and encourage me to share my writing.

The #StorySnippetsChallenge was hosted by the following authors on Instagram: @amandalyncreek , @bridieblake , @jjotisauthor , @sireyourstory and @son_dae_writes .

View this post on Instagram

Tomorrow is the start of #StrorySnippetChallenge. I'm going to join in. To find details of the writers hosting the event and how to take part, see below: Repost from @amandalyncreek using @RepostRegramApp – So excited to co-host the #storysnippetschallenge with @bridieblake, @jjotisauthor, @sireyourstory, and @son_dae_writes! ⁣⠀And a big thanks to @authorbrittanywang for bringing us together in her Patreon group. ⁣⠀ The challenge will happen during the week of May 20th- 26th if you want to join us. This will also be the first time I reveal anything about my work in progress. I'm what I like to call nervcited to share, although I've received good feedback so far from my teacher and my classmates. 😜⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Each day of the challenge has a prompt and a corresponding hashtag. Here they are:⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Day 1: #MeettheMainCharacter (tell us anything you want about your protagonist!)⁣⠀ Day 2: #TeaserTuesday (Share something that will make your audience want to read your work in progress!)⁣⠀ Day⁣ 3: #SettingSetup (Describe your world/setting to show the mood/tone of your WIP)⁣⠀ Day 4: #FirstLines (She a snippet of the beginning.)⁣⠀ Day 5: #ThemeStated (What's your overall theme in your WIP?)⁣⠀ Day 6: #ExcitingMoment (This can be your inciting incident or midpoint. No spoilers, though.)⁣⠀ Day 7: FunDialogue (Show off one of your favorite conversations in your WIP)⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ If you're an author and want to join, be sure to share this image and use the hashtag #storysnippetschallenge!⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ Let's do this! :)⁣⠀

A post shared by Author Ally Aldridge (@redfae) on

My story snippets

Here, in this blog post I am going to collate and share all my snippets in one place that I posted during Monday, 20 May 2019 to Sunday, 26 May 2019. These are snippets from a work in progress so may change by the final edited version:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Reflecting on the challenge

I really enjoyed this challenge. It made me think about different parts of my story. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have edited my manuscript but I was still checking over and fine tuning the snippets before posting.

Most of all, I love sharing my writing and this was a great opportunity to give my followers snippets and tease them into wanting to read more. I think using snippets like this would be a great way to promote a published book too as it gives people a taste of your writing and the story, like a little appetiser.

It was great fun seeing what others writers were working on too. Writing a novel can be lonely but taking part gave a sense of being part of something bigger – I was not alone in my writing journey. It gave something to connect with other writers over.

I was flattered when someone commented on how much they liked the way I presented my snippets. This was a huge compliment as I am no professional. They are all created for free in Canva. On Thursday, I created my image in Canva and then used the Video Typer app to animate my text – again this was free.

Have you ever shared snippets of your novel?

If you enjoyed this, you may enjoy:

Create with Canva Beginners Course Review

Instagram For Writers — Ally Aldridge

April, I featured poets – what’s next?

Camp NaNoWriMo Diary (midpoint April 2019)

Camp NaNoWriMo Diary (middle to end)

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Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 21

I rushed editing this chapter so I have made a note on my spreadsheet to come back and look at it again before I finish.

I’m right in the middle of the novel and I feel like I have come so far but still have a long way to go.  It’s like the midweek hump.  I just have to get through it to see the end.

The second half of the novel is very distinctive as it has a very different feel to it.  Mariah thinks she has got what she wants but is suffering memory loss.  She knows something isn’t quite right but doesn’t know why.  

Is you midpoint distinctive?  

Click here to read chapter 21

If you enjoyed this chapter, you may like:

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 19 & 20

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 18

Tips on naming your character

Handwrite to boost creativity

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Tips on naming your character

Character names.pngToday, I am going to share with you some of the methods I use for choosing my characters names.  Please cherry pick the ones that work for you.

Naming you character

Choosing a name for your character can be difficult.  My preferred methods is to choose names that are an Aptronym.

Try to think about who they are and where they are from in your decision making:

Finding a name

  • Period in time:  If your story is set in the past, you should research typical names for the time otherwise it won’t be believable.
  • Geographic:  Find names that tell your reader where they are from.  For example, if they have moved to America from Africa use a typical African name.
  • Personality:  Check the meanings of names to see if it reflects their personality.  For example, are they bitter or a happy person.
  • Characteristics: Check the meaning of names to see if they describe the way their look.  For example, do they have dark hair or blue eyes and they a runner with strong legs.
  • Abilities:  Check the meaning of names for their abilities i.e. are they clever, a singer or do they have super powers connected to water.
  • Position:  Check the meaning of names based on their relationship in the story for example are they the friend, lover, teacher, mother or leader (boss/manager).
  • Relatives:  If your characters are part of a family then it is more realistic that the parents chose similar style of names.  For example, a hippy parent might call their children “Rainbow” and “Sage” and it would be odd if one child was called “Elizabeth” which has a very different feel to it.  When naming siblings try to stick to names that sound like they would have been chosen by the same person.

Visit baby naming websites with tools to enable you to search for names, meanings and themes.  You can also use a search engine to see if anyone else has made a suitable list for example “Rock Star names”.

Here are some good sites:

If you are using software specially for writers, see if it has a name generator as part of the application.

If you like something physical to use, there are tons of baby naming books that you can buy and some that are for certain themes i.e. Celtic names.

Record your name research

Keep a list of your favourites and important information about them.  This will help you in future.  For example, if you are writing a story about Witches and researched 18th Century names then this list will come in handy for introducing future characters and save you precious time.

I like using Wunderlist for this.

Pronounceable

Make sure the name you have chosen is easy for the reader to pronounce (even in their head).  It is incredibly off putting if you’ve made up a name that slows down the pace of your story because your reader has to think about what it says.

Sometimes, Fantasy writers will create strange names to illustrate that their character is from another species.  This is fine but don’t make it illegible.

Things to avoid

If you are writing fiction make sure that your character is not named after someone.

  • Named after someone: Be careful if your characters name is the same as a living person and make sure it is clear that your fictional character isn’t based on them.  You can write a disclaimer to cover this and there are some great examples on The Book Designer.
  • Multiple nicknames:  If you use a nickname for your character, stick to one.  If your character goes by many names it can get very confusing and frustrating for your reader to keep up.

Temporary names

If you still don’t know what to call your character, choose something that is easy to replace i.e. something unique.  Then when you have made your mind up, use Find and Replace in your word processing software to change the name.

Learn from my mistake:  I once had this problem and called my character “Sam”. When I finished my 65,000 word manuscript and wanted to change the name it was horribly difficult.  You wouldn’t believe the number of words that have ‘sam’ appears within it.  This made it a very tedious task.  If I had picked something unique like Bartholomew then the correction could have been made in a few clicks.

Please note, this is a rewrite of my blog post originally posted here.  

If you enjoyed this, you may like:

Creating a Catchy Novel Title

Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo

Seven tips for querying agents

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Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 19 & 20

Earlier this week I published the new improved chapter 19 and 20 but I didn’t have time to write about it on my blog.

Chapter 19 is told from Gwyn’s perspective in third person which is different from the rest of the novel.  I wondered whether to cut this chapter out completely but I decided to keep it as the foreshadowing is important for the readers tension.  

How do you feel about changing the point of view within a novel?

Click here to read chapter 19

Chapter 20 took a little longer to edit as the original chapter was a whopping 5k words.  Often my chapters are quite short and I have to merge them together to make a better length.  This is because I’m naturally a fan of short chapters, so I have no idea how this happened.  And, I need to add in more content between the scenes so this word count is going to get bigger.  I decided to cut it into two chapters but it may even become three chapters.

Do you prefer long or short chapters?

Click here to read chapter 20.

If you like this post, you may enjoy:

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 18

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 17

How to Write a Synopsis

How to handle rejection

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Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 18

Yay!  I hit my goal of editing three chapters a week.

I really enjoyed working on this chapter as well. I forgot how intense the emotions are and her powers coming to life and the promise of a beatiful romance.

But… is this the midpoint?  The false win?  You’ll have to read it and see.  

If you would like to see the new chapter on Wattpad, click here.

If you like this post, you may enjoy:

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 17

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 16

A Group For Writers with a Side Hustle

My best kept writing secret of last year (Happily Ever Author)

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Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 17

Yay!  I hit my goal of editing three chapters a week.

I really enjoyed working on this chapter as well. I forgot how intense the emotions are and her powers coming to life and the promise of a beautiful romance.

But… is this the midpoint?  The false win?  You’ll have to read it and see.  

If you would like to see the new chapter on Wattpad, click here.

If you like this post, you may enjoy:

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 16

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 15

My new Carpe Diem planner

How much development do you give you Secondary characters?

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Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 16

Have you ever heard of hump day?  It’s the term given to the midweek blues.  Like when people get to Wednesday in their 5 day work week and they just need to get through the day to see the promise of the weekend.

I have that feeling with Jewel of the Sea at the moment.  I am currently about midway through editing it.  I feel like I’m loosing steam.    I feel like I’ve been working on it for so long and yet there is still so far to go.  I’m trying really hard to focus on the positives to keep myself motivated.  

If you would like to see the new chapter on Wattpad, click here.

If you like this post, you may enjoy:

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 15

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 14

A little post on how I am doing…

Creating a Catchy Novel Title

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Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 15

Last night, I watched Game of Thrones so no writing happened.  I was disappointed by the episode, I won’t spoil for anyone watching but I feel that writers make promises to their fans and they have to deliver on those promises. 

When, you read a murder mystery you expect a dead body and clues that lead to discovering the murderer.  When you read a romance novel you expect the love interest to get together.  In last nights, GOT, I felt we have been following certain characters development and these were all undone.  I felt a little like arcs were unravelling in the last episode.  It feels like they are rushing to finish the series and aren’t caring about what is true to the character anymore.

Tonight, I started out editing the wrong chapter.  I kept getting a de-ja-vu feeling I had noted which chapter to edit next.  The familiarity kept coming back so I checked and turns out I hadn’t updated my note with where I was up to.  Luckily, there was still enough time to get this chapter edited.    

If you would like to see the new chapter on Wattpad, click here.

If you like this post, you may enjoy:

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 14

Jewel of the Sea – Chapter 13

Goals: Progress since Jan 2019

What to watch if you love mermaids!

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April, I featured poets – what’s next?

April is the month of poetry. But as I was doing Camp NaNo, I decided to feature other poets on my Instagram. I posted asking for volunteers.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvb3BGoHuMf/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

I was blown away by the number of poets that wanted to take part and I had a lot of fun choosing a variety of poems to feature during April but here they are altogether in one blog post:

Jason Hein

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvukJI5HpRQ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Ross Hawse

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv1NeDGHi6y/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Mystqx Skye

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv_y0Yan8ab/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Ashley Valitutto

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwKIPN1Ht5_/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Ankit Yadav

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwT3JB0nBAB/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Paige Hart

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwfVJ4tnioD/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Paula Watts

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwknkalHawM/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Kva

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwtrXUOHWAf/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Prins

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw14o6xnlCW/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Alison Aldridge

Here is a Haiku poem I wrote about my novel Jewel of the Sea in March to get the poets in the mood for April and part of the #womenwritingfiction #wwfchallenge2019 on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bviyu8-H58T/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

What is next?

This month, I am just enjoying taking one day at a time. I always enjoy featuring bloggers on my blog but this was the first time that I have done something like this on Instagram. And, I would like to do it again and hope that I helped them reach more followers.

Next time, I might get writers to share the tag line of their novel, book cover or quote from their book. I also follow a few artists and would like to give them some attention too. What would you like to see me feature next?

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy:

I need your help! How to get featured on my blog

Me being featured!

Reflecting on NaPoWriMo

Valentine Poetry Collection

Inner Demons — Ally Aldridge

My Myth of Mermaids and Poem – Siren’s Song

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