The final character to make an appearance is Gwyn.
Role in Ocean Heart: The Magician. Being Mariah’s main caregiver and having magical abilities means she’s able to support Mariah’s growth as a mermaid or meddle in her life to protect her.
Like many women she lies about her age, but for a very good reason. If she told the truth it’d blow her cover. The lies Gwyn tells are to keep Mariah safe.
Gwyn is doing her job as mother to Mariah. With psychic abilities she’s had a vision of a dangerous probable future. Gwyn interferes using magic in a bid to keep Mariah safe, often causing more problems than those solved.
Gwyn is close to Jace’s mum Denny, and started their Sparkle Bakery Business together. It’s rumoured that every couple that has ordered a wedding cake from them got their happily ever after.
What my editor said…
I loved reading what Avery had to say about Gwyn and felt she summed her up exactly!
The next character to make an appearance is rival, Kiely. Although, this month I’m working on book 2 of the series and she’s the MC. She would claim Mariah is the rival.
Role in Ocean Heart: Antagonist (Poor Kiely is the enemy simply for being Jace’s girlfriend. Jealousy is an ugly trait.)
Kiely and her friends are gorgeous and it. But, the demands of being popular comes at a price.
Kiely tries hard to be nice, not a stereotypical mean girl. Girls want to hate her, and being nice seems to make them more mad. Her best mate Fallon has always got her back and puts the haters in their place.
Despite being gorgeous and friendly, Kiely has struggled to get a boyfriend. Fallon says it’s because high school boys can’t handle a goddess…
…Until Jace asks her out. She is smitten and gives the relationship her all. She even lets his best friend, Mariah, borrow her clothes. Although, Mariah’s and Jace’s friendship makes her feel insecure, she trusts they are just friends.
Kiely can be a little superficial, her image is important. She worries so much about what others think she’ll tell little white lies. Kiely’s lies will get her into deep trouble, but you’ll have to read SKY HEART to discover more about that. Sky Heart is book 2 in The Soul Hearts series.
What my editor said…
Avery didn’t analyse Kiely’s characters. Although, there were inline comments on my manuscript relating to her.
This is probably because Kiely isn’t a main character in Mariah’s life but she is a main character in THE SOUL HEART SERIES. The next book is all about Kiely and I’m hoping to get that ending written during NaNoWriMo.
Kiely was called Kya which means Diamond in the Sky (book 2s original title). Avery pointed out a lot of characters names ended in an “Ah” sound. As a result, I changed her name to Kiely. This wasn’t her first name change.
This post is part of my series to introduce the main characters of Ocean Heart and reveal what my editor said about them.
The next character in my Behind The Character series is nemesis and love interest two, Murray.
Role in Ocean Heart: Antagonist/Love Interest (Murray doesn’t make the best first impression but… well, there’s a little “enemies to lovers”)
Murray loves sports, but top of the list is swimming. He is on the school team and the best in the school… until that little redhead turns up at practice.
Murray’s second love is girls. A simple smile and they’re all over him and filling his insta feed. But, he isn’t looking for anything serious. He’s young, having fun, and moving on fast.
Murray is close with his family. He helps his dad care for their boat, helps out in his mum’s cafe, and keeps a close eye on his little sister, Kiely.
Murray is an overprotective big brother. He’s successfully warned off any potential boyfriends, until Jace.
Murray oozes confidence and has many friends, but if he had to pick one… it’d be Aero. Aero is the family’s dog and Murray’s early morning running companion.
What my editor said…
My editor was swooning for Murray which made me so happy. Murray is full of confidence but she did highlight occasions where Murray needed to reel it in, amp it up, and I added evidence of his player reputation.
This post is part of my series to introduce the main characters of Ocean Heart to you and what my editor said.
When you read Ocean Heart you’ll wonder how the story ever worked without best friend Ana, but she wasn’t in several first drafts! I love her so much, I want to create a spin off novel from my series, for Ana.
Role in Ocean Heart: Confidant (Best Friend to MC)
She often goes by the name Ana. Her name was chosen by her mum who died shortly after childbirth. Her dad won’t speak about it but says she looks a lot like her.
Ana isn’t close to her dad. He works a lot and she spent her early years with childminders and in boarding school… until she got expelled, from them all.
Ana is trying hard to keep out of trouble at her new school and has avoided making any close friends until she sees Mariah. Mariah looks as lonely as she feels, so she invites her to come swimming.
Ana comes across happy and bubbly but behind the smiles and makeup is she a dark secret. Her step mum tries to help her by finding an amazing doctor, but meds and treatment aren’t working. Ana needs something more potent, unique… Ana needs magic.
Ana is crushing on the swim coach. In her spare time she is creative. She loves fashion, taking pictures and creating animations on her computer.
What my editor said…
My editor really enjoyed Ana. She pointed out occasions where I was so focused on Mariah’s plot, she was rude to Ana. That was not my intention, so thanks to her feedback I got fixing that. Ana is the BFF we all want.
This event was hosted by Phoebe Morgan who promised to share her advice on how to get published, attract an agent and attract an editor. It was held at the Sailing Club with stunning views of Felixstowe Ferry.
Phoebe Morgan is the best selling author of The Doll House and works at Orion as an Editorial Director. She explained a little about the books she works on (crime, thrillers, women’s fiction and saga). She had created a presentation especially for us.
Before she started, Phoebe went around the room and got each of us to introduce ourselves and what we are writing and hoping to get out of the talk. There was something very endearing about Phoebe. People instantly warmed to her and wanted her to know about their writing. I think it is the way she appreciated and valued every writer in the room.
I shared that I have just finished editing Jewel of the Sea and sent it out to Beta Readers. I explained that I have queried a lot, been rejected a lot and then edited again and have lost count of the cycle. I confessed that I am now considering self publishing and believe my query letter and synopsis is not having the right effect on agents.
Phoebe’s talk began talking about bestsellers and popular genres and why these books are doing well. She emphasised why it is so important for writers to know what is trending when they are querying because this links to how it will be pitched to editors and publishing houses.
Phoebe had put together examples of pitches to illustrate how important it is to quickly get agents up to speed on what your novel is about in just one sentence.
Example: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins – Woman sees inciting incident through her train window.
Phoebe told us what genres are trending right now. However, it is best to write the novel you want as these are constantly changing. She talked about why genre fiction is popular and why it is important for us to identify the genre where our novel will be placed. This helps the publishers identify where to market, package, design and price it. She pointed out how we need to be passionate enough about our books to promote it for two years!
Phoebe had collected examples of the first line of successful books and discussed how these sentences grip the reader right from the start. She pointed out how agents are often very busy and if they are not pulled in from the start, they will move on to the next. She pointed out how in a shop, a reader may pick up a book and look at that first line to decide whether to buy it or not.
Example: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins – There is a pile of clothing on the train tracks.
Then, she got us to share the first line of our books and discussed their strengths. She also suggested that some writers should consider starting further into the story where the action starts.
She went on to talk about how to use suspense and pacing in our novels giving us tips on how to use these to make our novels a page turner. For examples, shorter sentences and chapters can speed up action but you can do the opposite for when you need to pull the reader in for more detail – there needs to be a balance between the two.
Ending a chapter on a cliff hanger can leave a reader needing to read the next chapter, to do this successful you need the reader to care about the character and be worried about them or the invested in the outcome. It helps to make the characters life full of obstacles – if it is too easy, it is boring. Obstacles create conflict.
Phoebe briefly covered different ways to structure your novel and why this is important.
Characters are incredibly important in your novel so Phoebe had collected a few tips to help us. In my notes I jotted down:
Not too many – you only need three to five main characters. If you have more then you can lose the reader as they won’t be able to connect with them. If you have too many, see if two characters can be merged together to fulfil one role.
Zoom in technique – Imagine a lens and zoom in and think of little things that makes the character who they are.
Back stories – Make sure you know your characters back stories, even if this doesn’t come into the story it will influence who they are and make them more vivid when you write.
Motivations – Understand what drives your characters. What are their goals and what they want to achieve, etc.
Likeable? – It is not necessary for the reader to like your main character whoever readers do need at least one character they can emphasise with.
Phoebe then got us to think about one of the characters in our novel and write for five minutes about their backstory. I chose Luna who is a secondary character but her back story and actions are the catalyst for the entire series. She is a character I need to know inside and out. I may one day write a short story about her.
She then told us about the steps to getting published. There were twelve steps! I’ve always been focused on ‘getting an agent’ that I have not thought much more about ‘what next’. It turns out there is a lot that happens after you get an agent, and a lot that happens after you an editor and after all that, when you finally get an offer from a publisher, you can say no.
Phoebe went into more detail about what an agent does and how to pitch one. I felt like I knew a lot of this as it is something I’ve done a lot of. Phoebe was able to recommend some good agents and resources like The Writer’s and Artists’ Yearbook.
She then told us what editors look for. It was very insightful to hear this as the agent will be looking for these things in your query. The agent will be trying to figure out whether they can pitch your novel to editors. Here are the main things editors want:
A strong, clear, one-sentence hook
A good sense of voice – character needs to feel new and unique
Fill a spot on their list – keep an eye out for out for wish lists
Pleasure to work with – they will check out social media to see if you take writing seriously but this is not a deal breaker.
A clear vision – they need to believe in the book and be able to see it doing well.
She ended by warning us that rejection is something almost every published author has experienced. She gave us tips on how to deal with and was very encouraging that a rejection doesn’t mean give up.
She finished by giving us a list of resources for further information and how to contact her if we have further questions. She also took our emails so she could send us a copy of her presentation.
Phoebe was so lovely, approachable and genuinely wanted to help everyone in the room. Writers who get to work with her are truly blessed.
I did have a damsel in distress moment in the car park where a knight in shinning armour came to my rescue. More about this in my next Felixstowe Book Festival post.
I hope you have found this useful. If you want to connect with Phoebe, you can find her:
I watched on Netflik and it was rated mature and described: “A budding teen psychopath and a rebel hungry for adventure embark on a star-crossed road trip in this darkly comic series based on a graphic novel.”
Here’s the trailer:
What did I think?
To be honest, I almost switched it off in the first few seconds. It opens with the male lead killing animals (he’s a budding psychopath – see description). You know when something is really awful and you want to look but you can’t… that happened. I ended up watching the whole series and loved it.
The two characters are brilliantly created. They are so complex and messed up, it makes them likeable – I never thought I’d say that about a ‘buddying psychopath’. Their background stories reveal what drives them and how they became who they are. The writer of the series did a brilliant job.
As the pair rebel against their parents and go on the run, they find themselves in some crazy situations and breaking some serious laws. The Police are after them and… I won’t spoil the ending.
I ended up binge watching the series because every episode ended on a cliff hanger and by the end I really cared for the pair and wanted them to be alright.
Do I recommend?
Yes, but be warned there are some shocking, disturbing and dark elements to the series – it got its mature rating for a reason.
Who wrote it?
Charles S. Forsman (as Chuck Forsman) wrote the Graphic Novel that the series is based on. Then, Jonathan Entwistle wrote the screenplay and directed the series.
Dabble is an online writing platform for plotting, writing and editing. It works best in Google or by using their app but can be used in any browser.
Dabble Account and cloud storage
Export to Word/text file
App (works on a PC)
During November, they offered a free trial to NaNoWriMo participants. We were able to use the site for free and they enabled a word count tracker – nifty!
Dabble Writer usually costs $9.99 but at the moment there is an introduction offer of $4.99 which if you subscribe will be at 50% forever.
Dabble Writer is an official sponsor of NaNoWriMo. If you took part, check the NaNoWriMo offers page to see if there are any exclusive additional offers for NaNoWriMoers.
I created two projects to test out the software. One was Daisy Chain (my NaNoWriMo project) and the other was Jewel of the Sea (aka Drift).
Daisy Chain: This required regular updates so I needed to work on the story whenever I was able to. Switching between computers (and browsers) did cause a little technical issue but the support guys at Dabble were awesome. The site runs best in Google chrome and the app. There is also a little cloud that you can click to save your progress and ensure it has been backed up.
Jewel of the sea: I uploaded this so I could experiment the downloading to word feature. I was really impressed. It puts it into the correct format for agents so all you need to worry about is the line spacing.
Word Count total: There is a tracker that shows your overall word count for the novel (or project).
NaNoWriMo Tracker: The word count tracker for NaNoWriMo was incredibly intuitive. It deducted words if I deleted any and updated my daily goal based on how many words I needed to reach to keep on target based on my total. They are currently developing a personal goal tracker so writers can set their own word count goal at anytime in the year.
This was one of the features I enjoyed using the most as I currently have nothing like it.
It looks a like pin board with post it notes stuck on it. You can create different boards for tracking different things.
On the board you create different headings (or timelines). I found it easiest to use it to track my characters developments within the story and plan I needed to happen and when. It was easy to move and edit these too so it didn’t feel like a digital hindrance.
The ‘post it note’ (tile) has a heading and brief description. You click on it to open up and a little note paper where you can go into more detail about the plot line.
This is a great planning aid and helped me to visualize the story.
This is another great feature. I’ve never shared my story notes *cringe*.
I split my notes into two categories (headings) ‘Characters’ and ‘World Building’. Within those sections I create a note on different things that are important.
It is really handy to have everything stored in the same place and organised instead of loads of files saved in different places or programs. I love having some where to stash my ideas and notes about the story.
Within a ‘project’ you can create multiple books. This enables you to track a whole series all in one place. Genius!
Customer Service: The team at Dabble are extremely responsive to their customers and I think this will take the company forward to a bright future. They were always on hand whenever I had a question about using the site. No problem was too big or too small. I wondered if they ever slept.
Development: They have developed the site a lot from Sept to Nov so I’ve no doubt that they’ll make true on their promise to continue improving and bringing out new features. They also ask their subscribers to suggest features and vote on features to help them prioritize what their users want the most. Here are some of the features coming soon that excite me the most:
Goal tracking – set your own word count goal any time of the year (not just for NaNoWriMo)
Images in story notes (save a picture of your world map or the engagement ring or a celebrity that looks like you character)
Editing mark up (you can highlight a section you know you need to rework)
Novel cover (upload an image for you novel cover)
Character image (upload an image of how your character looks) and character tools
Restore a previous version as a new file
More ways to import and export including dragging a project to your desktop to save it
Social – enable word count competitions and stats to be shared socially
Am I subscribing?
I am very tempted to subscribe but currently I have a lot going on that I don’t think I will have the time to really make the most of having a subscription.
However, Dabble Writer is something I would definitely consider in the future as I found it a very easy to use interface, fantastic customer service and the features were exactly what a writer needs.