4 Steps to Finishing Your Novel: Taking a Sledgehammer to Your Shiny New Draft

Sasha J Cameron:

I love the idea of this. Now if I could just finish the shiny new draft so I can take a sledge hammer to it….

Originally posted on FastPencil Blog:

As someone who has finished three novels, I understand the desire to immediately publish your completed draft. But publishing too early can doom your book. This series focuses on the things you should do before hitting “publish.” Step #1 was taking a moment to appreciate your accomplishment.

Step #2: Take a Break, and then Take a Sledgehammer to It
Edgar Allen Poe believed that stories should be consumed in one sitting. If a reader took a break in the middle, Poe felt that the world would intervene and destroy the illusion of the story. As a novelist, I subscribe to a different perspective on this: let the world change you.
Finishing a book gives you a rush. However, most of us have likely experienced returning to something that seemed brilliant one day but clumsy the next. Give yourself some time. Be it a week, a month, or a year, step…

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Five Warning Signs Your Story Needs Revision

Sasha J Cameron:

I’ve found myself a little annoyed at some stories that I’ve been reading lately and this pretty much sums it up. And when I mean some, I include most of mine and not yours Rachel J Lewis. SMH – *walks away muttering* so much to learn, so little time…

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

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Original image via Jenny Downing Flikr Creative Commons

We can have the best story ideas in the world, but to be blunt? There’s a lot to be said for delivery. While these problems might seem picky, there are some fundamental errors that can weaken the writing. If our writing loses power, this can become distressing or distracting to readers.

Many readers (not being editors or professional writers) might not be able to articulate specifically why they lost interest in a story, but often the answer is simple. It can be an accumulation of the small things. The little foxes spoil the vine.

Most of us make one or more of these errors, especially when we’re new. Hey, that’s called “being NEW.” No one is born with the natural ability to write brilliant, perfect novels coded into their DNA. It takes time and practice, so give yourself permission to make…

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Reading to Write

Sasha J Cameron:

Good advice. I have often found myself drawn back to authors that I love. Unfortunately, it doesn’t solve my time problems. *sigh*

Originally posted on Quoth The Wordsmith:

663092_26111643 You’ll often hear that in order to write, you need to read. Many prominent authors stick by it and advise aspiring writers to make a practice of always having a piece of literature on the go. It’s good advice, as long as you know that if you are reading to write, you need to look at the writing that you are reading differently. Here’s how I do it:

-Accept and note the areas that you have trouble with, whether they include dialogue, structure, characterization, setting, etc. Know and embrace the fact that you have room to improve.

-Pick a story or a book (or a few!) that really made an impression on you in terms of style, tone, and connection. It should be something that you don’t mind reading again, and that you would give a glowing review.

-Read the story slowly. Take your time. Figure out how that story…

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New Book Reviews and Translated Chapters

Hi Everyone,

I have to apologize for life being so slack lately.  Things are a little hectic in real life but please know that I am still working away on the various stories with the intention of updating as regularly as I possibly can.  Plus that original series is still cooking, even though I am not getting the kind of writing time I would dearly like.

I’ve read some great books lately so check out my Goodreads reviews.
Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter companion novel)Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know why it took me so long to read Sherrilyn Kenyon but I am so glad I did. I love the magic, the history, the setting, the hot, hot hero. There were tears and laughter, tension (sexual and otherwise). There were mythological beings, other realms, classical literature and a large helping of kink. Julian of Macedon makes one hot love-slave and Dr Grace Alexander proves to be the only woman in centuries that could be a match for him or his curse. There are delightful side characters who I hope I will encounter again. What’s more, the writing is fabulous and the pace is perfect. I’m guessing she knows that but I just thought I should repeat it anyway.

View all my reviews




New Chapters – yes more than one! – are now posted for both

Dedicándose a Elliot


Hingabe an Elliot

Check the side menus.

Thanks for your continued support and feedback.

Sasha xxx

Investing Elliot: Smoke and Mirrors – Gotye

Gotye aka Wouter “WallyDe Backer (born 21 May 1980) is not only a solo artist but a member of the Indie trio The Basics.  He was born in Belgium but now resides in Melbourne, Australia.  For the past 13 years Wally has been working his way in and around the scene in Melbourne, performing live and recording his music in his various (he moves a lot apparently) home studios.  His sound is quirky and surreal which is useful since that is certainly the feeling you get when you visit his website gotye.com.

He has won Arias for earlier recordings.  Arias are vicious awards, the Australian version of a Grammy but much pointier and more likely to do someone damage if you get drunk on awards night and leave it in a taxi by accident.  Rumor has it that they make good tent pegs.

Smoke and Mirrors is off the album ‘Mirrors‘. The same album that spawned the fabulous but slightly annoying, only because we heard it every day for at least a year, Somebody that I Used to Know which features that fabulous Kiwi vocalist, Kimbra.

That song earned Wally a real Grammy. Well, a couple really.  Okay, there were three. And that was just as well because some of his 12 Arias insert nicely upside down and are therefore a lot safer to be around. The others are being used to hold up his tent.

The graphics for Mirrors are based on an artwork that Wally’s father painted and left lying around the house.  Much nicer than the painting my father left lying around my house which is affectionately named Girl with Shovel.

I haven’t heard anything he might have recorded since Making Mirrors but I am sure he is working on it.  Tough act to follow though.

Smoke and Mirrors seemed like an apt metaphor for how Kate perceived the world.  I always imagined that she moved in similar circles to the Gray family and therefore it would be entirely feasible that she might have a few near misses with them at social events.  Some people think Kate is a bitch, but I think she is an over protective friend with perhaps a tainted view of the world in which she grew up.  Think of her as a female version of Christian without the NDA and kink.  As a reporter she would be just as capable of stalking – both carrying it out and justifying it to herself.  From this point of view, she probably understands Christian better than Ana does and therefore has every right not to trust him.

I am a victim of private girls’ schooling.  Not that all private girls’ schools are bad but if you don’t fit in, they are a hell of a place to grow up.  If Kate went to those schools then perhaps she learned not to trust people.  Especially the beautiful people. I always had the perception that if they weren’t going to be doctors or lawyers, then the girls I went to school with were in training for finding rich husbands with a short stop in interior design or publishing on the way to their destinations.

As a beautiful and extremely elusive personality, Christian Gray would have seemed suspicious to Kate.  She would have wondered why he wanted Ana, not because Ana wasn’t worth it but because she would see Christian as a man who would be looking for a trophy wife.  She also suspects that there is something slightly fake, if not downright sinister about him.  Like most people in her world.  Smoke and Mirrors reflects every question that she has about Christian’s rapid rise to the top of his game and the reclusive life that he lives.  She sees secrets everywhere, and she doesn’t trust him.


Smoke and Mirrors

Buy on Itunes

You’re a fraud and you know it
But it’s too good to throw it all away
Anyone would do the same
You’ve got ‘em going
And you’re careful not to show it
Sometimes you even fool yourself a bit
It’s like magic
But it’s always been a smoke and mirrors game
Anyone would do the same

So now that you’ve arrived well you wonder
What is it that you’ve done to make the grade
And should you do the same?
(Is that too easy?)
Are you only trying to please them
(Will they see then?)
You’re desperate to deliver
Anything that could give you
A sense of reassurance
When you look in the mirror

Such highs and lows
You put on quite a show
All these highs and lows
And you’re never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
You put on quite a show

Are you watching?
Are you watching?
Are you watching?

You’re a fraud and you know it
And every night and day you take the stage
And it always entertains
You’re giving pleasure
And that’s admirable, you tell yourself
And so you’d gladly sell yourself
To others

Are you watching?
Are you watching?
Are you watching?
Are you watching?

Such highs and lows
You put on quite a show
All these highs and lows
And you’re never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
Yeah you put on quite a show

No copyright infringement is intended by printing the lyrics of this song or posting videos.  It is the intention of this writer to promote the original work of the composers and musicians and links to artist sites are provided where possible along with links to music purchasing sites.

The 50 Most Romantic Movies Ever Made

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Sasha J Cameron:

In light of our movie lists, this one is a work of art. There are many that I am adding to my ‘to watch’ list. It sadly lacks the delights of Bronte or Austen interpretations, for me, but there are many gems, nonetheless. What’s missing here for you?

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

Ah, Valentine’s Day: flowers, candy, gifts, overpriced dinners, and wildly outsized expectations. And we can blame the movies for most of those expectations; few genres are as unfairly fantasy-based as the romance, and as prone to send jaded viewers like us into fits of gagging. But we’re also not made of wood; there are a good number of romantic movies that get us right in the old ticker. As a matter of fact, there are about 50 of them.

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