The Writer Side of Life

Writer On: July Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

Time to fly by July and set some new writing goals.

If you’d like, take a look at my June and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Write 200-300 words a day.
  • More research on 1920s (to help with descriptions).
  • Tweak character profiles.
  • Write a short story for the blog.

Reading Goals


What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: June Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

While the world turned upside down, did I reach my writing goals for this month? Keep reading to find out.


Writing Plans

  • Try to write a little everyday. – Slowly but surely, this novel is getting written. I still have my battles with writer’s block, like everyone does. However, I’m still trying to write a little each day. Even if it’s like 100 words. Something is something.
  • Decide whether to cut character out of story or not. For the past few weeks, I’ve been think about removing a character from the story. He wasn’t a bad character, far from it. He just didn’t fit well into the cast of characters. I forced him into scenes he didn’t need to be a part of. Once I trimmed this character out, I was actually relieved and excited about changing things up. Hopefully, my writer instinct is right on this decision.
  • More research on the roaring 1920s. – The setting of my WIP is 1920s New York City. When writing historical fiction, research is crucial. I felt a bit disconnected from that time period. This month, I took more time to do more research, finding vintage photos and new sources. And my Brooklyn in the 1920s book is a helpful companion on my bookshelf too.

Reading Goals

  • Read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald A good read, in my opinion. The story centers around Zelda Fitzgerald and her relationship with F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you are interested in this iconic couple or the roaring twenties, I recommend this book!
  • Continue to read over draft.Oh, my poor WIP. So much to do, so little time. Honestly though, reading over the draft shows me what work needs to be done, especially now that I’ve remove a character altogether. And reading it through helps with writer’s block too.

How did your writing endeavors go for this month? Talk to me in the comments! I love to hear from you guys. Also, click those links please, it helps support this blog.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

How to Choose a Read Worthy Book Title

Hello writer bees!

If there’s any silver lining to this chaotic time, it’s that writers are using their time to work on new projects. And with new projects comes a daunting task; Choosing the perfect title. It’s a huge question for any writer with a WIP. How do you create an interesting title that catches the readers attention and perfectly represents your story?

Today, I’m showing you what story elements can lead you to a read worthy title. Here are some ideas for where you can find the name of your book.

Character Inspired Titles

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If you have a character focused piece, pick a title that highlights the main character. Although it might be a simplistic option, a book named after a protagonist can be compelling to potential readers. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be the character’s name either. Think about the role the character plays in their world.

Examples

Setting Themed Titles

Consider naming the book after a prominent location featured in the story. Do the characters live in a specific town or residence? Or are they traveling to a certain destination? Settings transport the audience to a different time and place. Intrigue your readers with an invitation to a new world.

Examples

Memorable Line or Object

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Is the adventure centered around a coveted object? Or is there a sentence/phrase that sums up the entire novel? A memorable line or item featured in the story can become a great book title. Search through the text and find those stand out bits that you feel represent the entire novel well.

Examples

Bonus Tips for Book Titles

  • Represent the right genre: If you pick a title that sounds like a fantasy story but it’s really a murder mystery, reader will be confused. Choose a title that reflects the genre. Research book titles in your preferred genre before naming.
  • Understand the theme: What themes does the novel explore? Underlying themes can be transformed into thematic phrases. Theme inspired titles give a nod to the audience of what the story is about. (ex. Pride and Prejudice)
  • Look through bookshelf: Check out your bookshelf, or the shelves at a library or bookstore. As a reader, what kind of titles catch your attention? Novels from other writers may inspire a title for your own piece.

Bottom Line

When coming up with a book title, focus on the core elements of the story. A character, a setting or even a memorable line can become a read worthy title.

What is the title of your WIP/Novel and how did you choose it? What are some of your favorite book titles? Lemme know in the comments.

Stay safe and keep writing!

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: June Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

When the world turns upside down, here’s to fighting negativity with creativity. These are my writing goals for the month.

If you’d like, take a look at my May goals and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Try to write a little everyday.
  • Decide whether to cut character out of story or not.
  • More research on the roaring 1920s.

Reading Goals


What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: May Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

Did I reach my writing goals for May? Keep reading to find out!


Writing Plans

  • Write mystery/detective themed blog posts for the entire month. – Done! I’ve had a blast writing posts dedicated to sleuths and murder mysteries this month. And you guys seem to be loving it too, which makes me so happy. Be sure to check out all the posts from May of Mystery right here!
  • Give characters from WIP some TLC. – You know, it’s interesting to see my characters evolve the more I write and flush them out. I asked myself, “How do I make these characters feel more realistic?” Characters should be well rounded, with strengths and flaws and personalities. This is something I keep in mind as I write.
  • Try to write a little bit everyday. – I’ve actually been writing more lately, taking advantage of our time on lockdown. Feel like creative juices are flowing again after a serious drought, and it’s beautiful.

Reading Goals

  • Choose a new book to read for lockdown. – Still looking through my TBR books. I’m in the mood to read a story with NYC vibes. Recommendations anyone?
  • Read more blog posts from other writers. – In an effort to support other writers during this time, I’ve read, liked and followed a bunch of new blogs recently. Seriously, you guys are posting some amazing content! Connecting with other creators in the blogging and writing community has kept me afloat.

How did your writing endeavors for the month go? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: May Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

May the force be with me as I set my writing goals for this month.

If you’d like, take a look at my April goals and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Write mystery/detective themed blog posts for the entire month. (May of Mystery)
  • Give characters from WIP some TLC.
  • Try to write a little bit everyday. (500 words a day?)

Reading Goals

  • Choose a new book to read for lockdown.
  • Read more blog posts from other writers.

What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: April Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

I’m trying to make the most of lockdown. Did I reach my goals? Keep reading to find out.


Writing Plans

  • Participate in StayHomeWriMo. – Yes! Using StayHomeWriMo to reconnect with my WIP. I’ve been connecting with other writers on Twitter. I even set up a proper desk area to work in.
  • Keep working on initial suspect interviews. – Yes, but pacing those introductory interactions has been tricky. (Or maybe I’m overthinking things.)
  • Write a little (~200-300 words) everyday – I’ve done a bunch of freelance work this month, does that count? Regarding my WIP, I haven’t written everyday, but I have been writing. Note to self: Figure out work/writer balance.
  • Brainstorm new scenes. – I have, actually. I’m brainstorming scenes that my WIP needs as opposed to meaningless fluff just to bump the word count up. Letting those creative juices flow while on lockdown.

Reading Goals

  • Read entire first draft. – I’m reading through my first draft and taking notes. By taking a step back and looking at the whole picture, it’s helped my writer’s block and showed me what I need to work on plot wise.

What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Do Ronald Knox’s 1929 Rules on Detective Fiction Still Hold Up in 2020?

(With May Of Mystery right around the corner, I’ve decided to repost this article for last year. Enjoy!)

Hello my amateur sleuths!

Did you know that one famous author actually wrote rules for writing detective stories in the 1920’s?

Ronald Knox was a prominent figure in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. As a mystery loving priest, he published the Ten Commandments on Detective Fiction. Are the rules still relevant or outdated? Let’s investigate, shall we?

1.The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow.

True enough. If the author introduces the real killer towards the end, readers will feel cheated. How can they suspect a character that came out of nowhere? The criminal needs to be introduced within the first couple chapters of the story. Also, the audience, usually, isn’t allowed to enter the thoughts of the murderer. Their inner workings should remain unknown to the audience, until the very end.

2. All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course.

Now, I disagree with this one, just a smidge. If done right, multiple genres can be featured in a single story. Maybe a sprinkle of supernatural could work in a murder mystery. It’s all about balance. As long as the integrity of the whodunit remains solid, other genres can join in. A little fantasy and magic never killed nobody.

3. Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable.

I mean, he has a point. A second secret passage won’t garner as much surprise as the first secret passage. One hidden room is enough. Don’t push your luck.

4. No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.

Fair enough, Mr. Knox. Basically, this rule applies to all made up devices. Hard to acquire poisons from foreign lands or complex inventions are far too unlikely plotwise. Using an unusual method cheats the readers from unraveling the mystery themselves. Remember, detective fiction is meant to challenge the reader mentally, like a puzzle.

5. No Chinaman must figure in the story.

No, we’re not talking about those of Chinese descent. The term ‘Chinamen’ refers to evil mastermind character, maniacal laugh included. Antagonists need real motives. Their reason for committing a crime must be plausible. No sinister villains are welcome in a detective story.

6. No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right.

Frankly, this rule reminds me of those classic Scooby Doo cartoon, where clues fall into their laps. As tempting as it sounds, coincidences, chance happenings and bizarre hunches are just too easy. Every clue must be discovered on purpose, with purpose. Don’t just hand over clues on a silver platter. Make your detective, and the reader, work for every scrap of information.

7. The detective must not himself commit the crime.

Where’s the fun in that? Listen to Knox, it’d be a disaster to have the detective be the culprit. Plus, you’re killing any chance for a sequel. No pun intended.

8. The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader.

For fairness, the detective and the reader must have equal opportunity to solve the case. However, the sleuth can keep some less obvious clues to himself. Just collecting the insignificant clues in his/her pocket until the big reveal. The reader knows every hint, but just isn’t sure how important each piece of information is.

9. The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal any thoughts which pass through his mind; his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader.

I object to this one. Although he wasn’t smarter than Holmes, I wouldn’t consider Watson an idiot. Seriously, Watson could pull his own weight. The sidekick can have brains too. Heck, they may even become as asset for a detective during an investigation. Instead of being slightly below the reader’s intelligence, why can’t a sidekick’s intelligence be slightly below the detective’s brainpower?

10. Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them.

See, I feel like nowadays, audiences are thrilled by surprise doubles. Not all doubles or twin need a heads up in advance. (Side note: Have you guys been watching Cloak and Dagger? Talk about shocking doubles.)


Yes, all of these “commandments” have been broken in detective fiction before. However, some of these rules are still relevant by today’s standards. Murder mysteries are complicated games, whether you choose to take note of the rules or break them is up to you. You’re the writer.

What do you guys think of Knox’s rules from 1929? Do you think they still hold up to today’s whodunits? Let me know in the comments.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writer On: April Writing Goals

Hello Writer Bees!

Writing goals during a global quarantine? Sure, why not? Let’s make the most of lockdown.

If you’d like, take a look at my March goals and last month’s recap.


Writing Plans

  • Participate in StayHomeWriMo.
  • Keep working on initial suspect interviews.
  • Write a little (~200-300 words) everyday.
  • Brainstorm new scenes.

Reading Goals

  • Read entire first draft. (because I’m stuck plot wise)

What do you guys think of my goals? And what are your writing plans for this month? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

Writer On: March Writing Goals (Recap)

Hello Writer Bees!

So, the world turned upside down right after I posted my March goals. Did I reach my goals? Keep reading to find out.

If you’d like, take a look at my February goals and last month’s recap.


WIP Novel Plans

  • Reach 30,000 total words. – I’m closing in on 30,000 words, the halfway point of my overall word count. Hoping to fly past that number while in quarantine.
  • Try not to edit or delete anything. – Yes! I didn’t delete anything, which, for me, is an accomplishment. I marked some lines that may need to be revised or cut. Otherwise, I just kept writing.
  • Work on initial suspect interviews – It’s a big job. More work needs to be done. Those initial interviews are important to the story, and they introduce all the suspects to the reader.

Reading Goals

  • Finish reading Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man – And they called Ernest Hemingway a minimalist. The dialogue’s really snappy and the husband and wife duo is one of a kind.

How did your writing endeavors for the month go? Talk to me in the comments!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing Services // Follow Me on Twitter

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