Checklist 2 – how to self-publish on Amazon

As I’ve mentioned, a friend and I have picked up the challenge to try and write blogs on seventy-three different subjects. I am just working my way down the list, he is picking his topics at random. Yesterday I wrote about checklists; I produced a checklist for self-editing a book, forgetting completely that I had written about self-editing in another of the 73! Doh!!

So, to be fair, I am going to write about another checklist, this time I am writing about how to self-publish on Amazon

  • set up an Amazon account – this is easy, at the bottom of the Amazon page, under ‘Make money with us’, is a link ‘independently publish with us’
  • you should arrive at a page titled ‘bookshelf’ and there is a box which says ‘create a new book’ with a choice of paperback or kindle – choose which you want (you can always do the other one later!)
  • I am going to follow the set-up for a paperback, but it is equally easy to set-up for Kindle
  • You will be taken to a page where you enter the details
  • Language – the language you are publishing in…  I publish in English but there are plenty of languages to choose from
  • Title and subtitle – you write in your title, if you have a sub-title put that in its own box, if you don’t have a subtitle leave it blank
  • Series – if you think you might write a series, put in the title of the whole series – for example for my Radwinter series I put ‘Radwinter’ and then the volume number and the volume title
  • if you are doing this for the first time where the next box asks for edition number, it will be 1. If you edit or revise your text, then it will be a subsequent number
  • The next box is for author – and that is you; if you are writing with a different name, put your writing name in here
  • under that is another box for contributors – and there is a drop down menu which includes such things as ‘editor’, illustrator’, etc. I am shortly going to publish an anthology with two friends, so their names go in there and they are both credited as ‘author’. You can add as many people as you like
  • the next text box is for a description – this is what the prospective reader will see when s/he comes across your masterpiece on Amazon. You want to make it as intriguing and interesting as possible!
  • the next check is for copyright and publishing rights – tick as appropriate (there are helpful explanations if you’re not sure!)
  • Next you have to think of seven words or phrases to describe your potential best-seller. For our anthology to be we used: poem, short story, creative non-fiction, polemic, geology, science fiction, euphoric writing
  • The next choice is of category, and there is an impressive selection to choose from – you can choose two – these are things like fiction/non-fiction/poetry etc
  • The last question on this first page ass if you have ever used CreateSpace… I haven’t so I didn’t have to answer any further questions
  • The next page continues first of all by checking if you need an ISBN number; Amazon will assign you one if you don’t have your own already
  • Then you can if you wish, set your own publication date
  • for a paperback you have a choice of type of paper, cover and size
  • You then upload your manuscript – it is as easy as attaching a document to an email; it may take some time if it is a very long book! When I say some time, I mean time in minutes not hours! Enough time to make a cup of tea.
  • Once you have manuscript uploaded then you can design your cover – if you already have one, upload that (I’ve not done this, I have just used Amazon’s own formats) This is quite tricky – not in the doing of it, but in the choosing of the right style, colours, pictures, the etc – trying to make sue you have got it right!!
  • The next step is to preview it, where you have a virtual book on the screen in front of you and you are able to edit and adjust… If you change your manuscript, you have to upload it again, but that is no problem
  • The last page you have to do is to decide on price, publication details, various admin details… it is very straightforward, and there are drop-down boxes explaining and guiding you all the way.
  • Good luck!!

Maybe this is not so much a check-list as a guide… well, whatever it is, I hope it is helpful!

Here are my books self-published on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden&sprefix=lois+e%2Caps%2C419&crid=1RW9VEPBQPRLE

and a direct link to my Radwinter series, including the first paperback (more to follow!)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/RADWINTER-5-Book-Series/dp/B072HTG366/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1507662328&sr=8-5&keywords=lois+elsden

The lost brother

Looking back to when I first began my Radwinter stories I had forgotten how much I changed my plans and thoughts… This is what I wrote in 2012:

For quite a while I’ve had a character lurking in my busy writing brain .. now he has been joined by two brothers. I can see them so clearly the three of them, but as yet they have no story, and apart from being related to each other, they have no other connections like wives or parents.

They have no names but one of them, not necessarily the oldest, maybe the middle one, is about forty-five but as yet he doesn’t have a job or profession… although maybe he is a wine merchant… He is quite burly but not fat, quite tall but not a giant, he is always smartly – impeccably dressed but in a casual style… so designer jeans, expensive shirts definitely not off the peg, and shoes from a shoe shop not an outlet. Maybe he shops at Ede and Ravenscroft. He is quite controlled but seems amiable, has a twinkle in his eye and a dimple in his cheek, but people who meet him should beware, he is as hard as nails and quick in a fight. He is prematurely grey, has very blue eyes and is head-turningly handsome.

 

His brother who might actually be a few years older, around fifty, is very obviously his brother although smaller, and less grey and with friendly greenish eyes. He really is totally laid back, so laid back he is almost horizontal; but like his brother he has a core of steel and his enemies would be unwise to underestimate him. He is never short of girlfriends or lovers, but is secretly looking for ‘the one‘ to live with and love for the rest of his life. He’s not bothered about clothes, in fact he sometimes looks eccentrically scruffy. Maybe he’s a teacher, maybe he’s a writer, maybe he makes music… maybe he does all three.

The youngest brother is in his late thirties or about forty. He looks like his silver-haired brother did ten years previously but he is smaller, wiry and busy. His skin is always tanned even in winter, and he has the same cheek-dimpling grin, the same crinkling eyes which are definitely green. He wears jeans or dark trousers  t-shirts and jackets, as if he cares how he looks but can’t afford to dress as his silver-haired brother. He has a wild side to him though, and when he goes out with his oldest brother they can get into mischief even though they are way old enough to know better!

Well that certainly changed! The second brother vanished altogether! Well, he vanished but some aspects of him morphed into the youngest that I wrote about here.  Some time later I wrote about the brothers again:

… and now I not only have some possible names for them, but also a couple of other family members… probably cousins. My stories seem to be full of cousins, maybe because I love my own cousins so much. In fact it was while I was out and about in Essex with one of them that I saw a sign to the village of Radwinter and thought what a splendid name it would make. It then occurred to me that maybe Redwinter would be better… what do you think?

It was suggested by my cousin’s middle son that names beginning with J would go well with such a surname… I tried not to have my children with names beginning with the same name but it suddenly seemed that this family might well do that. So give me your thoughts:

  • oldest brother, wine merchant, prematurely silver-grey, blue eyes, sturdy but deceptively hard… Justin, Jerry (short for Jericho, his mother’s maiden name) or Jack
  • middle brother, greyish, very blue eyes, totally laid-back, slightly scruffy/hippy type… Jules (short for Julian, his father’s name) , Joe or Jimmy
  • youngest brother, teacher or wine-bar owner, brown hair, beard, tanned , green eyes… James, Johnny or Jasper

Cold… does Radwinter sound too cold, would Redwinter be better?

Somehow they have also acquired two cousins… the elder, who is probably the oldest in the family, has longish curly greying hair, piercing blue eyes and an unblinking deadly stare, he is severe and strict, but essentially kind, generous and protective of his younger brother. He is probably a priest or someone who is committed and driven, and has had to take on responsibility from an early age, losing him his young adulthood, and probably friends and girlfriends too.

His younger brother is the baby of the family, chubby, and sweet-faced, he has floppy brown hair in a long fringe, and a reddish short beard; he is always eating, or looking for something to eat. He may appear innocent, but he is probably the most intelligent of them all, and his Bambi eyes belie a shrewd and decisive nature. He is not to be underestimated, although he usually is, even by his family.

As for names for these two… I haven’t a clue!

I didn’t use any of the names i thought about – except Johnny did change to John for that character and there is a cousin Max. The cousin who seemed to be a priest, became a vicar and also joined the family as the eldest. Radwinter didn’t change to Redwinter, and the new youngest brother did not have the grazing habit I originally thought he might have! The oldest one is a wine merchant,…

Another post, and things have changed again…

…suddenly there was Peter Radwinter knocking on the door of his brother, Paul who had asked him over to meet his new fiancée, Ruthie.

I had been thinking about a family of brothers, I’d pondered over names and yet suddenly here they were on the page, with a fiancée and an as yet unseen wife, Rachel, and a cousin called Max. Paul it appears, has four sons, the youngest of which is twelve-year old Will. I have a feeling first names may change, they don’t quite fit what I have in mind…

On looking back at my previous post about the Radwinter family I find that then I had in mind two sets of cousins, Jerry, Jules and Johnny and two others. Somehow they have morphed into one family, and lost a brother in the transition…

Peter Radwinter! I had totally forgotten that my main character was Peter! Rachel became Rebecca but Ruthie remained Ruthie.

And finally…

Something which has happened while I have been writing this,  the narrator of the story has changed name; he was Peter, now he’s Thomas. Thomas has gone to visit a woman (the reason is concealed at the moment) He has arranged to visit her but when he arrives at her beautiful house, no-on answers the door so he wanders round to the back garden, and there she is on a lounger, sun-bathing. Suddenly a man appears and accuses Thomas of being a Peeping Tom and chases him off the property after hitting him in the face. Thomas drives quickly away, a mixture of outrage, embarrassment and humiliation churning within. But who was the woman? And who was the man who attacked Thomas?

So at last Thomas is Thomas… the incident with the sun-bathing woman was excised from ‘Radwinter’, but appeared much, much later, in the fourth novel in the series, ‘Beyond Hope’.

I am writing novel number six, provisionally entitled Saltpans, but already I have ideas for number seven – if that should ever happen!! One of these ideas might have been lurking in my subconscious for a very long time, because as I reread these original posts, there was one thing I wrote many years ago – Somehow they have morphed into one family, and lost a brother in the transition… wait a minute… a lost brother! Hey! How about that…. a lost brother… my mind is bubbling… 

Yes, you read it here first, a lost brother… and maybe he will be called Peter!

Here’s a link to my Radwinter books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/RADWINTER-5-Book-Series/dp/B072HTG366/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1507040972&sr=8-7&keywords=lois+elsden

 

A smashing day at the races

Recently a few friends and I have got together for a’write-in’. We meet at someone’s house (usually mine) and just sit and write, fuelled by tea or coffee and biscuits. I’ve found it very productive… I would feel guilty slacking or faffing about with other stuff when my co-writers are busy working away!

It has been very useful for my latest book, another story of Thomas Radwinter…. here is a little extract. He and his wife Kylie have gone to a small hotel so she can discuss some projects with the owner, Sylvie. The hotel which is actually more of a guest house is called Saltern House.

There were four chaps sitting along the bar, definitely chaps not blokes, I could hear their plummy tones and braying laughter. In actual fact they were quite friendly and harmless and Sylvie introduced them as her friends. They had been to the races they explained, in fact they explained several times…  There were other guests sitting by the window, in what must have been a lovely seat to look out across the sea… Saltern House was not quite opposite the pub, so there was a wonderful view – at this time of night with a full moon reflecting of the ripply sea it was just gorgeous! In the distance were the twinkles of the lights on Farholm Island, and the regular sweeping flash of the light house at the end…

I got a bit on the muddle with the names of the men at the bar, it was a rather drunken introduction and there were nick-names and silly names, and other names were mentioned so afterwards I could only think of them as the kindly red-faced bushy bearded doctor (who bore an unfortunate resemblance to the mass murdering Dr Harold Shipman) a very thin bald man with a long lugubrious face who I think was called Weasel, although that obviously was a nick-name… well, I think it was, I must look up Weasel as a surname… unless it was German, something like Wessel, but he was also Stoat – and the old joke about the difference between a weasel and a stoat (weasilly distinguishable and stoatally different) was repeated several times so I ended up very confused. He had no beard at all but a rather long chin which may have been improved by a beard.

There was a very tall guy, (was he really called Syracuse or was that another joke?) – he was younger than the other three, and he looked a bit rackety compare to them, especially since they had been to the races and they were wearing suits. He was wearing black jeans and trainers and a grey jumper without a shirt, and a jacket which looked as if it might belong to someone else. However, he was the poshest, and I know I have a bit of a thing about people wearing glasses – I sometimes find them a bit sinister, well, he had very sinister glasses! Harold Shipman had glasses too, but they were kindly school master glasses (school masters in old films, not any teachers I ever had)

The fourth person was short but very bulky, quite powerful looking with a phenomenal beard, bigger than Harold Shipman’s bushy  face fungus and it turns out he was a yachtie and had a big boat in Strand… He was called Arnold, I think, and he asked  if I was into sailing, well, no, I wasn’t, I was a bit of a fatty for that – he laughed and slapped his own fine belly, and then all the others did too – a sort of juvenile horseplay which was a bit strange for blokes their age. Later in the conversation when I said we had children he said that his yacht club ran classes for kids, from quite a young age  if I thought they might be interested… well, actually that sounded quite a nice idea… they now had wet suits, they could both swim…

They were all very jolly, the yachtie was very drunk, and Syracuse (that can’t be his real name) may also have been, but they were all jovial and there was a lot of banter and storytelling. They bought another round and insisted on buying us another too.

“So, Thomas, what sort of line are you in?” asked Arnold.

I explained I mostly looked after the kids but was a part-time solicitor, which they all seemed to find interesting and funny and there was a lot of banter… I’m used to all the jokes, and as long as no-one is rude about Kylie I don’t really mind. I asked them what sort of line they were in; Harold Shipman was actually a doctor at the hospital, Weasel was an ex-teacher, Syracuse (I must have misheard that, they all called him Sy) had a removals company and yachtie Arnold was in logistics.

They were very friendly, but to be honest not really my type, all seemed a bit posh and ‘old boyish’ and I thought my old boss Gerald would fit in well here. They told me they’d had a smashing day at the races which was why they were all a bit ‘on the squiff’, as yachtie described it.

I suppose I had an OK evening with them, but hearty drunks with in-jokes are a bit wearying, and as some of the jokes might have been about me  which I didn’t quite get, it wasn’t an altogether comfortable way to spend my time…

© Lois Elsden 2017

Here is a link to my other books and you can find all the Thomas Radwinter books there as well as other things I’ve written:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_6?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=lois+elsden&sprefix=lois+e%2Caps%2C159&crid=34JGIWWL3WPQJ

Terribly sorry but something has come up…

I’m about three-quarters of the way through the first go at my next Radwinter novel, which may be called ‘Saltpans‘, or may not…  Thomas Radwinter is on his way to see a client, but en route he is calling in on someone else, Fergs. Fergs has a stalker and Thomas is trying to find out who it is.

I confess as I was tootling off to meet my client, a little early now as I’d walked particularly briskly,  I hardly had any thoughts in my head as I turned into the gate of the place where Fergs lived. It was one of those buildings which was like a large semi-detached house but in actual fact was four flats.
There didn’t seem to be a bell… there was a square of plastic with two wires hanging out as if it had been a bell, but no actual place where I could ring anything. Slightly stumped I pushed at the door and it opened into a small hallway with a door on my left and a staircase in front of me. There was a note above the bell of the door telling me a Mrs O’Mahony lived there.
I glanced at my phone, I had ten minutes so a few minutes chat to Fergs then off up the road to my client’s house…
I was a bit out on the timings… I bounded up the stairs and Fergs’ door was ajar. I knocked and called out, but there was no response. I pushed the door open wider and I should have guessed…
“Fergs! It’s Thomas! I just need a couple of minutes and…”
I’d crossed the small hall, bedroom straight in front of me, the covers thrown back on the unmade bed and turned to the left, past a closed door. The kitchen was to the left and the sitting room on the right…
The stench was overpowering… Fergs hadn’t been in work on Monday, Tuesday or yesterday… he was slumped back in an armchair, his legs splayed out, his head forward resting on his chest, on his bloodstained chest… it was as if he had been standing up when he was attacked and staggered back, collapsing into the chair, and slumping to die there…
I had only seen one dead body before, a drowned woman on a beach… I glanced around… I think actually I was in shock because it wasn’t rational to just stand there and look around… It was a plain sort of a room with wonderful pictures and paintings on the walls. There were book cases full of books, a large TV. Nothing was disturbed or messed up, nothing seemed broken. There was a coffee table and there was a wallet on it, and a watch and mobile… Fergs had been murdered…
Fuck!!!!! I spun round and dashed from the room, my stomach heaving, by chest gripped by an imminent asthma attack, but all I thought was I had to get out and I mustn’t be sick…
I made it outside and virtually collapsed on the low wall round the small front neat garden… I rang the police, 999 and then I rang my client… terribly sorry but something has come up, I’ll have to ring to make another appointment, terribly sorry…
Yes… Fergs was dead…

© Lois Elsden 2017

Here’s a link to my other Radwinter books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/RADWINTER-5-Book-Series/dp/B072HTG366/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506550154&sr=1-15&keywords=lois+elsden

Radwinter is also available in paperback:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/RADWINTER-Lois-Elsden/dp/1521415196/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506550154&sr=1-1&keywords=lois+elsden

For sale!

In the novel which I am writing at the moment (although I have had a non-productive few days, real life interfering with imaginary lives!) my main character Thomas is trying to buy a new house for his eve-expanding family. I have the perfect house in mind for them, with everything they need, but he has also gone to view other places with his wife. When I write about houses and homes, I usually have a very clear idea in mind of what the property is like inside and out… usually loosely based on somewhere real I have lived, stayed or visited which I vaguely remember. However sometimes I see a house and it inspires me to write about it. Sometimes I make up the details, but if it is for sale I look up the real particulars of the property. Once I have that, then I can play about with it, add rooms, extend rooms, knock through, put in or take out windows and doors, add secret staircases or passageways (stories in my childhood were full of these and they intrigue me!)

Here are the detail of a house I saw for sale:

Key Features –

  • Mixed Use Period End of Terrace Property
  • Renovation Required
  • Courtyard Garden and Garage
  • First Floor Living Accommodation

Description – a mixed-use, end of terrace period property, with a courtyard garden and garage, requiring modernisation and improvement The accommodation is arranged over two floors, comprising:

  • ground floor – retail area, kitchen and rear hall
  • first floor – the landing provides access to a sitting room, kitchen, two bedrooms and bathroom with separate  lavatory.
  • outside – courtyard rear garden, store-room and garage.

Details

  • Retail Area – divided into three areas; a counter, various cold cabinets and shelving; a single glazed window to the front, part single glazed door to the side. Door to the kitchen
  • Kitchen –  base units with worktops over a single sink, drainer and mixer tap; part tiled walls; space and plumbing for washing machine; a gas hob over a built-in oven;  double glazed window to the side. Door to the entrance hall
  • Entrance – timber door to the rear.; door to stairs to first floor
  • Landing  – door to the sitting room. Door and steps down to the bathroom
  • Bathroom – fitted with a panelled bath; pedestal wash hand basin; part tiled walls; door to the airing cupboard; an obscured single glazed sash window to the side. Multi-paned glazed door to the lavatory
  • Lavatory – fitted with low-level lavatory; obscured single glazed sash window to the rear.
  • Sitting Room – 13′ 0” x 9′ 7” (3.96m x 2.92m) Door to built-in storage cupboard. Double glazed window to side. Door to the lavatory
  • Inner Hall – wall mounted RCDs ( residual current devices); double glazed window to the side. Doors to bedroom 2 and the kitchen
  • Kitchen – wall and base units; roll edge worktops; inset stainless steel circular sink with a drainer and mixer tap; inset electric hob over a built-in double oven; loft access;  a double glazed window to the side. Door to bedroom 1
  • Bedroom 1 – timber mantle over a gas fire with tiled hearth and surround; dual aspect room with double glazed windows to the front and side
  • Bedroom 2 – blanked fireplace; built-in storage cupboard to one side of the chimney breast

Outside –

  • courtyard with external store and side access into garage; garage attached to next door, with twin timber doors to front

Isn’t it just ready to be written about?

The house in my featured image is a completely different place – an abandoned property in Bristol!

Here is a link to my stories about Thomas, my e-books and my recently published paperbacks:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden&sprefix=lois+e%2Caps%2C135&crid=3R31HWOJM4KHR

There he is! Walking down the street!

My subject of my novel ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’ is easy to guess!! I return to the theme of stalkers and being stalked in the book I am working on now, provisionally called ‘Saltpans’; one of the characters is troubled by someone who seems to be stalking him… at present it is harmless, letters, small gifts, other messages. He doesn’t know who it is but it’s troubling.

I came across something I wrote some time ago, and this is from the point of view of someone who becomes intrigued then infatuated and then obsessed about a stranger… Here is an excerpt:

There he is walking down the street in front of me! … There he was just a-walking down the street.. is that a song from the sixties? Or maybe it was something else… there he stood in the street , smiling from his head to his feet

But anyway – there he is! And before I know it I’m walking after him, following him! He walks quite quickly, but then he does everything quickly. I’ve watched him working, and whatever it is, selling tickets, doing stuff behind the counter, making coffee, rearranging chairs, he works quickly… not hurrying, not rushed, not slap-dash, he’s just quick.

I keep up with him as he goes round the corner walking along past the back of the shopping centre. Slim waisted, neat figure… he isn’t very tall, long-bodied rather than long-legged, wearing jeans as usual and a black polo shirt.

Suddenly he stops and I almost stop too but he has met someone and I have to carry on walking, stepping out into the road to go round them.

I get a snatch of conversation, his friend, a taller man, balding and with has short blondy red beard, is saying something about Clacton… Clacton? Isn’t that a seaside town in… in Essex maybe?

I cross over the entrance to the car park, and there’s no traffic to stop me and I’m walking away, wanting to glance over my shoulder… I get to the corner and stop and get out my phone and stare at it hopefully… then I have to cross over, I can’t stand there for ever. But the lights are red so I wait. I glance left and he’s standing beside me, so close that I can see a blue mark on his cheek as if he’s stabbed himself with a pen.

I stare across the road, and it’s only when someone pushes against me, someone behind me that I step out and move, a couple of feet behind him again. He cuts across in front of me and has only gone a few yards beyond the crossing when a car stops, he bends to look in and then opens the door and slips into the passenger seat. There’s a burst of music then the door shuts and they drive away… I stop and stare after them, memorising the number…

“Are you alright, dear?” an elderly gentleman asks me. “Do you need help?”

I gather my sense… no I’m fine, I tell him with a smile, I’ve just remembered something… and thanking him again I set off to find the nearest bar… and when I lift the large glass of Pinot, my hand’s trembling.

© Lois Elsden 2017

Here is a link to my e-books, and my recently published paperbacks, ‘So You Want To Write‘, and ‘Radwinter’:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden&sprefix=lois+e%2Caps%2C136&crid=1Q08W85YOOTFO

Tracking

 

I’ve been writing about writing over the last couple of weeks – yes, I know I’ve been writing about writing ever since I first write this blog, but I’ve been thinking about planning and target setting. Some writers – maybe many writers, plan their story in the most minute detail, writing biographies and back stories for their characters as well as family  histories and descriptions (even details which don’t appear in the actual finished work) Some writers have time-lines, and plot lines, and wall maps which look like a map of London underground, and do huge amounts of research about every aspect of the history and geography of the locations… Sometimes it takes a year or so before they are even ready to write!

I confess, I don’t plan… I have ideas… I have thoughts… I may even have some half-started pieces, or left over pieces from other stories. I do end up with all the other things, biographies, back-stories, timelines – except mainly they are in my head. In Radwinter, because unexpectedly it became a series, I do have actual written down family trees, but that’s mainly because they are genealogical mysteries!

Target setting… I generally have a vague idea these days about when a story might be finished, and from then a similarly vague idea of when it might be published, but with one exception, I don’t set myself a target to complete certain parts, or write a certain amount. The one exception is the National Novel Writing Month, an annual on-line challenge to write 50,00 words of a novel in one month. I have done it for the past four years, and completed it, but I have to admit last year was a struggle… but I did finish!

In the past, except for NaNoWriMo, I haven’t set myself a set number of words to write in a day, week, month etc. It hasn’t seemed necessary. However, just at the moment I have so many writing projects, that I confess, I am losing momentum with my latest novel, another Radwinter story, probably to be called ‘Saltpans’.

Then, two things happened… one of my favourite writers who I follow on Twitter, posts a daily word count. I suspect there are several reasons, none of which are to be boastful or brag; I guess it’s a way of motivating himself to write, knowing he’s going to be sharing the results, good or bad, and also to give himself a sense of achievement, and also to set himself a target… yes, target setting.

When I first started teaching, learning to be a teacher, I had to write lesson plans which might be why I so hate planning now. Aims, objectives, method (or some other word) what actually happened (can’t remember the word we used then) future development (or something like that. Our lesson plans were really simple, and as an aid to teaching for a learner, it was quite useful (I never thought I would ever say that!!) When I was a proper teacher, I still planned, of course I did, but my written notes were just jottings of what I was going to do. I knew what my aim and my objective was, it was obvious, that was why I was teaching it! All was well in the world of teaching (sort of) for many,many years, until suddenly I was told to start planning my lessons ‘properly’ again. I have to say I rebelled big time – I became a very naughty teacher (as opposed to a naughty student)

… but this is all off the point – except that detailed planning really puts me off and shuts down inspiration and spontaneity – and actually has the negative effect of making me feel anxious and irritated!

The second thing that happened was that I was cruising round the NaNoWriMo site as I often do, seeing what’s new:

http://nanowrimo.org

… and I came across a ‘tracker’ device. It is not tied to the November challenge, or any of the other activities (writing camps for example) it is just a thing which allows you to set a target of however many words in however many days/week/months, you set the final date.Well, I thought to myself, well this is light – why don’t I have a go? So I set myself a two month target to try to write eight hundred, 800, words a day.

I mentioned last Tuesday that I was going to try and have a set word target, and that was before I discovered the NaNo goal tracker… so last Tuesday I started… and I am pleased to say it’s worked really well! I’m not sure I will do it for everything I write but the beauty of it is it’s just anonymous words not attached to any complete thing – so I could do a track for two weeks to finish off a particular part of something for example. The word count is averaged out – so if I don’t manage one day, if I’ve banked enough words from another day, I am still on target!

It’s like going to a fitness camp where you build up your writing muscles and stamina! So in seven days I wrote 6,350 words, which works out at just over 900 a day!!! Wow! I am so impressed with myself – and so pleased with getting back into the rhythm of writing!

By the way… it would be interesting to see how many words I write here every day!!

Here is a link to my e-books and my recently published paperback, Radwinter:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden

… and if you want to follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/LOCOIMLOCO