Rayne Hall is offering a freebie!

Rayne Hall, for those not familiar with her, is a horror writer but she also writes some very helpful writing-guides. The subjects of these vary between marketing ideas, advice on how to write specific scenes, and how to self-edit (all very helpful to new writers or those who fancy a change of genre).   You’ll still need an editor. Even editors use editors.

Now she is offering a free workbook when you sign up to the mailing-list. Be aware that it might take a day to come through so make sure you have the email address (from the confirmation) on your safe-senders list or it will end up in the junk file.

What is it?

This is a twenty-six-page collection of fifteen individual writing exercises, aimed to develop your own voice within your existing work. These exercises are very helpful and will aid you in your self-editing process. By all means allow your favourite authors to influence your work, there is even an exercise to pick your top five (harder than you think to narrow down: I came up with ten on the spot), but the idea is to emulate, not imitate.   This will be a great help to new writers, and those who want to improve their work.

Look what came in the post this morning!

Look what came in the post this morning!

Since 2011, while looking after my three delightful [read as you deem most appropriate] children (7, 5 and 3), I have been studying with the Open University.  Today I got my certificate. It’s kind of a weird feeling actually.  While it marks the end of five years of extremely hard work, it also marks the beginning of something.  What that something is, is not quite what I had initially intended because I needed a better degree than this to take that road. I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed, but the world is full of disappointed graduates and I am not prepared to let my efforts, thus far, go to waste, or let others set horizons of my ability anymore.


My certificate!


Courses (Part 2)

Okay, make that four online courses.  Queue the statement “My name is Anna, and I am a study addict.” Why have I done this?  Simply put, to make me better equipped at helping the authors who come to me for my services. I digress.

Harry DeWulf has very generously given me a voucher to take his Read Worthy Fiction Course (and inadvertently enabled my addiction to self driven distance study). I’m currently listening to the audio files for the first two lessons and madly jotting down ideas for my first 500 words. In keeping with the theme of the course, I intend to publish my finished article but I am undecided about how.  I am considering an episodic approach to publishing. Right here on this blog.  I have (probably unwisely) decided to allow my readers have a say on this.

[polldaddy poll=9542330]

I should probably go away now and consider what I have actually let myself in for…

Additional information.

  • Harry Dewulf can be found on Twitter @densewords.
  • The Read Worthy Fiction Course is available via Udemy.com and normally costs £95. I have placed a link to his website in the sidebar of my main website but you can find links to his courses here. I highly recommend his advice.



I have just signed up for three, yes, three online courses.

This free online course is for English language teachers around the world. It will help you develop the skills and practices you need for your continuing professional development (CPD).

This course is part of our Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching program. In the program we will look at the 12 professional practices for CPD on the British Council’s teacher development framework.

In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will examine the choices storytellers make to snag our imaginations, drag them into a fictional world, and keep them there. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end.

Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.

  • identify strengths and weaknesses as a writer of fiction
  • demonstrate a general awareness of fiction writing
  • discuss fiction using basic vocabulary.

I do this with two reasons in mind.

First and foremost is to update and revise my own skills.  While I hold a degree, it is in a very specific area of history. It also dawned on me recently that I took my English Literature A’ Level sixteen years ago.  That was a realisation that had me reaching for the teabags and kettle, believe me. So here I am updating my skills, but don’t believe for one moment that I feel like this is a chore.  I love these online distance learning courses.  I spent five years with the Open University, taking one module at a time, to get my degree and while some units were more interesting to me than others, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Any chance for more study is welcome.  Yes, I am one of those…

Secondly, I initially began my degree with a career in teaching in mind.  Now I have finished and, much like my two co-authors on this blog, I find myself on a path to a career in editing.  While not quite the path I was expecting, editing work remains essentially a teaching role.  It is my job to guide writers on their way to publishing the best work they can produce. I do still hope to train in F.E. teaching and if that helps me to become a better editor, then so much the better. I have not stopped on my path, I have merely taken a minor detour.