Week 2 | Write a paragraph pitching your book and then distil it into no more than 3 sentences (basically, a blurb). Show both.

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 2

I have gone through so many drafts and redrafts of my ‘pitch’ over the last four years and I’m still not 100% happy with the one I’ve currently settled on. In fact, even as I write this blog post, I’m thinking of ways to change it. It’s a very difficult skill to master and I wish you all luck with it (and, if anyone can give me pointers, I am listening). Here we go…


The paragraph:

When her grandfather’s house explodes, 11-year-old Anna Squires is thrown into a hidden world of magic, myth and legend. The Seelie Court – home of the proud and vicious Sidhe – isn’t just a place from her grandfather’s bedtime stories. It’s real; filled with wicked faeries, stolen children and deadly kelpies. Far from home, Anna discovers a family secret: her grandfather is King of the Fair Folk, and wants to name her as his heir. Yet, not everyone agrees with the king’s decision. Some, in fact, would kill to change his mind…

And the distilled three sentences:

When her grandfather’s house explodes, 11-year-old Anna Squires discovers she’s the heir to a hidden kingdom of myth and legend: the Seelie Court. Surrounded by the proud Sidhe, vicious goblins and deadly kelpies, she must prove herself worthy of the Elder Throne or lose her grandfather forever. But someone else wants the Throne for themselves; in fact, they’d kill for it…



phewPitching is the hardest thing about writing, in my opinion.

I suppose, like any form of writing, a lot of practice is required!

Week 1 | Your inspiration / motivation for writing the book

Part of the Acres of Ink 52 Week Writing Challenge >>

Week 1

My inspiration for The Elder Throne came from a lie I told my oldest niece, Issy. Aged five, she was having behavioural issues that were driving her mother (my sister) around the bend. I decided to help out… Continue reading

Betting dangerously

It’s no secret how much I adore everything Robin Hobb does, and how badly I want to get my hands on Assassin’s Fate when it comes out on the 4th May.

It is also no secret that I’m incredibly gifted at procrastination and that 2016 was basically a black hole of progress for me. I have a book to edit and query and I’ve put it off for far too long.

That’s about to change, for I have made a bet. I agreed the terms last night: a book for a book.


I, K. F. Goodacre, will complete my edit of The Elder Throne before the 4th of May 2017. I will present it to my partner (and also my writing partner, S.E. Berrow) on this date. If I fail to do so, the novel Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb will be taken from me and I will not be allowed to read it until I have completed what I set out to do, whether this takes days, weeks, months or years.


It’s serious now.

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A Changeling’s Guide to… Seelie Slang

Seelie Slang

 As if being stolen by faeries isn’t tough enough, there’s a whole load of new things to learn once you’re in the Seelie Court. Seelie Slang is one of them.

Don’t know your grotsnozzles from your wiffletrots? Don’t let your flucktumble bangboggle you.

Priya Dhawan, Changeling and survival expert, has your back.

FAERIE SLANG HUMAN TRANSLATION IN A SENTENCE…
Badb’s nostrils Oh dear! / Oh no! / A polite expression of dismay “Badb’s nostrils, that’s not good at all…”
Bangboggled Confused “I have to admit, I’m rather bangboggled with the whole thing.”
Clotswob Clumsy “Milo is such a clotswob.”
Dagda’s dangles Excellent “This party is the Dagda’s dangles!”
Flucktumble A difficult position “I’d like to help, really I would, but I’m in a bit of a flucktumble this week.”
Flumweasel The worst person imaginable “Don’t be a flumweasel.”
Globskite Term of affection for a friend who is being an idiot “I love you, but you can be such a globskite at times.”
Gnarlbucket A difficult and annoying person “Burr’s being a gnarlbucket. As usual.”
Go ride a Kelpie Get lost / go away / I hope something extremely unpleasant happens to you “Nettle Reed can go ride a Kelpie for all I care.”
Grotsnozzle A mean person, usually stuck-up, snooty or of high birth “Leander is such a grotsnozzle.”
Macha’s breath Oh my! / Expression of shock “Macha’s breath! What did you do that for?”
Puck’s bottom Oh dear / oh no / an impolite expression of dismay “You want me to do what?? Oh… Puck’s bottom.”
Puck’s ears / nose My goodness! “Puck’s nose, you’re lazy!”
Sludgesnipe A sneaky or a badly behaved person, usually of low birth “How dare you, you utter sludgesnipe!”
Splunktucker Gosh darn it / Expression of distress “Argh! Splunktucker!”
Wiffle Rubbish / nonsense / chatter “Spindle talks a lot of wiffle most of the time.”
Wiffletrot Someone who talks a lot / chatterbox “I know I can be a bit of a wiffletrot at times…”
Wisplet A daydreamer / someone who is flighty or easily distracted “Oh, Spindle. Why are you such a wisplet? Concentrate!”

So, now you understand what on earth the Seelie are saying, all you have to worry about is finding your way around, or avoiding curses, or not eating Faerie food in case you get trapped there forever, or not running into dangerous creatures (like Kelpies) who want to kill you, or…

Good luck.

Block Be-Gone: A writer who writes once more!

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The final vestiges of my Winter Court writer’s block have disappeared. Woohoo! Specifically, they disappeared on Friday when I finished the final amendments to The Elder Throne, thus freeing up my creative brain space.

It’s been a hard slog through Winter Court so far, and I couldn’t fathom the reason why. I loved the plot and the characters… so why couldn’t I write it? Apparently, it was because my subconscious knew Elder Throne still had some kinks I needed to iron out, and wouldn’t let me leave the manuscript alone before I did.


I should be clear: whilst entertaining this writer’s block, I wrote 23,000 words of Winter Court. I just hated all of them. All. Of. Them. I wanted to write anything but them.

So, now I have my brain back, I’m revamping it. I’ve already redressed Chapter One to my satisfaction, worked out the problem I had with Anna’s nemesis, and added in a new character whom I love and fixes an issue I had with pacing.

Booyah!

1 down. Only 20 more chapters to go…

On the subject of failure

Today is Monday 30th November. This time last month, I was filled with joy and pride from having made the Longlist of the Bath Children’s Novel Award, and I was raring to go for my fourth Nanowrimo win.

Alas, alack, etc. As of this morning, with my Nanowrimo novel weighing in at 25k, I will have to admit defeat. I just got too busy this November and my heart wasn’t in it, to be honest. Not only that, but my children’s novel didn’t make it to the shortlist (announced last Friday) so this weekend has been plagued with doubts about the strength of my manuscript.

But y’know what? It happens.


Way back in the ye old days of yore (January), I made a promise to myself that 2015 would be the Year of Writing Dangerously. That meant that I would put myself out there with my writing, for no other reason than to experience rejection and improve my skills. I wanted to experience writing failure so, when the time came to query my book, I wouldn’t be so disheartened by all those polite slips of paper telling me that I wasn’t wanted by [enter agent’s name here].

It’s 11 months later and I’ve experienced so much more than that.  Continue reading

The Last Edits of a Nervous Author

I received an email from Julie Hutchings of Undeaditing this weekend. It was a marked-up version of my manuscript, which I’d sent to her for a ‘final pass’. Apart from pointing out my stubborn inability to use em dashes when I should (I’m working on this, I promise, Julie!), most non-formatting comments were positive observations about character development and the few ‘extras’ I’d included since her last read-through.  Continue reading