PitchWars · Uncategorized

#PitchWars Advice

I ended up copying and pasting my tweet feed here! For all of you entering PitchWars this year, GOOD LUCK but also take a moment to review information on self care, and taking a step back when you need to –


Ok so I kinda wanna tweet advice for #PitchWars since I’ve entered twice now, and this year will be my third

AND last year I was lucky enough to be an unofficial mentee with the lovely @mkengland and @jamiepacton #PitchWars

Since it’s almost time for the blog hops and the competitions and the sheer joy of it, I wanted to point out something

A major thing about #PitchWars is that it can overtake your life. NGL. It’s very easy to obsess about the PW milestones / events

In my case, I’d stay up til the early hours watching the mentor talks which were SUPER helpful #PitchWars

I’d watch the feed all the time, engage with the community (I love you, PW community) and anxiously prepare my MS

BUT – and this is a big but (heh) – *anxiously* slipped over into actual anxiety for me. Because #PitchWars meant so much

Now my advice is to SELF CARE at every opportunity. #PitchWars is an incredible asset, it’s true, but it’s not the end OR beginning of your writing journey.

It can seem that way for some people. Especially if you’re passionate about writing and getting your work out there, PW can seem like a life line

But you will not enjoy #PitchWars if particular aspects of your health are exasperated by what’s supposed to be a wonderful & unifying experience.

Be sure to take time out and see this for what it is – an opportunity, on the long road to publication, to give you a helping hand.

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#PitchWars is a competition, yes. But I doubt ANYONE in the community would want you to burn yourself out just to be a part of it.

If you feel like you’re too nervous, take a step back. Engage with your writer friends, privately if you like, and voice concerns.

Nobody will judge you, nobody will think you’re not up to it. It’s perfectly natural to worry about your writing cause let’s face it

Even bestselling authors still wonder about their ability and have crisis of confidence. It’s not wrong to experience that.

But don’t compare yourself to the other hopefuls. Especially if #pimpmybio comes back, don’t compare yours to others. It’s just graphics.

Some people can pitch better than others, what matters is that you’re a) writing something you love and b) not an asshole

I guess my ultimate advice is – be excited, be happy, be engaging in #PitchWars but draw the line if you start feeling overwhelmed.

#PitchWars is ultimately a place of love, encouragement and help. Get to know other writers, bond with CPs. That could be your focus 🙂

Alright, I think I’m done. That was waaaay longer than I intended! GROUP HUG!

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Random Musings · Uncategorized

On Remakes – Like Dirty Dancing

So I recently saw an article about Dirty Dancing. More specifically, its remake, which is being completely butchered by film critics and probably fans of the original alike.

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I’ve never really understood remakes, if I’m honest. A film which was popular 30 years ago and still is to this day maybe for relevance or simply *feelings*, doesn’t need a remake. If you tried to remake Back to the Future you’d get speared in the gut by fans, I’m telling you.

I’d be one of them. And God help the people who decide Lord of the Rings needs a refit, because I WILL LEAD THE CHARGE.

If it aint broke, don’t fix it.  Stop meddling. If it works, it works. The reason the original film was or remains a success or cult hit is probably because some quintessential magic happened while it was being made, and to try and recreate that – just to put a modern spin on it or design it in tone for a ‘modern audience’ – won’t achieve the same effect.

It’s like trying to rewrite a book that’s popular. If someone took Throne of Glass characters, or Six of Crows characters in 10 years’ time and wrote the same story – it wouldn’t work. We already have that story, done extremely well, by the person who was supposed to write it. Yeah we get retellings, but mostly this is from ideas or legends, folklore and mythology which is about 100 years old or more. But remakes are usually step by step, point-for-point story rehashes for megabucks with current stars from a relatively recent decade.

I know there’s an argument within this subject, and it suggests that since this is a visual medium, it can be interpreted on the screen in so many different ways. That’s true! No artist has 100% the same vision.

But…. why not allow that artist to do something different?! Or if you MUST do Dirty Dancing why not put it in the Jane Austen era, or put it like The Terminator, JUST DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH IT.

Take the Rocky Horror Picture Show – that shit is ICONIC. But they made a remake for the ‘modern’ age (which in itself will be old in 5 years) and it was too clean, too cookie cutter, too knowing what it was trying to emulate. Maybe it was a love letter, sure, but it wasn’t needed. To my mind, it added nothing from this ‘modern age’ that the original lacked, apart from maybe being more sensitive to gender identity.

Remakes aren’t needed. It’s the same with sequels – people are getting tired of them. Even Hollywood has recognized it! In an age which is already oversaturated with rip offs and similar ideas, there may be struggles to find original concepts but don’t ADD to that struggle by basically cleaning up something which was made iconic WITH GOOD REASON just because you want to cash in on the media furor.

It won’t work, it won’t be remembered (well it might be, but not for the right reasons) and it won’t give the audience the fresh blood they truly desire.

// rant

editing · Uncategorized

ANNOUNCEMENT: Query Critiques!

Hello one and all, announcement, announcement!

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If there’s anyone who needs or would like a look over their query, I’m currently offering a free query critique (and one pass) in exchange for testimonial (if you like it, of course!).

I’m hoping to gradually build up my editing business, and wanted to throw this out there! LINK IS HERE https://jadewritesbooks.wordpress.com/editing-services/

If you’re interested let me know


A Court of Wings and… Fan-Casts!

In which Lex and myself don our casting hats!

Lex Writes

So, having completed the glorious “A Court of Wings and Ruin”, myself and my darling Mistress Jade of Jade Write Books chose to discuss who, obviously, we would cast in starring roles if we had the delightful decision of doing so. Though, to be fair, Mistress Jade has only read to ACOMAF, so there be no spoilers here, folks!

It was such a chore. We were so sad doing it. Hated it. *ahem*

But, because we are so dedicated, we have brought you our delightful decisions as follows. Please note, this is not all of the characters because… time! Although we may come back to those at a later date when my Mistress has actually finished ACOWAR.

Rhysand – Hamid Fadaei
Whilst not an actor, both Jade and I feel that he is the most powerful High Lord. This was entirely unanimous, and we definitely didn’t spend a lot of…

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Reviews · Uncategorized

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas



3.5* – with one star dedicated to Rhysand and Lucien.

This was recommended and talked about to me SO many times I finally gave in and ordered it. I put off reading it for a while because I wanted to finish The Raven Cycle, but my friends really wanted me to read it and squee. It’s basically a Beauty and the Beast retelling – sort of – in a Fae world.

I understand why it’s popular, I do. But Feyre to me wasn’t a strong enough character to grip me. I think Samantha from Thoughts of Tomes summed it up perfectly – she’s meant to be a hunter, a survivalist, yet consistently makes absolutely stupid choices which put her in danger.

Such as “don’t go into the forest, you’ll get killed.” She goes into the forest and almost gets killed. Before she even went on the mission I literally put the book down and went “so stupid” and didn’t pick it up for about 3 nights because I knew the next chapter she’d get into trouble.

Also. “Don’t come to Fire Night”. She goes to Fire Night. “Don’t drink the wine”. She drinks the wine.


Similarly with the romance, I didn’t “get” the connection between her and Tamlin. The sex scene (of which I have written and read many so I know what I like) didn’t have much of a build up. Like they were talking cryptically as far as I remember about Tamlin having to shove her back home, and then suddenly they were in the mood and doing it. It felt disjointed to me.

After spending a majority of the book wondering why the heck Tamlin was being so nice to her, and we get told about the curse, it kinda got creepy. Not only because an entire chapter was written for Alis to explain everything to us out loud (aaaaaugh) but like, Tamlin took Feyre to his mansion and was uber nice and tried to give her things just in the hope she’d fall in love with him? At least in Beauty and the Beast the Beast seemed to be acting out of pure beastliness and anger at her father’s wandering into the castle. He might have known about the curse but he was acting on rage.

Here it’s almost pre-emptive.

I didn’t know this was meant to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling when I first started reading it. To be honest I felt it was more of a “let’s use plot points to make this book’s structure and then say it’s a retelling”.

And at the end before she solves the riddle (if Amarantha were Rumpelstiltskin, I would understand, otherwise, WHA?) it seemed too convenient that she remembered Tam and Lucien talking months ago about Tamlin’s heart of stone. How could they POSSIBLY know that would be key plot point in the future enough to leave the door ajar so she could eavesdrop, commit it to memory, and the use that information to their advantage later? Maybe they had a crystal ball.

For the first two thirds, the writing in general seemed fluffy and lengthy and I found myself skimming unnecessary information. Also so. . . many. . . ellipses . . .

The Big Bad was okay, I mean Amarantha seemed to have borrowed style tips from Maleficent, apart from the horns, but snarky and twisted witch uninvited to Prythien for sure.

Rhysand and Lucien were the two characters I wanted to read about most. Though with Rhysand at the end, he seemed to be able to open up a little too much too fast, and he lost his edge, I would still read about him and have in fact just ordered A court of Mist and Fury simply because he will naturally be in it a lot more. I’m also intrigued by the Night Court and the This Court and the That Court, because who doesn’t like Fae Hogwarts Houses, amirite?

Lucien to me seemed the most consistent in that he was loyal, snarky, and his objectives never seemed to change. I also really enjoyed that he rarely accepted any of Feyre’s shit and called her out on it cause damnit, someone had to.

So on the basis there were two characters I enjoyed and will continue to read about (plus I hear the next book is better) I gave this book 3.5*.