Writing Exercise

I’ve started doing little writing exercises, and have doubled down on reading novels in order to improve upon some of my skills.

I find reading helps me understand the areas that I need to work on, because I’m able to see and interact with multiple texts.

With the writing exercises, I’ve been doing little things like picking a word and basing a couple paragraphs around that. I like doing this by hand versus typing it out on the computer because when I’m finished I can go through and highlight the areas I’d like to improve upon. For example, if I notice that I used one of my crutch words, I can underline it and spend some time thinking about alternative words that I can use or if a sentence is pronoun heavy, I can highlight it and find ways to fix that and make the sentence stronger. I find trying to do this on the computer can make it harder for me to stay on task because there are a lot of distractions.

Truthfully, I started writing out a new chapter today and then while breaking for lunch ended up spending an hour browsing books, cleaning products and plants. Me browsing books isn’t anything new, I do this several times a week and just ordered a handful yesterday however, cleaning products? I don’t need any new cleaning products right now. I was just at the store the other day. I bought dish soap. Why do I need to look at fancy, expensive dish soap and contemplate the different scents offered?

I don’t.

That’s why doing these writing exercises is a lot more effective when I do them on random scraps of paper or in one of my journals. Initially I actually went to look for new journals. I have two which are currently unused, but I plan on using them for other things. I’d rather have one that is completely dedicated to me practicing and playing around with different techniques and just…focusing on improving. A journal where I can make mistakes and highlight things and scribble and doodle on. I absolutely adore journals. I think they’re beautiful, and you can use them for so many things but also I find that I can really grasp things when I put them to paper…and I can track my progress, which I find during this pandemic has really helped me keep my sanity.

One thing that I also do with these writing exercises I’ve been doing, is using my current characters. The reason I decided to do this was because it lets me put them into different scenarios and really play around with them. I also get to take the time to think about that character, and how much they’ve grown over the course of the story. Sometimes, I also really enjoy the little scene I’ve put together and decide that its worth incorporating into the actual novel. It keeps me focused and engaged in the world of the story.

If you’d like to try out this writing exercise yourself, its honestly really simple.

  1. Decide what it is you’re going to work on. It could be setting descriptions or creating movement in a scene.
  2. Choose a word as your prompt. It could be potato, plunder, wilt…anything really. Sometimes its fun to grab a dictionary and open up to a random page!
  3. Begin writing. It doesn’t need to be long. It can be a couple of paragraphs, a single page, maybe two. While writing try to keep in mind what your main goal is.
  4. Go through and highlight or underline areas that you need to improve on. This will help you see if you’ve made progress.
  5. If you like, rewrite it or write a new paragraph taking into consideration the things that you’d like to work on.
  6. Compare each version and see how you’ve improved. Be sure to again, highlight or underline what it is you think you can work on and make notes for yourself.
  7. Be kind to yourself. It’s very easy for us to bash ourselves and our work…so if you begin to feel frustrated take time to breathe. Step away for a while, get some fresh air, clear your head…and then start again once you’re in a good head space. These exercises aren’t supposed to make you hate your writing or yourself. They are meant to help you grow, and that takes time. So please be kind to yourself, and do the best you can.

For Every Like I’ll Answer: Questions 7 – 10

Howdy there friends! I’m answering questions from the Writer’s Edition of For Every Like I’ll Answer! Woo!

In this post I’ll be answering questions 7 to 10. If you’re interested in doing this on your own blog, Twitter, YouTube etc…there will be a link below. Also feel free to answer the questions yourself in the comments!

7. What’s your favourite tense to write in?

I usually write in past tense, however I did attempt to go outside of my comfort zone and write in present tense. You can check out that post here! Honestly, it made me feel as though I was going cross eyed. I think I’ll try it again someday. I like to play around with different styles and genres. It definitely didn’t go well but at least I gave it the good old fashioned try!

8. Do you write romance in your projects? What kind?

I hate to admit it but yes. I don’t intend for it to happen but alas, my character’s sometimes end up in relationships. On rare occasions my character’s have a love interest while I’m planning the book but normally it happens during the actual writing process. I personally blame my shojo manga obsession. It’s all romance. It’s the only romance I intentionally read. Sad huh?

The type of romance that I write tends to be on the milder side. It depends on the ages of the character’s their personalities and how important their relationship is in comparison to the plot. For example, if two character’s being together will ultimately save the world from devastation, then they’ll obviously confess their feelings and end up together at some point.

Most of the time my character’s have crushes on people. It’s awkward and I wish them the best as they navigate through their feelings.

9. What inspired your recent project?

It all started when I was in the 12th grade. I needed to write a piece for my creative writing class. One night I went to bed and had a dream about a little girl with a red dress named Rose who lived in a large old house with her uncle. She told me a really sad story of her best friend Nicholas, who had grown up. I woke up and ended up writing the story for class.

The story I wrote for class turned into a novel series.

I have not had a dream about Rose or Nicholas since though. Isn’t that odd?

10. Is it hard for you to kill your darlings?

Yes but no. It depends on the character. Sadly, I get attached to all of them. Even the ones I hate! Have you ever loved to hate a character? That’s what happens to me. I’ve cried after killing off a character. It wasn’t hard to do or anything–which sounds creepy–I used to kill character’s off all the time when I was a kid. It’s just that after I really miss them. It’s almost like having a close friend move away.

As promised, you can find the link to the original post with all of the questions here.

I am once again on break from work because of the pandemic, but I’m trying to make the most of it. It snowed just in time for Christmas and I got to snuggle up in my nice new blanket. I luckily got some books for Christmas so I’ll be reading those during the lock down and working on book 2 until I get word about the next step for my debut novel.

I may create another list of blog prompts during this time too so that I can entertain myself. Perhaps I’ll share my favourite reads of the year?

Helpful Writing Exercises

Over the years I’ve picked up different tips and tricks to help make drafting my novels a bit easier. When I first started writing novels, I would draw out what my character’s looked like, along with say their bedrooms or parts of their house but for some reason I stopped as I got older. Personally, I think it was because of how much time I had. As a thirteen-year-old I had more time to work on my stories and was completing a novel every one to three months…which I’m still astonished by because it took me seven years to complete my last one. Can you imagine doing NANOWRIMO every month?

Having a visual was fantastic. I of course still draw all my character’s, but I stopped drawing where they lived which at first, I didn’t think was such a huge deal but now I’m realizing not having those visuals can become extremely frustrating. Sometimes while drafting you might forget the colour of a particular character’s bedroom, and perhaps this colour is significant throughout the story. Let’s imagine that this bedroom will ultimately become this character’s tomb, so recalling the colour, the smells and the overall atmosphere of the room should be brought up multiple times throughout the text. If you however have no clear idea of that or even say you step away from writing for a week and jump back into the story, you might miss something. Like I mentioned earlier, you could forget that this character’s bedroom has an apricot colour and that it smells of a certain perfume, let’s say a deep floral. A few chapter’s later, if you aren’t careful this entire image could change. It’s as bad as when you’re watching a movie and the main character is dragging their right leg because they’re injured but then in the following scene they’re hobbling along with their left. Being consistent with these types of details is equally as important as remembering the colour and texture of your main character’s hair.

Something that I decided to do was do description exercises, where I would write up what each character’s home looked like, taking the time to describe the individual rooms and overall property. Not just the important ones, but all of them, as if I were taking a tour. I found that in doing this I was less likely to forget the characteristics of a room. Instead it allowed me to give stronger descriptions later on. Personally, I wish I had been doing this all along.

Another thing that I tried was creating my character’s homes on The Sims, which again works well but only if you can constantly go back to look at it. It did however help me realize some issues with how I chose to layout certain houses. For example, the top floor having what seemed like an endless number of bedrooms and the main not having enough space to compensate that. Little peculiarities like that. If you have access to the game (or something similar) I would recommend it, as you get a great visual. This may not help with everything, but it can definitely be a good starting point. You might want to build your character’s world within the game before trying to describe it.

One other thing that I want to recommend, since we’re on the topic of descriptions is to include character’s when doing these types of exercises. This is to avoid using the same words over and over to talk about a character’s hair. Let’s pretend they have thick curls. Are you going to say “Philip ran a hand through his thick curls” every time you want to reference his hair? Are the curls tidy or messy? What colour do they have? Does the colour change depending on the lighting? Something else that’s important to a character is how they choose to dress themselves. Does this character take great pride in how they look, or could they care less? This is not to say that you spend pages upon pages telling us about what Nadya wore to school that morning, but you should have some idea of how your character likes to dress and if the clothing is significant to a scene keep track of it. It’s important that Cinderella is wearing glass slippers, is it not? Dorothy’s she’s are also significant to her story. We aren’t to forget that these shoes have magical properties!

Perhaps you want to assign your character a particular style? This is something I did as a kid, especially when my younger sister was playing games like Style Savvy. It was incredibly helpful. I had some character’s who preferred to dress in comfortable layers and others that preferred goth and alternative fashions. It may not seem as significant as a character’s overall voice and personality, but what they wear can help contribute to that. Do we not cultivate clothing to add to our collection (well, some of us do) or decorate our personal spaces with things that reflect who we are?

I personally wouldn’t have soccer trophies in my bedroom if I didn’t play soccer growing up.

Something that you could do as a warm-up is to describe a room in your house (even a desk if you wanted to try something small scale). For instance, by mentioning the soccer trophies in my room, the reader might then infer that I have an interest in sports. If I add that the trophies are dusty, that would indicate that I haven’t played sports in some time or that I don’t take pride in it. If I go on to add that the trophies were all participation trophies that would give off another hint about what type of person I am.

By doing these exercises with your own characters and settings you’ll have an easier time catching inconsistencies down the line (or avoid them altogether).

Happy writing!

Do your characters have special hobbies or interests?

When building my character’s personalities and backstories I like to include as many details as possible. I’ve created character profile pages like the ones in manga, which usually include a list of things like favourite foods, blood type, star sign etc. Not only is it fun but it also allows me to spend quality time with each individual character.

I love watching my characters go from being an idea to a fully fleshed out being…well fully fleshed out on paper (haha).

Each of these types of questions gives me a chance to think about who my characters are. What makes them happy? What frustrates them? Do they have trouble sleeping at night?

I may never use this information, but I find knowing it allows the story to progress naturally. I don’t have to think hard about how each character would respond because I’ve taken the time to get to know them as if they were a close friend.

So…do my character’s have any special hobbies or interests?

Nicholas likes to draw. Many of the things he’s good at he considers hobbies as they were things he used to do with his grandmother. He’s always done them, so he hasn’t acknowledged that he might actually have a talent for them. He can also play music by ear, something that he picked up as a little kid. These are things that actually come up in the novel.

He also loves to explore and make friends with small animals. Mainly frogs or rabbits. He’s known in his family for bringing home new “pets” every once in a while.

Rose likes to read. She’s the type of person who can’t go into a library or a bookstore without walking out with a book. She’ll reread her favourites over and over and will even come up with her own stories to share with her family. Aside from that, Rose collects ribbons that she uses to accessorize with her outfits.

I’m not exactly sure why I always associated her character with ribbons but from day one that’s how I pictured her. I like that she’s a talkative, fashionable bookworm. Even when she reads, likes to read with or to someone. She’s what my Nana would call a little chatterbox…but it’s one of my favourite thing about her character.

Roland plays the piano. He can also play the guitar but it isn’t his favourite instrument. He just likes how portable it is. He quit playing before he reached his twenties and gave up on the idea of being a professional musician. Prior to that he dabbled in writing his own music and was forced by his teacher to sing solos at the school’s Frost pageant. Before that he was shy about playing or singing in public but after he gained a lot of confidence. Performing made him really happy. Now he claims not to have time for it but every so often he’ll sit down and play something.

He doesn’t look anything like Soul when he plays…I thought I should add that. Although it would be funny if he hunched over like that and smiled at the keys.

Dianna likes to travel. She did a lot of it while she was in college, especially between semesters. She’s very adventurous and loves meeting new people, which is mentioned in the first book. She even does some travelling in it! She doesn’t have her own car but if she did, she’d probably spend most of her time on the road. A lot of the time she travels by train. She also learned a new language while she was in university, which comes in handy (but no spoilers!).

I’m not sure if anyone other than Peter would consider this a hobby…but he really likes hanging out at the pub. He likes the food, the people and the music. I don’t believe he’s actually shown hanging out there in the first book but it does mention it a few times. A lot of the time he’ll go there to catch up with old classmates or to kill time. Unlike some of the other character’s Peter has a lot of time on his hands, so he spends it either doing something stupid with Roland (like most bored people), going on the odd date or hanging out at the pub.

Well, I’d say it’s time to get back to work! I’ve been back and forth between recording, work and catching up on my TBR list (which never stops growing!).

I really want to see how much of the sequel I can knock out before the end of the month. If you’d like to see some of my process, I posted some writing vlogs on my YouTube channel.

This one features me painting my home studio, a portion of my manga collection and my sister’s Persona 5 posters haha. The sparkly guy in the thumbnail was made by my niece. He’s a love bug.

Character Bookshelf (show us what types of books your character might enjoy reading).

Rose is the biggest reader of the group so I’ll be selecting books for her first. I think I’ll pick 3 per person.


  1. A Tale of Two Cities
  2. Building of Jalna
  3. Winnie-the-Pooh

Rose loves love stories and adventures. In one of the drawing prompts I did of her this month, she’s featured reading Building of Jalna. I think she’d have a fondness for Winnie-the-Pooh. I can definitely see her reading it with her little brothers.


  1. Frankenstein
  2. Great Expecations
  3. The Catcher in the Rye

Roland’s top pick would definitely be Frankenstein. I have a feeling he’d like reading a book about a scientist driven mad by his obsession to defeat death.

I also think he’d like Dicken’s like his niece. He’d probably enjoy reading about Pip in Great Expectations. Catcher in the Rye would also be on his bookshelf. He’d probably find himself drawn to Holden’s narration.


  1. The Big Sleep
  2. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
  3. The Little Prince

Peter seems like the type to get into a bunch of series. He’d take a liking to a character and want to follow them on their journey. I can seem him liking a character like Marlowe. He’d probably picture himself being in a detective novel himself. I can also see him being a big Narnia fan. Mainly because he’d like the whole fighting battles and going on an adventure part. Lastly, I think he’d have a fondness for The Little Prince. I think it would be one he goes back to read every once in a while from when he was younger.


  1. A Little Princess
  2. Emily of New Moon
  3. Northanger Abbey

Dianna is a person who doesn’t like to give up and I think she’d like books featuring character’s that despite their circumstances remain true to themselves and their goals. She’d love Sarah and Emily for that very reason.


  1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  2. Peter Pan
  3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Nicholas is new to reading but he does love a good story. I think he would enjoy adventures about “far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise!”

If you can name the quote that film is from, you’re awesome!

Anyway, for that reason he’d probably really enjoy reading the Wizard of Oz series. I think he’d really enjoy the illustrations in it. He’s also think Neverland and Wonderland were interesting as well. I can picture him imagining these worlds and spending hours trying to recreate them in his sketchbook. He might also start quoting the character’s after a while.

Character Mood Playlist: Angry Vibes.

Someone isn’t very happy. Well, I guess that means it’s time for the ANGRY VIBES playlist.

Some character’s lose their cool a lot faster than others, so I’ll be selecting songs that reflect the few moments of rage each of them have.


#1: Let You Down

#2: O My Heart

#3: Ghost of Love

#4: Broken inside

#5: Coming Undone

Character Bedroom Board

I decided to choose Rose’s bedroom, since it’s only in a couple of scenes in the first book.

I’ve always pictured the room having softer blues. Definitely blue wallpaper. It’s her favourite colour, and she wears it often.

Rose has a fairly expansive wardrobe, which she loves to accessorize with ribbons. She has the ribbons organized on her vanity.

She also has a collection of books and stuffed animals around her bedroom. Her books sit on a shelf under her nightstand so that she can read them before she falls asleep.

Character Interview #4: Rose

Question 1: Where is your favourite place to be alone and why?

When it’s cold, the library. In the summer time I like to go to the creek. No one else goes there anymore. It’s a lot nicer than sitting in my room all the time.

Question 2: What is your favourite holiday?

I don’t think I have one. I find birthday’s incredibly fun though. It’s almost my friends birthday. He shares his with a holiday. I’m going to try making him a cake. I just hope my uncle doesn’t eat it before I can give it to him.

Question 3: Describe your family in 8 words.

  1. Warm
  2. Loving
  3. Small
  4. Pesky
  5. Hilarious
  6. Broken
  7. Adaptable
  8. Creative

Question 4: What is something that people make fun of you for?

Um…well sometimes the other kids at school say bad things about my uncle. I just ignore it though. I’m used to it…or well. I just try not to let it bother me.

Question 5: What is the most memorable untrue rumour that has ever been spread about you?

About me? I doubt anyone cares enough. Well I guess everyone at school assumes that Thompson and I are dating but I wouldn’t really call that a rumour and…it isn’t exactly untrue. What I mean is that we have been on a date but we aren’t dating. At least I don’t think we are.

Question 6: Do you have any nicknames? If so which is your favourite and which ones do you hate?

My uncle calls me Flower. It’s such a horrible nickname…but my mother did name me after one. I don’t hate it but it’s a little embarrassing.

Question 7: What are 3 things that you would never do?

  1. Kiss Thompson.
  2. Sleep outside at night.
  3. Go into the basement. It’s awfully dark and smells funny.

Question 8: What’s been on your mind lately?

My friend. He’s very sick…I’m scared he’s going to die.

Question 9: What is your favourite season and why?

I love winter. My birthday’s in the winter. I’m usually sad in the summertime. My parents passed away in the summer….

Question 10: What do you want to be remembered for?

I’m not sure yet. I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up! I do like stories though. Maybe I’ll become the worlds greatest storyteller or have my own bookshop or a library? That would be so, so lovely.

Write a brief scene between your character and someone who hurt them.

His father’s face softened as he inched forward, stretching out his hand.

Roland smacked it away, his chest tightening as he drew in a shaky breath.

The two stood in silence; the son with his head lowered, desperately biting his tongue and the father calmly shoving his hands into his pockets, looking up at his wife as she tiptoed down the stairs.

“What’s are you two arguing about at this hour?” his mother asked.

Roland raised his head and wrinkled his nose.

His father turned his back and headed toward the parlour. “Go wash up. You’re getting blood on your shirt.”

“What happened?” his mother said, firmly. The sharpness in her tone caused his father to turn his head. She pulled her son’s face into her hands, twisting his head from side to side examining the purple and green bruise running between his left brow and cheek.

Roland glanced over at his father.

“Does it hurt?”

Roland wriggled away from his mother and wiped the blood from his brow.

“Roland, let me look at you.”

“He’s fine.” His father muttered. “Roland, go clean your face.”

He forced a smile through gritted teeth and turned toward the front door. His hands shook as he turned the lock.

His father glared at him. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“I don’t have anywhere to go.” Roland whispered, slipping between the frame of the door and into the warmth of the summer air. He jumped as the door swung shut behind him. He stumbled off the porch, his body trembling. Something bubbled up from within his chest and erupted from his lips. A sound. A scream. A feeling. Whatever it was, it made him numb.