My Writing Playlist

I’m the kind of writer who requires absolute silence while I work. No movie soundtrack, no music, no TV, no talking.

Change ‘watching’ to ‘writing’ and that’s me. The tears are very real.

I inevitably end up paying attention to whatever else to going on, and I have an unfortunate habit of acting out character dialogue. Ya know, to make sure it’s realistic. I’m not weird or anything.

Only when I’m in a far more disruptive environment—like on the train with a screaming baby on my left and some guy yelling on his cell on my right—can I write with music.

I have specific playlists for different scenes. Like say, if I’m writing a fight scene, I listen to Kesha’s Warrior from Warrior.

Warrior by Ke$ha, "Born to break the doors down." #Kesha #Lyrics #Warrior:


Cut the bullshit out with a dagger,
With a dagger, with a dagger.
Do or die we all gonna stay young,
Shoot the lights out like a machine gun.
Think it’s time for a revolution,
Revolution, revolution.


Putting aside Kesha’s ongoing legal war with her producer Dr. Luke (which is an all too realistic glimpse into the dark side of the music industry), this is a powerhouse of a song. It’s empowering and unapologetic, and gets me geared up for the ass-kicking my characters are about to dispense.

Romantic and breakup scenes are easy. Taylor Swift’s catalog is full of poignant, incredibly well-written songs about love, loss, and desire.

She can swing from happy—


Across the room your silhouette
Starts to make its way to me
The playful conversation starts
Counter all your quick remarks
Like passing notes in secrecy

Enchanted, Speak Now


—To sad—


Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it
I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone

All Too Well, Red


—To angry in the space of a 2006 track list. (In case you didn’t catch on, I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan.)

For tense scenes, an oldie but goodie is Another One Bites The Dust by Glee. I know, I know, it’s originally by Queen, but I adore Johnathan Groff and he’s cute as fuck, so let me have this.

*ovaries explode*

There’s a throbbing urgency to the beat, making it perfect for interrogation scenes or the calm before a storm.

Descriptive scenes are a necessary evil. I absolutely loathe them because I either go too far, pile on adjective after adjective, or too little, like “The dog is blue,” or something. I’m improving, slowly, with the help of Julie Kagawa (which I talked about in a previous post) but it’s not something I relish.

I don’t have a particular playlist for descriptive sections since it depends strongly on mood. What are my characters feeling? Are they running for their lives? Are they particularly fascinated by an item that calls to their hobby or past? Is the atmosphere gothic or chill?

Usually I just stick with the playlist I have playing because of aforementioned mood reason.

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That’s about all the scenarios I can think of for now! What about you? Do you listen to music when you write and what kind?

Partner Up!

Hello writers!

I originally had a different idea for this post, but I wanted to write this one instead after thinking about my own writing buddy, who so happens to be Keionda who blogs here too. Every time I need to speed write or get a whole lot of writing out of the way in one go, I always message her and then off we go! Writing all the words in the little bit of time we can spare. Keionda is a master writer… it always amazes me how many words she can churn out in an hour alone. But even though I love her speed – we’ve got to stay on topic this once.

Why should you even bother to find a writing buddy?

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Even though a lot of people say you should write your first draft behind closed doors and then share it with others, I would disagree. You don’t necessarily have to hand over the scraps of a draft you have so far to someone else to read. But writing your first draft should be fun, and it should end up rubbish, and it definitely shouldn’t take too long (the latter is something that a lot of writers struggle with.) What you need to do is find a writing partner who can make the time to write with you. Then you need to word war! Word wars can last 10-15 minutes if you want them to. That means 10-15 minutes writing as much as possible, and then seeing who wrote the most at the end. Too easy? Go for a word marathon. An hour flat out writing against your partner, and then see who has the most words. It’s so much harder writing for an hour straight then you think!

Note: when word warring, you need to be ready for it! Keionda’s got some fabulous tips that will help you be ready for those sprints here!

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Okay, I have a writing buddy. We’ve written together and look, our first drafts are done! Now what?

Well, now you need to set yourself an editing deadline of course! But make sure you share this deadline with your writing buddy, and that you remember theirs too. It’s now your official job to play mean and pester them until they get that editing all done and dusted.

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Editing all dusted and done! Next step, please…

Alright! You’ve got your novel and you think you’re ready to publish, share – whatever you are intending to do with it. But there is another step you might have missed. It’s time to find yourself some beta readers who will give you some criticism that will only make your book better, hopefully. It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to looking for beta readers, but luckily you already have a candidate! Your writing buddy! And the best thing about it is that they have been with you all through the writing process so they know how much you care about this novel. Which means they are fully prepared to be brutally honest and shred your novel to bits. Don’t worry, this is actually helping you.

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If I haven’t convinced you to find a writing buddy yet, then let me tell you this…

Countless times you probably have heard that writing is a journey, a test, a pain that you just can’t get rid of. It’s true. But the thing about writing is that like any journey, any test (well maybe not this one, because exams and all that stuff, but LIFE tests!) and any pain, you don’t have to go through it alone. And you shouldn’t. That’s why it’s time for you to partner up!

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Over to you: Do you have a writing buddy yet? Would you want one? 

Olivia-Savannah x

IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’RE A SLOW WRITER. WRITE ALL THOSE WORDS.

I’ve been writing for a year and some months and for some crazy and inexplicable reason, I’M STILL DOING IT. Which is why I thought this was a PERFECT topic to talk about today. Why? Because when it all boils down to it, IT DOENST FREAKIN’ MATTER how fast of a writer you are! As long as your goal is to write as much as you can everyday, YOU’LL BE FINE. (And I’ll give you cake.) 

#YASS.

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             Writing isn’t an easy task.  Not only do we have to deal with insecurities and stuff, we also have to deal with what the heck were going to write as well as deal with things like hiw FAST we write and whether or not were meeting our goals.

                                                                                                                                                                           

              And that’s just the thing. When I first started writing, I didn’t focus do much on goals. Pfft, I thought I was a big to shot since I was writing a book and all.. but back then, yeah, I was still writing a book a month BUT I didn’t have any goals set. I knew I wanted to finish a book by the end of a month but that was it. I didn’t know then that it was important for me to dig deeper, SET INSANELY SPECIFIC GOALS.

                                                                                                                                                                     

               I wrote it down and then it became a habit to include it in my everyday life. I can already see the results of it because I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel instead of just lurking along in the mud.

               So, if you’re not already making goals for yourself, I recommend that you start doing that and see how the results come out and how much more ready and dedicated you are.

Besides, Rome wasn’t built in one day, right?

                                                                                                                                                                  Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. 

                                                                                                                     -Martin Luther King Jr. 

                                                                       Over to you:

Do you guys set deadlines for yourself? If not, what do you guys do instead of doing that?

♥Keionda 

HOW TO WRITE 10K IN ONE DAY

10K IN ONE DAY YOU SAY??? PFFT. YOU’RE CRAZY.

No, no I’m not crazy. Pfft. (Well, maybe sometimes, but shh, that’s not the point I’m trying to make here.)

If you want to learn how to write 10K in ONE day or if you’re just looking to increase your overall word count, YOU MUST READ THIS POST.

1. Plan your scenes BEFORE you write them.

When I was a newbie writer, I would just sit at my computer and be all like: MY FINGERS SHALL CALL FORTH MAGIC AND I SHALL HAVE IDEAS. LOTS OF IT. Funny enough, I WOULD have the ideas and they would come, but you know what? I wouldn’t make it past three thousand words without feeling TIRED. BUTT TIRED.

So after months and months of this happening I finally figured out that I needed to plan my secenes before I sat in front of my computer and just expected them to write the words themselves.

So, I started sitting down thirty minutes a day and mediated, listening to my “book playlist”–>This is legit the name of my playlist, you no judge. But anyway, I would do this and imagine my scenes, how they would play out, who would be in them, and so on and so forth. The next time when I wrote, I WAS AMPED and I felt BETTER because I was so prepared.

2. Set GOALS for yourself.
GUYS. This has to be the most mportat rule I can give you. If you don’t set goals for yosuelf, how will you be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel? How will you be able to call forth that amazing feeling of FINALLY finishing that book if you don’t know when/where you’re going to start/finish? It’ll be really hard. Let me tell you. These days I set the timer and plan to write 4,000 words every hour. At two hours of writing time a day (I’m a busy person) I can get 8,000 words easy.

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3. JUST GO FOR IT. 
Me? When I get in the zone, I’m at the point to where my hands are drummin’ over my keyboard and the ideas are just coming. The fact that I PLANNED everything before I write it helps out. So, when I’m writing I try not to think about WHAT I’m writing nor how it sounds because usually none of that is going to matter in the great scheme of things because when you edit your book, you’re either going to edit all that stuff out our rewrite it complelty so why waste valuable time ediitng, or making sure you get it just right when it may/may not be in your book in the first place?

4. Cut social media/Other distractions. THEY BE NOT YER FRIEND.
I’m actually guilty of this because I actually have been feeling pretty daring and have had the need to procrastinate lately. Social media has been my downfall, plus aimlessly walking around my house talking to people is a huge distraction as well. This has led to my suffering word count for the past THREE FREAKING MONTHS, my lack of online social media prensce, and my overall bad/dark moods when I can’t write like I want to.

Let me tell you. Not a good time. Not a good time. At. All.

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So there you have it! Those are my four sure fire tips to get you prepared to kick out those words! And don’t be afraid if you don’t get the word count you want on the firset try. Believe me, I’ve been doing this for little over a year and have been driving myself crazy ever since, trying to figure out how in the heck to chane my writing for the better so each month, each day, each SECOND, I strive to make myself better! How about you?

                                                                        OVER TO YOU:

Do you guys set any goals for yourselves already? What’s your daily word count? Oh! And did any of my awesome and inspiring advice change YOUR writing life? Which ones will you implement?

♥Keionda

Get Excited!

Hello there!

Writing is definitely a troublesome, hard-earned journey. It never seems to be easy when it comes to it all – the writing, reading, editing, re-editing – there is just always something to be done. That can also be quite overwhelming when it comes to thinking about if you will ever get published or not, and eventually that can sometimes lead to you hitting the horrid wall we all face at some point: Writer’s Block.

But there is a single key to that is going to help you easily overcome all of that. Which is excitement.

I know what you’re thinking. “I’ve decided to write this novel/collection and I am willing to put in the effort and all the gruel work that is gonna have to go with it. Of COURSE I am excited about the outcome of all this!”

And I very well do believe you. You probably are. But the hardest thing can simply be staying excited all the way through the writing process. Because when it comes to long journeys there is always the chance that at some point you will wander a little off course.

SO that whole long introduction was simply for me to explain why I am sharing with you some ways to get excited about your novel again when the creative juices seem to be dwindling a little bit…

COVER TIME!

Every novel needs a beautiful cover where readers look at it and just think I NEED TO READ THAT in their minds. If you’re into drawing and photography, you can design your own. Or maybe you can find a friend who would want to design one for you. But covers are important! People say never judge a book by its cover. Which you shouldn’t! But people also lie 😉

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READING TIME!

This is one that doesn’t work for everyone. But some people really love reading a book which is of the same genre and type. Then they can think: when I’m done with my novel, it is going to be as epic as this one! Or, if it wasn’t a great book: I can write better than that. Just watch me own this!

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PUBLISHERS? AGENTS?

When you are writing to be published, it can be so motivated (and also productive in the long run!) to look into which agents might be interested in pitching your kind of book. You could also look into which publisher you would ideally like to be published with! We all have our favourites, and publishing companies are each looking for something slightly different. Start looking and make top ten lists of agents and publishers.

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DEDICATIONS AND SYNOPSES

Every book has a synopsis, and some of them have dedications. Have you thought about who you want to dedicate the book to? Also, a synopsis is incredibly important – both for getting published when you are writing query letters, but also because readers might read the synopsis. And after doing so, you need to have them salivating over the book and chucking it at everyone telling them to “Read this EPIC book! Look, the synopsis tells you all about its wonderfulness!”

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SPIN OFF COLLECTIONS

So many series these days publish bind ups of short stories based on the book. For example Stars Above to the Lunar Chronicles series, or Four to the Divergent series and The Bane Chronicles to The Mortal Instruments! Do you have some characters whose backstory you wouldn’t mind digging into a little bit? Or a spin off novella that might be interesting to outline while writing your book? It’s basically writing your own fanfiction, really.

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CASTING LISTS

Anything you write is just gonna be a bestseller! We already know it and can’t wait to see it top the list. Which is why when your publisher approaches you and asks if you are ready for your novel to be a movie, you need to be prepared! We’ve all had moments when the movie is nothing like the book AT ALL like the Percy Jackson movies. So to avoid this happening you need to have your perfect casting list all planned out.

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Hopefully all these tips will keep you motivated while writing and see you to the end of that novel/collection writing project. Have a good week!

Olivia-Savannah x

Black Out Poetry

What is Black Out Poetry? Simply put – borrowed words and recycled art. It is the process where you use somebody else’s words to construct a series of phrases, or even a sentence by random word-arrangement found in a magazine, newspaper and as in my case, a book. As a book lover, it is a nightmare. Because there is nothing more sacrilegious than destroying the pages of a book. Ironically enough, my inspiration came from reading about a character in a book who enjoyed desecrating his mother’s psycho-babble, self-help novels. I decided to try it out. I found myself with black markers, a book I didn’t exactly like, and plenty of inspiration.

After destroying a few pages of the unfortunate book, I decided I could no longer do it.

So then I turned to electronic black out poetry. I turned to my iPad. I realize it would be more guilt-free than actually using a physical copy of a book. All you need to do is take a screenshot of any random page from your iBooks, download a paint app, and use a stylus pen to black out the words. The result was a few pieces that I decided I would like to frame one day.

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He is the first thing you think of when you doubt yourself.

This was inspired by the person who continues to believe in me (my husband). Who tells me that if writers give up after one rejection, then the libraries and bookstores all over the world would be empty.

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Love is tumbling beyond the edge of forever, and standing in the shallows of a miracle. 

Sometimes, love can feel like an impossible dream for most people. And sometimes, you don’t know that you’re deep into it until someone points it out for yourself. But when you do, it will leave you short of breathless – like witnessing a miracle.

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Poets explore the beast which destroys him.

Writers, poets, artists. We’re gluttons for punishments, aren’t we? It’s our nature. We poke and prod old wounds until they’re fresh anew.

Black Out Poetry is so easy to do if you’re inspired. The words will simply jump out at you and will direct you where to go. It is  a two-step process that requires creativity and emotion. But like everything about art, inspiration is very fickle and sometimes fleeting. Truth be told, I haven’t held a marker or my stylus pen in the last two years. Thankfully, I managed to bank over a hundred pieces in those manic days.

The last piece I posted may not be grammatically correct. Sometimes, you just have to go with it. You also have to make sure the result of your blacked out words makes sense to you and your audience. Otherwise, all meaning will be lost.

If you’re interested in seeing more, leave me a note on the comment and I’ll definitely share some more from time to time. And heck, if this post inspires you to try it out, give me a holla. I’d love to see them, too!

Writerly Resolutions: The way to ACTUALLY achieving stuff!

Happy New Year all you writers out there!

I know what you’re thinking. It’s pretty cliche to kick off the new year with resolutions – everyone seems to be setting themselves some. But did you know that 92% of new years resolutions set fail to ever be fulfilled? Isn’t that tragic? All those resolutions just waiting to be conquered and yet are still out there… waiting…

As a writer, we do need to set writing goals for ourselves otherwise – let’s be honest here – the majority of us are never going to achieve anything. I’m here to help you set goals which you will actually be able to achieve!

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Here’s why most people never succeed: The two main causes are forgetting, and failing to track your progress. It’s as simple as that. So what you need to do with your resolutions once you have set them, is to give yourself reminders all through the year. Maybe once a month your phone is going to go ding! “Have you written your 5000 words for this month?”  or you will come home every evening, sit at your desk and see that post-it you left for yourself which says WRITE THOSE 500 WORDS. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO. Either way, whatever you do, make sure it is impossible for you to forget your goal. Remember, every morning there is a possibility of creeping close towards that goal of yours.

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Now here is why you won’t be part of that 92%: because you are going to stay motivated. You’re going to be following this blog (I can hope, okay?) which is going to give you all the tips and tricks about writerly things to keep you interested and curious to know more. You’re going to be told every day or month or week about your goal because you’ve set yourself reminders. And most of all, you’re going to be motivated to write and reach the end of that goal of yours!

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Some goal tips:

Writing a novel? It can be tricky to keep up with a novel, but small bitesize word counts which are easy to achieve will make it easy for you! I don’t even mean 500 words (because trust me, sometimes 500 words is pretty hard to churn out.) I’m talking 165 words a day. It’s such a small amount but after a year, you’ve already got + 60,000 words – which could even be considered a whole novel. So go write that bestseller and kick-butt at it too 😀

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Writing poetry? Well then, why shouldn’t this be the year you make your poetry anthology? Setting yourself to write a poem a week isn’t too hard. Try and give yourself potential time to be inspired, and maybe edit the poem as well. A poem a week and by the end of the year it’s 52 poems… jolly well enough for an anthology. It’s that easy!

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Are short stories your thing? Short stories do take quite a bit of planning, editing, and of course the writing time should be taken into account as well. That’s why two weeks should be enough to tackle one and get an idea for another? Do that all year and you have 26 by the end of it, which is once again enough for a short story collection. Go slay it ^.^

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Oh, just one more thing! It’s very important to make time for YOU among all this writing work!

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Yep, you. Because without this glorious being who is you, how can there be any of your wonderful words? We need a healthy, happy, relaxed and ready-to-write you. So make sure you have time in that schedule for pampering and relaxing. This doesn’t only benefit your writing, but everything you are going to do.

Have a brilliant year everyone ❤

Olivia-Savannah x