Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Tips on Learning Your Writing Craft

August 19, 2021

As writers and authors, learning new skills, keeping ahead of genre evolution, trope changes and writing methods is vital for our continued improvement as a wordsmith. With the industry changing so quickly, we need to be ahead of the game.

The best ways to do this are:

  1. Join a writing group
  2. Read articles on the book industry
  3. Take courses and workshops
  4. Attend writing conferences
  5. Subscribe to industry newsletters
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

How do you keep current with the writing industry?

This past weekend, I virtually attended When Words Collide and attended as many sessions as I could, while also being a co-presenter and panelist. Although, there was information I already knew, there were also those little nuggets of wisdom, insights and knowledge that made each session a gem. My notes were prolific and my follow up to action each gem will take several weeks.

There is always something to learn, whether you are just starting out on your writing career or have years of experience. We can have tunnel vision and ease into a ‘comfort zone’ so easily, when there are so many other calls on our time.

Some things can be scheduled monthly, such as updating your website or blog with current information. We don’t want a visitor to read upcoming events from 2018! Modify your bio to include your latest book, current WIP progression and appearances etc. Don’t leave your blog stagnant – post content regularly. (This can be once weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or even quarterly – just a known routine, so followers will know when to expect you to post).

We all have several social media accounts, so make sure they reflect the latest news, images etc. so they are in line with your current activities. This makes your author platform current. Also check links to ensure they are working properly or direct to a new site, if a change occurred. Refresh content and images so your platform doesn’t look dated or tired. Renew your copyright dates for all content across platforms on 1st January each year – this is one that can be missed very easily.

Can you share tips on what you do to stay updated and improve your writing skills?

Self Belief in your Writing…

August 4, 2013

Prowess – definition: exceptional valor, bravery, skill, or ability


When we start out on our writing journey’s we are plagued with self doubt. Is my story exceptional? Have I learnt the ‘rules’ well enough? Will anyone read it? It is easy to compare ourselves to the ‘greats’ (whichever genre great you follow) trying to glimpse within their writing the ‘how they do it’.

Taking advantage of other writers interviews, writing courses and the knowledge of members of your writing support group are all ways to increase you skill. If you have a particular genre you wish to excel in, then read as many novels in that genre as you can. Dissect the story, its characters and how the story arc is constructed. Notice the details, the amount of dialogue compared to exposition, how the characters are introduced and how they ‘change’. These are essential lessons to help you excel in your craft. Also books on writing are good investments, but chose carefully to ensure they are complimentary to your style.

Do you have any lessons you learned that you would like to share? 


Interview with Vikki Thompson…

March 19, 2013

Please welcome Vikki – an inspiration!

Fruition – definition: 1) the state of bearing fruit; 2) the state of becoming real or complete: realization, accomplishment. It will become abundantly clear once you visit Vikki’s blog that she is completely and totally committed to her writerly life and goes above and beyond to make it happen. I am in awe of her efforts – you go girl! Today’s word is so very apt for Vikki.

20121013-233030Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I have a huge soft spot for a character I’ve been working with for the last couple of years whose called Ronnie Quinn. When I first wrote about him he was the villain, but I ended up making him change his life around because I couldn’t bare to see him be a baddie lol

Do you favour one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I dabble in a couple of different genres. Mainly thriller or romance. I’ve tried my hand at ghost stories but they never seem scary enough lol

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Creating characters, being in control of their lives. Like playing with dolls in a dolls house!

Have you got a favourite place to write?

My desk in my bedroom. It’s only small, but it’s all mine and I get peace and quiet plus a window to look out of.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I used to be a Pantster, and at heart I still am. But I can see the value in planning now, especially when it comes to editing lol

What inspires your stories?

People! Real life stories and the way that people deal with the trials and tribulations of life.

What are you currently reading? 

We Had It So Good by Linda Grant. Linda came to my writing class to give a talk. Nice lady.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

When I was 5 I nearly drowned whilst on holiday in Spain. I fell into the deep end of the pool and couldn’t swim. I was pulled out by a Spanish gardener who grabbed hold of by plaits and pulled me out by my hair.

Do you have any pets?

I have 2 cats. Tigzz is a male common moggy (but we think there’s some feral in him, he’s HUGE and can be a nasty bugger) and Treacle who’s a British Shorthair pedigree, and doesn’t she know it!

English: British Shorthair, Classic Tabby

English: British Shorthair, Classic Tabby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I belong to two. A writing group for women called Mermaids, which is a traditional writing group and then another smaller group called Maidstone Writers, which is more of a social discussion group.

What age did you start writing stories?

Ha ha ha, do I really have to say? Ok, lets just say I was over 40, so pretty late in life lol

Do you have a book published?

No, not yet! 😉


If you could meet one favourite author who would it be and why?

Do they have to be alive? If not then I’d say Emily Bronte. I want to know who inspired her to write Heathcliff.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

Italy, definitely, near the sea *sighs*

What’s your favourite movie of all time?

My Fair Lady

Where can readers find you and your blog?


And on Twitter @vikkithomp

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

I have plans for the next 5 books! Lol

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My husband, affectionately known as The Hubster on my blog 🙂

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