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Drumroll Please!

A huge thank you to everyone who entered my competition last week! My little plot bunny is very excited to be going to a brand new home very soon, especially as it’s just in time for NaNo 2012!

It was lovely to read all your responses and to see what different people pick as their favourite thing they’ve written. I saw favourites range from soon to be published novels, to short-stories, to works-in-progress, from very recent works to something written a few years ago. I find it really interesting how different we are as writers and how it’s not necessarily the newest thing written which is your favourite!

To answer my own question, I think the favourite thing I’ve written is my 2006 NaNo. Don’t get me wrong, I love We All Fall Down, but Phoenix Rising has always had a special place in my heart.

But you’re not here for all that are you? No, you’re here for the announcement of the winner!


First, I wrote everyone’s names on pieces of paper. If you had multiple entries, you got two pieces of paper!

Then, I folded up the pieces of paper and put them in my hat. (Told you I had a hat.)

I shook up the hat and actually felt nervous! I’ve never drawn a competition before! I was excited to see who  was going to win. I ended up shaking the hat for a good minute so I could enjoy the nervous excited feeling. Then I delved my hand in…

…and withdrew a name!

CONGRATULATIONS CATHERINE LUMB! You are my first competition winner! *balloons fall from the ceiling and glitter bursts out from nowhere whilst cheers fill the blog* Hurrah!

Cat, to claim your prize, please email me on lemonparade27 [at] ymail [dot] com with your full name and address and I will mail out the bunny asap.

And that’s all folks! I hope you keep reading, especially as we plunge towards November. You guys are really awesome people.

Enjoying Your Writing

I’ve managed to get a more decent amount of editing done this week than the last couple. It helped that I’ve been visiting friends in Lancaster, which involves a 2 1/2 hour train journey up and again back down. Whilst I haven’t used the full 2 1/2 hours each way to edit, I used some. And I managed to do a bit of editing whilst we were just chilling out and watching TV as well. After some working out, I’ve realised I’m over 2/3 of the way through my first edit! Woohoo!

But this isn’t about how much I have or haven’t edited this week, not really. On Friday when I was sat on the train, reading and editing my novel, I found something wonderful. I found a beautiful minor plot point that I had forgotten about entirely! Why was it beautiful? Because that fleeting young plot point is going to become all grown up in book two! And will blossom into a crucial element of book three! 

Have you ever done that? Read something you wrote months ago and found a piece of writing which absolutely makes your year writing-wise? The thing is, at the time I wrote it I’m pretty sure I was just trying to add words but now it’s added flesh to the barely even bones of my outlines for books two and three. I was really excited! I’d had a very stressful Friday and finding that absolutely made everything okay again.

There is a great thrill in reading over your own work and loving the story. The general consensus is always say “write what you know”or “write what you’d read” etc. It’s the idea that if you’d get bored reading it, you’d get bored writing it, so you won’t care as much if it’s any good. It makes sense, when you think about it. But, even though you know that when you’re writing a genre you enjoy, it still comes as a surprise when you really enjoy reading your own book. You find that you remember the plot and the big turning points but you don’t remember the Gems. The intricate details that make the story work. And when you read them, it makes you feel like a “real” writer. It does me anyway. It reminds me that if I wasn’t at least partially good at this, I wouldn’t still be plodding along with it. It’s a great feeling to have.

It helps if you ever plan on being published, as well. If you write a genre that you often read and you enjoy the story from a reader’s point of view, there’s a good chance that your potential future readers will enjoy it as well!

Apologies for the shorter blog post this week. It’s been a busy weekend and I have plans to chill out for a couple of hours before bed.

Don’t forget – I’m still running a competition to win this quirky handmade plot bunny!

Entry is simple and I will post to anywhere in the world! Extra entries for Facebook and Twitter shares, too! Just click here.

Competition Time!

As I write this, this blog has reached 1,009 views in 28 countries! I am SO excited! Thank you so much to everyone who’s been reading! I hope you continue to do so.

In honour of my 1,000 views, I am doing a


Now imagine that in the style of a children’s TV show when the presenters go nuts and wild, wacky music plays and the word ‘Competition’ runs across the screen in bunny hop jumps.

Why bunny hop jumps? Simple. This is the prize:

Meet Bobby. Bobby is a quirky, handmade (yes, seriously, made by yours truly) sock plot bunny who’s unblinking, loving stare will watch over you as you write.

How do you win? Also simple!

I talk a lot about my own writing (well, it IS my blog…) but I want to know about your writing. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favourite story that you have ever written is. And it could be anything from that first few paragraphs you wrote aged 10 to your masterpiece novel. I’m not judging on content or on which story I think sounds the coolest, I just want to know what you’ve enjoyed writing. Everyone who comments will have their name written on a piece of paper and placed into a hat (yes, I have a hat) and the winner will be drawn at random.

For a second entry tweet the following comment:

“Name your favourite piece that you’ve written on Spilt Hot Chocolate and win a handmade plot bunny! #PlotBunnyComp #SHC”

Please make sure you include your Twitter name in your comment so I know who has a second entry. If I can’t match you up, it won’t count. ‘Cause I ain’t psychic. (Unfortunately…)

If you don’t have Twitter, share this post on Facebook and let me know in your comment that you’ve done so! (Note, there is no third entry for sharing this on both Facebook AND Twitter, although you’re more than welcome to do so!)

Everyone in every country is eligible to win! I will post to any address in the world. Winner will be announced in ONE WEEK!

This is to show my appreciation for everyone who is reading my babble. I love you all.

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