sylvia ashby

Are you a “chick who writes”?

Today I welcome Daniela from This Chick Writes Academy.

Welcome, Daniela!

I stumbled upon her gorgeous website recently and couldn’t get enough of the wonderful graphics and positive vibe of the place. There is always something happening. I recommend you visit it and fast. Happy readings!

Guest post by Daniela Pesconi-Arthur:

Let me guess…

  • You LOVE chick-lit and have your favourite heroines
  • You LOVE writing – even if you are a newbie to it
  • You have a blog (or a notebook, or dozens of them!) where you write your stories or about your daily life
  • You would love to write a chick-lit novel and have it published
  • You are not so sure how/where to start, you don’t know much about plotting, characterization, etc
  • You don’t have time to sit down and write
  • You get writer’s block
  • You’re afraid of eating a lot of rubbish/drinking too much/getting a square bum
  • You think I’ve made my point with this list 😉

Well, let me tell you something, ladies: until my late 30’s, I had no idea that I could write a novel – and see it published! was “conceived” during my one year living in Naples, Italy, and was inspired by my youngest sister. It was kept in the drawer for a couple of years until I used my MA to “nearly” finish writing it.

Then, in 2015, I participated in my first #NaNoWriMo and finished it. I gave myself a month to revise/edit, and off it went to six amazing beta-readers. I was terrified and so self-conscious you wouldn’t believe it. It all went well then – phew!

A few tweaks here, some more changes there and on 13th February 2016 was part of the Amazon Kindle bookshelves. The second novel, Mothers and Daughters, is on its way – watch this space – and it’s been so much fun writing it that I thought I should bring to you some of the excitement that is to write a chick lit novel.

This Chick Writes Academy is the perfect place for you to be, so you can finally get your novel(s) written and published!

By being a member of This Chick Writes Academy, you will have our support all the way through your writing journey, be it just writing that one novel, or many more, no matter what stage you are at (find out which stage you are at here).Once you identify your current stage, here’s how we can help:

Once you identify your current stage, here’s how we can help:

As a member of the Academy, you will have access to valuable tips and tricks for writing a chick-lit novel, as well as worksheets to help you organise your ideas. You’ll also have access to our closed community on Facebook, which will offer:

  • a safe environment for you to connect with other writers
  • a weekly hangout with me, where I will give feedback to a chapter of your writing (this will be for all members, on Facebook Live, but every week, I’ll pick three chapters to give feedback on)
  • tips on how to edit/self-publish your novel once it’s done

So, are you up for it? Are you ready to add some serious fun to your writing life!

Click here to find more about it and to enrol for only $1 for the first month!

Offer valid until 31st May – 23:59 GMT (London time)


Mothers and Daughters will be launched on 11th June with pre-orderс from 5th June!

Sign up to be the first one to know and get as a thank you gift

a set of bookmarks!

Fractal Novels

What do snowflakes, cauliflower, and novels have in common?
The answer to this question is: fractals.
Fractal geometry is relatively new – the term was coined by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975. A fractal is a geometric pattern that repeats at every level of magnification or in Mandelbrot’s own words “a fractal is a geometric shape that can be separated into parts, each of which is a reduced-scale version of the whole.”
Think of Russian nesting dolls.
But how are fractals relevant to writing?
Fractals help us study and understand scientific concepts, such as the way plants grow, as in broccoli or cauliflower; the patterns in freezing water – snowflakes, and the brain waves. Anything with a rhythm or a pattern has a chance of being fractal-like.

And what is a text, or a novel, if not a concept that you’d like to put through to people and be understood? The more structure there is to a text, the easier it would be for those reading it to make sense of it.
In his work “Poetics” Aristotle puts forth the idea of the three-act structure.
“A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end.” He writes.
I think that should be applied universally. I think that every part of every text – paragraph, sentence and even phrase, should also have “a beginning and middle and end”. In other words, it should be fractal. What is found in the whole should be found in its parts. That is how a text becomes consistent.

Let take the first paragraph of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin as an example:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
“It is a truth universally acknowledged…” is the beginning. Its purpose is to ease us in. It could be by adopting a universally known phrase, like here or something punchy that’d excite us, so we’d carry on reading.
“…a single man in possession of a good fortune…” is the middle of things. It’s not as exciting as the beginning or as dramatic as the end, but it’s still indispensable. It’s one of those things that you need to know in order to connect the dots.
“…must be in want of a wife.” Is the end. The climax in which, after all is said and done, all should be revealed. In good texts it’s surprising, as it is here. In bad texts it’s common and repetitive and dull.
“A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end.”
It’s as simple as that.