Got to a part in your book where you don’t know what happens next?

Know what happens next but don’t know how to write it?

Know how to write what happens but your characters won’t talk to you to back up your scene with dialogue?

Brain melting out your earholes?

Pulling hair off your head?

“Writers Block”?


If you think you’ve tried every trick in the book to get over it, I’m telling you now there is one method you haven’t tried that will work 99% of the time. It’s really bloody easy too. I almost don’t want to tell you because it feels like my own little secret. Like my own red button for launching nukes which I sit stroking whilst laughing manically at the fact that nobody knows how much power I have. What? It’s a perfectly normal analogy…

Moving along.

Wanna know what to do if you get stuck with your story?


Put it to one side.

Go and read.

I don’t care what you read so long as it’s something you love. A book that draws you in. A book you don’t want to put down. If you can’t find a new book that makes you feel that way then go back to an old one that you’ve read before and start over. Forget about your manuscript.

Neglect your characters. Ignore your world and go visit someplace else instead.

Now here’s the tricky part.

When you get sucked into a book, when you’re at that point where you just have to read another page…


Put the book down.

Go and write.


Now I’m not saying it will lead you to finish the rest of your story in one sitting. But I promise that this is more likely than any other method to help you get out of the slump. You may only write 100 words, but that’s 100 more than you had before isn’t it?

Sometimes we get lost within our creations, and our imagination gets overwhelmed with the scale of the task. We all need to escape from time to time, so give it a try.

Write on.



E.C. Jarvis is a British author working mainly in speculative and fantasy fiction genres. 

Since 2015, she has independently published six books spanning two different genres and series. The Machine, The Pirate, The War, and The Destiny in The Blood and Destiny series - a steampunk adventure. Desire and Duty, and Lust and Lies in The Consort's Chronicles series - an erotic fantasy.

If you like action packed, fast-paced page turners, then try one of her books. There's never a dull moment in those pages.

She was born in Surrey, England in 1982. She now resides in Hampshire, England with her daughter and husband.


Why I hate first person

I’ve made no secret of it. I hate first person stories. It might seem harsh, but I’m serious. I have a visceral reaction when I discover that a novel is written in first person. Something happens to me, akin to a heart attack, or that moment when you realise you’re about to puke up and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It is a very rare thing for me to read past the first page of a first person story, or the first sentence. In some cases I won’t make it past the first word.

I’m not saying that first person stories are wrong, or bad, just that I personally (generally) do not like them.

You may think it odd, therefore, that I am currently writing a story in first person.

That’s because it is odd.

I have had to take a step back to analyse why I hate first person narratives, and why I can manage to write in first person without spewing all over the floor every time I put a sentence down (writing is hard enough as it is without having to go through that sort of nonsense). Do I think my writing is better than anyone else’s? Not particularly, arrogance is not the issue here. There is a reason though and I believe I have finally figured it out.

It is very easy to write badly when writing in first person narrative. There is a lot of debate going on lately regarding show vs tell writing, and whilst I could argue that some “tell” writing is acceptable within a story, I feel compelled to put a limit upon its usage. Let’s say somewhere between 1-7% of a story should be written in a tell style. There are always moments where a short, simple “tell” sentence is better placed than a slightly longer “show” version, for dramatic effect, or for simplicity. You might feel that percentage should be higher, but I would argue this is down to preference, and in any case, the higher you go with a percentage of “tell” writing, the worse a story will be.

What does this have to do with my aversion to first person? Everything.

When writing first person it is inevitable that an author will fall into the tell style. And you know what? It’s dull. God is it mind-numbingly, ass-fartingly, brain-meltingly dull to read.

I woke up.

I started my car.

I felt hungry.


I DON’T CARE. If a story begins with the word “I”, then I will not read it. The exception to this rule is if you can follow the “I” with something, unique, amazing, and interesting.

I am an eight legged bear from the planet Zongrikon with a pet dwibble named Stanley and I am currently attempting to blow up the planet Earth.

Alright, I’m in. I’m hooked. Give me more. Don’t tell me “I woke up”. Every human being who has ever lived as at some point woken up. Big woop. If you are going to open with a tell sentence then it had better be a fucking amazing tell moment or I won’t bother reading the next sentence.

You might think I’m harsh, but you know what? I work two jobs, and I have a family. My reading time is limited to a half-hour slot before bedtime when I’m able to harness enough brain power to still concentrate, or the half-hour bit during my daughters swimming lesson on a Saturday where I can look away and concentrate on something else, safe in the knowledge that she won’t drown. I don’t have the time or patience to read dull shit from a writer who can’t be bothered to give me interesting stuff from page one, sentence one.

Stories are all about the author’s voice, and it is tough to be unique in the literary world. It’s even tougher to pull it off in first person. But it’s not impossible provided you put a little more thought into the work.

I have this reaction every time I write an “I” sentence in my book. It makes me wanna hurl, which is probably a good thing, because it’s forcing me to do better. If only more authors suffered from this odd affliction, there would be a lot more well-written first person stories in the world.

In any case, if you like to write first person, then go ahead. I won’t stop you. As a new member of the First Person Perspective Club, I shouldn’t be so judgemental I suppose.

But if you’re going to write, at least have the decency to write to the best of your ability and try not to litter your manuscript with throw away “I” sentences.




p.s. I realise the irony in the fact that this blog post is in first person, so no need to point it out… however, that’s kinda the point of blogs, so … yeah.


I have recently been offered the opportunity to write blurbs for other authors in exchange for a fee. Now don’t get me wrong, I jumped at the chance, I mean who doesn’t want to get paid for their writing? But it got me thinking just why is it so hard to write a blurb?

To start with, let me explain, the blurb is that bit on the back cover of the book that gives you a little peek at what the book contains (or the short introduction paragraph that you see provided for an ebook). It is not a summary per se, and certainly not a synopsis (which is another evil piece of work). Its purpose is similar to that of the cover - to capture a reader’s attention and draw them in. To give away a little clue as to what awaits inside the cover. Therein lies the difficulty. When you have a full length novel, filled with amazing world building, detailed characters and an intricate plot, how can you be expected to extract just a tiny piece of that beautiful masterpiece to present as representational of the whole?

It’s hard, believe me. I’ve done it myself four times now and I sit there staring at the blank paper thinking “Why? Why must I do this horrid thing?” but there are a few tricks you can use to overcome the moment of despair.

1)      Pick a character (or a couple of your main characters) to mention and consider their traits - e.g. John B knew his habit of collecting newspaper cuttings of serial killers would get out of hand one day, little did he know just how bad a habit it was.

2)      Consider including a mention of the setting of your book – e.g. Sam J spent his life riding the rails on the steam locomotives

3)      Include a hint at a hurdle – a situation that your characters are faced with in the book

4)      Try to keep the blurb below five hundred words, any longer and you risk waffling with information that although no doubt important, is not pertinent to the goal of the blurb.

Also go and look up some of your favourite books on amazon and read the blurb that is presented for them. Figure out what works and what doesn’t and see if you can apply the same formula to your own work.

If all else fails, then you can always pay someone else to do the work for you… I can think of at least one person who offers such a service ;)


Write on!