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Gandalf - The Mentor

 Yesterday was Lord of the Rings Day. Every January, we sit down for an entire day and watch the three Lord of the Rings films back-to-back. And that's the extended versions. It's a perfect way to spend a January Saturday, when Christmas is over and before the gardening season truly begins and you feel bad for being inside! I thought yesterday, as I was crying at the Fellowship of the Ring, that I would do a blog post about Boromir and how he's actually a pretty awesome character. Then I thought, when I opened Blogger to write, that all of the Fellowship play important roles, and there's someone there who would appeal to everyone. So, in this 9 part series on characters, let's take each of the Fellowship and discuss the role they play in the story. What's their character arc? What's their purpose? You never know - it might teach us a thing or two about designing our own characters. WARNING: This contains spoilers. Obviously! The first one we're going to
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GUEST POST - "Hallo teachers! Would you like to write a book?" by Jessica Norrie

  The Magic Carpet  is available at  http://getbook.at/TheMagicCarpet I'm absolutely thrilled to share this gem of a blog by Jessica Norrie on the Crowvus Book Blog. It's personally relatable for me, too, as I'm teacher who also writes children's fiction. I just love all the comments made in this blog - they are so true! It's a delight to meet another author/teacher/soprano! Check out the links to Jessica Norrie's books at the end of the blog too! Hallo teachers! Would you like to write a book? Primary and English teachers spend their days with books. It’s not surprising many dream of writing their own. Some make the big time - think Philip Pullman, Eoin Colfer, Michael Morpurgo. Teachers start with several professional advantages: 1) All child and adult human life enters the classroom. Teachers overhear conversations, respond to different personalities, encounter heartrending or enviable household  circumstances. They see family and cultural likenesses and cont

Positively Weekend! Why I Love to Write Middle Grade

 It's weekend again! That means it's time for another Positively Weekend post! Let's be positive about the writing and publishing world. Today, I'm talking about why I love to write for younger readers, in particular 10-12 year olds. 1)  Imagination Kids have a greater imagination than most adults. Yes, they perhaps can't show it as eloquently as mature people can. Yes, adults don't always understand what kids are trying to say. But their imagination is lively and unique. An adult sometimes gets upset if a child draws a picture of a battle, but more often than not this is just a story that is playing out in a child's mind. Writing for kids is so rewarding because they add their own imagination to the story. 2)  Uncomplicated To make a good children's book, you need an engaging plot and believable characters. The ethical themes and unusual dialogue is what will engage the parents and teachers, but children really only care about an entertaining story. Thi

Harsh Truth Thursdays - The Perils of Writer's Block

 It's Thursday! So get ready for some harsh truths about writing and publishing. This week, we are talking about that divisive of all writing topics: writer's block! Writer's Block is when, for no explicable reason, a writer loses their productivity. Some writers believe that it exists, others are certain it does not. But, here's the harsh truth: writer's block does  exist. There are times when a writer struggles to write a single page. When people say it doesn't exist, what they usually mean is "you can do something about it". To say writer's block isn't real takes away from of the skill of an author. It is the author's skill to work through writer's block. So, here are a few ideas to help you work through this very real predicament: Just sit down and write. You might write a load of rubbish, but you're going to edit your book anyway, so don't worry! Get that chapter down and, by the time you've written a few hundred words,

Positively Weekend! 5 Things I Love About Indie Publishing

It's Saturday! And, it's not just any Saturday for me, today is the first day of the October holidays! Bear with me while I calm down a little... Right, I'm back. So...every Saturday, I will be posting a "Positively Weekend" blog, sharing the positive sides of publishing and writing. I'm also doing a Harsh Truth Thursday which does the opposite! Because, yes, there are both sides to the publishing coin. So today, to kick off the weekend, I'm sharing the 5 things I love most about indie publishing. Indie publishing is a publishing company that is smaller than the big-wigs of the industry. They use their company funds to publish books, and don't expect any money from the author. However, they don't always pay an advance. Crowvus is an independent publisher. We are a very small publishing company which is growing every year. Initially, there was a strange wibbly line between whether we classed as an indie publisher or self-publisher, but the more we d

Harsh Truth Thursdays - the Predicaments of Self Publishing

I thought it would be fun to upskittle the apple cart, and provide a few harsh truths about the writing and publishing industry every Thursday. My goal? Well, to educate people about the difficulties that self-publishers face, and to provide some emotional support to the folk who are driven mad by it! Yes, this is a cross owl! Photo by Elliot Connor from Pexels Want a bit more positivity? Then come back on Saturday for "Positively Weekend" blogposts. Before I start, we need a bit of background on Crowvus. Crowvus Publishing began as a co-operative of different authors, each publishing the other's work. We don't publish our own but, up until 2020, we weren't open to submissions. Then a wonderful thing happened! We became successful! Because of our success, we were then able to open up submissions to other authors, only one at a time. So, we are an independent publisher, and not really classed as self-publishers anymore. But we are so aware of the difficulties facin

Why are Weasels Always the Baddies?

This topic was requested for the Crowvus Youtube channel by  Judith Crow , Empress of the World and   lover of weasels. I really should have filmed/written this months ago, but seeing as today is World Animal Day, it seems like the perfect opportunity. So...let's break down why weasels are portrayed as the baddies in so many books and films! First of all, here's a disclaimer: weasels are not  always  shown up as the antagonists. One of the most fantastic Twitter accounts to follow is Celestine and the Hare where you can follow the antics of Baby Weesus and other characters. One of the main stories where weasels are presented as the bad guys is, of course, The Wind in the Willows. The weasels of the wild wood take advantage of the situation when Toad gets himself arrested. They take control of Toad's rather large house, but are eventually beaten by the 'goodies'. Judith also gets upset when watching the third Hobbit film "The Battle of the Five Armies" wh