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By Kitewriter, Jul 5 2017 09:38AM

The Isle of Elshivido and other short stories is a strong addition to the steampunk-fueled Orran series, written by Timothy Howard. In this anthology we meet various characters from colourful walks of life including noble pirate activists and tutu wearing thieves, living on a collection of islands known as the Orran Sealands and the Orran Skylands. The anthology gives a glimpse on the cultural conflicts on the islands, as well as provide satisfying character development despite the limitations of the short story structure.

When the reader first purchases the book, they'll notice two things. Firstly, they will notice the stunning cover, something that ebooks in particular don't tend to invest in. Secondly, the reader will notice a small map which illustrates the islands that the anthology is based on. This is a nice reference for readers who are interested in placing the stories. The anthology then kick-starts with a small poem that describes the archipelago setting. Poetry can be as much about presentation as it is word choice, which is why I found it a shame that the publisher decided to split the poem across two pages when it could have easily fit on a single page. This makes the poem look messy which will not appeal to readers. Word choice however, has fallen in the realms of cliché, as while the first stanza is interesting and describes the world nicely, the second stanza is awfully cliché with lines such as “adventure and wonder”. This is not the best start to what is a fun read.

The short stories themselves are adventurous, exciting and refreshingly varied. The titular short story, The Isle of Elshivido, follows Captain Cortain's crew investigating a rumour promising fortune. It features fascinating characters, in particular the captain, a young gay romancer who has an unusually calm persona. Another short story that particularly stands out is 'Beauty in Art', which centres on a quiet and lonely man named Trevor Fruastenhause who falls in love with a painting. While the plot may sound simple, Timothy Howard manages to create a powerful atmosphere and develops suspense in the story which holds a profound ending.

Timothy Howard's work is often character driven, and The Isle of Elshivido is no exception. The characters in the anthology are mostly compelling and will capture the reader's interest, including beer loving engineer Hayley who discovers her employer's dark secret and honour-bound Osfafina, a warrior forced to re-examine her way of life. Readers will find that many of the heroes in the anthology are likeable with some strong personalities creating memorable story arcs. Readers will also be pleased that character development hasn't been forced through a thread of characters deliberately making frustrating mistakes, instead readers will learn more about the characters through interesting dialogue, decision making and action sequences. Unfortunately there are times when the author will flood the reader with information both about the characters and the culture of the island, but these are forgivable and thankfully not too frequent.

Finally, one of the key questions fellow readers of this review may like to know is what of the writing quality? In this modern age where it is easy to self publish, writing quality can be a red hot game of chance with potential readers placing bets on whether they're going to get a book of rubble or a goldmine. The Isle of Elshivido is honestly a bit of both. You will find jumpy paragraphs, misspellings such as 'piecred ear' and various grammar and punctuation issues such as 'holding the boat securely it in place' and 'with four square pockets His long black hair'. However you will also find a good deal of humour such as “They attempted to draw their weapons only to discover they were missing and patted their sides in confusion."

Readers will find that the story quality is the best selling point of this anthology. They are fun and at times dark, enjoyable and a great addition to the adventurous steampunk genre.

You can find The Isle of Elshivido on sale on Amazon for £1.50 at the time of writing.

By Kitewriter, Feb 29 2016 03:24PM

Content Marketing is a new industry buzzword used to describe the method of generating widely accessible content to specific target audiences who in turn become a profitable source. Content Marketing has quickly become a popular method of marketing for many businesses with the creation of blogs, active participation in social media and the development of articles to be published in mulitple outlets. You could say that this blog post is a marketing device by Kitewriting and it would be true. However by offering genuinally helpful advice, we can further support our clients and produce relevant content. Good Content Marketing should prioritise the businesses' concern over their brand, it's purpose, and be relevant to their client or consumer base.

Many marketers use similar tactics to Kitewriting. These include supermarkets that offer recipes, university tutors writing articles for media outlets and bloggers who share tips and tricks on how to use items that they sell. This tactic should not be overly pushy and should deliver truly helpful advice. However, there are other kinds of Content Marketing that uses a different approach which is equally as valid.

Consider how content marketing represents your brand
Consider how content marketing represents your brand

Some businesses prefer to prioritise their content towards search engines such as Google. Through the use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you'll find their content easily on the first page. There are many rules towards using SEO effectively. The use of outbound links, the length of the article, the use of images, the use of meta tags... All contribute to SEO. Sometimes you will find that the quality of writing is not as good as other company blogs. That may be because they are trying to force certain key phrases into their article that the client may use to search on Google. There are occassions when high quality writing isn't neccessary but SEO is essential. Alternatively there are times where clients can become wary of websites that use strange grammar and too much repetition in their content. Clever Content Marketing is having the brand awareness and capability to recognise the purpose of the buisinesses' Content Marketing, and therefore realise what the correct balance should be between high quality and useful content vs effective use of SEO.

We hope this blog post has been helpful to you. Please feel free to leave your opinions on our article as a comment. Do you agree? Do you have any additional tips you would like to share? Do take a look at our article writing service and our social media management service. Feel free to contact us directly at:

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, send us a Facebook message or give us a tweet. We look forward to reading your comments!

By Kitewriter, Jan 27 2016 11:44PM

Let's be honest. Finding the right editor for you isn't always a task that's simple nor easy. There are hundreds of editing agencies and freelancers advertising their services online just like Kitewriting. What makes an editor suitable to the writer? We believe the first step to finding a great editor is to consider what qualities you would like the editor to have. Here's some food for thought.

Do you require professional feedback?

Make sure your editor is qualified. If you would like to recieve feedback from someone who can provide a high quality service and has a comprehensive understanding of grammar and other literary principles, then check that they have the appropriate qualifications. Your editor should have certificated evidence that they have been trained in Creative Writing, English Language, English Literature or Publishing. They should also be willing to show samples of their previous work at your request.

Often it is best to contact editors directly through their website or through their social media accounts. It is not always the case, but some large company websites that encourage writers to sign up and 'hire freelancers' provide low qualitiy services that will lead to disappointment and valuable time wasted. This is because many editors have not been checked by the company itself and are simply not qualified.

What kind of feedback and editing service do you wish to recieve?

When contacting an editor you should also be very specific about the kind feedback you wish to recieve. Would you like someone to edit your work for you? Or would you rather have support from an editor and general feedback in regards to your plot? Do you need someone to look out for clichés or repetition? Not all editors enjoy being flexible. Some prefer to specialise in certain aspects or genres of editing.


> Who is the main audience my writing is directed towards? Does this editor have experience with this?

> What genre is my work? Would I prefer an editor who specialises in the field?

> Do I wish to recieve feedback through a word processor document, through an e-mail, through Skype, or face to face?

> What feedback would be most benefitial to me?

> How often do I wish to recieve feedback?

What is my budget for an editor?

Sieving through the endless editor rates can be a nightmare. While some editors charge their service by the hour others charge for the number of words or pages they recieve from you. What makes it more complicated is that every editor can offer a slightly different service, too. It will also depend on whether you would like an essay, novel or poem edited.

Currently the best guide available online would be through writers digest. They offer pricing guides to freelance editors. By looking through the guide you will notice that different types of editing will vary in price.

On average writers charge $64 or £45 per hour for business advertising.

On average editors charge $31 or £15 per hour for proofreading.

If you would like to compare these prices with our professional service, please feel free to browse.

Look local first

There are multiple benefits for prioritising a local editor. The first benefit is that you can be certain that their grammar and editing will fit the local dialect. For example British spelling and grammar can be slightly different to American spelling and grammar. You may also have the opportunity to meet them face to face which can be especially helpful for longer projects.

Check that your editor is flexible

If you are looking for an editor to help develop your literary vision such as a project or anthology of poems, check to see if they can offer a personalised service for you. Can they contact you in your preferred method of communication? Are they aware of the feedback you require? Do they respond quickly to all enquiries? Are they able to offer alternatives to services and are they willing to go the extra mile for you? Trust and confidence in your editor should be crucial factors in your decision making.

We hope this blog post has been helpful to you. Please feel free to leave your opinions on our article as a comment. Do you agree? Do you have any additional tips you would like to share? If you would like to know more about our editing and feedback services please click here, or contact us directly at:

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, send us a Facebook message or give us a tweet. We look forward to reading your comments!

By Kitewriter, Aug 31 2015 03:00PM

Have you ever felt lost in your writing? Have you reached a point where you’ve hit an intangible wall that simply refuses to budge? Perhaps you’ve reached a point where you have been unable to write any further? While some may call this writer’s block, others remain silent as they give up and throw away the last months of their work. You don’t have to do this! The good news is that a plan can save a piece of writing, no matter where it is in production. But our best advice for writers is to try and plan ahead first. That way, your writing will remain on track and you save an immense amount of time, effort and stress.

How a plan can help writers

Well formed plans provide your faithful go-to when you hit a block. When you run out of fuel, you can simply examine your plan and steer back on topic. Plans can also help you realise when sometimes, the first idea you had actually wasn’t your best. Through planning, we can consider various options and possibilities, before choosing one that we are confident about writing.

As editors, we often detect writing that has been made ‘off the cuff’ without planning in advance, and writing that has been thoroughly planned. It’s especially important for academic writers to consider their audience through planning. An effective plan helps you to make sure you answer the question you intend to answer.

The myths about planning

Plans make writing boring

It is entirely natural for writers not to stick exactly to the plan. Planning ahead is one thing, writing it is another. When interviewed, many writers may discuss about how the ending surprised them just as much as it did the reader. This doesn’t mean that the writer didn’t use a plan to guide their writing in some shape or form. Plans have many functions, rather than simply outlining the details of each chapter. For example, you can use it to remind you what a character’s eye colour is, or to remind you of a smaller plot line that will need wrapping up. This helps you to keep your writing consistent, which will be appreciated by the reader. Your planning could function as your prompt, and it could include a collage of images or links to music tracks to help you write.

It’s impossible to plan my writing project

There are a variety of plans available for the use of a writer, no matter the writing platform. Even if you wish to write a series of haikus, planning can still assist you. For example, are you hoping to maintain a particular theme in your poetry? Is there a specific image or idea that you want to convey to your audience? By simply making a note of this, you are planning ahead and are more likely to achieve your goals.

Plans take a long time to write

The great thing about taking control of your writing is that you can develop a plan to suit you. If you are eager to get started – just jot a few relevant details down on the side. Is there a crucial idea or twist you need to remember? Do you have an image of the character already? There are many types of plan, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We will be discussing these in our upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned.

We hope this blog post has been helpful to you. If you would like to know more about our editing and feedback services please click here, or contact us directly at:

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, send us a Facebook message or give us a tweet. We look forward to reading your comments!

By Kitewriter, Aug 28 2015 11:29AM

Worldbuilding can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of writing. Fantasy writer Gregory Delve tells us how.

The first thing I do when creating a new setting is to list some of the key features I want to include. These starting points will help to guide me as I explore my chosen genre. If I’m writing a science fiction, for instance, my short list might look something like this:

• Relics of a past age

• Unusual cultures

• Biotechnology

• Alien life

These decisions will help me to understand the nature of the story I want to tell. By looking at them, I can already tell what kind of conflicts and themes are available to me. Time to start fleshing out the details.

In our vision of the future, let humanity take refuge in the husks of ruined skyscrapers, fortified warehouses and overgrown shopping centers. Let digital technology be mythic and unknowable. Mobile phones and laptop computers are just husks of dead plastic, once animated in ways the people of this age can never hope to replicate. These relics of the past age serve as clues for the reader, hinting at the rich and complex history behind it.

Imagine how main characters might live. They are probably scavengers, rooting through the ruins to make a living by selling on what they find, or perhaps deciphering dusty schematics to create engines and machinery.

If we wanted, we could nail down every detail about these old relics and the technology available. We don’t want to do that, since those details aren’t important yet. As long as we know how they tie into the world, we can move on. We’ve got three more aspects of our fledgling world to work with. We know that the knowledge and glory of the past age has been lost. Perhaps alien life could be responsible.

Imagine a meteorite blazing through the sky, crashing into the earth, and causing a cataclysm the likes of which humanity has never seen. As the meteor makes impact, alien spores are released into the atmosphere. Civilization as we know it is wiped out in a day. Global winter sets in. Alien creatures are spotted hanging still and silent in the ashen sky, tentacles trailing beneath them.

It should have become obvious by now how we can work with our starting points like clay, molding them in interesting or unexpected ways to conjure up rich, powerful images. We can expand our ideas in logical direction using what we already know.

So where will we take our world next? What if our aliens where composed of a gelatinous substance that can be used for genetic modifications? What if four or five factions evolved, each developing their own unique cultures in response to this new technology? If we took the time to hammer out these details, we’d have a world containing everything we wanted to have in the first place.

Don’t be afraid to let ideas flow. You’re under no obligation to use any of them later on. The more ideas you have, the more will come to you, and the more you will end up discovering about your setting. At some point, the world will begin to breathe on its own, springing to life before your very eyes. You’ll be surprised by how much time you spend living in it.

Did you like this article? Let Greg know – Send him a tweet, or leave a comment below.

We hope this blog post has been helpful to you. If you would like to know more about our editing and feedback services please click here, or contact us directly at:

As always, please feel free to leave a comment, send us a Facebook message or give us a tweet. We look forward to reading your comments!

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