Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke late last year Pinterest, Twitter and even traditional news carriers have been full of stories, commentaries and revelations about sexual misconduct, the abuse of power and the roles and rights of men and women. Despite being the type of person who has an opinion on everything, I feel there’s nothing I can add to the conversation here (and the world breathes a sigh of relief). However, it does raise the question of how we as writers should reflect social issues within our work. Continue reading “How Should Writers Reflect Social Issues?”
Whether you write for the love of it or because you want to make a career of it, you’re probably interested in how to improve your writing. If you’re like me, you don’t always have the time for courses and working through resources. Sometimes, you want the results without the pain.
Here are five ways that I use to help me improve my writing and which might be helpful for you too: Continue reading “Five Painless (And Effective) Ways to Improve Your Writing”
When I was eight I was raped. It feels strange to write that here. It’s not something I’m in the habit of sharing although it does come up now and then with the mums I’m close to because as mothers we discuss these issues in relation to our kids. I was lucky that my parents were very practical and straight forward about getting me help to deal with the experience and, after 25 years, it doesn’t have a strong hold over me. Continue reading “How I Use My Childhood Rape in My Writing”
You may remember that I was going to KidLit2017 on the 20th of May. Among other things I got to hear some really interesting panel discussion with people in the publishing industry – specifically children and young adult publishing. Continue reading “What Publishers Are Looking For – Diverse Voices”
As a writer you have the opportunity to make the world, any world, and it can be as filled with rainbows or as dark and depressing as you want – so long as your characters see it that way. Scene setting is a big part of writing. Without it your readers can be lost as to where your story (or even just a scene) is taking place and without this context they may find your story difficult to follow. But setting isn’t just influenced by the time and place in which your story takes place but by the emotions of your POV character. Continue reading “Why the World is a Dark and Dreary Place (Sometimes)”
Late last year I heard that my novel, All My Father’s Secrets, wasn’t shortlist for the Ampersand Prize run by Hardie Egmont. I was also told that my book wasn’t right for their list, meaning that they don’t, or don’t currently, publish books like the one I had written. Boo hoo me.
We all need a push to achieve at one time or another. Sometimes this push comes from within (intrinsic motivation) and sometimes it come from without (extrinsic motivation). So what do you do if the people who are meant to helping you achieve aren’t hitting the mark? Continue reading “Who’s Pushing You?”
You know what a protagonist is, right? It’s the main character in your story. Easy-peasy. So what’s the fourth protagonist and why should you keep it in mind when you’re writing? Continue reading “The Fourth Protagonist”
How important are the names you give your characters? More important than you might think and here’s some reasons why. Continue reading “It’s Time to Name Names”
Last weekend I had the immense pleasure of attending the first KidLitVic writers’ conference. It was incredible! I have never been to a writers’ conference before and it exceeded all my expectations. For the first time I referred to myself as a ‘writer’ in public. The audacity of it! To actually say to someone that I am a writer!
It was wonderful to meet so many like minded people, all striving for the same thing, in such an encouraging atmosphere. I felt like I really belonged and that I was part of a ‘tribe’. I’m hoping to keep in touch with some of these people and I’m so excited to see how their writing journeys continue.
I feel that my journey has taken a real step forward. I had a meeting with Marisa Pintado for Hardie Grant Egmont and she liked the initial pages of my book and asked to see more. To. See. More. Of my work! Can you believe that. I know it’s just a first step and that she might not be interested in the completed novel but…Oh my God! It really encourages me to keep on going. This isn’t the end of the journey, it’s not even the middle, but it’s a real step in the right direction.
If you’re a writer (confirmed or otherwise) and you have the opportunity to attend a writers conference then I highly recommend it. I had the most wonderful time and I’m sure you will too.