Three problems I see with backstory

Remember that song by The Waterboys? The Whole of the Moon. ‘You know how it feels to get too high, too far, too soon… Whatevs I’m dickin’ around. Here are three backstory problems as I see them: 1 Too much backstory  Are you trying to tell your reader too much, too soon? Are your opening scenes…

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The winning stories in our Scribbles Creative Writing Awards. A rundown on each!

What a finale! The judging in the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards is over and our beautiful certificates are winging their way to our winners and highly commended. Other prizes are also being dished out! Sheesh. We don’t just give you a certificate and send you on your way! That is so NOT the Scribbly way!…

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Cottage news! The continuing saga of Elsie’s makeover…

Elsie, our dear little cottage, is inching closer to winning her beauty sash. But not without a few tears. Mainly mine. The question remains, will Elsie greet Christmas with a New Look or will we just have to embrace her, shabby chic, and all? Pictorial progress report:   I had no idea how much sash…

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Four ways to eat your writing

If your writing was a breakfast cereal, what would it be? No, seriously! Stick with me here! If you likened your writing (or your story) to a breakfast cereal, you might have some astonishing insights. You might even discover a fun and effective way to self-edit or rewrite. Step back from your work and try…

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Why do we care so much about shortlists?

Someone recently asked, what’s the big deal about a shortlist? What’s the big deal? A shortlist groups together the best!  It acknowledges the most accomplished of a long and always healthy collection of entries. It’s also how we make competitions like the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards, manageable — both for the judges and for the competitors. Imagine if we only…

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Want readers to sigh over your work? Try this

Originally posted on girl and duck:
Universalities. Those little pearls of wisdom… In literature, universalities are statements that apply to everyone or to the human condition. Sometimes they’re accurate, insightful and give readers, young and old, a lovely ah-ha moment. Sometimes they’re grossly inaccurate. Famous universalities in literature include: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a…

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Creative writers: Two things you must have that I can’t give you

I’ve been thinking about teaching. I think about it a lot. You see, I’ve been gathering notes for another tutorial to add to the girl & duck Institute. This one’s about voice. Voice is one of my FAVOURITE topics. It should be every author’s favourite topic. Well. Top five at least. By the way… Do…

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Creative Writing Awards and a fantastic FLASH sale! (Plus Elsie’s ongoing makeover.)

Okay. So. I’m writing this while someone drills the outside walls of the studio. Not sure what they’re doing. It’s like there’s a giant dentist outside trying to break in. A painting just fell off the wall, knocked a cup of tea flying and tipped over a Peace Lily. Aside from that, it’s business as…

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Institute Opening Sale! Be quick!

Hello, dear reader. Do you remember the Ponds Institute?   Here at girl and duck HQ, I desperately wanted to call our new school, The Pond Institute. In loving memory, of course. And so I could justify a lab coat. But. I didn’t want to get sued. So, we have opened the girl and duck…

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Book news, cottage news, garden news. All the news.

In the last Q and Q Friday video, we talked about writing picture books via the illustrations. In other words, an alternative way to write a PB is to start with the pictures. Lots of creators, especially illustrators, work this way. Pictures first. Words second. Sweeeeet. So. That’s what I’m doing here. I’m pulling some…

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