You might have caught a glimpse of this post a while back. I accidentally published the draft. Then I had a nervous breakdown trying to reel it in. Luckily, there were no swear words in that draft. Nothing too incriminating. It’s a miracle, really. Considering the topic. Let me begin with a disclaimer: Unlike most … More Help! I don’t know what I’m writing! Categories in kid lit
‘Narnia! It’s all in the wardrobe just like I told you!’ Dialogue. Lordy lord, it can bring writers undone. Basically, dialogue needs to lively and straight to the point. Cut any excess. Say what needs to be said, then keep moving. Especially in kid lit. Your characters should be speaking within some kind of engaging … More Talking heads. Why you should shut them up, pronto
If your story’s a bit flat, if things aren’t moving, have a think about your characters. What’s driving them? In particular, think about your main character. Your protagonist. Is your protagonist wobbling along on a rusty pushbike, veering all over the track, in danger of falling off at any moment? Is she wandering through the story … More Get your characters moving! Here’s how.
It was a dark and stormy night. Your story starts… now! Authors, all levels of experience and skill, often drag their feet (or their pen) at the start of a story. Sometimes they’re trying to say too much, trying to give the reader too much detail up front. Watch out for this! Other times, the author … More How to fix the start of your story
I used to have a studio at a Melbourne arts precinct. Funnily enough, mine was Studio 54. That might ring a bell for some of you. Doesn’t matter. The fact is, my studio was a hub. People were always dropping by for a chat or a grizzle or a giggle. Most of them were other artists and writers. … More The secret all good writers use (and no one talks about)
Originally posted on girl and duck:
Early in 2016 I decided it was time to start teaching creative writing again. I’d taught a few years earlier and loved everything about it—the connection, the conversations, the sharing, reading, writing, coffee! Heaven. This time though I wanted to commit more fully, and build something for my students that was rich and…
Early this year I was interviewed by a rather pompous character called, Bookworm. It was for a Channel 9 kids TV show. I’ll let you know when it screens… At one point during the interview, Bookworm said, ‘I hear you collect words.’ I said, ‘Who told you that?!’ Bookworm was taken aback (and that’s saying something). … More Why all writers need a secret stash
I’m writing this blog post super fast. I just wanted to let you know that a newsletter is going out tonight to all g&d subscribers. I’ve been talking about it on Facebook and Twitter. The newsletter has TWO bits of super cool news. BUT you only get the newsletter if you’re a subscriber. Subscribing is not the … More I don’t want you to miss out!
A while back, I wrote a blog post. You know why? Because I had a nice photo of bulbs in pots. You know. Flowers and stuff. Here it is. Pretty, hey? I thought, how can I write a blog post around this image? I love this image. I want to use this image! I must, I must, … More How to write a shitty blog post
Writers love words. Not just for what they do—create entire universes. They love them as individuals. Most writers (and editors) will blush with delight when handed a dictionary. They enjoy nothing more than ‘word talk’. Who likes pernickety, lilting, lumber, moot? Moot is a queer word. Queer is a great word that’s taken on a … More Why unwriting is a writer’s best friend