14 Excuses to Stop Writing NOW

Creative writing is tough. Sometimes all we need is a tiny nudge to make us chuck it in. If you’re looking to bail but need more than a hall pass, here are some tried and tested, totally legitimate, OUTS. Great excuses. Guaranteed to save face. Your face. 1. If you get published you might have…

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Why NaNoWriMo Would Never Work For Me

  I run a private Facebook group for aspiring authors and illustrators. You might have heard of it (ahem). It’s called The Duck Pond. Hop on my mailing list if you’d like to join. I also run a private Facebook group for those who are doing my online course, Scribbles. I love both groups equally…

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Why I was rubbish at writing for adults

News flash Some people think I’m arrogant. They think, where does she get off, dishin’ out all this advice about creative writing? She doesn’t know everything. Shocking, I know. But it’s probably true.  There is a slim chance I don’t know everything. Not every little thing But I can tell you when it comes to creative writing there’s not much…

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Finish your freakin’ novel. Here’s why

I’ve often been asked by aspiring authors if they should send three sample chapters to a publisher and try to get a contract that way. Alarm bells. If that’s what the publisher is asking for,  by all means send them sample chapters. Always give them exactly what they want. That’s, ‘How to be an Author, 101’.…

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How I built a new, author website

Up until a couple of months ago I had severe website shame. My author website was a shambles. It was out of date. It was clunky. It was a technical nightmare, built around grids and tables, unwieldy fecking boxes that made me wail every time I tried to tinker with them. Because I couldn’t access…

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What defines a main character?

Sometimes we refer to people as ‘real characters’. How weird. Is this uniquely Australian? Is it an Australianism? ‘Oh, my great aunt was a real character!’ Either way, it’s nearly always a term of endearment. There are loads of characters in my daily circle. The old bloke who wears a duster coat, drives a 1950s…

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Chick lit for tweenies. Ten tips to get you started

Generally speaking, tweenies are kids in the 8 -12 age group. But in the world of children’s books, the category is tighter. Somewhere along the line, astute marketing execs identified a subset. These are kids aged about 10 -12, and their needs and interests are complex, often contradictory. As most parents will tell you, a couple of…

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How I started an online business. And accidentally created a thriving community

I run a business. It’s called girl & duck. It feels weird to call it a business. I didn’t know you could love a business. But I do. I adore it. I’m obsessed with it. When I’m creating stuff for girl & duck, I’m in my genius zone. (Have you read that book? The one…

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Want to be a writer? Six reasons you should stop reading

Okay. I’m in badass mode. Advice to aspiring authors, 101: Read, read, read! Over and over, that’s what I hear published authors hollering. They say read voraciously, read widely, read like your life depends on it. Great advice. Fantastic advice. Up to a point. If you’re an aspiring author, I would add, please, please, please, don’t…

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Here’s why minor characters are important

I remember reading one time, that the difference between secondary characters and minor characters  is  that minor characters don’t speak. Sometimes they don’t even have names. This definition confused me. All my stories have minor characters who speak. Sometimes they have quite a lot to say. Does that make them secondary characters? Is that how they…

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