Here’s where writers often stuff up. (Part Two of yesterday’s post)

When I worked in publishing, I was surprised by the number of unsolicited manuscripts that had wonky tense. Not the occasional transgression. They crop up in most manuscripts. I’m talking about tense that was a bit like time travel. Totes all over the place, girlfriend. Past, present, here, there, everywhere. Now, when I teach IRL (in real life),…

Read More

One cool way to help readers remember your story

  Sometime ago, I was staying in a hotel in Sydney. It was a busy morning and there was a queue to get into the dining room for breakfast. I was glad I had an apple. Dum de dum. In front of me was a young family. Mum, Dad and two little kids.  Primary school age. Waiting,…

Read More

What are your characters wearing? It matters!

I don’t know about you, but as a kid I loved playing dress-ups. I was always parading around in the weirdest combos. Sometimes I wanted to look like Jeanie in I Dream of Jeanie. Another time I remember trying to look like a crone. I put talcum powder in my hair, donned some wire spectacles, draped myself in a black…

Read More

Nine Tips for Becoming a Real Writer

  1/ Make writing a high priority. Never jam writing time into your day. Jam your day into your writing time. 2/ Write while you’re fresh. Run errands when you’re flagging. Errands rarely require much brain power. Remember, writing is High Priority. You don’t want a gravestone that says, ‘She ran countless errands.’ 3/ Have…

Read More