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
It’s only subjective! They don’t know everything! You have to stick to your guns! Over the years I’ve been privy to conversations wherein authors discuss/ argue/ wail about their editors. Likewise, I’m often asked by aspiring authors and illustrators, ‘What should I do when my editor makes suggestions and I don’t agree with them?’ Sometimes … More What do editors know?
This week on Duckie TV, we kicked off Q & Q Friday 2017, with a mindset question. A duckie wrote to ask if I ever compared myself to other writers and if so, how did I cope with it. Hello? Did I ever compare myself to others? Hell, yeah! I’ve even tried to dress like my favourite … More Do you compare yourself to other writers? Let’s break the addiction
Hello, sunshine! Missing Q & Q Friday? Here’s a transcript from a lovely one we recorded last year. Thanks to Suzy from Wagga Wagga in NSW for this awesome Q! You can listen, read or watch. Whatever suits you. or visit the Girl and Duck Podcast on iTunes where you can subscribe and listen on the go. The Q: As an aspiring illustrator who … More The 2 problems publishers have with rhyming picture books
1 Stories exist in their entirety before we start writing. They live on the astral plane. It’s up to us to usher them onto this plane. 2 Stories want to be on this plane. But only on their terms. 3 All stories have a face. But they’re tricksters. The first face they show you might be a ruse, … More Six curious things I believe about stories
Ready to chuck your manuscript? Are you ranting and raving, insisting that your idea is crap and the only thing to do is start all over again? Calm down, sunshine. Let’s be systematic. Maybe this is what’s causing you grief: 1 You haven’t spent enough time with your idea. Ideas rarely, if ever, come fully … More Three reasons why your idea might not be working
Hey, sleepy head. Did you miss Part One? You can read it here. Okay, so I’ve eased up a bit. This next lot? Not so hard-arse. 5. Always begin with pen and paper. Go to the computer later but connect your hand to your brain first. It’s a physical thing. Our imagination is stimulated by … More Tough love tips for aspiring authors: Part Two
Got on your thick skin? Here we go! 1 Don’t die with your book in you. Write. Learn. Commit to doing the grunt work. Stop thinking about writing and write. Don’t expect your first book to be a bestseller. Don’t even expect it to be published. Want to write a series? I went along to see … More Four tough love tips for aspiring authors. Part one.
Hey there, sunshine! Everyone wants their work to pop, right? Here’s another bundle of goodness (and shiny tips) from the Q & Q Friday files—yours to enjoy in whatever form takes your fancy. You can watch the video here: Click below to listen to the audio: or visit the Girl and Duck Podcast on iTunes where you can subscribe and listen on … More The Q & Q Files: Shining on the Slush Pile
I have the lurgy, dear reader, and I have spent the day in bed. Here’s what I’ve been doing (in bed): Reading Flow magazine Reading The Element by Ken Robinson Answering emails to sweet people and nice girls Watching Ted Talks Thinking about YOU. That’s why I’ve written this list. I hope you find it … More Twenty Top Tips: Writing Books for Kids