Help! I don’t know what I’m writing! Categories in kid lit

  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

Talking heads. Why you should shut them up, pronto

‘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

The secret all good writers use (and no one talks about)

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)

Why unwriting is a writer’s best friend

  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

Do you compare yourself to other writers? Let’s break the addiction

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

The 2 problems publishers have with rhyming picture books

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

Three reasons why your idea might not be working

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