2, 2 and 2 at Amanda Curtin’s blog

The lovely Amanda Curtin (who I met at the recent Ubud Writers Festival) asked me if I'd participate in a series she runs on her blog, looking up looking down. The idea is you write about 2 things that inspired your book, 2 places connected with the book (geographical or metaphysical) and 2 favourite 'anythings' somehow connected [...]

Qaisra Shahraz @ Readings Hawthorn PEN event

My friend Athi and I went along to see my twitter friend Qaisra earlier this month, to hear her speak about her work. Qaisra has been very warm and friendly on twitter, and when I read last year that she was Australia-bound for the Byron Bay Writers Festival, I thought I might make the trip [...]

PWF14 catch-up post, Intelligent Design with Margaret Drabble, Eleanor Catton and Jeet Thayil

INSERT NOTE HERE: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENT SECTION NOW, ABOUT THE LUMINARIES. JUST SAYING.   The first note I have written here is: 'Margaret Drabble's pearls.' They were beautiful. I'm noticing pearls, and wearing them a bit more this year. A writerly friend and I have decided 2014 is 'the year of the [...]

PWF14 catch-up: Intelligent Design with Eleanor Catton, Margaret Drabble and Jeet Thayil

The first note I have written here is: 'Margaret Drabble's pearls.' They were beautiful. I'm noticing pearls, and wearing them a bit more this year. A writerly friend and I have decided 2014 is 'the year of the pearls.' We are trying to bring them back, and it was good to see Drabble is on [...]

PWF2014 catch-up: The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton speaks with Susan Wyndham

On the Saturday (22 Feb) I went to listen to Eleanor Catton talk with Susan Wyndham about The Luminaries. I think this was the day I wore my new navy skirt I had bought in the op-shop at Freo the day before, when we went to find the Eyrie building. This is a skirt which [...]

Workshop with MJ Hyland at the Melbourne Writers Festival

MJ Hyland has written three novels and I enjoyed all of them, particularly the second (Carry Me Down) and third (This is How). Her stripped-back prose and clever, clever management of points of view I find exciting. In an earlier writing course I did, in 2009, in between meetings every two months we read books [...]

The Single Largest Cause of Writer’s Block–Might Not Be What You Believe

This is good, from Kirsten Lamb. Useful even for literary fiction writers, not just plotters & genre peeps.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Today, I’d like to talk about the single greatest reason for writer’s block (aside from laziness and fear, but we can chat about those another time). I spent years as an editor, and I believe I’m a pretty good one. I’ve taken stories that were train wrecks and helped the author create a best-seller. Just ask Piper Bayard about Firelands, LOL.

I had a unique ability to pull apart a story and locate what wasn’t working and why. Then I could guide that writer to the best book possible (without altering that writer’s voice). Editing is a skill, but it’s a different skill from creating. For instance, a person who restores historical houses isn’t necessarily someone who can draw a blueprint and build a new house. The restorer looks to the bones of the house and fixes what’s already standing to help create what the owner envisions.

Same with…

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While I’m cogitating on the next ‘How-to’ book review post…

I wanted to quickly list the books that I have on my shelves that I have found (variously) helpful in improving my writing skills but thought I'd also write a bit about my beliefs for revising work. Editing Knowing and clearly understanding what the different types of revision are is a first step and this [...]

Best one-stop (publishing info) shop I think I’ve seen

And that title is probably the worst I've ever seen. Never mind. I was googling around when I found Ian Irvine's website. He's a fantasy author and has most helpfully laid out, in order on one page virtually everything about the writing/publishing process, divided into three sections: Getting There, Surviving Publishing and Coping with Success. [...]

Scattered

I remember a few years ago feeling I had reached the point where I was so stuffed with fiction I couldn't read it anymore, and turned to NF. I am wondering whether it's not happening again. I feel like my reading is flighty, agitated and skittish. I can't commit, I flit around, looking for something [...]

First interview with Amanda Lohrey from The Writer’s Room

Writer Amanda LohreyIf you haven't already subscribed to this new publication, and you are a keen student of learning as much as possible about 'the craft' (and also if you are a nosy sticky-beak like me and love to read about writers and their writing processes) then get thee here and subscribe. If you do, [...]

First plot point, mid-point, second plot point. Etc.

I'm doing a bit of reading about screenwriting and how a person might apply structural and plotting strategies to novel writing. I've ordered a book about 'story engineering' because I want to learn how to be able to make conscious decisions about plot and structure while not losing my instinctive organic processes with characterisation and [...]

Great things

Found $450 pushed up the back of my bedside drawer - excellent. This morning, I think I solved my structure question about the next thing I'm working on. It's another novel, it's the first of my Turkish stories. I have the first draft completed, it's rawther polished but still is really just the base now [...]