Chigozie Obioma and the case for ‘audacious prose’

This week, Chigozie Obioma's debut novel The Fishermen was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Obioma was already on my radar, first because I'd been hearing about the book, and then because I booked into a workshop he's running at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival next month. I booked into it so fast, it was like [...]

The Writer as Editor, with Christina Thompson, Alice Pung & blow-in Gideon Haigh

Chris Wallace-Crabbe moderated this panel, and the first note I have written was something he said: Editing is almost everything. He introduced the panel, saying they'd asked Gideon along even though he wasn't on the program. Christina spoke for a while, giving her background. She worked for Peter Craven on Scripsi, the lit mag he [...]

Monuments to Love, PWF session w/ Andrea Goldsmith & Aviva Tuffield

Novelist Andrea Goldsmith spoke with publisher and editor Aviva Tuffield (Affirm Press.) First up, Andrea gave a great explanation of her recent novel The Memory Trap. She introduced the characters and told the audience something about them. Andrea is a skilled presenter, no, really, she goes beyond skill into gift territory. She clearly enjoys it [...]

Anna Funder – The Dymphna Clark Lecture, University of Melbourne. Last night.

Last night I went to see Anna Funder talk and her topic was "Reading My Mind - and Yours. A celebration of the act of the human imagination that is writing, and the act of the human imagination that is reading." She was softly spoken and utterly gorgeous. As my thick curly-headed friend and I [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]


I first heard about throughlines (in fiction) last year (2012). Today, I am focusing on my own, making sure that the unraveling of story is perfectly paced. To me it's about keeping a story connection going, a character's development; managing the revealing of information and then tying it up (or not) at the right time [...]

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 [...]