16 June 2017 | Writing

In the margins

I stared at the file in dismay. My words from my middle-grade manuscript had been kindly and meticulously edited by my friend Renee. There were almost 5,000 words in four chapters. Renee’s comments were in purple. She’d given me quite a few ticks, but there were more suggestions and deletions than ticks. Out of the…

28 October 2016 | Writing

Writers be warned – do not describe eyes!

Last night I went to a structural editing workshop presented by author Paddy O’Reilly through Writers Victoria. Structural editing can feel like wading through wet concrete because you sink deeper into the mire with every step and feel further away from where you’re trying to go. At least, that’s what it feels like to me….

16 September 2016 | Writing, Writing workshops

Glimpse of greatness

As a reader, we want the protagonist of our story to be interesting but not perfect. We want them to reach their goal or follow their quest. They need to be vulnerable, so we can identify with them. And we want to see a glimpse of greatness – not too much because that would make…

7 June 2016 | Workshops, Writing

Faber and Faber workshop – revise, revise, revise

  Writers can make the worst audience. We’re observant – we notice the over-expansive gestures, the nervous hand movements, the change in voice timbre, the long look at notes, the unusually long silence between points, the nod of approval when someone asks an intelligent question, the red flush up the neck if the technology doesn’t…