The Pantser and The Second Act Sag (Or, more things I have learnt writing a novel)

I’ve finished my first novel, and plans are underway to publish it. As I bask in the afterglow (AKA the thank-feck-that’s-over, Netflix-saturated, crap-magazine-reading malaise), I’ve been reflecting on the novel-writing process and what more it has taught me (You may also want to read my earlier post, Ten things I have learnt writing a novel). […]

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Point of View: How to Choose?

Today I thought I’d tackle the perennially difficult topic of point of view (POV). I’m not an expert, so I’m not going to offer “expert” advice. I’m simply going to share my own experience. I don’t think I need to list and define the various narrative POVs: Google “point of view” and you’ve got it […]

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Ten things I have learnt writing a novel

I’m giving my manuscript a final proofread before submitting it to a potential publisher later this month. It’s been years in the making, this novel. It has sat, untouched, for months at a time. Life has gotten in the way, including setting up my own editing business, raising my daughter, becoming single, rebuilding a life, […]

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Wrestling the Octopus: how to avoid writing a novel

At a certain point, a novel-in-progress starts to get a tad unwieldy. When you begin, you have a blank screen and the boundless enthusiasm of a puppy. After a few months you have a mountain of scrap paper scrawled with half-finished paragraphs and synopsis drafts, screeds of ideas jotted down and pinned all over the walls in your office, […]

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Endings

Today I’d like to say a brief word about endings. We hear a lot about beginnings, and how difficult/important they are. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” (Lao Tzu) “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” (Plato) “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” (T.S. Eliot) “For fucksake […]

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Never Too Late

After a difficult year during which I felt no creative impulses whatsoever, I have started work on my novel again, rewriting and editing my way through a second draft. It had been sitting in a drawer for over two years. I’m excited, if a little rusty. I feel very out of practice and I have […]

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Inaugural NZ National Writers’ Forum

Stuck in a room full of writers for an entire weekend? It would be some people’s idea of a nightmare. It was my idea of Heaven at the inaugural National Writers’ Forum in Auckland. The forum was the brainchild of the New Zealand Society of Authors (of which I’m a member). Sometimes inaugural events have […]

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Choosing a Title

A short thought today on titles – specifically, choosing one for your story or novel or poem. Each time I start a new post here I am invited to fill in the “Title” section at the top. I used to struggle with this. I tried to come up with something creative and intriguing and clever, […]

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A Writers Festival Field Guide

The 2016 Auckland Writers Festival kicked off in earnest today, so I thought I’d dust off this Festival-Goer Field Guide (posted a few years ago) and re-publish it. It still holds true. I’ve made just one addition: Number Three. This is because I encountered approximately a zillion of them this afternoon as I queued for AN HOUR to […]

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Ten tips to beat writer’s block

This is an extension of my last post (Writing tips: come and get ’em). It repeats some of the tips, but I’ve added five more, and some other new stuff. Keep reading. “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” – […]

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