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A bit of author Q&A (part 3)


Part 1 Part 2   Do you consider story structure, or just let it flow? I have no idea how to consider story structure. I wrote about this for Overland a couple of years ago. Structure does not come naturally to me, and I had to work hard at it. In a sense, I let it flow to the point where I was writing a very long prose poem, then was assisted through creating a story later on. I've not had the same experience...

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A bit of author Q&A (part 2)

How do you stop yourself from throwing it in the bin when it gets too hard? Firstly: I never throw any writing I do in the bin. I have learned that it is hardly ever as bad as I think it is. That even when I literally forget how to speak English while I'm typing, it's never as bad as I remember. (This is lucky, because I often think it's terrible.) So the most important thing is, don't throw it in...

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A bit of an author Q&A (Part 1)

teehee, author! Now that my book is at the printer, I'm supposed to write about what it was like to write a book. I've written a bunch of things about what I've learned about writing, but this is the first time I've been at this end of the process. So I did a little callout on Twitter, to see what people were interested in knowing about shoving a novel into existence. (There were a lot of questions, so I've broken this up...

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Free writing: our bodies

This is a little bit I wrote this morning but have decided not to include in the novel, and instead to extrapolate into its own longer story. For five days we sent our bodies into the world without us. On the first day they sat in a windowless chapel. Other people were there, parents and friends, and our bodies told us afterwards of the way the carpet was torn in places, and that in a week or so we should expect...

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5 ways you must plan for NaNoWriMo

I’m not very good at preparing for NaNoWriMo. Most of the time I get to November 1 and write a sentence and then wish I’d spent more time figuring out what the next sentence should be. But if you’re the kind of person who chooses to shame and embarrass people like me, here are my suggestions for starting the month with a bang instead of a scrawl.

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5 tips for winning NaNoWriMo with your head intact

I have written about winning NaNoWriMo before. But on the off chance that you're looking for some actual tips, and not just line after line of my whining, here is this post. For those of you not in the know -- and I expect that's probably no one, given you are currently here for tips -- NaNoWriMo (henceforth Nano) is when a bunch of people around the place spend 30 days trying to find the laxative that will send a novel careening from their writer intestine....

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What I’m learning about writing: structural edits

Hello, friends! I am waist-deep in structural edits at the moment, which is to say that I've bought every colour of Post-It in existence, watched three movies about writing (Stuck in Love, The Words, Being Flynn), sent quite a few emails to my dad and "tried" the new Cadbury Strawberries & Creme flavour. Constantly. Before I wrote a book, and before I had clever clogs to tell me what happens when you do that, I didn't know that there were different kinds of edits....

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Book news and other feelings

You know as well as I do that this post will start with "When I was a little girl." When I was a little girl, people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I am so very lucky to have parents who spent the first eighteen years of my life insisting that I could be anything I wanted. "You can be a supreme court judge! You can be a bus driver! You can be a metaphysicist!" They...

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Writing Prompt #14

Something for the senses. What is this? Some folk and I were talking on my Facebook page about flash fiction, and how it is super fun but can be hard to get started. So, to (hopefully) help your writing brain warm up, I upload a weekly writing prompt. There’s no pressure to share what you write, at all, but if you want to, please do pop a link in the comments! Read all the writing prompts »...

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The fallacy of nighttime was that the (1)

Writing Prompt #13

As a lover of love, and a writer of magic realism, I was obviously very sorry to hear of the passing of Gabriel García Márquez. How could love ever be fully realised in words without the injection of magic? “The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.”  With that in mind, this week's prompt pays a little homage to this great man, great lover, great writer. What is this? Some folk and I were talking on my Facebook...

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Flash fiction: Horses

It's Tuesday. I'm supposed to be at school. Dad's taken me to a park and we're sitting on a bench and he’s holding my hand tight, like I’m about to run away. I've never been to this park before. It's wide and green and on the other side of the oval there's a wooden fence that's keeping the horses in, or the people out. Dad's pointing at them and shouting because we've never seen horses before except in pictures. I can't...

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