This Month’s Writing Tip: Enjoying the “Process”

I recently saw an interview with the cast of a Quentin Tarantino movie with the actors saying they celebrated regularly throughout the whole filmmaking process, and not just at the end. Apparently Tarantino subscribes to the belief that if you are involved in a creative pursuit, you should enjoy all of the process not just the “red carpet” bit at …

What I’m Loving Right Now: Shadow and Bone

The Shadow and Bone series, based on the best-selling novels by author Leigh Bardugo, may feature the typical ‘chosen one’ fantasy trope, but it’s refreshing enough to get you hooked. With some fabulous CGI, a talented cast and a band of misfit criminals, there’s plenty to keep you watching. Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) is an orphaned mapmaker in a …

This Month’s Writing Tip: Pushing Through Writer’s Block

There comes a time in nearly every project when a writer encounters writer’s block. Writer’s block can feel crippling but the most important thing to know is that it is only a temporary state – unless of course you stop writing. The other good news is that it is possible to conquer this dreaded condition. In fact there are loads …

What I’m Loving Right Now: Snowpiercer

It’s no accident that trains are a central feature in many great stories. From Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express to the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter, trains are much more than a form of transport. They conjure up feelings of romance, mystery, a journey into the unknown or in the case of Snowpiercer, the train represents humankind’s only …

What I’m Reading: Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop By Roselle Lim

Roselle Lim’s latest book, Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop, perfectly captures the same lighthearted, fabulist rom-com style of her debut novel, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune. Lim is particularly adept at weaving the magical and fantastical into vividly described and familiar settings. As the title indicates, the setting of the latest book is Paris, with Vanessa exploring …

Discovery of Witches

What I’m Loving Right Now: A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches was an easy sell for me. All they needed to say was that Matthew Goode, a Downton Abbey favourite, stars as an enigmatic vampire, who teams up with a witch (played by Aussie Teresa Palmer) to solve some ancient mysteries and kick some serious butt along the way. This show, based on the All Souls trilogy, …

This Month’s Writing Tip: Music to a Writer’s Ears

Writing fiction inevitably involves building a whole new world or setting for your characters and story. Vivid world building of course is critical for genres like fantasy and sci-fi, but it’s just as important for stories set in contemporary, familiar or modern settings. You want to create a setting and characters that a reader can clearly picture in their mind …

What I’m Reading: Vanishing Falls By Poppy Gee

Celia Lily is rich, beautiful, and admired. She’s also missing. And the search for the glamorous socialite is about to expose all the dark, dirty secrets of Vanishing Falls… The remote town of Vanishing Falls, is set within a lush Tasmanian rainforest – a setting that is as beautiful as it is haunting. Poppy Gee, who grew up in Tassie, …

How to Really Support Other Writers

It started with a tweet from a high profile author who directed some less than supportive, and ill-informed comments at (aspiring) authors who start marketing themselves before they are published. In another tweet, the author took exception to authors offering writing advice unless they were well established and traditionally published.  I don’t know the reasons behind the author’s comments, she …

collaboration
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How Collaboration Can Make You A Better Writer

I don’t make a secret of the fact that I credit my writing group with making me a better writer. I’ve written and posted a lot about how other writers can provide invaluable critique and encouragement, but what about the idea of collaboration? Can a truly collaborative project make you an even better writer? Can working together on one project …