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 traditional published.  I don’t know the reasons behind the author’s comments, she …

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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 …

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The Biggest Thing Standing Between You and Writer Success

Okay, you got me. There are actually many variables that determine whether you succeed as a writer – not just one thing. If there was an exact magic formula there wouldn’t be a need for anyone to blog about this stuff…but…there is, in fact, one critical factor that determines just how good you get as a writer. And that one …

Writing Dialogue True to Each Character’s Voice

Capturing a character’s unique voice is an ongoing challenge but I feel like I’m making real progress with my latest work-in-progress. My main character is a 17-year-old girl and I was once that age so I figure I have a bit of a headstart. To get even further into my character’s head I dusted off diaries I had written as …

With a Little Help From My Friends

Why every aspiring author needs a writing group With everything going on in this crazy world right now, we can all appreciate how important it is to have good friends (albeit virtually) around us. I’ve very fortunate to count among my friends an amazing group of writers who I’d be lost without. Now I’ve been plugging away at this creative …

Why I Have a Rejection Goal and You Need One Too

Saved away in one of the files on my computer is a numbered list of names. There are names of writing competitions and opportunities, publishers and literary agents. Each of the names has notes next to him. Dates of when something was sent or submitted. Some of the text is marked with strikethrough and details of a response received. Some …

How To Use ‘Same-Same But Different’ to Get Published

What may come as a shock to some writers is that many agents and publishers need to fall in love with your idea, as well as you (as someone they want to work with) often before even reading your work. You need to hook potential agents and publishers with something that sparks their interest. You also need to help them …

Orange Isn’t My Colour – Flash Fiction

Not many people can pull off the colour orange, except maybe Isla Fisher in those ING ads and an oompa loompa. I was neither of them but I’d left my Halloween costume to the last minute.   As I yank down the rising hem I curse whoever designed this bloated sack-dress masquerading as a pumpkin.   Tanya had insisted I attend her American cousin’s “legendary” Halloween party. I had reluctantly agreed to pop in after I finished the late shift at …

Do You Need a Pen Name or a Pseudonym?

The pros and cons of pen names with best-selling author Bren MacDibble/Cally Black, plus other expert tips. I had never given much thought until recently about whether I needed a pen name for the books I’m writing. You see I have been firmly planted in the one genre for a while, specifically YA fantasy, so I figured it made sense …

Lost & Found – Flash Fiction

‘Look she’s doing it again.’ It was psychology major uni-girl.  She doesn’t think I can hear her. I fold and re-fold my T-shirt for the fifth time until just the right amount of Ravenclaw crest is visible.    ‘Definitely on the spectrum,’ nervous-laugh-wants-to-impress-her-friend, other uni-girl, declares. They stuff their collection of still damp skinny jeans into a $9 Kmart overnight bag and leave.   The laundromat is filled with the regular mix of middle-aged single men, …