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 …

Feedback

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 …