Writing by the Rules (Or Not)

Is it only our greatest writers who are allowed to break the rules of writing? And what exactly are these rules? Mantras such as ‘Show not Tell’ ‘Point of View’ ‘Omniscient Narrator’ or ‘Close Third Person’ seem to abound in 21st century writing guides. I doubt whether the great Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, Jane Austen, or Ernest Hemingway had ever heard […]

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CREATIVITY

As most who practice the creative arts know, creativity comes from a place deep within the soul. To reach that place, we need to make space in our lives, and in our minds. As a writer, I can immediately relate to this concept, knowing that I have to make space, both physical and mental, before being able to access the […]

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Approaching a literary agent

Australian Literary Agents’ Association Finding an Agent I’m a writer. How do I bring my work to the attention of a literary agent? First, read the information and advice on this page. You may wish to print it out for future reference. It is about three printed pages long. Second, look up a suitable agent from our list of member agents (click on the tab marked ‘Members’, above, to see the list), and phone them to check that they wish to see your work. Phoning first saves time and expense, because some kinds of writing are not of interest to some agents. Screenplays and plays are only dealt with by agents who specialise in that area, for example, and some agents may not wish to deal with children’s writing, and so on. Third, if an agent wants to look at your writing, they will generally ask you to post a copy of a one-to-two-page synopsis of your book, together with copies of some pages from one or two sample chapters (up to a maximum of fifty pages total), to their office. They usually do not want to see the whole work at first. Please note: send copies, not the originals. Always keep the originals in a safe place. Agents cannot be responsible for loss of material. Here are some further points to note. Please read them all carefully — it is very difficult to recover from an inadvertent bad first […]

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How to Bring Your Writing to the Next Level

10 HINTS FOR SELF-EDITING (re-blogged from ‘Write to Done’) The old cliché “practice makes perfect” applies to the editing process. Many best- selling authors note that the art of writing is really the art of re-writing! Polishing what you write can make all the difference. Take diamonds. In the raw, only experts can spot them. But once they are cut and polished, they sparkle and shine.This is what good editing can do to your writing.But there is a problem. The old cliché “practice makes perfect” applies to the editing process. Many best-            selling authors note that the art of writing is really the art of re-writing! The good news is that self-editing is a skill that can be developed. Sound good? Let’s get to it. 1.Get Some Distance from Your Writing In many cases, the reason you find it hard to go back over your work is that it   makes you feel bad. It may be that you don’t feel satisfied with your work and   worry about how it will be received. You may also been just plain bored with it! Whatever the negative emotion, a way to face it is to imagine that you are sitting  down to edit someone else’s work. That can help give you the distance to see your  writing from a fresh perspective. And take comfort from the fact that many  successful authors hate their first drafts too! “For me and most of the […]

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Getting Started

Do you endlessly procrastinate, fill your precious witing time with Facebook, phonecalls, or housework? Anything but facing that blank page or screen? You are not alone, dear writer. A myriad irrelevant distractions can fill my day, until the motivation and energy have flown, and I am filled with endless self-recriminations. Please post your experiences, and solutions if you have them, […]

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