Posted in Travel, Travel Writing

The Tower of London

Oh my goodness, I have so much to share with you but I haven’t had access to wifi for a while, so these updates are going to come well after the actual dates. But I hope this glimpse into my UK trip inspires your imagination as much as it does mine.

Last week when my partner flew over to London, we took some time to tour around and see the sights. One of the sights we went to was the Tower of London where Anne Boleyn was beheaded and many other gruesome things happened.

I took some time walking through the tower and observing all the armour displays. Below are some of the photos I took.

Selina at the Tower of London
Selina at the Tower of London

That’s me (above) and behind me is a wall of armour. It was a great room to visit and very surreal.

Armour at the Tower of London
Armour at the Tower of London
Armour at the Tower of London
Armour at the Tower of London
Armour at the Tower of London
Armour at the Tower of London
The Tower of London
The Tower of London
The Tower of London
The Tower of London
The Tower of London
The Tower of London

I also took time to see the Crown Jewels and appreciate the magnificence of workmanship that went into each piece. This was a great afternoon in London. Funny to say that since it was a place that has known such gruesome historical events.

I have to say, that I am not a historian, but my visit to the UK has been helping me to develop a deeper interest in learning more about history.

Also, learning about life in a castle is so helpful for my fantasy fiction story that I worked on during my week with David Farland. The course went really well and I met some fantastic authors – all with excellent story ideas. I’m very much looking forward to seeing each of them published in their chosen genre.

I will try to update my blog as I go, but as I said above, the wifi isn’t always reliable.

Today, I am in the Scottish highlands. I’ll write about that another day.

Posted in Creative Writing, fiction

I really should be writing my novel

I have the day off work and I’m sitting in my cattery, in my wonderful big green lush comfy writing chair and … I’m surfing the internet and cyber… do I call it, stalking? Or is it that I’m really just a fan? Curious, inspired and interested about my newest fav author?

Anyway, I’m choosing to call it: cyber-checking-out. I’m sitting here cyber-checking-out Marian Keyes’ website because I bought her book, The Mystery of Mercy Close, and I’m loving the ‘courageous, vulnerable and wasp-tongued‘ female protagonist Helen Walsh. It’s a great read – at least it is for me. I say that because it starts off where two of the main character’s sister and her friend are talking about having a breakdown together, as though it’s a wonderful opportunity for a holiday.

I found it quite amusing and I identified with the main character straight away because I think I too have a ‘shovel list’ and an inner black comedy when it comes to certain things in life. Like when certain people sit not just next to me on the train but on me. My brain goes to all sorts of places and I often have amusing thoughts, the likes of which are not suitable for polite company.

So according to the back cover of The Mystery of Mercy Close, ‘the Shovel List is: a list of all the people and things Helen hates so much she wants to hit them in the face with a shovel.

Wow – I often have this monologue inside my head, talking to me and commenting and noting the things and people I wouldn’t mind smacking in the back of the head from time to time. I probably shouldn’t admit that, but I do. I have it. I think we all have something like that going on inside us… unless, of course, you’re a syrupy sweet sickly person who never ever thinks a ‘bad’ thing about anything.

If you’re that kind of person – lucky you!

Unfortunately, it’s not me. I try to be good in life. I try to say and do the right thing. I try to be caring and compassionate to others. I try to keep some of the things I hate close to my heart and bury them, but sometimes, under all that pressure, I still know that I just want to slap some people in the head and walk away from them. I want to tell them I don’t care about their problems, I don’t want their help, I don’t need to be mothered – because even though my mum has dementia, I still have a mum and I don’t need mothering!

I don’t tell them that or rarely will I allow such things to spill from my lips.

Oh no, I keep it wrapped tight as a mummy on Halloween… until the object of my frustration has pushed me to breaking point and then I can’t articulate properly and all the stuff I’m feeling comes out jumbled, or in the form of “f@ck off” which happened all too recently. Only then does my own ‘waspish tongue’ start to buzz and sting. I try to control it but I’m not always successful

Then, after the event I feel guilty that I said what I said. And yet, sometimes I feel justified in my response. I am, after all, only human and I can only take so much in life when things are stressful. That doesn’t excuse my own behaviour but it does put things into perspective, if you know what I mean?

Anyway, I should be writing my novel. I sat down here to specifically write 1800 new words or so of my novel. I started, then I felt hungry, so I ate. Then I got interested in Marian Keyes again (because she is funny, interesting and adorable and watching her vlog makes me feel happy) and then I thought, I just need to write this blog, so here I am punching out my word count on the blog rather than my novel. It’s not that I don’t want to write my novel. I do, and I am. It’s just that sometimes things resonate so much with me, I just have to share… I want to share it with you.

So now that I’ve written this blog and shared my terrible secret… that I’m human, I make mistakes and sometimes I just don’t want to care about all the drama of other people and their lives. Now that I’ve shared that I’m totally inspired by Marian Keyes and her quirky sense of humour, I feel I can focus my attention on my novel in progress, The Living Death of Toddy James.

My novel is moving along at a cracking pace right now. I’ve been writing new words every day for fifteen days now, and I’m in the middle of writing chapter 20 and things have got pretty hard for Toddy. She’s trapped and I’m not sure how she’s going to get out of her current predicament but as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, I reckon she’ll show me the way and we’ll be off. Her moving through the action and emotions and me following her every move and scribing her thoughts, feelings and reactions on my Scrivener page.

Writing a story is hard work but it is also very exciting and a lot of fun.

I must go now. I have new words to write and Miss Poppy, my rag doll cat, aka ‘The Novelist’s Little Helper,’ is calling me to get her and bring her into her cattery (her queendom).

What can I say … I am at Miss Poppy’s command.

Thanks for reading my blog and for following me. I hope you have a great day, wherever you are in the world and that you take one more step toward realising your own passion in life.

Posted in Alzheimers, Creative Writing

Life and the act of creative writing

When life becomes stressful for me, one of the things I thoroughly enjoy doing is throwing my characters into conflict infested scenarios.  Then I sit there and wonder … how on earth are they going to get through this?

Sometimes writing fiction is as challenging as navigating life itself.

Life’s been very stressful for me this year. I can’t deny it. My brother and I have had to come to terms with our mother’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Dementia and it is the most heart wrenching thing to see and experience. A truly cruel disease of the brain.

Mum Rodger n Me

My brother has been doing the most amazing job caring for our mum because this disease is tough. Tough on the carers. Tough on the family and friends too. It’s tough for the person going through the dementia too.

 

So grief, depression and anxiety have been my companions.

It’s hard for me to admit how much this situation is affecting me and I am struggling to put things in to words here because of how keenly personal things are.

So in October, I flew down to Canberra to see my mum. I loved seeing her but she had changed so much. My mum stood before me, physically the same person, at least on the outside, but on the inside … the brain damage she has sustained shattered my heart.

At times mum recognised me (I live in Queensland and she is in Canberra so we don’t see each other very often). At other times mum thought she had given birth to twin daughters and continued to tell me that she couldn’t remember giving birth to me. She also insisted that her real daughter lives in Queensland and as nice as I was … well, in her eyes I wasn’t her daughter.

Sometimes what mum said was funny, somethings it was devastating.

Anyway, it’s been an emotional roller coaster and I never know if mum is going to remember me when I ring her. But on the up side, I am doing my best to cherish  memories on her behalf and to remember my mum for the amazing, strong and beautiful woman she was as I grew up. My mum is still there and sometimes, in her lucid moments, she surfaces and it is a true delight!

Some people believe mum should just try harder to remember things but she can’t do that. She’s had mini-strokes. It means she has brain damage and she can’t remember. When I’ve heard well-meaning people tell my mum that she has to try harder to remember and that she’s always had memory issues, I just want to slap them in the head for being so ignorant, so arrogant, so farking lacking in compassion.

If someone has a broken leg and it’s bent at some odd angle, would it make sense to tell them to, “Just stand up and walk. Use your legs!”

FARK NO!

Sorry, I’m so frustrated by stupid statements like that. It’s ridiculous and causes anxiety for my mum and for her children.  But I do understand that the comments come from a place of wanting to help and trying to make sense of a disease that doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, since things have been so full-on emotionally, I’ve found myself doing quite a bit of creative writing. I’ve been working feverishly on The Living Death of Toddy James. I’ve spent some time plotting out a rough outline and now I’m elbows deep in writing the chapters. The act of writing helps me to compartmentalise the pain. But it doesn’t mean I don’t face and feel the pain, it just gives me a safe place to take a breather and I am so grateful.

So far I’ve written sixteen chapters and I’m drafting chapter seventeen now. I’ve been writing everyday and it’s been a twisting turning journey for Toddy James. I hope I’m doing her justice. But for now I’m not rewriting. I’m pushing forward because I promised myself I would finish this story and I will.

Writing is a passion for me. I can’t not do it. So is reading. I love to read and I’ve been getting into reading romance stories lately. I’m learning more about the romance genre which will help me with my own writing because all of my stories have romantic elements.

I think another reason I have been enjoying the romance genre lately is that I need something to lighten up my life and even though every story is filled to the brim with conflicts, romance is known for delivering happy-ever after endings and that’s a nice thing to look forward too.

I hope life is treating you well. I’m keeping on keeping on as they say and I’m writing but most of all I’m sending my mum and brother a tone of love because they are both incredibly precious to me.

 

Posted in Creative Writing, creativity, fiction, Story

Stephen King’s top tips for writers

StephenKing Image by the USO, via Flickr Commons_10968905154_140c71b403_m

Image by the USO, via Flickr Commons

I was surfing Facebook and found this great article on Open Culture. It was titled, Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers and I had to share it with you.

Of course I’ve read On Writing by Stephen King. It’s a must read for anyone with a passion for writing fiction (in my opinion). I loved reading it so much that I bought the audio book and enjoyed listening to him read his own work.

In the article by Open Culture, they list the top 20 rules Stephen King has for writers.

Below are four that resonate for me:

1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

14. Stick to your own style. “One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”

Just those four rules or tips make my heart burst with creative joy.  It feels like I’ve been given permission to go forth and be as creative as I like. Then when it comes to rewrites I’ll cut out what isn’t the story.  That is so freeing.

I also love how honest Stephen King is. He is his own person. He writes honestly, even in fiction and that’s cool.

If you skip across to Open Culture for a look-see, I hope you enjoy and that you find these rules/tips as inspiring for you as they have been for me.

Happy creative writing.

Posted in characters, Creative Writing, creativity, Editing, fiction, Paranormal, Story

Phases of Writing my Novel – A Discovery

IMG_1294

I’ve learned there are many phases of writing my novel. Some phases are challenging as I struggle to birth the words and scenes that will make my story come to life. And some phases are filled with excitement and joy as my creativity soars and the words spill onto the page without effort.

In this post I’m going to tell you about some of the phases I’ve been through so far as I have been writing my novel, Tuppence Weatherstorm.

Back in early 2016 I was sitting on the train on the way out of the city and gazing out the window. It was a hot and humid day. The sky was mottled gun metal grey and overcast.  The train pulled out of Fortitude Valley and my eyes came upon thee old brick buildings with pointed roofs. The brick work reminded me of a church I’d once seen and then my creative mind was off and racing.

The first character, not the main character, appeared inside my imagination. I opened my iPad and started to type what I saw. I grinned as he formed on the page and the setting grew around him. I had no idea where the scene was going but I knew he had appeared for a reason. And I knew it was the start of a story, so I decided to go for it.

What did I have to lose? Nothing. By giving my ideas space to breathe, I had everything to gain, so I plunged in and wrote as much as I could when I could.

This marked the beginning of the first draft phase of writing my novel.

It took me five months of writing, developing my characters, developing the plot, thinking about internal and external conflicts and considering the treatment I’d use to tell my story. For those who are not familiar with the term ‘treatment’, it means whether I’d write it in first person or third person close perspective.

At the time I was also experiencing a high level of anxiety and creative writing gave me a way to express all the things I couldn’t in my real life on the page.

This was also the ‘no self-censorship’ phase of my writing.

I gave myself permission to write as freely as my imagination would allow. I chased ideas down rabbit holes, filled my manuscript with cliches and wrote it on Wattpad.  This was a great fun phase as I received encouragement from the people who read my first draft as I wrote it and shared it with them. Their kind words and support meant the world to me and it still does. I feel blessed to have their input into my novel.

Once I’d finished my first draft of my novel, I had about 80,000 words and no idea on how to proceed.  I’d never got this far with a story before. So I contacted an editor and asked her to take a look at the manuscript and paid her for her time.

This was the editing report phase of writing my novel. 

It was a time of vulnerability for me which was probably heightened by the extreme levels of anxiety I was experiencing in my personal life at the time. But I sat on my hands and waited for my feedback.

I received the feedback and it was great. I received lots of comments, all geared toward helping me to write a stronger story.  The editing review looked at holes in character, plot structure, conflicts, treatment and theme. It gave me added insight into cutting cliches. Cutting overwriting. Cutting tangents.

I also learned that I was trying to write two stories at the same time. This meant that I was consciously writing a paranormal story but my subconscious was dealing with the theme of anxiety.

I hadn’t seen that in the manuscript and was grateful for that insight as it helped me to consider if anxiety was really the theme I wanted to focus on in the story.

It took me about a two months, nearly three of digesting the comments in the editing report before I was ready to start rewriting. The editing report was one of the most valuable learning experiences I’ve had in the process of writing my novel. I used their feedback to help move forward with rewriting. I took one comment at a time and tried to focus on what they had said and see how I could create a stronger story by using that knowledge.

The editing report comments were gold. Pure gold.

I still return to my editor’s comments because they help me to stay on track and focus so I no longer write tangents into my story.

This marked another phase of writing my novel. The second rewrite. 

It was time to do a thorough rewrite. I had to learn to write stronger verbs. I had to start cutting adverbs by 90%. I had to replace cliches with my original prose and come to terms with cutting all the tangents that did not move the plot forward.

I had to focus and tighten and learn to cut out repetition while shaping the plot around the changes. It was a challenging phase and at times I wondered if I’d ever get through it. This phase was akin to going up a grade and learning at a higher level.

Challenging is good.

But I admit, there were times when my anxiety grew into a monstrous entity in its own right. I had to see my psychologist about it and discuss the way my ‘monkey mind’ attempted to sabotage my creative writing. And that was very helpful.

This phase of rewriting took me about three months of focus. When I finally finished the last chapter, I was so happy. I’d made it. I’d not only written and finished the first draft – the bones of my story, but I’d done it a second time and now it had some muscle.

At this point I entered into my current phase of writing my novel… another rewrite! 

Basically, as soon as I finished my second draft, I circled back to the beginning of my story and started reading and writing again. This time I looked at how I could bring out the secondary characters and write the scenes in such a way as to bring out the paranormal themes.

This is the phase I’m in right now.

So, during the week, I focus on rewriting a chapter at a time. Usually this is on the train on the way to work or going home.  (I travel for an hour and 15 minutes each way and use my time to progress my novel or to read and learn).

Once I’ve added missing detail, brought out the senses and developed character circuitry and peeled back another layer of conflict, I move onto the next chapter.  At the end of the week I go through all the recent rewrites on my home computer.

I open Scrivener and use the speech tool to listen to what I’ve written. I found using the audio function helps me to pick up sentences that don’t sound right. I instantly pick up incorrect words and missing words too. It also helps me to hear the cadence and to correct it as I go.

So far I am half way through the third rewrite.  Once this phase of writing my novel is complete, my writing buddy in Melbourne will read the story for the first time and provide me with valuable feedback. He’s my next beta reader and I’ll be integrating his insights when I receive them.  So that’ll commence rewriting phase four.

Going forward, I know there are many more phases of writing my novel yet to come. So, to help me prepare, I have spent time brainstorming a list of editing topics that I will concentrate on as I keep combing through my story and polishing it.

Here are just a few of the editing topics I will be focusing on as I move forward with Tuppence Weatherstorm:

  1. Have I captured all the senses in my story?  Do I favour one or two of the senses over the others? If so, I need to write in the missing senses to help bring out the ‘show’ aspect of the story.When I say senses, I’m talking about: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch.
  2. Have I caught all the repetition in every scene?  What else can I cut or rewrite to build tension and suspense in the story and make it flow better?
  3. Are all of my character’s voices individual?  If not, I will need to go back and do more character work, maybe interview my characters until their voices surface and then write that into the manuscript.
  4. Do I have any words that repeat that I need to vary?  I already know that I like to use the word ‘scream’ a lot. I think that’ll be one for the search and rewrite list.
  5. Do I have ‘tell’ words rather than ‘show’ words in my prose?  I’ll be searching for the word ‘felt’ and doing my best to rewrite the sentence so I show what is happening to my character in the situation.

There are so many more editing topics on my list but I won’t put them up here until I’ve been through them. Some I can’t put up here as I’ve learned them through private courses and the method belongs to the teacher.  But I’ll give you what I can once I know it works.

So far, I’ve been writing Tuppence Weatherstorm for a year and three months. I think that’s pretty fast for me, even though at times it feels like an eternity.

People ask me how long does it take to write and publish a book?  

And I have to say, “I don’t know.”

Right now I’m doing the work. I haven’t got to the stage of publishing my novel yet. And I think every writer is different. Every story is unique and even though there may be deadlines, a story unfolds in its own time. At least that’s how I look at it right now.

What I do know is that once I’ve exhausted all of my editing topics on my list it will be time to submit my manuscript to my editor again. That will be another phase in the birthing of my story as I discover what else needs attention and continue the process of crafting and polishing.

When my story is ready for publication I know it will be the best I could do with the knowledge, experience and guidance I had at the time.

And that’s all I can hope for.

Happy writing and reading!

Posted in Balance, Creative Writing, creativity, spirituality

Balance, Spirituality & Creativity – 2017

The transition from into 2017 has provided me with an opportunity to ponder where I am going and what I want in my life.  As a result of meditation, contemplation and my intuition, I have discovered my top three power words for 2017 are:

Balance, Spirituality and Creativity

2017 will be a year of seeking to find balance in my life.  On reflection, I have become overwhelmed with the commitments I have made to other people or to my projects and this has resulted in a great deal of personal anxiety.

This year, it is my focus to find ways to balance my daily routine so that I look after myself in a healthy way while also achieving the goals I set myself.

In an effort to find more balance, spirituality and creativity I have committed to Yoga Revolution: 31 Days of Yoga with Adriene.  I am up to day 19 and have consistently turned up to the mat and honoured myself for taking 30 minutes out of my day to do the practice.

In the past 18 days, I have grown physically stronger but more than that I have discovered an inner strength of my mind and spirit. Anger, irritation, anxiety have all shown up when I have been on the mat and I have allowed myself the space to experience these emotions without judging them.  In fact, this is the first time in my whole life that I have looked upon my physical body with love and appreciation for what it can do for me.  And for that I am profoundly grateful.

So far, this year, I have spent time rewriting my book, Tuppence Weatherstorm.  And as I have come to the page, I have found my story deepening. The characters have developed further and changed too. I have cut characters and scenes that no longer work for the story and added new scenes that are congruent with the flow of Tuppence’s life and her magickal and psychic experiences.

Tuppence Weatherstorm is a paranormal story exploring one woman’s experience of living in the physical world while also being haunted by ghosts and learning that she has is the bearer of heredity magick powers. In this story the mystical world of the feminine Divine, psychic energy and spirits culminate to reveal worlds within the world for Tuppence Weatherstorm.

I love that.

It feels like home to me.

I believe that everything is interconnected. And so it is in my story.

So this year, 2017, will continue to my personal journey toward deepening my experience of and understanding of balance, spirituality and creativity.

I expect it will be an interesting year, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

Blessed be.

Posted in Courses, Creative Writing, fiction, Fiction Writing Courses

Learning the Art and Craft of Fiction

The Misadventures of Tuppence Weatherstom Manuscript - Phase 1My first novel manuscript has had an assessment by the brilliant editors from Brisbane Writers Workshop, and I couldn’t be happier with the guidance I have received.

I’ve received layers of feedback on the overall story, the plot, the theme, the characters, scenes that don’t do the story justice and those that do, and so much more.  This feedback is gold and it will assist me to become a much better fiction writer.

I have a great deal of work to do on developing my showing and not telling skills.  And there is a theme in my story that was identified that I hadn’t been aware of.  I’ll be focusing on bringing that out as I rewrite.  I’ll also be reworking scenes to stick to a tight plot and not go off on any tangents.

I’ll be taking all of this valuable feedback into account and pacing myself as I work through each part of the process rewriting my story.

You see, I believe that editors are brilliant people and professionals because they save writers from making fatal mistakes in our manuscripts before the story goes to publication.  Editors see things that I can’t see, and I like to think of them as an author’s guardian angel as they help us writers bring out the best of the story for the reader’s pleasure.

Sometimes feedback stings a little but it’s always meant to be of assistance to improve the manuscript for an audience.  I think it’s important to listen to expertise to create the best story I can write.  So, I’ve been swimming in my story, thinking about all the feedback and considering how I can put it to best use and chisel away the dross to create the best piece of art on the page that I can.

Today, I’ve also finished my first six-week writing course with Dean Wesley Smith – Depth in Writing. This course challenged and stretched my creative writing skills and reoriented my thinking as I learned a new way to approach writing story openings.

I learned how to use the five senses and character opinion to focus the depth in an opening.  This course was so beneficial to learning the art and craft of writing, and I’m so pleased I invested in it.   I’ll be saving up to do more courses with Dean Wesley Smith in the near future. Maybe sometime in 2017.  I’d like to do the Character Development, Plotting with Depth, and Writing Mysteries courses, just to name a few.

The week after next, David Farland will be here in Australia. He’s teaching a couple of writing courses, including Writing Million Dollar Outlines which equates to how to write stories that sell.

I’m pretty excited because I’ll finally have an opportunity to meet David Farland face-to-face.  I’ve been studying writing with him since December 2014 and what I’ve learned has been beneficial to developing my own creative writing style.  I’ve learned how to plot a story, flesh out characters, develop settings, think about theme and consider treatment too.

Then, on 9th October, I will have another opportunity to attend a course with Brisbane Writers Workshop as they will be holding a Polish and Publish course.  This course has a maximum of 4 to 6 people and will focus on giving each participant time to polish 1500 words of their work-in-progress manuscript.  I can’t wait for this course as it will really help me with my manuscript.

And, quite a few months ago, I signed up to another online writing course with Margie Lawson, called Visceral Rules: Beyond Hammering Hearts.  This course starts 1st October, and is designed to teach the importance of visceral responses in writing and helps writers to move beyond cliches.

One day, I hope to have a story that will be published and people will truly enjoy reading.

Until then, I’ll keep learning the art and craft of fiction writing.  And when the hard moments hit and I want to turn away from the course I’ve stepped upon, I’ll continue because I do love to create and I love to write.

Posted in Book Reviews, Courses, Creative Writing, Fiction Writing Courses, Vlog

A Vlog on Books and Fiction Blitz

Here’s my first video blog.  Here I chat about going to Fiction Blitz with Brisbane Writers Workshop and the books I’m reading and learning from.

If you watch the video, I seem to be really up close and personal.  Believe me, it didn’t appear to record that way but when I uploaded it to YouTube it’s come out really close.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, the Fiction Blitz writing course was great fun.  Lauren Daniels, Josh Brockbank and Geneve Flynn did a great job on the day and taught us about the anatomy of a scene, rhetorical devices, how to use allusion in story to create original metaphors, how to write a strong female protagonist and then went into what editors do when manuscripts are submitted.

I found the course to be entertaining, engaging and informative.  I learned how to recognise rhetorical devices through an exercise which has been extremely helpful.

Also, at lunchtime, Josh Donnellan dropped in for some Q&A with us.

He was funny, reflective and honest about his writing experiences.  He signed his books on the day and let me take a few photos too.

During the course we did an exercise to help us understand how to write a scene with different emotional tones.  And it was amazing to see the difference when I read back what I’d written and how different the first one was to the second version.  Basically, we started out in a happy place and ended in a place of murder but had to describe the area without using key telling words such has blood and murder.  It was an excellent exercise.

Here’s a couple of video movie trailers I created to show you two different tones of Fiction Blitz.

The first one is an action theme.

The second one is a pirate / swashbuckling theme.

Lauren Daniels and Josh Brockbank are teaching in the video components. And you can see images of Lauren with Josh Donellan at the end of each trailer.

I hope you enjoyed watching them.

Happy writing and reading.

 

Posted in Courses, Creative Writing, Editing, fiction, Fiction Writing Courses, Story

Brisbane Fiction Writing Courses

Creative Writing Courses Brisbane 2016

There are two excellent quality creative/novel writing courses coming up in Brisbane in August and September, 2016.  I’m pretty excited and wanted to recommend them, just in case you have a book you’ve always wanted to write or know of someone who might like to enroll.

I’ve been personally taught by Lauren Daniels from Brisbane Writers Workshop and David Farland from My Story Doctor and I highly recommend both of them as teachers who can help you take your story ideas and bring them into a novel manuscript and assist you with taking steps toward publication.

I can’t recommend either of them highly enough.

Fiction blitz-2

3 Editors Set To Smash It: Fiction Blitz: 28 August

Who is running the course: Brisbane Writers Workshop and professional Editor, Lauren Daniels

Lauren Daniels is a professional writer and editor who has been working in the publishing industry since the ‘90s.  Most recently, her manuscript for her novel, ‘The Serpent’s Wake: A Fairy Tale for the Bitten’, was shortlisted with The Half the World Global Literati Award.

Lauren is the Senior Consulting Editor for Interactive Publications and the director of the Brisbane Writers’ Workshop.  She’s also edited over 60 fiction and non-fiction titles, many of which have attracted awards and recognition.

More details about her upcoming Brisbane Writers Workshop course can be found below:

When: Sunday 28th August 2016

Length of course: One day course

Cost: $165 per person

Venue: Arana Hills, QLD

What the course covers:

  • What the big publishers seek in a hook
  • Unpacking lingering questions about style and literary devices
  • Examining rhetorical devices
  • Characters: Quick—Make Them Stick!
  • Keep It Real: No Melodrama or Cliché, thanks
  • Themes that are not Love, Hate, Death or Illness
  • What Editors do.

This course will be run by three professional editors – Lauren Daniels, Josh Brockbank and Geneve Flynn.

Josh Brockbank is a freelance manuscript assessor with a track record in novels and memoir.  He has a BA in Journalism and has worked as a journalist for The Westender and Brisbane Arts Guide.  He’s passionate about writing and teaching too, and loves Crime Fiction, Realism and Magical Realism.

Geneve Flynn is a freelance editor with a love of speculative fiction.  She loves helping writers craft characters and stories that resonate with their readers.  And, very exciting, she’s been taught by Fiona McIntosh (who is one of my favourite Australian authors).

Max number of Attendees: 10

More info and website are listed in this reviewhttp://www.weekendnotes.com/fiction-blitz-brisbane/

 

DF-profile-imageWriting Million Dollar Outlines with David Farland

Writing Stories that Sell  

Who is running the course: David Farland will be running this course.

About David Farland:  He’s an award-winning, New York Times bestselling writer in Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres, a professional Editor and author the Runelords series.  He’s also a judge for the Writers of the Future competition, and he’s been a green light analyst for Hollywood movies as well as a story consultant in the games industry.

And now, he’s coming to Australia (from the US) specifically to teach us how to write stories that sell through developing outlines aimed at a wide audience.  He’ll be teaching in Brisbane – Writing Million Dollar Outlines, and then he’ll be teaching in Sydney – Writing Enchanting Prose.

More details about his Brisbane course are below:

When: Monday 19th to Thursday 22nd September 2016

Length of course:  Four day course – 9am to 5pm

Cost: $599 USD per person

Venue: Virginia, QLD

What the course covers:

  • What makes a bestselling story
  • Audience analysis with a focus on how to write to a wider audience so your stories will capture more readers
  • What is a story and why people read them
  • Elements of story
  • Brainstorming settings
  • How to build characters and the roles they play
  • Themes
  • Plotting and plot devices
  • And heaps more – too much for me to mention here.

This course will be run exclusively by David Farland and it doesn’t matter what genre you would like to write in, he can help.

Max No of Attendees: 16

More info and website are listed in this reviewhttp://www.weekendnotes.com/writing-million-dollar-outlines-david-farland/

I hope these course recommendations help you bring your creative dreams to fruition.

Happy creative writing!

Posted in Creative Writing, Editing, fiction, Story

Lauren Daniels notes from the Writers Group Convention 2016 Presentation

Lauren Daniels of the Brisbane Writers Workshop gave an excellent talk at the Writers Group Convention 2016 on the following topics:

  • The Marketing Side: 3 Elements of Your Publishing Pitch
  • 7 Tips: Strong Synopsis
  • Unpacking the Editor: What You Can Expect

I recommend checking out this blog post (link below) from the Writers Group Convention 2016 to find out more.

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Lauren Daniels, BA MFA Creative Writing

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Thanks to Lauren Daniels of the Brisbane Writers Workshop for her excellent talk at the Writers Group Convention 2016. The Marketing Side: 3 Elements of Your Publishing Pitch Bio, marketing platfor…

Source: Lauren Daniels notes from Sunday 31st August 2016