Quick Tips #9: Inspiration and how to find it

They're the moments writers live for. Those moments of giddy inspiration that seem to make the words leap out of nowhere into your mind and (hopefully) onto the page. You may have been struggling with a particular paragraph or plot conundrum or structural challenge…and suddenly the answer is right there in front of you, delicious and…

Quick Tips #8: Voice

"What is voice?" "How do I find it?" These are questions I hear often from clients, and there's no clear-cut answer. There's no "formula". Your voice simply means your particular way of placing thoughts on the page; your style of writing. What makes you distinctively "you" as a writer. And the way to discover it…

Scar

I never thought I was very good at writing poetry. I still don't. But Anna Jackson has convinced me I should do it anyway. The NZ poet and academic has recently published a wonderful book called Actions and Travels, about the joys of poetry. And the greatest joy, perhaps, is that anyone can write it:…

Quick Tips #4: Dialogue

Dialogue is one of the trickiest things to get right. It requires a good ear, and the ability to make speech sound natural even though it is probably the most carefully constructed, "artificial" component of any fictional work. What I mean: Counterintuitively, dialogue in fiction should not mimic everyday speech. Humans say a lot of…

Building Bridges

A friend sent me a much-needed text yesterday. Earlier in the day we had walked together and I had updated her on the very difficult period I was going through. Here is an edited extract: Darling, I'm so so sorry that your heart is so heavy. You'll get through this...Keep thinking and living in baby…