Fiction Masterclass

There is more to storytelling than just spilling your imagination onto the page. What is the three-act structure? How does structure compartmentalise a story? What is a structural map? There’s plotting and subplotting. And characters. What makes for an interesting character? What is an arc? What do readers expect from a character? What is pacing? … Continued

The Closet Editor

Once you finish writing your manuscript, what do you do next? Submit it somewhere Give it to friends to read Revise. If you answered number 1 or 2, you’re wrong. A first draft shouldn’t go anywhere. You might think it’s brilliant. It’s probably not. A first draft is a spill: ideas, prose, phrasing, idiosyncrasies, crap, … Continued

Of Mentoring and Packages

There are lots of people out there offering fast, nasty mentoring packages. They’re fast, because the mentor wants the quickest turnaround possible, which inflates their bank account. And they’re nasty because, often, the mentor knows very little about writing, or the publishing industry – if anything, they know just enough to bluff their expertise. Usually, … Continued

Rediscovering Writing

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything longer than a paragraph. I thought it would feel unfamiliar, but it feels like coming home. My spontaneous hiatus from writing, reading and generally functioning is coming to a close, and I am feeling a hesitant kind of relief. Prior to my internship at Busybird, I had … Continued

The Impossible Book

Someone once asked me what I would do if I knew I would not fail. I responded, without a shade of hesitation, that I would write a book. Have I? Nope. Do I want to? Most definitely. Will I? I don’t know. What if I fail? For years, the book I have had my heart … Continued

The Competition Game

Competitions are exciting. We all want to be recognised. We want our work to be lauded. We want that celebration to spread across the publishing industry and consumer market and let people know we (and our work) exist. We want to mean something. Then you have the practical output: competitions can lead to goodies, like … Continued

The Value of a Manuscript Assessment

Authors often comes to us, asking what means they could employ to improve their manuscript. There’s editing, which would look at the manuscript in terms of structure or copy (or a combination of both). There are also workshops, although they’re designed more to improve the writer’s skills, which they will then apply to their manuscript. … Continued

Write

I take immense pride in writing as a craft, so it annoys me when people trivialise it, consider it a shtick, or don’t take it as seriously as they should. Let me break down some of the things I’ve heard, the outlook some employ, and how they should actually be looking at it …   … Continued