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

Your Voice Matters

When you read, you hear the narrative in your head. The voice you hear won’t be the idealised version of your own – you know the one you hear in your head when you’re rehearsing what you’re going to say to somebody? Like if you’re preparing for an argument with an internet provider, or a … 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

Breaking Down Content: Part II

In the last blog, we looked at breaking down content so that whatever message the content as a whole was intended to deliver – be that the plot of a novel, the biography of a subject, the information of a topic, or the guide of a self-help book – it did so logically, causally, and … Continued

What Goes in the Pot …

Sitting outside the Busybird Studio are two bits of signage (right) – one is a placard of the business; the second is a chalkboard, which we use to spruik upcoming events. Not too long ago, an elderly man wandered in to query us about reprinting an old family history. Once we finished talking about the … Continued

Unleash Your Inner Troll

Every story begins with an idea. Usually, that’s something simple – maybe just an image that flashes through your mind. A boy who lives in a closet under the stairs doesn’t know he’s a wizard. Then, you might begin to explore this image. Who is this boy? Why is he under the stairs? Is he … Continued


The idea for a novel bursts into your head. How long do you wait before you start writing? Do you jump right in front of the computer? That would seem the best idea. Get into it. Write. Write. Write. The only problem is how far will inspiration take you? Unless you’ve had some miraculous inspiration … Continued

Time to Assess

My book is going to be a bestseller! We hear that more than anything. Why’s it going to be a bestseller? Because it’s such a brilliant idea? Because it’s so beautifully written? Because you’re going to will it to be so? You know what? You’re not the only one to think these things. And if … Continued