Tag Archives: writing skills

A Fresh Look at Verbs

Verbs provide the energy and action of our sentences. They can make our writing powerful and vibrant, or flat and ordinary. Considering how important they are we often don’t give them the attention they deserve. Here’s an exercise I found, … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Characters are Pieces of History

We, and our characters, all exist in a public and a private life at the same time. I’m someone’s sister, wife, child, mother, friend, neighbour. I’m that person who loves the thrill of body surfing large breakers, and gets asthma … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

A Writer’s Glimpse of a Man Booker Winner

I’ve started reading Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, winner of The 2013 Man-Booker Prize, and I’m in awe. It’s fiercely intelligent. The language consistently reflects the mid-19th century, and rolls along in an improbable mix of luxuriously precise prose. Sometimes I … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Thoughts on an ending

A weak ending can ruin a whole story. But strangely, the problem usually doesn’t lie in the final lines. Yet that’s where we spend endless time trying to “fix” it, by revising, rewriting, rereading that last paragraph. When the ending … Continue reading

Posted in Short stories | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Writing Great Dialogue

Writers are bowerbirds. We observe the world around us intently and are often found eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. When we come across something that piques our interest we snitch it when no one’s looking. My nest is my writer’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

To Publish or not to Publish? Is that really the question?

When I hear about people who write but have no desire for publication I always imagine closet diarists who hide their notebooks in drawers under their thermals if they live near the equator or their sarongs if they live in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Can characters shape the plot?

“I usually have one firm character, perhaps two, and an underlying theme – certainly a situation. And from then on, if it works at all, the characters shape the plot rather than the other way round.” Jessica Anderson in Yacker … Continue reading

Posted in Short stories, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment