How to conquer procrastination

You’re not alone We love writing, right? Well, sure, sometimes it’s a love/hate relationship, but overall, we do it because we enjoy it, because we must, because it’s part of who we are. So why do so many of us procrastinate when it comes to getting words down on the page? The answer is pretty […]

Show, don’t tell

Header for show don't tell blog

“Show, don’t tell” is one of the most common phrases new writers will hear. Why? Because “showing” is at the core of quality fiction and creative non-fiction writing. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov “Show the readers everything, tell them nothing.” Ernest Hemingway […]

Authenticity in World Building

Three bedrooms: historic, present, future

It’s the small details that add authenticity to your story For a story to come alive, allowing the reader to vividly picture and feel the experiences of your characters, you need to create a rich world of small details. Every detail you weave into the narrative helps to create the time, place and mood of […]

How to use an Em or En dash

Colourful watercolour rectangle

Em dash vs En dash Em or En? What’s the difference? How do you use them? Once upon a time the humble comma catered for most of our parenthetical needs, but now the curvy comma has been usurped by the elegant dash. The mechanics Physical difference The em dash — is the length of the […]

Character gestures and physical descriptions

A character hugging themselves to demonstrate how physical actions can convey emotions

Do your characters nod, smile, shrug or raise their eyebrows too often? Are you finding that you’re telling readers how your characters feel, rather than letting readers interpret your character’s interiority from their physical actions and reactions? Then this blog is for you. Here you’ll find three lists: Body gestures that convey emotion Body movement […]

How to introduce character descriptions within a narrative

Caveman boy sitting on the rock and looking at him self in the water reflection in lake.

One of the first things authors often do when introducing a new character is halt the story to describe a character’s appearance for the reader. Is this necessary? No. It’s not. While it’s important for a reader to form an “picture” of a character, a detailed physical description isn’t necessary for them to grasp who […]

Who or whom

Graphic displaying the use of who or whom.

To whom am I speaking? Sound familiar? It’s awfully formal, isn’t it? In the casual tone of fiction and creative non-fiction, we tend to lean towards “who”, rather than “whom” simply because it’s how the majority of people speak in real life. Of course, if you have a character who always speaks in a formal […]

Lay laid or lie

Graphic explaining lay lie and lay,

Lay laid or lie? So confusing right? Believe it or not, even editors have to occasionally double check themselves on this. It seems to be something that just won’t stick in our heads. So how to remember? I have a little saying that helps me: Humans don’t lay eggs Let me explain. The most common […]

My Own Beta Read

Scared girl with a book

Yes, I did the dirty on my own beta reader team Nothing shows trust in your own services more than using them yourself. And this month, that’s exactly what I did: I booked four of my own beta readers. I booked four of my own beta readers Recently, I finished the first full draft of my […]

How to market your book

How to market your book

Book marketing for self-publishers Marketing is effort plus determination How to market your book? Oh gosh, marketing is not my forte, and I wish there were a magical solution for authors to get their books out into the big wide world. Unfortunately, the reality is usually a hard slog with a learning curve, but it’s […]

Publishing Offers

Publisher contract

Been offered a publishing deal for your manuscript? Before you get too excited and sign that contract, you’d be wise to do some research first.

Omniscient point of view

What is point of view? (POV) Point of view (sometimes incorrectly called viewpoint – I’ll explain this later) is simply defined as the perspective of who is telling a story. It relates to how much access to knowledge of the story and characters the narrator has. The point of view you choose affects the boundaries […]

What are filter words?

What are filter words?

Filter words are excess words that put a barrier (filter) between the reader and what a character is experiencing. They do this by placing the character in the central spotlight, instead of the experience.

How to find a publisher or agent

How to find a publisher

Is it an editor’s job to help a client get published after the editing process? The answer is no. While I do provide a submission and back cover blurb review service – if I’ve edited your book – it’s not an editor’s role to research publishers or agents for clients. This is the legwork every […]

The Girl with the Gold Bikini

Book Cover - Girl with the Gold Bikini by Lisa Walker

Details Author name: Lisa Walker Book title: The Girl with the Gold Bikini Genre: YA Comedy, Crime, Romance Launch date: 28.01.2020  Buy links Booktopia Summary Whenever I see a girl with a gold bikini, I think of Princess Leia. Here on the Gold Coast, gold bikinis are common, so I think of Princess Leia a lot. […]

30 days of flash fiction

Flash Fiction

Update: April 2021 I tried again and won on day 14 with this entry: Scrunch Gloves off, hard work done, she spies a single autumn leaf. She’ll scrunch it and sprinkle it on the soil, no harm. Except for the wetness revealing the leaf’s hidden occupant. April 2019, I took part in the Writers Victoria […]

Dangling, misplaced and squinting modifiers

Dangling modifiers

Let’s look at these tricky grammar errors and how to avoid them Some of  these terms might sound odd, but they belong to real grammatical errors, sometimes the result of which can be quite amusing, if not confusing. But once you learn what the errors are and how they work, they’re easy enough to spot […]

How to use a semicolon

How to use a semicolon

Semicolons – the most misunderstood punctuation mark Confusion is common If you don’t know how to use a semicolon, you’re not alone. Love them or hate them, some writers regularly confuse semicolons with commas, most likely because they’ve never been taught the correct usage. The wonderful (I love its elegant little tail) semicolon has only three […]

How to punctuate dialogue

Graphic representing dialogue punctuation.

Dialogue punctuation is an area of fiction writing that often baffles new and experienced authors alike. Here you will find simple explanations on how to punctuate and lay out your dialogue, plus the difference between direct dialogue, indirect dialogue and internal dialogue. ‘Single’ or “double” quote marks? Single and double quotes (quotation marks) vary from […]

Competitions & opportunities

Picture of writing in a book

What’s the best way to get your writing noticed? Let people read your work. You’re writing because you want to read, correct? So you need to take a chance on your work being seen by those in the know. Entering short story, unpublished manuscript or poetry competitions is one great way to firstly, get your […]

Ouch! Negative reviews


Dealing with criticism – the reality of becoming a published author We write to be read People outside our supportive circle of friends and family are going to read and publicly comment on our work. Fabulous! Isn’t that why you write? To affect people? To make them think, to stir their emotions? But what happens […]

Pitch perfect


Tips on delivering the perfect pitch to a publisher During my last semester at RMIT, where I did my Associate Degree in Professional Writing & Editing, my classmates and I were offered the valuable opportunity of pitching our manuscripts to two major publishers: Penguin and Text. I thought I would share some thoughts about the […]

Stories from conflict


Where do stories come from? Some writers say the ideas simply float into their heads when they’re not really trying. Others like to brain-storm and think up a plethora of scenarios before they find the one that sits best. I think the kernels of stories tend to come from our own everyday experiences: people we meet, […]

The sound of proofreading


First impressions count Nothing says ‘novice writer’ more than sloppy mistakes. I can’t tell you how often I’ve cringed because a silly blooper has crept through my work. Usually, it’s because I’ve been a bit blase. Truly, it’s a form of laziness, not bothering to go back and read and re-read your own words before […]