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Ten Tips to overcome Conclusion Confusion

Many short stories gracefully travel through setting the scene, rising the action, reaching the climax and then quickly create a contrived and rushed resolution. We have put together some tips to help writers complete their stories in a way that suits the characters and the plot. 1.   Kill a character. This is a dramaticContinue reading “Ten Tips to overcome Conclusion Confusion”

What is Hopepunk?

We have all heard of Steampunk,  but what is Hopepunk? Empty streets, surveillance, lockdowns, abuse of power, human rights taken away for profit, exploitation of individuals and the environment, persecution and dehumanisation of minorities – all warn of a slide into dystopia. Poor governance in the face of COVID-19 was the final straw that brokeContinue reading “What is Hopepunk?”

The Conspiracy against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti

Ligotti eloquently clarifies the existential dilemma of being human. Although the philosophy he explores is not revolutionary, he discusses the points with clarity and relates them to horror fiction. He reframes philosophy, literature and neuroscience and presents it from the point of view of a horror writer. In the chapter ‘The Cult of Grinning Martyrs’Continue reading “The Conspiracy against the Human Race by Thomas Ligotti”

Eight Time Saving Suggestions for Writers

Many writers are working between the gaps of paid work and family life to complete their projects. Saving time is essential to boost output. If you are time poor, follow these eight suggestions to help maximise your productivity. Set up a business plan and schedule your publishing. There are lots of free plans here: OnceContinue reading “Eight Time Saving Suggestions for Writers”

Five Free Marketing Plans for Authors

Self-publishing has great benefits. You get to control the process and earn all the royalties, it is quick, with editing, proofing and layout completed for a moderate cost. Writing the book is the easy bit. With self-publishing, you must do all the marketing yourself. Formulating a marketing strategy is the best way to successfully investContinue reading “Five Free Marketing Plans for Authors”

10 Best Marketing Tools for Authors in 2020

If you decide to self-publish, writing your book is not enough. You need to be able to market your books as well. Marketing comprises Facebook which can include a fan page and groups; Instagram; Twitter; LinkedIn; YouTube; a Blog with good search engine optimisation (SEO); press releases; and an email list. The idea is toContinue reading “10 Best Marketing Tools for Authors in 2020”

12 Recommended Software Tools to Assist Writers in 2020

Do you want to write? Would you prefer not to have to spend large amounts of time on the manual tasks of editing and getting feedback? Lots of apps are available that help expedite the writing process. This makes it so much easier to get the creative juices flowing. Here are 12 software tools recommendedContinue reading “12 Recommended Software Tools to Assist Writers in 2020”

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This book investigates how people cope with the unspeakable. The character Eleanor is an authentic and lonely person who isolates on schedule. She slowly moves into the world of other people when a neighbour needs her help. “I was glad to help, glad to be moving away from Mummy-related conversation. There were various chores MrsContinue reading “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman”

The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) by Herman Hesse.

Set in the future around 25 AD this allegory is told from an historian’s perspective. It focuses on the 23rd Century and the main character is Joseph Knecht. Set in Castalia, the story is revealed through documents written by Knecht’s contemporaries. Further insight is gained through poems and short stories written by Knecht. Castalia isContinue reading “The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) by Herman Hesse.”

Seven Australian Writers who have Suffered with Mental Illness

In a fractured and profane existence, art provides a route to the revered and divine. There is an idealism about creatives living on the edge. Their sensitivity and vulnerability are considered necessary to find and reveal beauty. Many artists deal with inner troubles. Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and from 10 to 18 OctoberContinue reading “Seven Australian Writers who have Suffered with Mental Illness”

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

This is a coming of age story about an Italian middle-class girl called Giovanna. She lives in Naples and the story opens with her questioning the unconditional love her father has bestowed on her. She overhears her parents talking. Her father blames her failing grades on her transformed likeness to ostracized Aunt Vittoria.  This propelsContinue reading “The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante”

The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby.

Bauby, experiences a stroke at the age of 43. He is in the prime of his life, on the editorial staff at Elle and has two small children. After waking 20 days later, he could only blink his left eyelid. Suffering what is called locked-in-syndrome he dictates this novel through blinking this eye. The beautyContinue reading “The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby.”

Australian Writers who have used Male Pseudonyms

Have you wanted to write using a pseudonym? People do this for several reasons. Sometimes their own name is very common, other times their content does not blend well with their day job. Another reason is that authors wish to remove bias when having their work assessed. Women have had a tough time getting published.Continue reading “Australian Writers who have used Male Pseudonyms”

My Brother Jack by George Johnston

Each read of this fifty-six-year-old classic reveals more nuances about the Australian identity. Set in post-war Melbourne suburbs, this seminal piece is a retelling by David Meredith of his life. His mother is a nurse who houses Gallipoli invalids including Meredith’s father. Suffering PTSD, he is a brutal alcoholic who displays unpredictability and weakness. TheContinue reading “My Brother Jack by George Johnston”

Four Tips on how to Handle Rejection and put Self-Doubt in its Place

Rejection is particularly difficult to handle for perfectionists and high achievers. As a writer you will have to get ready for a lot of it. Publishers, editors, agents and readers can reject your work in polite or nasty ways. Modesty can be important but when this slips into overwhelming self-doubt, as you internalise the criticism,Continue reading “Four Tips on how to Handle Rejection and put Self-Doubt in its Place”

What should you Pay for Editing and Proofreading?

Many self-publishing authors do not have a lot of money to spend on getting their book to publication standard.  Most require a little assistance to get the manuscript completed. Do you know what a reasonable fee is for editing or proofreading your text? Do you know what roles there are that participate in this process?Continue reading “What should you Pay for Editing and Proofreading?”

Benefits of Self-Publishing

Are you a control freak? Do you want your book out quickly?  If so, then self-publishing is for you! The biggest benefit of self-publishing a book is that you maintain control over the product. If you have esoteric interests or wish to maintain the integrity of your work, the self-publishing process ensures you maintain theContinue reading “Benefits of Self-Publishing”

Five Tips to Improve Characterisation

The next step of story writing once you have completed your exposition is characterisation.  In short stories there are usually only one or two characters. Firstly, you need to know their name, age, occupation, happiest memory, worst memory, best friend, favourite food, nationality and hopes for the future. Knowing about their family life, where theyContinue reading “Five Tips to Improve Characterisation”

Four Tips for Writing the Exposition

Exposition means background details provided by the storyteller or narrator. It is sometimes called setting the scene. In a short story everything hangs on the start. You need an explosive start to grab the reader’s attention. Skilful writers can introduce key information about settings, characters and themes. The best authors can intrigue the reader enoughContinue reading “Four Tips for Writing the Exposition”

Stories: The Collected Short Fiction by Helen Garner

Monkey Grip, Helen Garner’s first novel, is raw. The portrayal of single mother Nora and heroin addict Javo’s life is now cemented as a classic. Written in 1977, it started her long career. She delves into authentic experiences of Australian life and disregards writing rules. She has mastery of the short story form.  In 2017Continue reading “Stories: The Collected Short Fiction by Helen Garner”

Ten Ways to Ignite your Creative Embers and Exploit Incubation

Have you lost your mojo? Are you being squeezed into the norms of the working day? Are you squashed as the world awards status to those who possess logical and linguistic intelligence? Is the everyday experience of having people point out spelling mistakes crushing your confidence? Guess what? Some people can more easily remember andContinue reading “Ten Ways to Ignite your Creative Embers and Exploit Incubation”

How to Improve your Writing Confidence

The best way to get started is by writing a short story. There are lots of short story competitions you can enter that will test your skills. The Australian Writer’s Resource Competition page is updated regularly and lists current competitions found by trawling other sites. Mary River Press Services’ annual competition can be found onContinue reading “How to Improve your Writing Confidence”

The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Told through the eyes of 15-year-old Beth, living in rural Canada, this novel is an intense sensory experience set during World War Two. She befriends the local Indian kids and the rich spiritual and natural world they share enables her to survive the sexual abuse and increasing violence her PTSD suffering father imposes on her.Continue reading “The Cure for Death by Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz”

The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier, Dan Sperber

This book contends with the question of what makes us human by taking us through the history of philosophical ponderings from Descartes to Martin Luther King, from Hermann von Helmholtz to Nietzsche. The authors step us through their theory regarding the purpose of reason and why it developed in humans. Examples demonstrate why we workContinue reading “The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier, Dan Sperber”

Becoming a Creator

Identity, voice and representation are the cornerstones of knowledge and power. A community is robbed of its richness if there is a lack of diverse voices telling their story. This is clear when looking at history. Much of Maryborough was borne from Chinese labour and yet not one picture of the bedazzling Chinese shops thatContinue reading “Becoming a Creator”