2018 has been a big year for *feelings*. I don’t feel alone in that. Just about everyone I know has had an intense year in one way or another. For me there’s been personal loss, creative doubt, incredible milestones, and a whole lot of waiting. I’ve also been panning through my own insecurities and trauma for gold nuggets of emotional truth in my work. And you know what, that gets exhausting. I’m feeling a little wobbly. So if you’re going through any of the above at the moment, or have been this year, I see you. It’s tiring. Be kind to yourself. Continue reading
Did you know when you’re done writing your first book, or even before you’re completely done, you’ve got to turn around and start again right from the very beginning if you want to publish a second? Pretty rude if you ask me. I was under the impression all subsequent books would materialize fully formed once I’d proven my ability to land that first publishing contract. Continue reading
Three months on from receiving editorial notes and I’m out the other side of my first structural edit. I feel equally wrung out and exhilarated by how much better my manuscript is looking at this point. Here are some editing stats I collected along the way:
- 60+ hours of editing
- Manuscript is (only) 5,000 words longer. Ouch. Now sitting at a much healthier 55,000 words. I’ve fixed plot holes, pacing issues, formatting, thin secondary characters, and the ending
- Soundtrack: Camp Cope, Sia, Thelma Plum, Missy Higgins (basically Australian/women/feelings)
- Snack of choice while editing: Popcorn, chocolate
- Coffee consumed: far too much
- Most neglected part of my life: housework
The manuscript is now off to some sensitivity readers (I will do a post on this at a later stage) and once I’ve received their feedback and edited accordingly, I will send it back to Jane at Text Publishing. Hopefully I’ll have done enough for it to be ready for a line edit, but we’ll see. This is my first time and it’s a huge learning curve, so if it comes back for another structural edit, that’s OK too. I hardly feel qualified to give advice at this stage of the process, but I thought it might be worth sharing a few of the things I’ve learnt so far. Continue reading
Some days here in this house is my whole world, and others I am itchy to be part of something outside these four encroaching walls. There’s a constant tug between this small person who is blossoming with every minute of nurturing and play, and a tiny voice inside my head reminding me ‘I’m a person with needs too’. I want to be and do everything with her, but I want to model what a woman following her goals looks like too. Continue reading
If you’re a writer and/or on Twitter, chances are you have come across the term ‘Own Voices’ at some stage or another. If not, the basic gist is that the hashtag was started as a way to “highlight kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group”, as explained by Corinne Duyvis, the writer behind the term. Further, the non-profit organization ‘We Need Diverse Books’ defines the term ‘diverse’ as “including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native (it’s an American org so I’d add Aboriginal people here), people of colour, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities”. So that’s what it’s about in a broader sense. Continue reading
Is that you don’t talk about being out on pitch! And when you’ve spent so long writing and editing and rewriting and (maybe) getting an agent and then rewriting again it’s quite jarring to all of a sudden have to sit back and just… wait.
In traditional publishing, being ‘out on pitch’ is when your agent has sent your manuscript to the publisher/s they believe it is best suited for and is awaiting a reply. I asked my agent Danielle Binks at Jacinta Di Mase for her thoughts on the process: Continue reading
When I sat down to write a book, it was YA that came out. It was always going to be. I’d never really considered anything else until someone asked me recently if I would ever write for adults. I’m not sure the answer to that, but I am sure about why I write YA. It’s because of the books that are most important to me, my own life experiences and the feeling that maybe young people are our best bet.