Submitted by Bruce Howat on Wednesday 31 August 2016
Life is a privilege many take for granted. Experiences shape, inspire, emotionally move and motivate and this was what happened when we attended the Alan Missen Oration delivered by Philippe Sands, Professor of Law, QC, author and intellectual, at the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Tuesday 26 July 2016
Why do writing experts always advise us to use the writing principle of show don’t tell?
I find that when I am reading a writer who uses show don’t tell I am absorbed and fully engaged with the story. Those stories are the ones I cannot put down.
The reason for this is the language is cinematic and active sentences prevail. There is more detail and description. I am not simply told something happened I am shown what happened and I am part of the action as a reader. Love that feeling.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Thursday 30 June 2016
A major building block in a good story is tension. Tension can be as simple as surprise at the way the writer has shaped a sentence, conjured an image or set up a series of events that create within the reader a curiosity that will not be satisfied until we find the answer to our initial question, why, what or how.
Tension is the key to engaging readers and to keep them turning the pages of your short story, novel or piece of non-fiction. There is no reason to keep turning the pages if nothing is happening.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Saturday 4 June 2016
Fires burned in the hearts of students from Room 26 of Matipo School this week and it was exciting to witness. We were giving the stylecheck a trial run in the class to see if it could make writing more fun for students.
Their teacher arranged the 25 students into teams of two or three and asked them to write what they liked about Matipo School.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Wednesday 4 May 2016
Alex Keegan says in his article writing winning stories that writing for competitions is a way to increase your output, and this is true. This is one positive outcome of not winning. Winning is a bonus!
And who of us doesn’t want to win? Yes, we all do!
Submitted by Sumanda Maritz on Tuesday 26 April 2016
During a discussion with Suraya, she explained to me what the benefits are for writers that take part in the serials:
An ability to be concise
Improved research skills – very important
Skilled writing, because you become clear about what you want to say and know you have no room to waffle
An understanding of point of view and how to write from a character’s point of view
Understanding of tenses and how to keep it consistent
The skill of keeping a consistent point of view
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Sunday 10 April 2016
Stories build nations, organisations and families. They shape our national character and reveal the heart of an organisation.
Stories surround us and those stories give our lives meaning.
Over the years, there has been a lot of conjecture about whether the world will be taken over by machines; some have even suggested that the time will come when Artificial Intelligence runs the world and people will be redundant. This is the stuff of science fiction but there are those who believe that science fiction predicts the future. And there is evidence to support that.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Wednesday 30 March 2016
When writers start out, they frequently try to write in ways that will show off their skill with words. They employ a number of techniques such as unexplained twists at the end, or introduce new features that don’t really add anything to the story. This often leads to complicated story lines and characters who are portrayed in one way but behave in the opposite way.
For example, a writer may describe a character as reserved and then several pages on have him or her jumping about at a party showing off his or her karaoke skills. Reserved? Hmmm, not really.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Thursday 3 March 2016
I know, as writers, we have heard this principle many times and in the early days I struggled to understand just what people meant by it. In time,I learnt to look out for long rambling sentences, saying the same in two or more different ways or using a word many times because I have just fallen in love with it.
I have come across several examples of this recently.
The writer of a book I have just finished clearly fell in love with the word ‘uxorious’. Sometimes writers use these words to show the rest of us how much she/he knows and how little we know.
Submitted by Sumanda Maritz on Wednesday 20 January 2016
No matter what genre you are writing in, you will have to create characters that populate your story. Creating characters might sound easy, give them a name and carry on with the story, right? Ever read a story where the character seems like a cardboard cut-out? Or seems erratic in his/her behaviour? The main reason this happens is because the character wasn’t created ahead of the story.