I’m proud to announce that Bear Make Den, which I co-wrote with my wife, Jane Godwin, and was illustrated by the ridiculously talented Andy Joyner, has been listed as a notable book in the CBCA Awards for 2017. And look, Bear is delighted too.Read More Bear make long list for Childrens Book Council of Australia awards 2017
Oh boy, this is BIG! Along with my new book, So Wrong, I’ve been secretly working with my friend, Wayne Bryant, on the So Wrong website, which contains its own So Wrong Book Club. Now book clubs might not be your thing, but this one’s different. This is the where you’re guaranteed to be wrong […]Read More New So Wrong Website
This tip really comes from acclaimed teacher and author, John Gardner, but I find it super helpful, so I hope you do too. I read this book a while back and found it fascinating, but the part that really stood out to me was what the author said about working with themes in a novel. […]Read More Tips for Young Writers 31: Working with Themes
I’m posting this, because while I totally admire Neil Gaiman, I’m not sure his ‘fifth fule for writing’ is entirely correct. Here’s what he says … “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how […]Read More Beware of criticism
Welcome criticism, and listen closely to it, but don’t agree with everything that’s said about you or your writing. There’s a fantastic saying that goes, ‘To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.’ Any time you say, do or be anything people will criticise you. Sometimes they’ll be genuinely trying to help you, but […]Read More Tips for Young Writers 22: Accept criticism, but don’t agree with everything you hear.
It’s easy to get carried away with your storytelling sometimes, so that things get bigger and bigger, and more and more unwieldy for you as the writer. You’d think big ideas would make for a great story, but that’s not always the case. In fact, HUGE stories can be kind of boring. So … Don’t […]Read More Tips for Young Writers 30: Stay Small
There’s a moment I’ve achieved sometimes while working that I regard as ‘writing gold’. It comes when the characters and locations become so vivid in my imagination that they actually spring to life and begin doing all the ‘writing’ for me. When it happens, I find myself sitting back (metaphorically, truth is I’m slaving over […]Read More Writing Gold
When you’re grappling with a story problem and just don’t know what to do about it, you might like to try one of the techniques below. They’re what I do and they dead easy. 1) Sit back, close your eyes and silently ask yourself for the solution. Then just relax and listen to your thoughts. […]Read More Tips for Young Writers 29: Two simple ways to solve your story problems (maybe)
When you write a scene, try to make sure every character in it, secretly or openly, wants something. Not all characters have to actually know what they want, but they’ll be way more ‘in’ the scene if they’re hoping for some sort of outcome. Characters who are ‘unmotivated’ can become passive, background deadweights. Or worse, they can […]Read More Tips for Young Writers 28: Make sure all your characters want something all of the time.
I think this may be the best advice I’ve heard for writers (and anyone else hoping to achieve something in life). ‘When inspiration strikes, let it find me working’ – Pablo Picasso We all get our chance, it’d be a shame not to be ready for it.Read More A small, but powerful thought for writers