Sunday, May 31, 2009

The first workshop has begun

The first in a series of very interesting workshops has begun today at

These workshops are being run jointly between myself and The New Author Website and they will span a wide range areas over the next few months. I encourage all writers to go along and have a look, take part in as many as you can so that your mind is always being exercised, learn as much as you from the group and from any guest presenters we hope to have from time to time, and enjoy the experience.

Writing is fun, it is also something many of you reading this blog were born to do. We hope these workshops will take you a little further along your path and maybe give you that one idea or one thought that gets your writing to where you want it to be.

Good luck and great writing.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm back

Hi all, I apologise for not having posted anything in the last couple of weeks but I have been in Cairns promoting my books and doing some research on a new book. Cairns is where Room 22 and Arlington Reef are both set and whilst the sequel to Room 22 is set in Canberra (Australia's capital) and Arlington Reef's sequel, if it ever gets one cannot be set in Cairns (you'll have to read Arlington Reef to understand why) there is scope for a whole new idea to blossom into a manuscript set in this tropical paradise.

I will keep you posted on my new writings as I am embarking on two, maybe three, very interesting journeys through the writing world in the next few months, including a collaboration, which I am very excited about.

On the poetry side of things I have also taken a new direction with my writing in recent times in an attempt to capture the latest trends in this genre. The poetry workshop I promised a little while ago is about to start (finally, and I apologise to those who have been waiting ever so patiently for me to get this together) and I will be interested to see the directions poets, both old hands and new, take with this.

Exciting times ahead in the world of writing, but isn't that always the case?


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Poetry workshop

Good morning all and welcome.

In the last few days I have been talking to Brian from The New Author about a number of projects, and one we would like to run in the next week or two is a poetry workshop where we will give you an image and ask you to write a poem about that image. I have done these exercises before and they are very useful in getting the imagination flowing but we would like to do more than that with this one so we will be asking you to concentrate on certain things within your poem as well. Not the creative stuff, but the mechanics of what makes a good poem.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing please let either myself at ( or Brian ( know of your interest so we know how many we have. I plan to be available throughout the entire workshop at any time (unless asleep) to help along the way but the extent of that might depend on the numbers.

This exercise will be lots of fun and we will all learn quite a lot from the exercise if past experience is any guide.

Have a nice weekend and I look forward to posting the outline and the aim of the workshop next week.

Drop by and have a look at Brian's site ( your going if you have not visited it yet, its a great site with tremendous posts on writing.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Now fix it up

Finally I am back to finish off my brief series on writing a manuscript.

Last time I talked about putting the manuscript down and leaving it a while. Now it is time to pick it up again and read it from start to finish the first time. You will do this many times over the next year or two but this is the most important read in my opinion. This first pass will tell you if the story line makes sense, it will tell you if the book tells your readers want you want it to. I always find it a good idea to read this first edit reading with the point of the entire story in the back of your mind so that you can see if there are any inconsistencies to your premise.

Most times I change almost every line of this first pass through and I often loose as many as five thousand words. They were words I could afford to lose of course.

Listen to the feedback that others give you on your story as well. Make sure the time lines are right, listen to their questions and what confused them and please take note of anything they say does not fit. If it is wasted then it does not matter how good the piece of writing is, if it doesn't help the story or play some part then get rid of it. If you have to then cut it out and paste it in a folder that contains all the great pieces of writing that you want to use later.

Once you think you have it roughly where you want it call this the second draft and break it down a little bit. Join a writing group and ask for feedback on the first chapter. You might be surprised at how helpful other writers are and how on the mark some of their feedback is. They have all been through the process of having their manuscripts turned down (or most have).

Once you have the first chapter perfect take a look at the second. Give it to the writing group and don't be afraid of their criticisms. Welome them eagerly and once you have reached the end of the third chapter send it off to a publisher or an agent.

The rpocess has started and there may be lots of frustration, heartache and hard work ahead, but their is the chance of getting your book published and nothing in thios world quitte feels the same as that.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

For use on those days when the words just aren't flowing. It allows the air to clear your thoughts, the wind to create abstract art from your hair, and the police to wonder just how fast it might go.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Sleep on it

Once you have taken your manuscript to the point where you are calling it a first draft, sleep on it.

I have tried reading a draft within a week of writing it and I missed so many mistakes because my head was still in the story and I was reading what I thought I wrote instead of what was on the page. Nowadays I give it to someone else to read while I take a hard earned rest for a 5 or 6 weeks and write some poetry. The person (if it is a gripping yarn) will get back to you inside a week and I have had them back to me before the weekend was over, and they will give you feedback on typos and on things they did not understand. Do not be tempted to reach for the bottom drawer where you have strategically put your copy of the manuscript to go through it and see what they are talking about. Let the feedback float around in the back of your mind and get back to that poetry. Its therapeutic.

When the time is right and you go back to it you will be amazed at what you find. I have been through a manuscript in the last six months where I changed over 75% of the lines (most in very small ways to do with wording)and I am sure I would not have made that many changes if my head was still where it was a week after writing it.

My sister read one of my books once and gave me feedback that the woman could not have done what she did in the time frame suggested, it was physically impossible for her to recover form the trauma she had been through in that time. The urge for me was to argue the point but I let it float around in my head for a month and then went back to the book. When I read that part I found I was right and my sister was wrong, and when I rang her and explained it she got it.

I put the phone down pretty happy with myself.

Then I began to think about this book being a bestseller and what my phone bill would be like if I had to ring every reader and explain the time line to them so it made sense! I rewrote the section thinking from the perspective of the reader and not the characters or myself, as we all knew what was going on!

Even when you are right you have to bow to the needs of the reader and if you rush into the revision phase of your work you may not see that as clearly as you would like.

So when you are done with that first draft, accept congratulations from me on a great effort, drink a bottle of champagne (and please put strawberries in the glass, it is so much better that way) and go and write poetry or short stories or perhaps just go on a little holiday. Whatever you do let your mind recharge and then tackle the hard stuff of revision.

And one last word, when revising be ready to cut what does not fit, even if it is brilliant writing.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Write, don't edit (yet!)

Today's post is a short one, which is odd given I am talking about ways to help you write more.

When you sit down to write, don't turn on the computer's auto editor, or the one inside your head. Let the words flow and avoid the distraction of having to get it all right as you go. There will be lots of time for that later so just let the story flow. your characters will thank you for it. There is nothing worse for an exciting character than to have his creator continually telling him or her to wait until they fix up something irrelevant to the story. Remember, your characters aren't interested at all in spelling and grammar, they want to get to the resolution of the story. They want to catch the bad guy, fall in love, or strike it filthy rich, and sometimes they want to do all that and more.

Let them be. Let them have their moment and enjoy themselves, for it wont be long until they are scrutinised by thousands, hopefully millions, and their lives will never be their own again.

If having errors in your manuscript is going to keep you asleep at night then after the days writing is done and the story has gone as far as it is going today, then jump in and do an edit, but make it a cursory one, for you will miss things in this pass anyway and we will talk later next week about when you come back and catch all those sneaky errors that hide so well even when in plain view.

Enjoy the story, let the editing come later. If, I mean WHEN, your manuscript is picked up by a publisher you will have had enough time already to do the first half dozen edits and when they say yes you will frantically edit again and look for all the mistakes you are now sure must still be there, so why spoil the fun of the first draft by swinging from creative writer to pedantic editor hundreds of times every session?

I put all this to the test last week and wrote for a whole session with the spell checker and grammar checkers on the entire time, and it was extremely successful in distracting me. So good was it in fact that anytime I don't really feel like writing I will turn it on because it will stop me in my tracks (not that I ever don't feel like writing).

So for now, write, don't edit, and when we get to that stage we will have so much more to edit!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Balls of fluff and their hidey holes

Here is a little thing I wrote this morning after seeing a painting (cozy Corner by Carl Larsson) on another blog, one of my favourites in fact.

Balls of fluff and their hidey holes

It was just a ball of fluff on the horizon but it looked like fun somehow
There was a scent in the air and it was coming from that direction
My senses went wild, my nose went up and my tail followed
Then it moved
Self-preservation ruled over instinct in that moment,
I wanted to eat without fuss tonight
She was nowhere in sight though
Nobody was telling me no
Instinct kicked in and my legs were moving
Taking me faster than the speed of light toward the ball of fluff
In my rush I forgot to keep quiet and the creature heard me coming
It was quick
The ball jumped more than ran and it swerved from side to side
As if that would worry me
The chase was on and I was winning
It disappeared over the top of the hill, and then I was on the ridge.
To my left, weaving between rocks I caught the light brown movement
Within striking distance
Long strides carried me over the surface and I was on his tail
What a funny tail, more like a little stick on cotton ball really
Not whippy and sleek like mine
He swerved to the right and then to left as my paws reached out for him
Then he was gone
As quick as he had appeared he had vanished again
The ground was thick with odours, many like him but not quite the same.
Then I found the one I was searching for and followed it
It led to a hole, big enough for my paw but not much more.
For hours I searched the hills
There were many holes like the one that had swallowed my prey but nothing of the strange creature
Tomorrow just after dawn I will be back in the hope of another encounter
Maybe this time the hole will be too far away for him
For now though, I must return home
She will be waiting
Wanting to pat me
Calling my name
Then just before dark she will feed me from a tin
Life is simpler that way
But first I will sleep with my head and body on the stripped rug
While the cool floor revives my legs and feet
Her discarded shoes will be close enough for me to feel the safety of her scent
She will join me and maybe she will read
We have been here a while and we know our place
And mine is not on the tempting blue and white stripped rug that covers the couch
This is home
I would not have it any other way

© Bernard J Rossi

Monday, March 23, 2009

Go with the flow

The question I get asked most in writing groups and other places where writing gets discussed is how can I wrote so much on a daily basis. I write anywhere up to seven thousand words a day when I am writing a manuscript and people often suggest that is a lot.

I had to think about why I am able to do that as until people started asking me I did not realise that was not necessarily normal. I guess there are broadly two reasons for my ability to churn out words and I will cover them both over my next two posts.

Today I want to talk about going with the flow. That is the first area in which some writers I have had long discussions with seem to vary from what I do. That si to say they do not go with the flow in the manner I do. Writers often get caught up in the need to paint the picture, to describe the setting so the reader can feel as though they are there. This is an important part of writing and perhaps one I do not do as well as some of the greats but to my mind it is also something that can slow a writer down, bog them down and get in the way of the story.

Have you ever thought about going back and adding it in later? Maybe even at the end of your writing session.

One of the reasons the words rush onto the page when I am writing and in the midst of a great scene is because I let the story flow. The action happens around me and through me and I do not get in its way. I amy come back later and make a few changes when the characters have all settled down and gone to bed for the night and that is when I can best paint the picture. If I try to do it when the characters are all in full swing they will either take over and force their wzy top the front or they will sulk and go off and hide. Then when I come back looking for them I have trouble finding them.

Perhaps for some people that seems a little bit like writer's block, but as I don't get it that would be hard for me to say. Maybe I don't get it because I don't allow things to get in the way of the flow.

So my first piece of advice for those who struggle to get a lot of words onto the screen in a writing session (and remember I do the washing and cook the dinner in between my seven thousand words) is to go with the flow and let the story rush onto the screen. But please don't forget to paint the picture at some point.

I am trying harder to paint the picture and not to ignore it just because I love the role of story teller, and if I can make myself paint the picture maybe you can let yourself go with the flow.


Monday, March 16, 2009

The Opening

There have been many things said and written about openings and I do not want to open up any old wounds for my readers so I am going to be brief on this subject.

There is no point in me pretending I can sit at my PC for half an hour and give you the magic formula for openings. If I could I would be so busy writing great openings I would never have the time to write this blog. I have considered writing an opening for you that you could practice on and see where it took you, just as a writing exercise, but as I would be writing the opening in that instance all talk of that topic belongs to another day. Today it is your tun to think about openings.

My view on openings, whether I am writing or reading at the time, is simple. The first line is where it all begins and it needs to have that status. There is no point writing a humdrum first line as you give the necessary background to what is going to build into a really interesting opening if it means half the people who pick up your book in the bookstore put it down before they get to the good bits. The opening line needs to be either powerful, intriguing, leading or just plain brilliantly written. It may not end up being that important to the whole story, but it must grab the reader. Those who see it differently will say they don't care so much about the first line as people do not judge a book by it, and they are right in some cases. However it is the rest of the population who are not buying the book with the whimpy first line and I think you should be aiming for their interest as well.

So you have the great first line, what next? The opening paragraph of course. If the first line is great then this is the killer punch follow up. You may have the reader completely hooked by the end of it but in the end what you want is for them to be keen to read on. I would suggest you keep the pace up in the first page or two and pace can mean action, interest, intrigue or writing that draws you in because of its style or language.

If your opening can get your readers through the first chapter, at which point they hit a great hook as the last line of that chapter, many of your sins in the following chapters might be forgiven, at least in part.

The opening is also what you will give a potential publisher or agent and so it should, in the initial stages at least, be the most polished piece of work you have in your arsenal. If you get a chance with a publisher the odds are it will be your only chance with that publisher so make it count.

The opening of the manuscript you are now working on might just be the thing that makes you the next international best selling author, so do not rush it. Let it grow, nurture it, taking it out for a walk with friends and let them admire it or tell you why they would not own such a pet. Listen to what everyone has to say, consider their comments, and then act on those that show an understanding of what you are trying to achieve.

Think of your opening as a daughter. Would you rush her off to be married, or would you want her to wait until she was ready?

There is so much more to say about openings, but I will wait until you have thought about this short discussion first before I talk about the options we have when looking at building a strong, irresistible opening.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Point Of View (POV)

So now you have your idea and you are perched on your favourite chair, in the best writing place in the house (not the place with the best view please, we need to write without distraction) and you are ready to begin. Do you just begin and let the words flow or do you plan?

Both ways work but for you, one will work better then the other. There is no doubt you need to plan at least a little though, if you want to write a complete manuscript that might one day be a novel of great significance.

As writers we often do research and some of us plan out our novel in loose terms while others like to plan out every scene in every chapter. I prefer the surprise that comes with not knowing exactly where the characters might lead me but I do need to know roughly where we are heading so I can make the most of it. One of the things I have never planned though, until now, is Point of View (POV). I have always just written and let the POV take care of itself, however I am now in the midst of rewriting two thirds of my current work because I did not put enough thought into POV at the beginning.

What difference does POV make? First of all we all have a preference of POV, or at least our writing style does, and yet we do not always write in that way. Sometimes the story dictates we use a different angle and we listen to that. The best way perhaps, is to write in the way that is most comfortable fir us but at least forst consider the pros and cons of POV as it pertains to your planned adventure (some of you may call it a story or manuscript but for me they are all adventures, why else would I do it?).

First POV will give the reader greater intimacy with the narrator and you will be using terms like I and we. It is my favourite style but makes you are limited to what you see, hear and think and you cannot say what other people are thinking. You can of course, write from multiple view points as long as you do it in a way that will not confuse the reader.

Second person is rarely used in fiction and in this style the narrator refers to the main character as you. It can get very personal and takes great care.

The most popular viewpoint to writer is in third person. He, she, it, and they are all terms used with third person and there are many sub categories to write in under this style. I do not want to get into a full POV lesson here (as somebody might correct me!) but I did want to make the point that we need to consider POV before we write our manuscript. We spend a huge amount of time on the writing of our works and a few extra minutes planning might turn it from a book that is one of the mix to one that stands out.

All the planning in the world will not always get you the perfect answer of course, so if things change, be prepared to be flexible and rethink your decisions and your view points, and don't be afraid to write from multiple view points.

I'd love to hear from you on this subject. My writing group embarked on a ten minute discussions re POV last week and the discussion had to be called to a halt forty minutes later. There are many questions on this one small subject and lots of opinion.

What's your favourite POV to write in and does it differ from what you like to read in? Does the tense you write in change with the POV?


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The First Steps

Today I thought we'd start at the very beginning. A writing group I attend met last night and talked about why we write, what drives us, but that is not what I am talking about when I talk about the very beginning. You are here, doing what you do, or hoping to, because you have a passion and desire to write, and it does not matter so much why. What does matter is the story, and that's where we start.

The Story.

Where does it come from? Do you write about your own life, somebody else's or do you make something up from scratch? The most important thing in my view is to write about something that is important to you, or that you love.

When you find yourself sitting at the keyboard and nothing is happening, or you are walking the streets looking for the first idea don't try too hard. The ideas you have in your head will fit into the right story when the time comes.

My first book, Arlington Reef came from two news stories, which both appeared on the same day. One was on one of the morning shows on TV and was talking about why ships are not allowed to navigate on the inside of the Great Barrier Reef (in parts) and the other was in a newspaper and talked about an art robbery. I put the two things together and came up with drugs and murder. It was not such a big leap to take as reading the story would show.

Room 22 came next and I tried the same thing, but I was living in Cairns and for two weeks nothing remarkable happened! I finally took four of my short stories and put them together. It was amazing how ell all the characters got on and next thing I know there was murder and intrigue spilling all the way along the golden shores of Cairns.

Now the fact I think you should write about things you love does not mean that I love murder and mayhem, I just like the art of exploring people's minds.

Stories are all around us and we do not have to write them as they happen, that is why I deal in fiction. All we need is the one thread that strikes home and lets us get the first words out. One line, one paragraph, one page. A first chapter that has you wanting to write more. Then you are away.

The story may not come and tap you on the shoulder so you might have to be paying attention, but it is looking for you almost as hard as you are looking for it, and remember, when you first start writing it, don't worry about it being perfect, the story is a patient best, and it likes to hibernate every now and then.

Where have you found your stories? What is it that sparks your interest in sitting down and writing?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Planning your writing.

Over the next few weeks I am going to embark on a series of discussions about writing a novel and I may also attempt the same project from a poetry perspective on my other blog. Today however I am going to jump ahead and talk a little bit about planning your novel and knowing what is coming up next, as I have been involved in many diuscussions on this of late. My view on this can be best described through experience and I will relate one experience to you as an example.

This happened during the writing of my second novel. I was midway through it at the time and had a good idea where I was going and I was being very disciplined and writing every night at the same time. I had a small bit character in the book that was adding weight to one of the main characters and this particular evening I was going to my desk to just do a couple of thousands words about her and where she was. Nothing big, nothing ground breaking, just an easy evening on the keyboard.

One of the things I am very strong about in my books is that what happens has to be believable and what would have been possible in the given situation. I am not writing super hero books after all, although I might give that a try one day.

An hour and a half after sitting down at my computer I got up and walked out of the room in tears. The girl was dead, and worse she had done something horrible before she had needed up that way. I never intended her to die, but in the situation she had put herself in, there was no other way it could ever end. I still get teary when I read that chapter of Arlington Reef.

This unexpected event caused me to change the other character and what he did from that point, as his motivation changed the moment she died. It also changed the dynamics between that character and others and helped alter their perspective on life a little too. In the end I did not rewrite my planning, I just went with it and let the story flow using my planning as a loose base.

This little episode showed me that all the planning in the world, whilst a great tool, will not stop the characters doing what they must, and as a writer, you must listen to your characters at all times. Never try to put them in a box just to suit the planning and hard work you've done leading up to that point.

This is an interesting topic and I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Monday, February 23, 2009

The Best Job in the World

You may have read about this in your travels. This post is not a writing one but it is one I would like you to read if you have time.

I applied for this job and now I need your help. You may wonder why when there is only a little over 30,000 applicants last I looked, so why wouldn’t they pick me? I like a challenge. Anyway, there are two ways to get into the last eleven applicants. The first is through the natural selection process of the video and other information you can provide on the first go round (very scant but I am ingenious) and the second is through a popularity poll, and that’s where you come in.

For those who are happy to help, go to this link, and watch the video then rate it high, very high. If I win, we all win. It may take a while to load. You can also try this button below

As an update, I have also added a new poetry blog to the web that you might like to have a look at and maybe even comment on. The link is

Thanks all


PS pass the link on to friends etc if you feel happy to do that

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hi all, I'm back and creating posts again. They will all have something to do with writing but it may just be that you have to read through to the end to find out what! I will attempt to make them all entertaining for you as a trade off for having to read right through to the end.

Yesterday my wife and I drove the forty minute trip from one side of Canberra to the other just to have coffee and food at Fruitylicious in Gunghalin. Yes I know the names might seem a bit funny, even more so to those of you who do not live in Australia but I have to say, this lunchtime all you can eat feast is amazing. There is pizza, vegetarian food, curries, zucchini fritters, sweet potato filled delights that were just amazing and so many other things I just could not list them all here. And then of course they had vanilla slice. I think my wife ate four but don't tell anyone. We did not have breakfast before we went and we could not eat dinner that night.

Superb. So what has this to do with writing?

The creativity they put into there dishes is brilliant, but that is not what puts us here.

When I was leaving I was talking to Cathy (or Kathy?) and she mentioned she never had time to read anymore. I have often heard people say they could not find time to write but not finding time to read is an even deeper dilemma. As our conversation went on however, I did discover that Cathy's children read, but sadly there is nothing on my website for children.

When I was out on my morning walk this morning however, I decided to change that. I am going to design a children's section on my website ( where I will put some reading for younger people but also encourage the young to start writing and contributing to the site themselves.

Who knows, the next great Australian Author might get their start right there, on my pages.

Take care all and I look forward to staring some discussions in the next few weeks that will get us all thinking. And while we're on the subject of thinking, take a little visit to my poetry blog,, you might find a gem or two there over the next few weeks or you might just get an idea or some inspiration.

Good luck all, and thanks once more to Cathy and her team at Fruityliscious.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Great first pages

First let me apologise for taking so long to get back to my blog. I had a weekend with my youngest brother a little while ago and we decided to write some songs (he is a great musician) and I have been flat out working on that project as well as my latest manuscript. I have not neglected my writing group though and this week we met and discussed the first pages of many novels.

Our group is very strong, we had a dozen people present on Wednesday night and there were a few apologies, so when we discuss topics like this we get a wide range of ideas and thoughts, which is the object of the exercise.

There are so many books in the world it is a big decision just to come up with two or three each to discuss and some people went for the classics, others went for books that had me reaching for dictionaries and googling terms used by midway through page one. When I read I prefer to read, not research but others loved the learning aspect of these books. I myself chose three very different books, all by large selling authors, as this is something I think we all want to achieve.

Raymond Chandler's Killer in The Rain was one I chose. His dialogue is so brilliant it describes the physical appearance of the character without him having to, and it entertains as it does so. His choice of names also is perfect and describes the character he is creating. In this book he introduces three characters on page one but one of them he only gives you his name. Violets McGee. In my mind that was all I needed to see the character in my head. There was also a descriptive sentence He looked like a bouncer who had just come into money, which I thought was concise but perfect way to het the man into the reader's head.

The range of books we talked about included The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, Abarat, but we talked more about the way the title appears on the cover then we did about the first page, The Book Thief, Captain Corelli, Middlesex, The Little Friend by Donna Tartt and The Hopkins Manuscript, as well as many more.

It was a great way to learn what worked and did not work on the first page of a book, it also showed that there is not one formula to work to as readers all prefer something different to each other, and it also highlighted the usefulness of these types of writing groups.

We had two first nighters on Wednesday, one of whom was only now about to embark on his writing journey, and they came away from that with a lot of knowledge but also they gained confidence from talking to others and finding out that this dream we all have running around in our heads is in fact achievable.

Exercises like this are well worth doing so if you are in writers group get active and involved.

Good luck and good writing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

E-Book publishing

I spoke on Wednesday night at a writers forum about E-Books and I found the conversation that came within my presentation from the group was very robust. It highlighted to me the interest that exists with writers in this approach to getting their work out into the big wide world for others to read, and the internet is a very big, wide world indeed.
Whilst the discussion was mainly focused on the process of getting an E-Book created and whether or not it was something a writer should do it themselves I did find myself taking a different path along the way to get a few important points across. I will come back on another day to discuss the process but today I thought I would make those same important points here.
Statistics are quoted often regarding the sales of E-Books and the way they are increasing but one important point to remember when looking at those figures is that they start from a low base and there are now so many E-Books being created. The sales do not mean each book, or any book is selling really well, it may mean that millions of books are selling a couple of copies each.
The real issue for me is the quality of the work however, as it always should be with an author. Yes you can get your book out inot the E-Book world without as much editing and without having to jump through as many hoops and many of you will do that with pride and ensure the work is at its best, but some see this as an easy path and a shortcut.
Remember, if you put inferior work out there it is there for all to see. That includes publishers and agents who you might want to convince at a later date that you are someone they should have in their stable.
It would be nice if we could separate the good from the bad but we are a long way off so E-Books will get the reputation that writers and authors allow them too, at least for now.
One last point on quality, the best way to sell your E-Book, should you go down that path, is to allow the first chapter or so to be read free online, thereby tempting readers into buying the book through the interest you have generated. This means that with this medium, as with traditional publishing, your first page and your first chapter have to be as close to perfect as you can get them.
Good luck to all those going down this path, I think the perfect scenario for all authors would be to have everything you ever wrote published both traditionally and in E-Book format as this reaches maximum audience so do not discount this form, but use it wisely.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Writing and publishing eBooks

On Wednesday night I will be attending my local Fact and Fiction forum and will be giving a talk on Ebooks. My fellow writers in this group, like most of us, are looking at all the possible mediums for getting their work published and this is a realistic way to go for some people. It really depends on what you hope to gain and it certainly is a starting point for those finding it difficult to get a foothold.

Over the coming weeks I will cover a few of the major points in blogs here so feel free to come by and have a look or to send me your thoughts. We might all benefit from this exercise.

Tomorrow I will swing by and discuss the wonderful and soulful world of poetry. I might even share a purpose written one for all those interested.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Where the Novels began

At last I have the chance to continue discussing my writing history, the journey that was. I had success with a few short stories and got great feedback about my writing from those who would never have said it any other way. It was time to move on and I chose novels.


Because I had no idea how to go about writing film scripts of course. One could argue I had no idea about novels either but that discussion is for another day.

I sat and pondered what I would write about as unlike many writers I did not have a book that I had always wanted to write (I now have somewhere close to thirteen I have a burning ambition to write but I;m older now). I scratched my head for a week or so and then read the Saturday morning newspaper and two stories caught my imagination. I was so excited I didn't even plot (much) or do characterisations (much), I just sat at the keyboard and began typing. Three months later there on my desk sat Arlington Reef.

Yes, I have skipped a bit of the process of what went on during the writing process but they will be blogs for later days when people ask me questions about aspects of the books or the agony I went through.

Some of you who have taken an interest in my career thus far will now be saying you thought Room 22 was my first book and so it was. The first one to be published that is, not the first written.

I tried the same process for Room 22, that is I read the newspapers looking for inspiration. I had some pretty nifty characters (some would say evil, weird etc) but they needed a few stories to be happening around them as they fought out their battle for ultimate supremacy (forget I said that). I lived in Cairns at the time and nobody did anything spectacular for weeks so finally in desperation I put four of my short stories together and that was the first few chapters. It kinda grew from there and I am about to write the third book in the series which will be the culmination of this epic battle.

I have learned so much in the years follow my decision to write novels (the first was in 2000/2001) but the one thing I think stands out above all else is that their is so much to write and so little time.

Writers block is not an option (but plotting helps a lot when the block tries to stalk you).

As usual I have written much and said little but there is many more blogs to come.

I would love to hear from some of you re your experiences too, particularly if they fit somehow with what I am talking about.

Until tomorrow...


And the winner is...

The competition to win a copy of Room 22 is over and we have a winner. BRIAN.

Congratulations Brian, I'll get the book out to you as soon as I can (its an ebook so it shouldn't take long)

For all those who missed out (and for Brian) there will be another chance to win a book beginning in the next week or so and this time you will have the choice between the two ebooks I have published and if the winner really prefers I can make it a paperback.