Clear and Vivid Dialogue

“He said… she said…  Shouldn’t it be easy to write clean, clear dialogue between two or more characters? But as writers, we want our dialogue to not only be clear, but also to be lively and vivid. We want our dialogue to be fresh and real, to jump off the page with life. However, in pursuit of strong dialogue, we may find ourselves over-indulging in shortcuts that should be used at a minimum.”

Read more via Clear and Vivid Dialogue.

Undocumented Immigrants in Children’s Books : PragmaticMom

“As a school librarian, I often see kids get excited when they connect with characters and settings and problems in stories. “She’s just like me!” they’ll say, or, “I know exactly how he felt.” A major part of my job as a librarian is to help kids find books they can connect with, books that speak to them. If a student has lost a pet, I’ve got several books for that. Problems with bullies? I could recommend a slew of titles. Ditto for the new kid at school, the one moving away, the new big brother or sister, or the kid who worships soccer.

But there are some topics that are largely ignored in children’s literature.”

via Undocumented Immigrants in Children’s Books : PragmaticMom.

Ghosthunting in Australia

Over the last six months, I’ve taken part in a few stays in haunted locations.

First was the official Australian Horror Writers Association’s Aradale Asylum Creative Retreat, in February of this year. It was three days and two nights of writing, paranormal investigations, and fun. There is an official blog for the participants of that weekend.
Then, it was another weekend in May that was arranged by the people who run the ghost tours at Aradale. More fun, ghosts, and a lot of freezing cold.
I wrote two columns at the UK site This is Horror, based on the experiences we had on that weekend. The first has had a great response. The second is just up today.

Next month, we will be staying the night at Old Geelong Gaol.


Then, in October, we have another AHWA Creative Retreat, this time held at Beechworth, at the old Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum.

Mayday Hills Asylum

Ah, the fun of hunting ghosts here in Australia…
More to come once we make it back alive from Geelong.



Five great links for writers

1. Nine Easily Preventable Mistakes Writers Make with Dialogue

2. Two Words Writers Should Avoid (while answering critiques)

3. Avoid the Passive Voice with Zombies

4. Thirty-six Writing Essays by Chuck Palahniuk

5. Seven Things Dungeons & Dragons Taught Me About Storytelling


Author tips: A synopsis writing masterclass | Harper Impulse


A few weeks ago we asked the writers on our Facebook page what they’d like some advice on. We have already had our master copywriter Ben North give out some tips on writing short copy, and now here’s our wonderful publisher Kim Young with some advice for writing your synopsis

via Author tips: A synopsis writing masterclass | Harper Impulse.