Book Week activity for pre-school to Year 4 kids

Last year, I wrote a story with my daughter’s Kindy class. This year I’m going one better (or at least noisier) and writing a story with my son’s pre-school class. This is a fairly fancy* pre-school, so even in pre-school the kids are encouraged to write their own names, and most can write the firstContinue reading “Book Week activity for pre-school to Year 4 kids”

Conflux 13: Day 3 (& ChoiceScript)

Today, Sunday, was my Big Day. Not only did I have a Book Launch at 2pm… …but I also ran a three-hour interactive fiction workshop in the morning. Which was seriously awesome. (So was the Book Launch. If you haven’t seen the trailer, it’s here.) The workshop was very biased, naturally, since it is allContinue reading “Conflux 13: Day 3 (& ChoiceScript)”

Introduction to Interactive Fiction

I thought I’d better write an entry today in case someone is a-googling after hearing my interactive fiction interview on 666 ABC Canberra at 7:25am this morning (wheeee!) Hello and welcome. I write both novels and interactive novels. Other people find interactive fiction via the gaming community, so there are usually elements of game playContinue reading “Introduction to Interactive Fiction”

Weak Words

I haven’t posted any writing advice in a while, possibly because a lot of my work is out there now and anything I say is likely to be hypocritical and I’m scared of people pointing that out. But here is a great, simple, well-explained infographic on words that should be dragged out and shot. TakeContinue reading “Weak Words”

Making your book look like a book

In order to get published, some people get their book made up all pretty-like, with binding and cover and all. According to Lyn Price’s article here, those people are just dumb. Well, dumb and annoying. (Okay, I might be making it slightly clearer than she does – she is more well-mannered than I, but herContinue reading “Making your book look like a book”

Don’t be an idiot (warning: some swearing)

The real title here is: Don’t be a shit. If you want to be a professional writer, be polite. No matter what. This article by Chuck Wendig (who has a potty mouth with occasional vivid sexual references – but he sure is worth listening to) is worth reading and obeying. Here’s a bit: Editors andContinue reading “Don’t be an idiot (warning: some swearing)”

Tell a dream, lose a reader

Today’s article is by intern and author Hilary Smith. It’s a fact of life that writers love dreams (especially during National Novel Writing Month, or any other time a lot of words need to appear fast), and readers hate them. Hilary writes three excellent reasons why dreams tend to be rubbish. One thing she forgetsContinue reading “Tell a dream, lose a reader”

You’re Not Special

You ARE special, actually, but those long-held dreams of becoming a *gasp* published author? That is not not not unique. In fact it’s common as dirt. I can say this clearer than most, because I’m not actually in the editing/agenting/publishing biz myself, and I therefore have the leeway to be more honest. I am, in short,Continue reading “You’re Not Special”

When they come to you, ask yourself why

PS This is several hours early because CJ and Louisette and I will be travelling to Hong Kong tomorrow, and our housesitters have enough menial tasks to do without posting my blog for me. ———————————————————————————————— Here is an article from an extremely helpful website, Writer Beware. It’s solid advice, because it is all too easyContinue reading “When they come to you, ask yourself why”


Here is a GREAT article on some common publishing terms. Some definitions vary a little from company to company, so make sure you always read and follow their specific instructions. Some of the most basic are: Full: A full manuscript. Genre: The classification of books. Examples of genre in fiction include mystery, romance, science fiction,Continue reading “D.I.C.T.I.O.N.A.R.Y.”

How to get published

Rachelle Gardner is an American Christian literary agent with a great blog. She wrote a post on how to get published, which is an excellent summary of the American system. Australia is similar to the USA, except you don’t necessarily need an agent to get published (some choose to get an agent after having anContinue reading “How to get published”

The myth of self-publishing success

Hollywood and the media feed us a lot of rubbish. Every school classroom (particularly in a rough area) is full of world-class singers/dancers who simply don’t realise how amazing they are until a teacher inspires them to follow their dreams. Every socially awkward girl is actually stunningly beautiful after a haircut and some contact lenses.Continue reading “The myth of self-publishing success”

A writing scam? For ME?!?!

A few days ago, I received my first ever personalised writing scam via email. Here is the full text of that email: Dear Ms Curtis, I am writing on behalf of a new international publishing house, JustFiction! Edition. In the course of a web-research I came across a reference of your manuscript Worse Things HappenContinue reading “A writing scam? For ME?!?!”

Versatile Blogger Award

I am, according to General Happenings in my House, hereby awarded a Versatile Blogger award! Thank you 🙂 My duties, upon receiving this much-coveted honour, are as follows: 1) Thank the awarder by linking back to their blog; 2) Pass on this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know I have done so; 3)Continue reading “Versatile Blogger Award”

Make me care

A story needs two things: An interesting character, and a serious problem. “Interesting” and “serious” are where it gets more complicated. Here is an article on how to make your reader care about your characters (by giving them a reason to care before the action explodes on the page). If they don’t care, they won’tContinue reading “Make me care”

The dreaded semicolon. . . of DOOOOOOOM!!!

The semicolon has been known to divide loving families into shouting melees, and to send careers down in flames. It is the most contentious and passion-inducing piece of punctuation – and the most addictive. How NOT to use a semicolon: 1. Frequently. I once had an editor add more than a dozen semicolons to aContinue reading “The dreaded semicolon. . . of DOOOOOOOM!!!”

Death of “Traditional” publishing?

A whole lot of people point to success stories like the self-published Amanda Hocking and say, “Hah! Those cold-hearted publisher types are dying, and we laugh at them and stomp on their graves!” These people are stupid. I often wish publishers were more cold-hearted. They’d get through submissions way faster if that were the case.Continue reading “Death of “Traditional” publishing?”