(And what to do about it.) There is no two ways about it: writing a novel is a mammoth task that, if you decide to undertake it, is going to consume a significant amount of your waking hours (unless you’re John Boyne). Even so, persistence should eventually bring you [...]
Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries is – in case you’ve somehow managed to miss all the fuss – a doorstopper of a novel, set in Hokitika in the middle of the gold rush in the 1860s. This Man Booker prize-winning novel is elaborate and complex, with a large cast of [...]
Tell us a little bit about yourself I was born in Auckland, but have grown up in South East Asia and Germany. After finishing high school in Germany I decided to study Hotel Management in the Republic of Ireland. I returned to Auckland about 7 years ago. After a [...]
Sharing your writing with others and asking for their feedback is daunting at the best of times, but if you want to improve your skills as a writer, it is hands down one of the most useful things you’ll ever do. Receiving a critique of your work, even when [...]
Janet Colson’s novel The Shark Party blends together romance and thriller. It tells the story of young artist Carla, who has wound up in modern-day New York among unscrupulous businessmen and art collectors. She is doing her best to navigate a world she doesn’t belong in, and to play [...]
Tell us a little bit about yourself My background is in education, and I’ve been a historian for twenty-odd years. I have lived in Auckland for almost a year now, but I’ve been in New Zealand for four years. When I started writing, I started with speculative fiction and [...]
Want to write a page-turner of a story that your readers just can't put down? Wondering how to go about it? Here are our top tips for writing a great story! 1. Focus on your character when you develop your story Characters often stay with readers far longer than [...]
Anne Kennedy's The Ice Shelf tells the story of Janice, an aspiring writer who is working on what’s going to become her masterpiece. She is about to set off for Antarctica on a residency (such a thing actually exists) to work on her novel, but first she needs to [...]
Tell us a little bit about yourself I live in west Auckland with my grown-up (mostly!) son and my ginger-and-white feline overlord, Fang. I currently wear my hair in a Mohawk cut (‘cos why not?) and for my fiftieth birthday, I decided to have my eyebrow pierced. I am [...]
We’ve all been there: eyes racing across the page, fingertips at the ready to turn the page, devouring the words as fast as possible - because we desperately need to know what happens to the main character. Where does that need come from? Why is it so urgent? It’s [...]
Megan Dunn’s Tinderbox is an autobiographical account of her attempt to write a work of fiction as a tribute to Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451. Tinderbox weaves together raw and real description of a writer’s life, first-draft material from her failed novel, and reflections on the origins and significance [...]
Tell us a little bit about yourself Generally I don’t like to talk about myself all that much! I have been a dweller of the Auckland suburbs my entire life. Writing, however, is something I haven’t been doing my entire life. I think my first attempts at writing (outside [...]
Sometimes, sitting down and producing a thousand quality words feels easy, enjoyable and almost automatic. Other times, the days can either drag by with you staring at an unforgiving screen of white, or you can notice that a month has flown and you haven't sat down to write once.
What can we do when motivation and inspiration walk out the door?
Here are four tips to get you writing again:
Naming the emotion, instead of expressing it using one of the techniques outlined below, is a sure way to distance your reader from your characters. There is more than one type/cause/experience of every emotion. Naming the emotion destroys any nuance, leaving a bland, generic taste in the reader’s mouth.
Writer’s block can strike in many different forms, and there’s no one straightforward solution that’s going to get you through it every time. Recognising which type of writer’s block you’re experiencing will help you find the right tools to break through it. Here we list five common types of writer’s block, and our favourite tried-and-tested answers to overcoming them.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt follows the thirteen-year-old Theo Decker after the loss of his mother in a terrorist attack at the Met in New York. During the attack, Theo steals the painting that gives the novel its title, Carel Fabritius's The Goldfinch. While the title of the book might [...]
The Power was a joy to read from start to finish.
Beyond the obvious enjoyment of reading about a world where women rule, The Power offered many other delights that are hard to find elsewhere in literature and in film.