Queensland Writers Centre Writer's Surgery

Anyone who’s ever attempted a creative work knows the stamina required. You spend hours writing and rewriting, crafting characters and scenes, obsessing over the most minor word selection only to scrap entire sentences and start again. It’s intense and it’s personal – and many writers refuse to send their work out into the world until…

QWC interviewed Koren Helbig, freelance writer and editor …   Why did you decide to start writing freelance, and how did you start growing your career? In 2012 I popped over to Spain for a holiday with friends and loved it so much I promptly started scheming a way to get back there more permanently….

How Grammar Works Tips Roslyn Petelin

QWC interviewed Australia’s grammar guru, Associate Professor Roslyn Petelin, on the importance of grammar for writers … First of all: what is good writing? Writing that fulfils the reader’s needs and is appropriate for its genre and its context. Writing that’s coherent and compelling; writing that’s free of clichés, gobbledygook, redundancy, verbosity, and rambling sentence structure….

Do you find that your writing sometimes wanders from the point or becomes unclear? You’re not alone. Most of us write from the heart, and therefore believe we’ve expressed our thoughts and ideas exactly – which makes it hard to step back and assess whether the message is clear to someone else. Readers are quick…

I’m one lucky freelance writer. I’ve spent a couple of decades as an editor before crossing to the other side of the desk, so I know a fair bit about what editors want. I also have an intimate acquaintance with what constitutes an ‘author from hell’: that writer for whom an editor is always mysteriously…

ONE of the common questions I am asked when I talk about my memoir, Bad Behaviour, is whether being an editor helped when I was writing the book. Yes seems the obvious answer in many ways, but the insider’s experience of the publishing industry did also add layers of complexity I hadn’t anticipated. Before Bad Behaviour…

THERE’s a particular kind of arrogance that can trip up a new writer (and sometimes even an experienced one) and it goes something like this, “I just wrote The End, so it’s all done.” No. The End, to paraphrase The Mummy’s Imhotep, is just the beginning. Your first draft is just that: a draft. It needs tender…

Edit in order. Do structure first, then copy (line) edit, then proofread. Always. Always. Don’t waste your time making sentences pretty while you still have structure to address. If you don’t know the difference between the three, find out. Get external input. You will never see your story as someone else will (though the skill…

AS a book editor, I’m often surprised by the trepidation first time authors can feel about the copy editing process. There’s this view of the copy editor as a ruthless pedant who’s going to attack their writing and force them to make unwanted changes. In truth, a good copy editor is probably the most attentive…

PICTURE a desk covered in submissions and empty coffee cups, a groaning inbox of emails, pending deadlines, and a phone that never stops ringing. Editors don’t have it easy. Many also work from home, so you can add on any number of complicating factors that steal their time. Sick children, computer malfunctions, visitors, school holidays…. Anything…

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