Scene Mapping

What is Scene Mapping? The simple explanation is that it’s a quick outline of each scene within each chapter. Once you have all of these scenes written down you can look back over your novel and decide whether you have any repetitions, if your proportions are out or you might pick up other issues that need sorting.

It’s a map to help pin point the structural problems of your manuscript, but it is always down to the writer to correct the issues. With repetitions you need to decide what to keep or if to rewrite it so that it isn’t repetitive. Proportion is a more difficult issue, it can be a proportion issue for a character, dialogue, narrative, etc. You need to decide what is wrong with the proportion – do you have too much? Not enough? Then you need to decide how to fix it, which is a whole other problem.

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Hibernation and RADF Grants

I guess most of you think that I have been hibernating for the Winter. In truth I have been so busy with the university course Research for Writers through Swinburne University that I haven’t had time to consider hibernation.

The end of my course coincided with the beginning of The Year of the Edit masterclass series which I’m participating in with RADF  grant funding. What is a RADF grant you ask? For those of you that would like to find out I’ve included some links below.

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Logan City Council partnership to support local arts and culture.

Arts Queensland Website

Logan City Council Website

The Year of the Edit series of masterclasses has so far taught me the importance of scene mapping, before this I used stationary cards and outlines which was and still will be a useful tool when creating the story however not so useful when it came to editing the storyline.

I had also put my first ten pages of my novel in to be critiqued by the group and found the advice given by the other participants was relevant to my story and a great help for giving me further direction.

If you are looking for a group to critique your work and for you to critique their work, you should first learn what critiquing is and what it isn’t. You can find this information on my How To page for Critiquing.

Once you know the basics it is best to test out a few groups and see which ones you enjoy and get the most out of. Instinct will guide you into the group that is most suitable for you for the level you are; whether that is beginner, intermediate or the more advanced writer.

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Sharing Fiji

It would hardly be fair of me to go on a trip to Fiji and get back without sharing my experience of the place. I have to say it would be one of the best holidays I have ever been on.

We stayed on Treasure Island and every morning the first thing we saw outside was the gorgeous ocean. The water was so clear that when we went kayaking over to another island we could see the fish swimming underneath and the snorkeling was amazing.

The staff on the island were welcoming and friendly and always said ‘Bula’ the Fijian word for hello first.

To sum up my experience in Fiji on Treasure Island I’m going to show you another photo. Yes people, this is a photo, not a post card! Enjoy!

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First Chapter of Novel

I have decided to submit the first chapter of my novel as assessment for my course. In the end the decision to choose the novel chapter over the short story was easy. I had given myself time to work on one assignment and I’ve been wanting to get back to the novels.

I’ve chosen to work on my very first novel affectionately called Blood as a working title. I’m hoping to use the masters to get it completely finished, edited and polished.

The schedule for writing the other novel in progress Shallishee Storm has now been delayed due to my study and work schedule. After standing back and realising just what I’m trying to squeeze into this year I’ll be happy if Blood is completed to a publishing standard at the end of the masters. Anything else will be a bonus.

The moral of the story is that sometimes you need to take stock of your life and realise that a goal you have set previously needs to be altered. It’s also important to make sure the goals you set aren’t reliant on other people or companies. If they are make sure the goal you set is something you can obtain without being on their timeline.

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Writing Assignment

It’s the third week of my Master of Arts in  Writing course and I have started to think about what I’m going to do for the major assignment. The topic matter is really open – it has to be your original writing and about 2000 words, there are no other restrictions.

I find when the scope of the writing genre is so wide that it is hard to choose what genre to write in, let alone an idea for that genre. The first thing to do is think of your options – poetry, song writing, review writing, short story, novel chapter and many more. Be brutal when it comes to narrowing down your list. My list now consists of two genres – short story or novel chapter.

If I choose the novel chapter it will be one of the two novel manuscripts I already have in progress. Do I want my first chapter critiqued while I’m still working on the story? My other option is a short story which I would create from scratch. I’m excited about this because it means creating new work. Creating new work means fresh characters, new settings and new situations.

Exciting isn’t it?


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Master of Arts in Writing

It’s official, I’ve been accepted into the Master of Arts Writing Program and yes, I’m EXCITED!

I was accepted into the program via recognition of prior learning and also had two of the units credited for the very same reason. When I first applied I wasn’t sure that I would have a chance as I hadn’t completed an undergraduate certificate let alone a diploma.

I’m lucky that in Brisbane there is so much support for writers and I have always had other options than just the courses that the universities offer. It was these masterclasses, workshops and critiquing groups that have helped me become the writer I am today. The writer with the confidence to apply for a course seemingly out of their reach.

Now I look forward to my first unit – Real Life Writing and the challenges I’m sure it will bring.

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New page

I have now put up a new page under the How To section on my website. It’s called Finding An Idea and like the title says it’s all about how to find ideas. The exercises are ones that I use to come up with new ideas and some are more successful for me than others.

The ones that are most successful for me may be the exercises you find the least successful.  Give them all a try and see which one works best for you, it may even be a combo of two of the exercises.

Not every idea fishing exercise is on here. If you have one that has been left off and you think other writers should know about it, please leave a comment.

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