I’ll be teaching at Conflux!

A person giving a presentation in an auditoriumYes, you read the title right.

I’ll be teaching  a workshop at Conflux this October.


Because I’ve been lucky enough to find answers to many the questions I’ve had over the last few years in regard to story, structure and reader expectations, and I’d like to pass some of them on.

I’ve compiled as much of my research as I could into a workshop designed to benefit almost any writer, even those who already know everything (like I thought I did). ;-D

So, what’s this workshop about?

Did you ever get the feeling your story wasn’t working? Or not working well enough?

Perhaps you gave it to some beta readers and their reactions didn’t inspire confidence despite the fact they said they liked it?

I’ve had that feeling, and no matter what I changed, people weren’t reacting the way they were supposed to (i.e., by demanding the sequel).

The prose itself was tight, the characters believable, the world intensely real (at least to me), and the story amazing (I might be showing a little bias).

The point is, the story I saw in my head didn’t translate to the page, and I didn’t know how to fix that.

In short, I didn’t have a story that met readers expectations in the ways it was supposed to.

At every level of schooling I ever attended, right through to university, I was told a story needed a beginning, middle and end, but nobody told me what those parts demanded or how to go about identifying problems or areas that weren’t working.

And that’s what I intend to teach in my workshop – the elements of story – the things that nobody else will teach you because most people aren’t even aware they exist.

So if you’ve got the time, come along and take the workshop.

It’s free for Conflux members and ridiculously cheap if you’re not.

You can find more details on the Conflux website: Planning and Structuring a Novel: A Conflux workshop.

The Elements of Novels at the Conflux Writers Day

Conflux BannerJust a brief announcement to say I’ve written a guest post for the CSFG Blog on my upcoming presentation at the Conflux Writers Day on 5 April.

If you’re coming, please check it out.

While you’re over at the CSFG blog, you’ll find a submission call for the next CSFG Anthology, The Never Never Land!

You never know, I might get my act together and actually submit something for this one myself.

Have a great weekend, and hopefully I’ll see you at the Conflux Writers Day!

Conflux Writers Day April 2014

Conflux BannerJust a brief post to let everyone know I’ll be doing two presentations at the Conflux Writers Day on Saturday April 5, which is a prelude to the Aurealis Awards that night.

The inaugural Conflux Writers Day will take place at University House, Australian National University, Canberra.

The theme is ‘The Writers Journey’, which will be covered by four sub-themes – Writing Skills, Writing Processes, Submission and Publication and Building a Career.

My first presentation, Presenting Your Blog Posts for Maximum Impact will focus on:

  • text layout
  • readability
  • images and other features
  • how to keep people on your site for longer
  • accessibility issues and what to avoid.

My second presentation, The Elements of Novels, will feature information about:

  • balancing the beginning, middle and end
  • purpose of theme
  • how to distil a novel into a single, sharp, meaningful sentence
  • the three essential characters every novel needs (and how they work together).

In all, there will be a total of twenty sessions, plus an additional four plenary sessions by:

  • Joanne Anderton
  • Kaaron Warren
  • Ian McHugh
  • Keri Arthur

It will be well worth your time if you’re able to come.

Further information:

You might like to check out my Novel Structure Diagram which forms part of The Elements of Novels presentation.

Is it April already?

Just a brief update to say I’m still hitting my goals, although the one with the most potential at the moment is that I’ve shipped a query to an agent. Fingers crossed yet again!

Otherwise, I’m about halfway through another proofread of my epic fantasy novel (no matter how many times I go through it I always pick up more mistakes/typos etc.

I’m also about a third of the way through the edit of my urban fantasy novel. Editing isn’t writing unfortunately, but it’s still getting stuff done.

The main news however is that Australia’s Nation, Conflux, is on this month. I’ve been doing lots of preparation for it. I’ve got:

  • a panel on the Thursday afternoon called Elevator Pitches with publisher Marc Gascoigne and agents Tara Wynne and Alex Adsett
  • a workshop on the Friday morning called Distilling Your Story, where I’ll teach people the art of creating elevator pitches/loglines/one-liners.
  • another panel on the Saturday evening called Star Wars, The Rebirth, where we’ll ‘create’ our ideal Star Wars 7. I’m thinking both the Rebellion and the remnants of the Empire should join forces and hunt down Jar Jar Binks. Please tell me you’re with me on that one!

While I’ll admit I’m a little nervous (all this convention participation is way outside my comfort zone), I’m also somewhat excited for the same reasons.

If you see me at Conflux before, after or between my panels please say ‘hello’, or perhaps join me at my workshop on the Friday Morning. If you can’t make it to Conflux, you can always find me Google Plus.


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