Lynda Davies arrived in Brisbane to attend university, and
A Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts (Honours), later she figured the
higher education bug had bitten well and truly and she went to work in a University. With a Master of Philosophy
and the Professional Children's Writing Diploma at the Australian College of Journalism under her belt, shestarted
writing children's and young adult fiction.
But a PhD beckoned, and she can now see the finishing line in sight. Her
postgraduate studies cover fantasy literature, Celtic myth, issues of morality and ethics in children's literature
and creative writing. There have been numerous academic publications in these areas, including co-convening a
national conference "Galactic Jurisprudence"; presentations at both academic and industry conferences; online fora;
and workshops on writing for primary schools.
day she works in academic staff development on assessment in higher education.
Lynda's strength lies not only in being able to see clearly
what really works in writing fiction and non-fiction, but in being able to help others see it
I made a list of the 'things' we writers are supposed to pay attention to when editing our manuscripts. Patterns emerged from those lists and I found three main functions could be identified and they subsequently formed the basis of my editing framework: structure; style and technique; and grammar, spelling and proofing.
- Structure vs Outlines
You may remember from my last article the conversation I had with my supervisor about structure and the book he recommended I read - Story: Substance, structure, style and the principles of screen-writing by Robert McKee. Initially my heart sank when he told me to get the book from the library. I had a complete first draft ready for editing. If I needed help understanding structure, how much more work was the draft going to need?
- Just Edit
So what do you do with an existing manuscript? How do we apply the Self-Editing Framework to analyse our manuscript? This column article is going to be a little different to its lead-up articles that outlined and discussed the Self-Editing Framework. I'll be sharing with you the things I learned as I applied the Framework to my manuscript and as such this article should be seen as a companion-piece to those earlier ones...
How should a writer plan his or her novel? use the 'Novel Well Planned' model, or the "Write and Plan as You Go" version? For a soul who likes plans, I have to confess that I have now followed both writing paths and have been surprised at how much I enjoyed both. Let me explain...
- Starting Again
When you edit a manuscript you have been working with for some time, you are comfortable with it, familiar with it, know your characters, and know where the story is going. So the thought of: "what next?" and "starting again" can be a little daunting. How do you go about starting again? What have you learned from your editing experiences that you can apply to your next project?
- Creating Meaning
We write because we have something to say. Regardless of the type of writing we employ, being able to tell our audience what we mean is of critical importance. It's true of fiction, biography, departmental report or email. In this article I'm going to focus on 'audience' and 'meaning', exploring why I believe they're so important to good writing, and looking at ways we can create meaning simply and elegantly in fiction.