On Writing

Writers, editors, agents, publishers and more share their thoughts, experiences and stories.

headshot of Lee Kofman

Many writers, particularly the confessional ones to whose clan I belong, depend on people in their lives to inspire their work. But what makes a good muse? “Nice” people would rarely stimulate art. Art demands a complex character and often such complexity has something to do with force, intensity. In short, Kerouac nailed it.

headshot of Lee Kofman

When famous writers decide to get grumpy with their fans, one of their popular complaints is being asked supposedly ridiculous questions, such as whether they write with a pen or a pencil, or nowadays – a keyboard.

Photo of Euan Mitchell

As more authors move into publishing their own ebooks, the sometimes confusing implications of their decisions are becoming more and more important. In the lead-up to his new Digital Makeover for Writers in March, Euan Mitchell explains the truth behind some common misconceptions in digital publishing.

Euan is a former senior editor for a major publisher. As a writer he has three novels and a range of non-fiction books to his credit. He has also successfully published other writers in a range of genres. Euan has taught writing, editing and publishing at Monash University, Victoria...

headshot of Lee Kofman

Welcome to my first ever feature for this website. Here I’m going to develop a conversation with you about the craft of writing. More precisely, my intent is to focus on that tough beast called “the writing process”.

I believe that understanding this process is more important for a writer than learning so-called rules of craft, which in our post-Raymond Carver times, teachers and books on writing like to bestow on their students – such as, “don’t use any adverbs” or “no more than one adjective per noun is allowed”. But – have you ever read Gail Jones? Or that guy, Lev Tolstoy, for...

Interior of a bookshop

For some writers, the idea of promoting their book makes them want to quietly vomit into their hand. “Why should I have to promote my book?” they cry. “Surely the work speaks for itself!” I get where they’re coming from. We’re writers because we’re the kind of people who like to edit the hell out of ourselves. We’re not good at that whole “spontaneous” thing, or that “talking in front of massive crowds” caper.

Photo of  Inez Baranay in front of a bookshelf

Inez Baranay, our Year of the Novel tutor, answers 10 quick questions about being a novelist, writing rooms and resembling the Red Queen.

Jean Flynn tackles the many misconceptions about romance writing.

Clare Connelly

Maximise Your Wordcount

CC: What do you enjoy most about writing (and reading) romance fiction? 

Clare: I’ve loved romance novels for as long as I can remember – and for many reasons. I love the guaranteed happy ending, the escapism, the glamour and of course the whole falling-in-love bit! 

CC: What comes first for you when writing a novel: character, plot, setting or voice?

Nina Killham

Finishing Your Novel

CC: Your novels have been described as “rollicking” and “wickedly funny.” Being funny on the page is one of the most difficult elements of a writer’s craft. To what do you attribute your success?