July 13, 2018 @ 12:30 AM · Helen at the Helm

Hello again

Sorry for the delay in posting anything last month - life has become quite hectic over the past weeks. After being engrossed in redeveloping training materials for Creative Writing courses, I spent a weekend up in the Goldfields delivering courses in Editing, Self Publishing, Creating Childrens/Photographers Picture Books, and Writing Life Stories for The Society of Women Writers WA. The seven hour train trip up to Kalgoorlie with the group was a great time, and talking with other writers who came along for the weekend made the time travelling fly by, that and the stunning scenery outside the train window.

A week later we ran a Novel Writing Full Day Workshop, the training materials of which were all up-dated and rebranded, taking further time out of my day to day business the week preceding it.

All workshops were highly successful and it was great to meet so many new and aspiring writers from Perth and Kalgoorlie. I am now back to editing some novels for clients and preparing for another full day workshop on Editing.

One of the things that keep coming up during these editing sessions and working on sample edits is the new authors need to 'tell' the story rather than making it more impactive by letting the reader step into the pages and into the characters' shoes.  Use of 'was', 'there was', 'it was', and 'to be' litters the pages of many stories which can be vastly improved for impact simply by removing those words wherever possible. Passive writing is also a common error I try to eradicate while working with new authors - things such as 'in the room of the grandfather' - simply becomes in the grandfather's room. I do however find it exciting to undertake this work on stories, because the more you edit, the more you learn to make your first drafts much much tighter than they might once have been. Try to do this with a piece of your writing and see how much better it sounds.

I hope you are all keeping your pens thin through activity.