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UTS Anthology Launch

Look! It's the cover of the anthology that my short story "Wide-eyed" will be published in!

So, um, wanna come to the book launch? The first one will be at the Sydney Theatre Company on 20 May 2011, as part of the Sydney Writers' Festival. The second launch (because one is never enough) will be at Gleebooks, 3 June 2011. Oh what a thrill!


4 reasons to expose your draft

Do you share your unfinished work?

I've always hated showing my story drafts to people. Thinking about someone's (potentially critical) eyes roving through my tentative words made me feel sick. I feel like they're reading over my shoulder as I'm trying to work it all out. It's a kind of vulnerability that I've avoided for a long time.

That is until I started workshopping my writing in my classes. I can't believe how much I've been missing out! In the right environment, with sensitive, encouraging and insightful people sharing and drafting creative writing can be the best thing for your work. 

You gain so much from sharing your silly little drafts with others. Here are 4 reasons to unveil your unfinished baby:

1. Develop an awareness of the pace of a narrative and the dialogue. I highly recommend reading your pieces out loud to someone or to a group. It can be nerve-wrecking, but it gives you and your audience an opportunity to... well to hear the story. Are your beautiful descriptions just a little too wordy and maybe (gasp) boring? Do your characters sound as stiff and phoney as Ridge Forrester's chin implant? Hearing yourself read it all out can give you great insights!

2. Work to your strengths. You may spend so much energy on your sparkling metaphors, when people really enjoy your narrative voice or your characterisation, which comes so naturally to you. Being able to identify your strengths means that you focus on those, rather than trying to write like someone you're not. You'll also know exactly which bits of your story to keep when it comes time to edit.

3. Find what's not working. No-one likes hearing specific criticism of weaknesses in their work, but being able to pinpoint issues in plot, character, structure is invaluable. It will save you hours, days, weeks of pouring over a manuscript wondering why oh why it's just not working! 

4. Keep the writing process from becoming an isolated and scary thing. Once you share you realise how common your experience really is. 

Do you share your work? Will you start to do so? What other things have you learned from exposing your unfinished work?