Can Creative Writing be taught Part 2

Thanks to Ingrid for organising this.

Ingrid Rickersey

A couple of weeks ago I posed the question “Can creative fiction writing be taught. This was a discussion within our writers group prompted by a newspaper article by Tegan Bennet Daylight.

I recently spoke with popular crime writer Felicity Young to get her thoughts on the subject. Here’s what Felicity had to say

Crime writer:  Felicity Young

Can fiction writing be taught?

 My answer to that is Yes. And No.

I think this topic is thesis-worthy! I’m afraid my comments barely skim the surface, but here’s a start:

A fiction novel is the sum of many components, and it is my belief that a great many of these can be taught. These are what I consider the tools of the trade, the craft of writing, ie the skills and writing techniques we start learning when we are at school. The craft consists of things like spelling, grammar and sentence structure, progressing to the analysis…

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Shortlisting of Elemental, WA Premier’s Book Awards

Voting open to all West Australians. Go, Amanda!

looking up/looking down

elemental_COVERThis week I was thrilled to learn that Elemental has been shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards in the Fiction category. My little red-haired gutting girl is proud to be in the company of these stellar titles:

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (Random House Australia)
Coal Creek by Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)
Eyrie by Tim Winton (Penguin Group Australia)
The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt by Tracy Farr (Fremantle Press)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Random House Australia)

You can read the full press release here.

The six shortlisted titles are also eligible for the People’s Choice Award. You can vote for your favouritehere (WA residents only, and voting closes 29 August).

I was also thrilled to see that the shortlist in a new category, WA Emerging Writers, includes writer friends Dawn Barker for Fractured (you can…

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Crime Master Class with Felicity Young

Ingrid’s better than I am at posting what I’ve been up to recently – thanks Ingrid!

Ingrid Rickersey

Felicity Young, author of several successful crime novels and recent resident writer at Matty Furphy House (Fellowship of Australian Writers) ran a workshop for budding crime writers on the 28th June.

Crime writer:  Felicity Young Crime writer:
Felicity Young

A few crime writing tips fromFelicity.

  • Draw a plot arc to show major events in your story
  • Draw a character arc for each main character, showing crisis,change of heart etc
  • Summarise scenes or chapters on palm cards and lay them out, experimenting with the order of events ( or use Scrivener). You can colour code the cards indicating character’s POV.
  • Solving sodoku puzzles in between writing May help with plotting
  • Research for accuracy
  • Keep a disciplined writing routine
  • Make sure your writing environment is comfortable so you can look forward to settling down to work
  • You don’t have to write what you know provided you can interview someone who does.
  • Carry…

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20 Proven Benefits of Being an Avid Reader

Great article here about reading – courtesy of my mate Tyson Adams.

Tyson Adams

This fMRI scan reveals distinctive increases in brain activity during close reading across multiple brain regions, with strength of activation shown in red for horizontal cross sections of the brain. This fMRI scan reveals distinctive increases in brain activity during close reading across multiple brain regions, with strength of activation shown in red for horizontal cross sections of the brain.

If TV is the lard developing, heart attacking inducing, entertainment form, then reading is the brain workout. I’ve previously posted about how reading is good for the brain, but science is keen on finding out more, so there is always new research that brings up cool findings. I’m reposting an interesting article I found (here) that lists some benefits from reading with links to the research, proving that reading is good for you.


Merely reading a word reflecting a colour or a scent immediately fires up the corresponding section of the brain, which empathises with written experiences as if they actually happened to the audience. Researchers believe this might very well help sharpen the…

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