Tag Archives: nsw writers centre

On Emerging Writers

What is an “emerging writer”? Emerging from where? And I thought writers developed. They don’t spring upon the world fully formed. But perhaps “developing writer” doesn’t sound quite so good.

I went to the Emerging Writers Festival in Sydney yesterday. I nearly didn’t go but a friend was asking on Twitter and that put the thought in my head. I had often read about the EWF in Melbourne, where it covers a week or more of programs. Then, too, I’d been to the Sydney Writers Festival this year and was distinctly underwhelmed. The problem with the SWF is that most of the program seems to be adulation of writers, with just a fraction of the content about helping new writers.

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Where do ideas go?

It could be said that unpublished writers can be divided into roughly two types: those that have lots of partial projects and those that nurse only a few. Well, maybe that’s not entirely fair. But sad tales are not that hard to find of unpublished authors with one nearly finished manuscript that they’ve been working on for the last decade.

It does make me think, though, about what people do with story ideas. Some are clearly big ones that can generate an epic book series (J. K. Rowling comes to mind). Others are only big enough to distract a secondary character for a page-and-a-half, maybe to help differentiate them from the main protagonist. Not that this is a bad thing. A lot of writing requires creation of these little ideas and many many many articles and blog posts are written about where to find these. They can often come out of two characters interacting: it is common during NaNoWriMo for writers to discover that character interactions can drive their story in new and unexpected directions. Sometimes annoyingly so.

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