Slide 1


Slide 1


previous arrow
next arrow

State of play – September-October 2016

What I’m writing

Yes, I’m still editing


I’ve been trying out Scrivener this month, as almost every author I know seems to be saying it’s the best thing since sliced bread. After working with it for about two weeks, I’m still on the fence. I just don’t know if I’m mastering the software fast enough for it to be useful, and I’m concerned that my lack of competence is making it hard for me to feel confident that I’m backing things up correctly. A couple of other things are annoying – Scrivener adds additional quote marks to Word docs I’ve transferred over, and I have to go through manually and pick them all out; I can’t get page counts in any of my documents.

A few issues were more about my own personal working style. Yes, Scrivener’s fabulous for making pinboards and so on, but I find that the pinboard part of any book project is great only at the beginning – after that I use pinboards et al. almost exclusively as a way to procrastinate. I also start forgetting to update pinboards and notes and things once I start getting into the meat of the story – I don’t want to go back and keep my notes etc ‘up to date’, it just feels like a waste of time.

It could be that I’m making slow progress on the edit, which is making me resent the need to master the software – it could be an associative thing. But I don’t know if I’ll want to start my next project in Scrivener. If I get a chance, I’ll attend a ‘learn Scrivener fast and become a writing genius’ workshop of some kind, and see if there are things I’m missing in the DIY-learning approach that I could overcome to make the software more useful to me. But at this stage, I’ve abandoned Scrivener and gone back to re-organising the edit in Word again. (Oh dear! A recidivist!)

What probably disappointed me the most about Scrivener was that none of the following buttons was available:

1.‘Manuscript Auto-Edit’ button

2.‘Manuscript Becomes Instantly More Awesome Than Any Manuscript That Ever Was’ button

3.‘Daily Affirmation For the Insecure Author’ button

4.‘Glass of Wine’ button

5.‘Make That Two Glasses of Wine’ button

6.‘Cake – Because You’ve Worked So Hard Today’ button

7.‘Cone of Silence/Mute-Your-Family’ button

Call me picky (really, go ahead) but those were the buttons I was looking for with this software, and they just weren’t there. I honestly don’t think that adding these seven buttons is too much to ask.

What I’m up to

On October 8, I’m going to be at Nunawading Library with Danielle Binks, Floss the Fangirl, Lili Wilkinson (THE BOUNDLESS SUBLIME) and Shivaun Plozza (FRANKIE) for the YA Fanfest. Book here for tickets – it’s a free event, but they want to know how many TimTams to put out.

On October 11 and 18, I’m presenting another Crime-writing workshop for GATEways students, through Writers Victoria and the Wheeler Centre – sorry, folks, that’s by invitation only.

On October 14, I’ll be at Balmoral for the Stella program, talking to students there with Bec Kavanagh.

I’m also going to the GEMINA launch in Melbourne on October 21 at the SLV – be there or be nowhere!

What’s bugging me

The Lionel Shriver Thing – ye gads. So many issues. I’ve actually saved the links to every single bloomin’ article that I could find on the whole palava (one of my kids wants to do a school project on it), so if you want to find out about it, go here:

Lionel Shriver’s initial ABC Brisbane interview (prior to Brisbane Writer’s Festival)

Lionel Shriver’s speech (transcript)

Yassmin Abdul-Magied’s article

Yen-Rong Wong’s article

Nesrine Malik’s article

The Minefield (radio discussion with Waleed Aly)

The New York Times

The New York Times again (this is Shriver’s response)


Sydney Morning Herald

Maxine Beneba Clarke’s article

Helen Razer’s initial article

Helen Razer’s follow-up article

The Age



Australian Business Review

The Conversation

The Washington Post

The New Republic

The Daily Telegraph

Adolfo Aranjuez’s article

Adolfo Aranjuez’s follow-up article

The Guardian – various novelists respond

I’m not going to give an account of my position on the issue, if you were wondering. But I do think the shitstorm surrounding it has been divisive and negative for the entire literary community. I would very much like to see a broader cultural spread within the publishing industry. I would also really like to believe that, one day, we could all have a discussion about ideas without it turning into an online bunfight.

What’ I’m looking forward to

The GEMINA LAUNCH, whoo baby! (This is where I confess my secret love of post-launch karaoke. Not that there is any guarantee of karaoke. That is not my call.)

On my TBR

A small madnessI finished a bunch of books over the past month – A SMALL MADNESS by Dianne Touchell (which is the #LoveOzYAbookclub read for this month), WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN by Lionel Shriver (good timing, wot), THE ICE AGE by Luke Williams, GAMECHANGERS: FROM MINECRAFT TO MISOGYNY by Dan Golding and Leena Van Deventer, and a bunch of other stuff.

game-changersWhat I’m hoping to read over the next month is THE CALL by Peadar O’Guilin – I’ve heard mutterings about this YA fantasy dystopia that suggest good things. Also, I’d like to dig into THE PYJAMA GIRL MYSTERY by Richard Evans, which was lent to me by a friend. And I’ll be getting a copy of GEMINA at the launch, so I’ll be fighting my kids for that one soon.

That’s not to mention that I’ve had WORDS IN DEEP BLUE by Cath Crowley on the pile beside my bed for aaages, and I’m too scared to pick it up because I know it will be unmitigated awesome and while I’m ploughing through my edit I just don’t think I can face it. But as soon as the edit’s done – mate, I’m gonna be on that faster than lizard spit.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top