The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #1

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Many emerging authors ask me what it takes to be a ‘real writer’.  Is it writing a novel, getting a degree, finding an agent?  Is it getting published, winning an award, making a living?  My reply is always a much simpler proposition: is writing what you do?  Not what you like, or what you want.  What you do.

To help you determine if you’re a real writer, I’ve compiled a guide of four do’s and don’ts of the trade.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll examine each in some detail.  First up – one of my favourite ‘don’t’s:

Real writers don’t talk about how they’ll write a book one day.

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You Need To Concentrate

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Yes.  You do.

So, purchase the acclaimed Aussie YA novel from here.  It’s only $3.99.  It will do wonders for your book smarts.

And, as an added little bonus, why not get some insight into the collaborative process of the Brothers Groth via the younger BG, Simon.  Here’s a snippet:

We have tried collaboration before a few times. We tried taking alternate chapters. We tried taking on different characters. Nothing really worked and I consigned the whole endeavour to the ‘revisit one of these days’ file. Little did I know Darren was hatching his own variation on the concept.

What we eventually hit on was taking alternate drafts. The result was similar to writer-editor only with the editor taking a far more active role adding character layers and additional narrative. Our model was less ’50 per cent text each’ and something more like what Joel and Ethan Coen do: share the writing credits where one or the other might take the lead on any individual project. Seems to work well for them. Why not us? We are already brothers after all.

Catch the rest of it at Simon’s fine online home.

Release The Freak

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The North American Kindle edition of the acclaimed Brothers Groth novel Concentrate – titled The Focus and the Freak – is now available.

Quality young adult/crossover writing for the price of a cup of coffee…What reader could ask for more?

The ‘Never Dead’ Principle

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned as an author – and let’s face it, this might be the only thing I’ve learned – it’s the ‘never dead’ principle.  A manuscript, a short story, a book that for all intents and purposes appears to have been pine-boxed can rise up out of the ground and zombie along into new momentum.

I’ve experienced this with pretty much all my work, most notably my second published book, Most Valuable Potential (I won’t go into the gory details – suffice to say I believed it deader than a canary in a toxic mine the day it was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards).  And just this week, Kindling joined the resuscitated ranks of its predecessors.

What gave it the kiss of life?  Nothing so dramatic as a major award shortlisting; just a very kind, very affecting, very passionate review from someone who read Kindling for the first time, eighteen months after its joyous birth and twelve months after its doleful passing.  It demonstrated to me once again that work out in the world makes its own way, in it’s own time.  It assured me there is an immortality to words an author commits to the page; an unceasing story pulse that may vary between frenetic and faint, but ultimately won’t ever fail.

It was a timely reminder of the ‘never dead’ principle.

Get Shorties

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A Cartoon by Tom Gauld

2012 is counting down!  And before the Mayan calendar ticks over to its ‘Have a Jolly Apocalypse’ day, I thought I’d add my published shorts to darrengroth.com:

Sunday Matinee
Sleeping With Lionel Richie
True Patriot Love
Sympathy Via Satellite

Feel free to let me know your favourite.

‘Infinite Blue’ – The Teaser

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The Brothers Groth – Simon and Yours Truly – had an auspicious start to their collaboration with novel, Concentrate, being shortlisted in the 2009 Text Prize (although it still has yet to be contracted by a publisher…WTF).

The draft of the second B-Gro work, Infinite Blue, is underway and promises more YA lit of the highest order.  Here’s a blurb:

Infinite Blue

The Brothers Groth

Skye Sandalford’s boyfriend, Clayton Drummond, is earmarked for greatness.  Nineteen years old and propelled by size eighteen feet, he is the prototype of a swimming prodigy.  But his destiny won’t only be defined by world records.  Powered by ‘Team Drum’ – comprising career-plotting mother, Blythe, God-fearing father, Len, and an entourage of consultants – this good looking, articulate Aussie dubbed ‘Wake’ can transcend the boundaries of sport and fire the imagination of a world in search of heroes.

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Dare To Compare

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‘Authors Compare’ is a terrific new initiative created by the Australian Literature Review that gathers writers from across the globe into one cyber-room to provide their thoughts on technique, best practice and the publishing game experience.

To discover my gospel on story, narrative style and the debut novelist’s lot, click here.  And, if reading my ramblings isn’t enough for you, keep an eye out for the site’s analysis essay contest in future days.

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