Tuesday, April 28, 2009


At last! At last, at last, at last! I've been such a slack blogger because all of my time, every evening and every weekend, has been taken up with putting my writing tips site onto the web. And finally it's done! Complete with graphics, and all the icons, links, navbar, everything!

Just in time too, because my Honorary Fellowship at Wollongong Uni has come to an end - they seem to think I haven't been doing enough research. (Huh!) So that means my dreamweaver software at uni, for putting up sites, is about to be cut off from connection to the web - in fact, it WAS cut off a week ago, but I managed to get a short reprieve. I'll buy my own software when I buy a new laptop soon, but then I'll have to spend time learning an updated, more advanced version of dreamweaver.

Anyway, I made it - and I should have most of the new Worldshaker pages up on richardharland.net too, before I get the chop (ouch!) So let me say something about the writing tips site, which is at


It all started from a Bookfeast event, when senior students from one High School wanted to talk to me about the old writing tips on my author website, which they'd found very helpful when working on their extension English projects. I was flattered - and amazed, because those tips were, well, just the tip of the iceberg of what I could have done. So I decided to perform a public service and do a proper job of it on a separate website.

Somehow it just kept growing and growing. Now there's a 145 page website of tips for fantasy, speculative fiction and genre writers, as big as a small book and totally FREE. I took four months off from my own fiction writing to write the text, and more than a hundred hours to do all the website stuff. (I'd sort of forgotten what I once used to know about dreamweaver - had to learn most of it all over again.)

The tips range across all levels from basic to advanced. There’s (i) Good Writing Habits, getting feedback and revising; (ii) Action, Setting, Dialogue and presenting Inner Thought; (iii) creating Characters and character’s point of view; (iv) Story from beginning to climax, narrative momentum and pacing; (v) Language, style, first-person narration, names and titles; and, last but not least, (vi) Getting Published – how the publishing system works, how to break into it and what happens afterwards. The lot! It's all there at -


Last night, I actually got to do some reading for pleasure. Who knows, I may feel so stress-free by tomorrow, I might do a jigsaw puzzle!



Havock21 said...

A service you will most likely get little for, but done for the right reasons.

Tehani Wessely said...

I received a lovely little mailout promoting this to my library today! Can't wait to share it with the English team. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dude deverves an OA for such commitment to Australian(and world) writing.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Sounds like you deserve a jigsaw puzzle day!

Anonymous said...


I'll level with you. I'm trawling blogs, commenting (with all due respect) on recent entries in the hope it'll bring some attention to my own blog, but I have to be honest and say that site is a gold mine. I already spent nearly forty minutes reading it.

I'm feeling guilty for even coming here, though obviously not guilty enough to just slope off without commenting.

I finished downloading the pdf about twenty minutes ago and it's a treasure.

Richard, I think you delayed my project for at least a week while I absorb this. Probably longer.

FWIW I'm going to link the guide from my blog, unless you specifically object here. I hope it'll count for something eventually.