I watch a lot of YouTube blogs and many many of them start with the blogger apologising for not posting for long periods of time as if people are waiting for them with bated breath.  I know that no one is waiting for me to blog and that is just fine. I talk to myself a lot anyway so this won't be any different.

Te Papa Tupu

For the past six months I have been locked in a dark room hunched over my laptop rewriting and polishing the crap (hopefully) out of my manuscript with notes from my Mentor, Tania Roxborogh, for Te Papa Tupu, the Maori Literature Foundation Writers Incubator Programme.  I submitted my manuscript a week ago, and now I am a knackered mess.  


Te Papa Tupu was  a wonderful experience, apart from COVID messing up our third Auckland workshop and my Gaul bladder deciding to go fecking haywire.  I thought having kids was hard, but nope, the pain is like something spewed out of Dante's Inferno.  

 I've had a ten year relationship with the Novel I'd submitted to Te Papa Tupu which has gone from love, to psychopathic obsession, to hate, to loathing, to ambivalence, to a cheeky flirtation and slowly, very slowly, back to love. 
Most of my angst about the manuscript was because I knew there were things wrong with it, and I knew what they were, but I had no clue how to fix. 
Yes fix.
They say that if you truly love a thing you accept everything about it, the good, the bad and the ugly. Ha! Well we all know that isn't true. Show me a someone who hasn't overtly or passive aggressively manipulated some sort of change in their partner and I'll give you a bag of magic beans.

My desk

Writing is about rewriting, rewriting and rewriting. Which is what I'm doing right now. No one...and I mean no one has a perfect first draft and if they think they do, they are delusional.  Even with the intervention of muses, angels and a pantheon of Gods, your first draft is shit.


I learned about things like saving the cat. 
At some point the protagonist must do something that creates a connection with the reader. Preferably something kind...considerate...human, even if the rest of the time he/she/it is an arse.


Then there are the puppies you have to drown, the passages that are exquisitely crafted and perfect but which don't push the story forward and need to be excised. 

Filter words

Then there are the filter words (Which turned out to be most of my vocabulary) that have to be eliminated as they create a separation of reader from story.  If you want this list that I assembled from everything available in books and on the interwebs write me.

..and...of course...of course


There is the evil that is the adverb. There is a lot of smack out there in the world about adverbs. According to Stephen King they pave the road to hell; Elenore Catton called them supple and sly; Henry James adored them but Elmore Leonard believed they were a mortal sin. 
Personally I don't have strong feelings about them and I don't know who is right and who is wrong. But I get rid of almost all of them even though all the writers I love and read, and more importantly buy, quite fancy the odd adverb.
 So what the heck do I know?  T
hat's just it. I
 don't know.
 So it's best to take a back seat on this, buckle up, and let the experts do the driving.

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
W. Somerset Maugham

Heart of the Tapu Stone - The Screenplay

Heart of the Tapu Stone - Breaking it down for the Screenplay

I have no idea why I decided to write a screenplay of my first  Novel but I am...talk about it next time...