Ep 185 Have you started your book in the right place? And meet picture book author and AWC alumni Shelly Unwin.

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podcast-artworkIn this minisode of So you want to be a writer: Have you started your book in the right place? And meet picture book author and AWC alumni Shelly Unwin.

Got a question for Val and Al? Ask at podcast [at] writerscentre [dot] com [dot] au

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Listener Questions

Anon asks:

Hi Val and Al,

Firstly thanks for a fantastic podcast – I listen to each and every one and especially love the new minisodes where I get to hear listener questions and your feedback. It’s invaluable.

I have a question for you about a YA novel I have been working on for about 12 months (my first novel).

I did the Creative Writing Stage 1 course early last year and loved it. It gave me the tools and drive to launch myself into writing a story that has been simmering away in my mind for many years. I have written around 60,000 words now and I feel like I should be coming to the point where I can write the climax and tie the whole thing together.

However, the events that I thought might be the climax of my story feel like they are only a stepping stone in my protagonist’s journey. The way it is feeling is that I am perhaps in the middle of her journey, the middle of the story and I am still far far away from the climax.

It is a little disheartening and I have pulled back from the fervour I had to get this story onto the page. I don’t want it to become an unfinished manuscript that I wasn’t able to follow through on.

What I really want to do is start back at the beginning and work on the structure of the story (as there is very little at the moment – literally pages and pages of text with no distinct chapter breaks). I’d do this in the hope that some some new elements of the story will present themselves and give me pathways or clues to find a climax. If I do that, am I avoiding the task of completing my protagonist’s journey? How can I find the motivation to continue on and ‘write the book’ as you so often like to say, when I feel like I’m just wading through murky waters and getting nowhere?

Very much looking forward to some feedback to help me through this! 🙂


Writer in Residence

Shelly Unwin

Shelly Unwin is a children’s picture book author. Her debut series of five picture books, You’re One!, You’re Two!, You’re Three!, You’re Four!, and You’re Five! picture book series was published by Allen and Unwin in 2017.

Find out more about Shelly on her website

Follow Shelly on Twitter.

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podcast at writerscentre.com.au

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