What does an introvert party-goer know about writing scenes? A lot it seems.


First of all, just like our party goer, don’t arrive too early in your scene (or your whole book for that matter). Arrive as late as you can at the party – ie just before the candles are lit, the speeches are made, all the important stuff happens. Same with scenes/stories/books. Don’t make the reader wade through a whole lot of unnecessary small talk/backstory. Instead cut right to the chase. Enter the scene just when the really big thing is about to happen. In fancy terms this is called In Media Res -or as I like to call it – CUT TO THE CHASE. Get rid of any unnecessary lead up and get us to the most important moment, that inciting incident or plot twist or heart-clutching moment as soon as you can. 


Much as the introvert needs to survey the party’s landscape to find a route to the host, the writer needs to ground the reader in where the scene is taking place and show us who our host is for the scene. Who is the Point of View Character? Make it clear early whose perspective we’re in. The easiest way to choose your POV character is by choosing the character who has most to lose. Make sure the reader knows whose side we’re on and get that introvert over to the host so their presence is registered.


Now introverts aren’t exactly known for being the life of the party, but getting out on the dancefloor makes your presence very visible and everyone will remember you being at the party. When writing our scene/story, we want some ACTION, no just hanging around the backstory or hiding out in the kitchen/interior monologue. Instead move straight into some action. Dialogue is action. Your characters interacting is action. Movement towards plot goals or against them is action. Leet your reader know you’ve arrived at the party.


Yes, that’s the ultimate introvert party goer trick. You’ve turned up, found the host, made sure everyone knew you were there by dancing, then, as soon as the candles are blown out, you’re off! Same with your scene/story. Once you’ve hit the climax or key turning point in your scene, don’t wear out your welcome by overanalysing the action or rambling on about the deeper meaning for paragraphs. Just leave. Readers are intelligent folk. Let them figure out what it all means themselves. So writers, hit your climax, then get out of there fast! Move on to the next scene and apply the same rules.

Early on in my writing career I was lucky enough to win a mentorship with esteemed editor Judith Lukin-Amundsen who has worked with Kate Grenville and Tim Winton. The first task she assigned me was to go through the whole manuscript and cut at least 10%. Then she made me go through and examine each paragraph and cut the first and last sentences! I tried to be good and do exactly as she said and mostly it made those paragraphs sing, but sometimes I kept my darlings, the precious ones. So, as with any advice, follow your own gut instincts. Try out the advice, see if it works for you and if it does, then BINGO! If it doesn’t, fiddle around with it and adapt it to suit your purposes.

So party goers and writers all, try out this method for parties, and writing, and see how you go. Let me know! Did it work for you?

Keep smiling fellow writers. The world is still a beautiful place and stories are valuable and important. Your voice is valuable and important.

Lots of love,

Edwina xx

PS. Would you just LOVE a weekend away in paradise to write, relax and connect with other writing women and non-binary folk? Check out my RELAX AND WRITE RETREATS! Places for Magnetic Island June 2- 4 2023 available now!


Happy New Year! May it rain blessings and kindness upon us all.

The lead up to Christmas is all hustle and bustle and busyness and shopping and family and ARGH! It can feel overwhelming, but then we hit that post-Christmas slump where we finally get to have that little lie down we’ve been craving. I LOVE this time to relax and be quiet, away from all the noise of the world, to review the year that’s been and dream about the year ahead.

woman sprinkling inspiration from the moon
Like magic!

My word for this year is FUN! I know I’m going to be busy again, but this year I want to make sure I’m enjoying the ride more – finding the joy in even the most mundane of tasks. Doing the dishes is fun if I blow bubbles. Driving my car can be fun if I’m singing and admiring the view. Teaching for me is always fun, but writing, well sometimes over the past few years, writing has felt torturous. I want it to be fun again. 

Do you feel this way too? Has the sparkle dulled on your writing dreams? Have rejections tarnished the shine on those stories you loved to write? How can we reclaim our joy in our creative writing practice?

Liz Gilbert wrote about this in her wonderful book Big Magic. From her I learnt that I needed to take the pressure off my writing. To stop expecting it to pay the bills. To stop blaming it for getting rejected. Once I allowed my creativity more playtime to just muck around and try new things, experiment with new forms, and write small pieces just for fun, I felt much better. I remembered the fun I had as a kid making up stories and the thrill of seeing where the story took me, seemingly of its own will. Don’t expect your writing to pay your bills, instead expect it to give you thrills! Write for fun to a few prompts or write a quick piece of flash in an unfamiliar genre. Anything to give you that spark of newness.


For many years now I’ve been struggling with the accumulated mountain of rejections that had been building up over two decades of writing and submitting. I know we have to submit a lot in order to get published (SUBMIT SUBMIT SUBMIT) but submitting a lot also means a mountain of rejections. And rejection is never fun. A dark cloud hung over everything I wrote, every story I submitted was cloaked in a dreary gloom of fear and hopelessness. I knew this wasn’t helping my chances of publication but no matter how I tried to feel differently about the realities of this profession, those feelings persisted.

However, during my period of reviewing and renewing after Christmas, I realised that I could change this feeling and help myself feel more positive and excited about my writing again. I took a feeling of great joy from another activity – for me that’s bodysurfing, catching the perfect wave, – and saw myself catching that wave with a new publisher beside me, both of us holding my book out before us, grinning like fools! And like magic, I felt better. It felt silly and fun and light-hearted and joyful, the way I’d felt about writing and getting published when I first started back in 2002. I enlarged the vision to include readers of my book, all catching that wave with me and my publisher, laughing as we rode that wave together, my book held out in front. It still makes me smile.

What makes you laugh? What brings a smile to your face? Maybe it’s climbing a mountain, or singing a song, or holding a baby, or baking a cake or ferris wheels or Mickey Mouse or having a bath. Whatever it is, see if you can transfer that feeling to your writing dreams and shift some of those stubborn old disappointments and beliefs that aren’t bringing you any joy.

A new beginning is arising, and we are here to run with it, to create and express and share our stories with the world, with joy and the knowledge that our voices deserve to be heard.

What are your writing dreams for 2023? How can you fill them with a feeling of fun? Let’s enjoy this year and help each other as much as we can.

I’ve created a new ONLINE CRASH COURSE IN CREATIVE WRITING to help my new writing friends that covers all the elements essential to writing good stories, be they fiction or memoir or a mix of both. I’ve taken everything I’ve learnt over my two decades in the writing and publishing industry and created this fun, interactive, LIVE online course starting on January 21. See more and join up HERE.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Wishing you a wonderful year full of inspiration, glowing sentences, waves to catch, and most of all, readers and publishers who pick up your story and see it glow!

Lots of love,

Edwina xx