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!



Oh yeah! It was when my lovely friend, and fellow yoga and writing retreat facilitator, Kerstin Pilz (see our Let’s Talk Writing episodes HERE) showed me this photo that I started to get very, VERY excited! I could see myself on that verandah, sitting on that bamboo daybed with my journal, the music of the stream washing away all the stress of the year, as I wrote freely and joyfully with a huge grin on my face. Oh yeah!

Can you feel it too? Is a retreat far from the busyness and bustle calling you? Is your creative spirit crying out for some loving care? Is it time to put yourself and your writing at the top of your priority list for once?

Do you deserve a really special treat, just for you? You know you do!

This retreat is super special : five nights, six days in the heart of rural Bali, staying at the amazing Bali Eco Stay resort with two excellent :), experienced, creative writing facilitators, published authors, and yoga teachers, gently guiding you back to full health and happiness, and rejuvenating your creative powers! Or you could just dream the day away on your daybed if you like! Beautiful open air bungalows and yoga shala with all equipment provided.

All fresh organic vegetarian meals, airport transfers, special guided tour, cultural activities, complimentary massage and tarot reading, chakra cleansing, one on one session with a facilitator, 6 writing workshops, 5 morning yoga sessions, 4 restorative yoga breathing classes, and your beautiful bungalow accomodation is included! It will be heavenly!

Blissful Bali Writing Retreat

With Kerstin Pilz PhD and Edwina Shaw

Unleash your wild mind and heart

& write your life back into balance

So why don’t you join us at our Blissful Bali Writing Retreat and set your stories free!? 

Get your stories out of your head and onto the page and feel the joy of creating beauty of your own in the peace and tranquility of Bali. Whether you have an established writing practice or have always wanted to write but never had the time, this retreat is for anybody in need of some quality nurturing of their creative spirit.

Every day begins with gentle yoga, followed by breakfast and an inspiring writing workshop to get those creative juices flowing. The afternoons are free for your own adventures and explorations, naps, or 1:1 sessions with Kerstin & Edwina, a complimentary massage and tarot reading, and a guided writing group for those who like to write in company. At the end of the day, we come together again for some gentle yoga breathing exercises to help clear your mind and revitalise your energy. Every evening we share incredible dinners and relax with conversation and readings.

All activities are optional.

This is your retreat. Our aim is to nurture your body, mind, and creative spirit so you leave feeling renewed, both as a writer and as a human being, with a whole lot of new writing; and bright, exciting ideas and refreshed energy to take home with you.

See HERE for more information. Come along and join in the Bliss of this once in a lifetime experience!

Not flash with cash right now? A $450 deposit will secure your place and you have until April to pay it off – payment plans available. Or save up for Bali in 2024 as I’m sure this will become an annual event.

Want something more affordable and closer to home? Check out my popular, lower-priced weekend retreats HERE.

Oh gosh I hope you can come. Check it out here and dream a little! You can make it happen if you really want it!

Lots of love

Edwina xx