Meredith Resce

Australian Authors Hook Up

Have you ever thought about working with another author to produce a novel? When I first heard about the possibility of collaborating, I had my doubts, however, four Australian authors have worked together to produce The Greenfield Legacy.

Their journey started with the seed of an idea from Paula Vince. She contacted Meredith Resce, Rose Dee and Amanda Deed to work with, and in all authors' opinions it proved to be a successful venture. It started with a brainstorming session on skype. By the end of this time they had a story and then a cast of characters was alloted to each of them. They each returned to their computers and built their character profiles. As each author wrote about their characters, the plot developed and the story was written quickly.

This was a plus for each of the authors and Resce sums the process up well when she said, "The best thing about collaborating was that we each had at least three other people who were passionate about the story as we were, which when you write alone, and you enter your said fantasy world, you usually go there alone, and when you re-emerge into reality, no one really gets where you've been and what you've been working on. With The Greenfield Legacy, Rose, Amanda and Paula were on the same page, planet, wave-length, and it was great to be able to chat your characters and ideas through with enthusiastic and informed responses."

When I read this book, I was surprised that the authors' voices sounded so much alike, I expected them all to be different. I applaud these authors for hooking up with each other to create a novel that gets emotional as the characters work through their issues of where they fit into the Greenfield family. I was pleased to find a character list at the end of the book I could refer to. In the beginning so many characters were introduced I became a little confused, so the character list was very helpful.

The Greenfield Legacy is set in South Australia's beautiful McLaren Vale wine region and is available from all good book stores.

The Greenfield Legacy

The Greenfield Legacy


Three weeks ago I attended a writing mentorship in Adelaide. The week was a full-on intensive learning about novel structure and general editing. If you ever get the opportunity to do a writing mentorship, I encourage you take the time, and be open to learning all that you can.

Like most writers I know, I find it hard to be objective about my work. I can't see the problems with the work because I'm too close to it. During my week of mentoring I learned how to stand back from the writing and evaluate each sentence, paragraph, scene and chapter. I already know a lot of the weak areas in my work. I try and correct them as I go, but when I've revised it many times I go on auto-read so the words in my mind aren't necessarily the ones I've written on the page. In other words I read the words in my head instead of what's on the paper.

Before I went to the mentorship, I hadn't worked on the manuscript for two weeks. I approached the work with fresh eyes, and immediately I started to cringe as I found weaknesses in the work. My mentor, Meredith, found all my choppy sentences, unnecessary words, lack of character development, dialogue inconsistencies, holes in the plot and punctuation problems.

And I thought I had a fairly polished manuscript. Think again, Laura!

Being shown my mistakes was like a stranger telling me my child had many shortcomings and they were all bad. It hurt! So, by the afternoon of the first day, I knew my manuscript wasn't perfect and I had better prepare myself for more constructive criticism. I took a deep breath, prayed for patience and a thick skin, then I set to work to fix my 'problem child'.

By the end of the week, my manuscript had improved immensely. My sentences were a mixture of short and complex; my dialogue was more natural; my characters behaved according to the people they were; and the holes in my plot were fixed. When I arrived home I revised again, and to my delight, I found the quality of writing had gone up a knotch.

The mentorship was a great success. My editor allowed me to fail, but she also gave me the opportunity to make the writing better, and brought my skills as a writer to the next level.

Have you been involved in a mentorship in your field of work and gained from the experience? I'd love to hear about your experience and how it changed the way you work?