As festival goers settled into their chairs, the winter sun bouncing off the marquee, three of Australia’s successful young male writers took to the stage. After a couple of awkward moments – the session was after all titled Making Stuff Up, and the guys had decided on a wing it approach – Dominic Knight, a writer for The Chaser’s TV comedy team and recent novelist, took the reigns. For Dominic doing a Masters Degree in Creative Writing was the impetus to completing his first novel: as the word tally increased with each assignment, so did his characters develop. Dominic had an ongoing story throughout his assignments until he found he was fulfilling his dream of actually writing a novel.
Craig Silvey, singer/songwriter and with his second book Jasper John, seemed to find the whole analytical thought process of “where do ideas come from?” a bit more troubling; as he confessed, he spent a lot of time ‘staring at walls.’ Craig preferred to think of writing as organic rather than something you can intellectualise on.
Nick Earls’, “3 books in 3 countries in 3 months!”. As the author of 13 books said, he had created a lot to live up to. Nick explained that while working on ABC radio, he took the opportunity to use interviews he had with musicians to personalise characters for his book. Nick also wisely advised, ‘The thinking is the writing … it’s all a valuable process.’
Guest post by Richelle Buckingham, graduate Southern Cross University, freelance writer.