• The Story Behind the Book

    Pride: The Inception

    Back in 1999, I started a football website called The Collingwood Rant. Football being a seasonal thing, I needed content during the off-season. Most of the time, I posted odds and ends. I was young and energetic, so I always had content – good, bad, and indifferent. Come 2002, I thought I’d serialize a story. For years, I’d had this idea about a freakishly magical footballer, everybody in awe of his ability, a la The Natural. Here was the perfect medium – a football website featuring a football serial. Now it was just a case of working out the details. I’d always thought the story would unfold in the AFL…

  • The Story Behind the Book

    Dealing with Reviews

    I write reviews. And I write some scathing reviews. But when I do that, I try and deconstruct why I don’t believe the story works. There can be a lot of reasons for this: from bad plotting to thin characterisations to tonal inconsistency (and then lots of stuff in-between). The overriding priority is identifying what the story’s trying to do. This comes from my years as an editor. When I ran editing workshops, I’d instruct the participants to talk to the author and understand what they’re attempting. Disaster looms when the author and the editor aren’t simpatico. For example, if the author’s written a book they believe is a a…

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