What We Learnt in 2018

2018 was a big year for learning, and our editors were happy to discuss and share as much as they could. This post pulls together everything we learnt over the year about writing, reading and publishing.  Take a look and check out the posts you may have missed or the ones you might want to revisit.

 

Writing: What You Need to Know for 2018

At the beginning of the year, Dylan Dartnell rounded up the plethora of advice and information on how to start the year, prioritise your writing and have an all-round successful writing year. It stands the test of time and is a good starting place as you prepare your 2019 writing goals.

 

Interview: Louise Allan, author of The Sisters’ Song

We kicked off a year of insightful interviews with Australian author Louise Allan whose debut novel The Sisters’ Song was a hit on the Australian charts. In this interview, Louise discussed changing careers, how her family reacted the change, the publishing process, and she gave us some recommended reading!

 

3 Reasons Every Writer Should Use Pinterest

Shelley Carter explored how the visual world of Pinterest is useful for writers and what sorts of things you can discover on the ‘DIYers dream website’. She also discussed how it could be used to categorise ideas and stimulate your creativity.

 

21 Things I Learnt from Books

Jess Rae celebrated her 21st birthday in 2018 and used the opportunity to reflect on what life-lessons she’d taken away from her extensive reading. A combination of quotes and commentary, this list reminded us of how very valuable books are and how much we learn even in fiction.

 

Interview: Jo Hunt, book cover designer

Jo Hunt shared her knowledge on what goes into a cover design. She told us what’s included in the cover design brief, how genre influences the design, and why you might see a lot of clichés in book covers.

 

When Should I Write?

For most of us, writing is something we do on the side around working other jobs, studying, and looking after family. In our busy worlds, one of the most common questions authors are asked is ‘how do you get time to write?’ Kate Lomas Glendenning pulled together a list of tips, tricks and suggestions to help you find the time, motivate yourself and maximise your output in that time.

 

You Don’t Have to Finish the Book

Our Editor-in-Chief gave you permission to put down those books that you’re struggling to finish in this post on why you don’t have to finish a book. Our time is precious, and our TBRs are long. Jemimah Halbert Brewster explained why trying to finish the book may be doing you more harm than good.

 

Interview: Graham Wilson, author of the Old Balmain House series

Self-published author Graham Wilson made the Amazon Kindle bestsellers list in both the UK and the US in the Australian Historical Fiction category. In this interview, he talked about the writing process, self-publishing, ebooks, and working with a cover designer.

 

Writer’s Block. Is it real and how to get past it?

The bane of all writers. The thing that has us paralysed and staring at blank pages or helplessly writing and rewriting the same sentence or scene over and over again. Writer’s block is destructive and can end a writer’s dream if it is allowed to rule them. Jess Gately pulled together the theory on writer’s block and what you need to do to overcome it.

 

7 Books That Celebrate Books

Jemimah Halbert Brewster compiled a list of books that pay homage to the wonderful art of writing and the important role books, stories, reading and writing play in our lives.

 

Writing big topics for the small page

Jess Gately explored the techniques used by writers to explore big topics like war, poverty, inequality, racism, sexism, grief and many more, and the questions you need to ask yourself when writing a story with one of these as the central theme. She also provided an extensive list of recommended reading and viewing if you want to see how the pros achieve it.

 

Interview: Maddie Godfrey, author of How To Be Held

Maddie Godfrey’s debut poetry collection How To Be Held hit the shelves in 2018 and Maddie was more than happy to share the particulars of publishing poetry and the transition from performance and slam poetry to written poetry. She was also happy to share what she’d learnt about marketing, promotion, and distribution.

 

Book Cover Monotony and the Rise of the ‘Bouquet Book’

Shelley Carter looked at the ways we judge a book by its cover and what common themes we see around particular genres after investigating the rise of the ‘bouquet’ book cover design that’s become popular in literary fiction.

 

5 Fantasy Cliques and How to Make Them Different

Cliques are like tropes, but they are so common that they’re not considered to be overused, rather they’re considered to be defining qualities of a genre. The fantasy genre is one that is particularly prone to cliques, and Jess Rae examined what some of them are and how you can consider subverting them.

 

Freelance Writing Series part 1: Types of Freelance Writing

We get lots of questions about Freelance Writing here at Underground, so we started the Freelance Writing Series to start answering some of the most common questions. Part 1 looks at the various types of freelance writing and how you might mix and match your choices based on your experience.

 

Literary Halloween Costume Ideas

Jess Rae and Kate Lomas Glendenning got in the Halloween spirit this year, looking at some of their favourite literary characters, ideas and themes across different genres that you might consider for your next dress up.

 

Freelance Writing Series part 2: What to know before you start

In part 2 of the series, we explored what freelancing was like and what things you may want to consider before venturing down the freelancing path. This article asks you to consider everything from your experience and capabilities, to how you’ll motivate yourself and how you deal with people.

 

Interview: Jaime Collins, literary agent at The Nash Agency

The Nash Agency’s newest member of the team took time out of her busy schedule to talk discuss writing and publishing from the point of view of both an author and an agent. Including information on what agents look for and what authors typically do wrong, this interview is a wealth of information for any author whose finished their first manuscript and is looking towards publication.

Freelance Writing Series part 3: Freelancers in Action

Part 3 introduced our resident freelancers who provided their own take on what its like to be a freelancer and what you need to know before you start out. Ruth, Lindy and Abby discuss the types of freelancing they do, what they wish they’d known before they started, and what makes freelancing worth it for them.

Shelley’s Gift Guide for Literature Lovers

In the lead up to Christmas Shelley Carter put together this list of literary-themed gifts for book lovers and writers which really holds up for gift-buying all year round!

 

3 things to consider when choosing books for your loved ones this Christmas

Another Christmas-themed post that holds up well for gift-buying all year round, Jess Gately looked at what questions you need to ask when buying books for friends and family and how you can ensure you provide them with books they’ll truly love.

 

9 Audiobooks to add to your 2019 TBR

To close out the year, Shelley Carter explained how audiobooks had helped her achieve her reading goals in 2018 and which audiobooks you should absolutely add to your TBR.

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