Lucy’s manuscript The Things We Tell Ourselves received the attention and praise it deserves by winning the 2012 Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. We’re honoured to have helped out with structural and line-by-line issues.
Ann read an early draft of my first novel, The Things We Tell Ourselves, at a time when I was sorely in need of encouragement. As a practising writer, Ann has a keen understanding of the fragility of a writer’s ego, and the ways in which positive energy can be as important as the appraisal itself.
This is not to say that she varnished the truth when giving feedback, rather, that her enthusiasm reminded me of my early ‘in love’ stage in the writing process, rekindling my desire to persevere and bring my manuscript to completion.
Ann’s advice was invaluable in so many ways. She has a great ability to enter fully and sympathetically into the life of a story – both its world and its characters – without loss of objectivity. Particular strengths are her ability to identify and trim the fat in a sentence or scene, or to detect false notes or a lack of clarity.
Ann’s keen eye and careful editor’s pen tightens writing, and strengthens characters and narrative trajectory with great precision. Her thoughtful questions are a huge help in revealing the way forward. Her positive energy makes something that can be arduous a pleasure.