Friday, 16 December 2011

Writers getting it “right.”

Not Qld but western New South Wales
paddocks of Paterson's Curse weeds.
Click on photo to see enlarged.

So, here I am, back trying to finish that half-finished manuscript I started a few years ago before I received a contract for Return to Baragula. I stopped writing this one to concentrate on writing the next two books in the Baragula series.

And have I been busy rewriting and editing that first draft, including trying to get the setting of fictitious Lomond Downs right!

When I wrote Outback from Baragula, I set Davidson Downs in a part of New South Wales I had actually never visited before. Thankfully I had a good friend who did know the general area, even had photos she shared with me.

This time I am setting most of the story of Her Outback Cowboy on a property south-west of Longreach in Central Queensland. This is another part of Australia I have never been able to visit. I have always understood this area is called the Channel Country where many small rivers and creeks are really nothing more than just that, channels rather than rivers. I mentioned to a couple of people this manuscript was set in the “Channel Country” only to be told they both individually thought the area called this was set in northern Queensland. So, back to doing research again in an effort “to get it right!”

I am wondering what other writers find about their unfinished manuscripts. Have I really changed myself so much that I now see unbelievable flaws and editing needed, including those weasel words? Yes, including that word “that”!

Oh, and both men were wrong about where the Channel country is.

Or are they? Would love to hear from anyone who has driven down the road from Longreach on the map called Thompson Developement Road! Do leave a comment here with your email so I can ask you heaps of questions. Or email me at


  1. Hi Mary,
    I thought my first draft of "Risky Way Home" was truly terrible in retrospect. I'd returned to it after a couple of years and it was so bad, in fact, I re-wrote the whole thing again.
    I don't know much (or anything) about the part of country you've mentioned but will look forward to the book.

  2. Hi Mary. I've learned so much in the last couple of years, I'm too scared to go back and even look at The Game, in case I find those terrible kinds of mistakes! LOL

    I thought you might be able to take a virtual drive down Thompson Development Rd on Google Streetview, but it doesn't appear to go down that road! Oh well. :(

  3. I sure understand, Paula and Amanda. I picked up one of my first published novels and saw several things that could have been much better written.
    I've heard other published writers declare we should always leave a finished manuscript for 6-12 months before readign it through again for a last edit. I sure wish I'd done that over the years but have not always had that luxury of "time."