The Narcissism of Us – Why Character is Essential to Story

Humans are narcissistic creatures, don’t you think? We love to hear about ourselves: about our exploits, our loves and passions, our failures, our darkest fears and deepest desires. This holds true across history, cultures, generations and genders. And our narcissism finds perfect expression through story. Every story ever told – in whatever form: rock art, song, dance, oral tales, visual or written – is about us. Even those stories that ostensibly are about other species that inhabit this planet, or other planets, or eras, realities, planes of existence etc. etc. are really about us; about what it means to be human. Yes, the longing of a robot; the dark lusts of a vampire; the heroism of a

A Gem Among the Stones

Entering writing competitions can be a great way of honing our writing skills. Often, they provide a focus for our writing, and there’s nothing like a deadline to motivate. Then there’s the boost of confidence that comes with winning, or even being shortlisted. Of course, coming out on top of a competition is tough. There are a lot of writers out there, all vying for the same prize. So, how do we make our writing stand out? Over recent weeks, Field of Words – a project that I run with my good friend and fellow writer, Eileen Goodall – has been receiving entries into our writing competition, which is for emerging Australian writers. After reading these stories, I spent some time reflecting on

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