Embrace the power of the written word and discover how your flair for writing could lead to an exciting new career as a journalist, magazine editor or children's author. Australian College of Journalism is part of Open Colleges, Australia's leading provider of online education. Read more
Editing & Proofreading
Have you got an eagle eye for grammar, punctuation and perfect prose? Like helping writers refine their craft and get the best possible message across? Then Editing and Proofreading could be the right path for you, whether you want to work towards working as a freelance professional, or just sharpen your own way with words.Find out more
Got a nose for news or a way of telling stories about current affairs, travel, sport, or more, that engages audiences? Want to learn the business side of journalism and photojournalism as well as refining your techniques and talent? Then a journalism course with the Australian College of Journalism might be for you.Find out more
Writing & Communication
If you've got a way with words, we've got courses that could help you turn your raw potential into a profession. With courses across creative writing, script writing, and non-fiction writing, and specialist courses in writing fantasy, romance and writing for children, we'll help you find and refine your style, and bring your stories to life.Find out more
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6 Ways to Add More Suspense to Your WritingRead More
Every story no matter what the genre needs some suspense, and even a good romance novel will keep readers guessing with a few twists and turns. If you’re still learning to master this skill, here are six tips for creating the kind of tension and suspense that will keep your readers turning pages until the end.
1. Use deadlines
There is nothing like a deadline or ticking clock to instil a sense of urgency. Maybe your heroine is in a race against time to deliver an important package, or perhaps your handsome protagonist has to get to the airport in time to tell the love of his life not to catch her flight to Timbuktu.
2. Introduce challenges
Aside from deadlines, introducing challenges that your characters must take on in order to fulfil their mission can also heighten the suspense. For instance, your heroine may be forced to take a lengthy detour to throw off pursuers, and the man on his way to the airport might get stuck in rush hour traffic with only an hour left on the clock.
3. Make your main characters likable
Nothing you do will matter unless readers identify with or care about the character in distress. This means that aside from coming up with a great storyline, you need to spend time developing your characters. For example, an underdog might be seen as more sympathetic than a rich and powerful person, and giving someone a mysterious past, eccentric nature or natural talent can help him or her seem more interesting
4. Give your protagonist an antagonist
Just as every story needs at least one protagonist, it also needs an antagonist who provides conflict and drives the story along. It doesn’t need to be the stereotype of the evil villain either; the antagonist could take on the form of a humourless supervisor at work, a caring but misguided friend or even a force of nature like an impending storm or flood.
5. Leave readers hanging
If you want to create anticipation or anxiety about an outcome, switching perspectives before a big reveal or dramatic happening can be very effective. For example, if your hero has just discovered the real identity of the tarot card killer, rather than telling the readers who it is right then and there, you could leave them hanging while you explore another plotline.
6. Don’t give away too much too soon
Most importantly, don’t give away too much information too soon. The best stories are the ones that leave hints and clues without spoiling the ending. Think of movies like Fight Club or The Sixth Sense. After the truth has been revealed to you, it’s easy to look back and see how everything was leading up to the grand finale, but you only know it now because the writer wanted you to.
Copy Edting vs. Proofreading – What’s the Difference?Read More
Copy editing and proofreading tend to be thought of as the same thing, and although the two often go hand in hand, there are some significant differences.
In the old days, most manuscripts were reviewed by two people separately – first by a copy editor and a then a proof-reader. With the advent of computers, however, the whole process has become far simpler and it’s now common for both editing and proofreading to be done by the same person.
If you’re interested in working as a professional copyeditor and proof-reader, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what might be expected of you in each role, so here is a quick look at how these skills vary from one another.
Aside from ensuring that the writing conforms to the desired style guide, it is the copy editor’s job to bring the first draft of an article or manuscript up to par by making and suggesting edits to cut down on wordiness, fix awkward phrasing and eliminate repetition.
Sometimes, the copy editor will also be expected to check the accuracy of dates, names, places and other facts mentioned, and in the case of fiction writing, he or she may work to ensure the consistency of characters and clarify any confusing scenes.
The copy editor may also want to make changes to titles, subheadings and chapter titles or reorganize portions of content so that it appears in a more logical order.
Such changes will rarely be made without the writer’s knowledge, and a good copy editor works together with the writer to ensure they are both on the same page. With this in mind, he or she often goes over the same draft multiple times.
Proofreaders deal with the final version of a manuscript before it is published and unlike copy editors, they aren’t expected to make any revisions to the content or style.
Their job is to check for any typos or missing punctuation marks, remove any repeated words or paragraphs, and catch aesthetic issues that may have been introduced during production, such as words that have been accidentally broken into two or a sentence that finishes at the top of a new column rather than at the end of the previous one.
Proof-readers also check for consistency. For instance, they may check that the captions placed under photos, images and graphs actually match the content and that the same font type and size have been used throughout the whole document.
Overall, proofreading tends to be a much quicker process since the editor/proof-reader will be dealing with a draft or manuscript that has already been edited by one or more people.