Tag: writing tips Page 1 of 3

End of Write Through The Roof podcast

It’s with an element of sadness that I announce the end of Write Through The Roof podcast.

After almost three years and 76 episodes, it’s time to do something new. But I’m really going to miss great conversations with interesting writers and having the opportunity to selfishly ask my writing heroes the questions I want to be answered.

So what I have learned about writing over the 76 interviews?

  • There is no right way to write

From meticulous spreadsheets of Oscar de Muriel to the pantsing of Rebecca Tope and everything in between, there is no right way to plot your novel.

Some write every day but many more wish they could. However, others see the definite need for rests to replenish their creative well. But discipline is the key and to finish what you start.

Take all writing advice with a pinch of salt.

AMANDA BRIDGMAN

Trusting yourself. You don’t have to write like other people.

KAARON WARREN

Cherrypick techniques but develop your own style and process.

DEAN MAYES

Do you write every day? I wish!

ROSALIE MORALES KEARNS

Don’t bore the reader. Don’t annoy the reader. Don’t confuse the reader.

PATTY JANSEN
  • Writers are generous and lovely people
  • Coffee runs in our veins
  • Writers like to read ‘like a fat kid at the dessert table’

Thanks for the quote, Angela Slatter but all the writers I spoke to love to read. The most popular inspiring authors were Stephen King, Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood.

  • Most writers are life-long learners

Aside from the amazing Karen Rose Smith with 100 romance novels under her belt and a comfortable writing process, most of the writers I spoke with were trying something new with each book and continually trying to perfect their process.

So all things come to an end but I’d like to thank all the writers I spoke with!

#76 – Tim Ewins – Write Through The Roof

Interview with writer and stand-up comic, Tim Ewins

“It’s a good thing to write every day, I just don’t do it.”

Episode 76 – Show Notes – Tim Ewins

  • Prefer to write and read novels
  • Writes during lunch breaks at work – with a monthly word target
  • Four years to write his first book
  • Coffee and Bon Iver
  • Themes of enduring and long-lasting love. How love changes over time.
  • Having a child changed ‘We Are Animals’ and added depth to the writing.
  • Influence of stand-up but not getting the pay-off
  • Editing chapters as he goes.
  • Embarrassing pick-ups by editors
  • Loose and lose
  • The luxury of writing at home with a glass of wine
  • Jonas Johannsen, Roald Dahl, Andrew Kaufman
  • ‘We Are Animals’ started as a travel blog

“I researched all kinds of thing but not how to spell loose and lose.”

“I do quite often think about the book Matilda”

Links

#75 – Alison Littlewood – Write Through The Roof

Interview with ‘dark and weird’ writer, Alison Littlewood

‘History, folklore, ghosts and spooky things.’

Episode 75 – Alison Littlewood – Show Notes

  • Plot beginnings and endings and pants it all the rest of the way
  • Word count spreadsheet – 1000 words per day
  • Obsessive about edits
  • Satisfies the canine overlords before she begins a writing session
  • Dark and weird genre – on the edges of horror
  • Themes – loss and death and love – various aspects of being human- twisted fairytales and folklore
  • Perceptions of horror writers
  • ‘Reading a lot. Writing a lot.’
  • The benefits of working with a good editor
  • Writing in the middle of the night – inspired by HP Lovecraft
  • Michelle Paver, Jason Arnop, Paul Tremblay, Joe Hill, Katrina Ward, Andrew Michael Hurley, Nathan Ballingrud, Priya Sharma, Angela Slatter, Graham Joyce
  • Mistletoe – ghost stories at Christmas – MR James, Victorian times – folklore and history of the plant and the season
  • Historical research
  • Cottingley faeries and changelings

‘Plot beginnings and endings and pants it all the rest of the way.’

‘People back away when I say I’m a horror writer.’

Links

#74 – Jon Black – Write Through The Roof

Interview with author and music journalist, Jon Black

“You can’t do a one-to-one transition of role-playing to fiction.”

Episode 74 – Jon Black

  • No preference for medium but a natural geography and cluster in terms of word counts
  • Mix of a plotter and pantser. Influenced by role-playing games
  • Environment is important – quirky 24-hour coffee house and writes throughout the night
  • A music journalist but does not actively listen to music while writing
  • Supernatural, historical fiction with a twist
  • Themes of power of human curiosity, music, exploring the interplay between folklore, mythology and history
  • Cultivating a sensate writing style: all five senses to bring the reader into the scene
  • Benefits of role playing in writing fiction and pitfalls
  • Experimenting with less exposition and background for characters
  • Caleb Carr, Harry Turtledove, Stephen King, Garrison Keilor, Daniel Pinkwater
  • Gabriel’s Trumpet – second wave of spiritualism and Jazz Age
  • Expanding short stories into novel-length
  • Currently editing an anthology about searches for lost books

“I’m not sure whether I have a genuine love for it or whether it’s a Stockholm syndrome thing.”

Links

#71 – Debbie Young – Write Through The Roof

Interview with cosy mystery writer Debbie Young

“Cosy mysteries are an antidote to the strains of modern life”

Episode 71 – Debbie Young – Show Notes

  • Short novels are her favourite form
  • Journalistic background but mainly a pantser
  • Writes a chapter a day in the writing phase
  • Doesn’t always write every day. Needs to recharge the batteries and think
  • Themes of celebrating community and nurturing understanding between people
  • The mystery provides the framework to flesh out with characters and comedy
  • Based on her real village life and her community
  • Closed communities in a mystery; village and classic English boarding school
  • Cosy mystery popularity – an antidote to modern life, resolution and happy ever after
  • Writing without stopping – experiment with the next novel with a little light editing to begin each writing session
  • Different technologies for writing – Word, using Scrivener for plotting, writing by hand with a fountain pen
  • Touch typing
  • Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers
  • Sophie Sayers mysteries are not always murder stories and veer more to romantic and situational comedy.
  • Experimenting with crossing over between the Sayers and St.Brides series and writing more novellas

I’m an organised pantser.”

“Sometimes I feel I’m writing situation comedy sketches.”

Links

#70 – R.R. Campbell – Write Through The Roof

Episode 70 – interview with sci-fi author, podcaster and writing coach, RR Campbell.

“There’s no Twitter, no email. The coffee is here. The time has come.”

Episode 70 – Show Notes

  • Meticulous planner rather than pantser – with scene by scene outlines. This means every morning he wakes up and knows exactly what he’s going to write
  • Analytical approach to writing – informed by linguistics background
  • Daily writing ritual – coffee pot on a timer and ready to go
  • Re-reading a favourite author as writing fuel
  • Empathy between characters. Epistolary novel form.
  • Five core components to any scene: setting, goal, conflict, resolution, cliffhanger/pivot/change
  • Margaret Atwood. David Mitchell
  • Empathy series – internet access brain implants inspired by smartphones
  • Taking time away from a manuscript to get perspective before retooling
  • Multiple points of view, dimensions and shout-outs

“Finding the best way to create empathy between the character and the reader.”

“There are five core components to any scene.”

Links

#68 – Lee Kofman – Write Through The Roof

Interview with Lee Kofman – author and writing teacher

‘In each draft I try to get one or two things right rather than everything.’

Episode 68 – Lee Kofman – Show Notes

  • Creative non-fiction is her current favourite medium. Closer to poetry than non-fiction. It is a fresher and younger experimental genre.
  • Multi-tasking with children
  • Prepare for writing session by thinking about the current project before sitting down at the desk.
  • Gerald Murnane – three types of writers: curious, preachy and possessed/obsessed.
  • Themes – doomed loves.
  • Memoir-writing and Russian poets
  • All writing is rewriting.
  • Working on plotting skills but not plotting too much. Needs a sense of tension to keep the writing process interesting
  • Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gogol, Helen Garner, Robert Dessaix, Zadie Smith, Geoff Dyer, Joan Didion, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  • Imperfect – scars and haunted by shame. Inspired by her child’s diagnosis of albinism

‘Writing is layering.’

‘What it’s like to have a body which deviates from the so-called norm.’

Links

#67 – Agnes Gomillion – Write Through The Roof

Interview with Afro-futurist writer Agnes Gomillion

“I wanted people to reflect on their relative state of freedom.”

Episode 67 – Agnes Gomillion – Show Notes

  • Writes something every day – maybe poetry or notes but not necessarily her ‘work-in-progress’
  • Poetry, songs and lyrical writing
  • Sleep is writing fuel of choice
  • Afrofuturism – lift the audience from reality for the purpose of looking back and better understanding African-American culture.
  • Humanity with an African-American lens.
  • Writing about the underlying person brings different people together.
  • Perseverance
  • ‘Story’ by Robert McKee – how to create a character and how to use structure to ‘show, don’t tell’.
  • Having to incorporate more structure in the writing day with children
  • Jesmyn Ward – Salvage the Bones, Stephen King
  • Frederick Douglass inspired The Record Keeper with his spirit of freedom. The story of how someone overcomes their fear set in a dystopia after World War 3.
  • Octavia Butler comparisons
  • Working on the sequel – The Seed of Cain.

“Humanity with an afro-futurist bent.”

“Slavery is more than physical chains.”

Links

#65 – Clare Flynn – Write Through The Roof

Podcast interview with historical novelist, Clare Flynn

‘Read everything I could get my little hands on.’

Episode 65 – Clare Flynn – Show Notes

  • Instinctive pantser who occasionally tries to plot
  • The first book took 15 years to write but now tries to be more disciplined
  • Writes most days
  • Two solutions if the words are hard – walk away or force herself to write
  • ‘Edit as you go’ person
  • Once a week writing group to share work-in-progress
  • Nanowrimo – to kick start a book or finish a book off
  • Tea, coffee and water and wine o’clock
  • Displacement: theme comes from childhood experiences, relationship problems, PTSD and impact of war, self discovery, religious bigotry
  • Reading: taught to read by her father
  • Learnt from editor; tough but also positive
  • Read aloud
  • Writing two books at once; keeps the writing fresh
  • Classics: Hardy, Brontes, Anya Seton, Jean Plaidy, Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, Tolstoy, Zola, Kate Atkinson, Amor Towles, historical research
  • Hybrid publishing
  • Storms Gather Between Us

‘A competitive person, even if the competition is myself.’

‘It’s got to have highs & lows and lights & darks.’

Links

#62 – Suzanne J Willis – Write Through The Roof

Episode 62 with Suzanne J Willis – fantasy short story & flash-fiction writer

‘The best kind of fairies, you know, the nasty ones’

Episode 62 – Suzanne J Willis – Show Notes

  • A natural pantser but learning to plot and outline. A structure helps to hit the right beats
  • Making notes every day but not writing every day
  • Tea and chocolate – freckles
  • Connection between music and writing: lyrical and poetic.
  • Themes of lack of belonging, search for self or a home, life and music
  • Learning that the language is secondary to the story and the interaction between characters gives rise to the plot
  • Writing novellas: taking up an opportunity
  • Jeanette Winterson, Patricia McKillip, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Angela Slater
  • Importance of word of mouth for recommendations
  • Portals and evil fairies in ‘Silver String in between worlds’
  • Novella for Broken Cities shared world for Falstaff Books.
  • Upcoming stories in Syntax & Salt Magazine

‘The language is inseparable from the story itself’

‘It’s a good thing to learn your bad habits.

Links

#60 – David Baboulene – Write Through The Roof

Episode 60 – interview with David Baboulene – author, academic & story consultant

‘I find inspiration but analyse the inspiration to speed up the process’

Episode 60 – David Baboulene – Show Notes

  • Type of writing depending on mood and deadline
  • Both a plotter and a pantser – wearing two hats
  • Successful writers are very productive
  • Writers being hermits
  • Winning a competition but having an unsatisfying experience with a Hollywood guru
  • Explaining the story craft without telling the writer what to do
  • Storification – what jumps off the page and lives in the reader’s mind e.g a moral message in a fairy tale
  • The author doesn’t need to know the ending half as much as they need to know how the story storifies. Then you can work backwards.
  • Encoding knowledge gaps which are decoded by the receiver (the reader) as meaning
  • Leaving gaps makes the reader create meaning in their own mind – puzzles for the reader to do the work
  • PG Wodehouse – books released after his death
  • The Primary Colours of Story coming out in 2019

‘He’d been rubbish but he became a genius because he worked’

Links

#57 – Lucy Snyder – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 57 – Lucy Snyder– five times Bram Stoker award-winning writer

‘Tell us what characters think about what they’re seeing.’

Episode 57 – Lucy Snyder – Show Notes

  • Writing the type of fiction she’d like to read
  • Defining ‘weird fiction’
  • Science facts writing and reading informs science-fiction
  • The benefits of writing a poem a week
  • Coffee with milk
  • Themes of real-life loss and trauma mixed with the supernatural
  • Epiphany during a Clarion Writing Workshop – learning about the five-point plot structure
  • Using description as an opportunity to reinforce characterisation – what matters most is what the character thinks about what they’re seeing.
  • Popular fiction and literary fiction
  • Writing a space opera web serial – Broken Eye book Patreon – Eyedelon Magazine
  • Launchpad workshop – astronomy for writers
  • Caitlin R Kiernan, Christa Faust
  • Garden of Eldritch Delights – a collection of fantasy, science fiction & horror stories. Batching up stories of similar themes
  • Next up is the fourth book in the Jessie Shimmer urban fantasy series

‘Poetry is great cross-training’

Links

#56 – Alex Harrow – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 56 – Alex Harrow – queer SFF author

As I edited it, it just got queerer and queerer.’

Episode 56 – Alex Harrow – Show Notes

  • A secret closet pantser who also loves index cards and Scrivener – ‘dots connector’
  • Daily writer but not all writing is at the keyboard
  • Agile method of writing in sprints
  • Trinity of drinks – coffee, tea and water
  • English as a second language influenced the approach to writing from a ‘voicey‘ perspective
  • Need to see more queer characters as protagonists.
  • Found families and enemies to lovers
  • Good critique partners are essential
  • Moderator of #queerspec Twitter chat
  • The ever-expanding ‘To Be Read’ pile
  • Classic fantasy, Seanan Mcguire, Xan West, RoAnna Sylver
  • Interrupting cats
  • Getting in touch with non-readers. Understanding what stories touch people
  • Empire of Light inspired by the need for more queer protagonists in sci-fi and fantasy
  • Queering up your bookshelves.
  • Upcoming projects include an alternate history set in post war Dresden – queer Agent Carter

‘Not all writing happens at the keyboard’

‘I wrote this book out of spite’

Links

#55 – Orna Ross – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 55 – Orna Ross – poet, novelist & non-fiction writer

“Formally practising with free writing gives you all sort of training as a writer but also as a human being.”

Episode 55 – Orna Ross – Show Notes
  • Wanting to write fiction when writing non-fiction and vice versa
  • Write for the first couple of hours each day
  • Writing full time led to procrastination
  • Coffee. Never tea.
  • Themes of conversations around difference.
  • Self-awareness – free writing – writing fast, raw, exact & easy with no end-game
  • Meditate for 15 minutes, then free writing for 15 minutes, review once a week
  • Closed Facebook group
  • Creatives need to stay open to change
  • There are no short cuts to becoming a good writer
  • Ezra Pound, Yeats, George Eliot – Middlemarch, modern poetry movement – rap, performance, slams, in the pub & in the street, Instagram poetry
  • Keepers – inspirational poetry collection. Self-published as a low-risk experiment but began to question assumptions
  • Non-fiction project – Go Creative nine book series for creative business people
  • Trying a different approach to launch – once target for pre-orders is reached, the book is launched
  • Agility in independent publishing

“Writing as a stolen pleasure.”

“Coffee is the fluid of the devil.”

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#54 – Sandra Ireland – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 54 – Sandra Ireland – writer of tartan gothic

“I like to be scared when I’m writing.”

Episode 54 – Sandra Ireland – Show Notes
  • Morning writing – not as creative in the afternoon
  • Goal of 500 words per day
  • Ritual of two cups of tea and one cup of coffee in favourite mug
  • Dark, creepy with a heavy dose of menace, toxic relationships
  • Landscape as a starting point for writing – sense of place to inform writing
  • Manipulating people’s fears and shadow sides.
  • Not just scaring the reader, not just horror but writing about what personally scares you. Vulnerability and readers not knowing what is imagination and what is true.
  • Currently writing non-fiction about the folklore surrounding the Mill (setting of Bone Deep). The words coming out faster with non-fiction.
  • Fiction as a therapy – creative release.
  • Giving herself the permission to be creative.
  • The tribe with the right vibe – people who understand to bounce ideas off.
    Be careful who you share your writing with.
  • Brontes, Benjamin Myers – The Gallows Pole, Julie Myerson – The Stopped Heart
  • A resurgence of gothic writing – perhaps as a reaction to current events
  • Bone Deep – inspired by work as a tour guide in a water mill. At times the mill felt unwelcoming. Modern story with a strand of an old folktale (Border Ballad).
  • The key struggle for writing students is a lack of confidence. One technique is forcing students to share their work.
  • Upcoming – The Mill (non-fiction) and The Unmaking of Ellie Rook
  • Residencies – productive but sometimes lonesome

“Write about what scares you.”

“It’s a basic human drive to be creative.”

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#53 – Vanessa Garcia – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 53 – Vanessa Garcia – novelist, playwright & journalist

“Write the scenes you want to write.”

Episode 53 – Vanessa Garcia – Show Notes
  • Sesame Street writers room
  • Intersperse long projects with shorter projects
  • Playwriting is collaborative with the director and scenes devised in the moment
  • Writing whenever you can.
  • Cuban coffee – cafecito
  • Obsessed with Cuba – overcoming economic and familial embargoes. Obsessed with erased stories for refugees. Motherhood.
  • Write the scenes you want to write. Don’t worry about bridges connecting the scenes.
  • Discipline. Time carved out for writing and sharing your writing
  • Hiding away from writing advice
  • Using spreadsheets for interactive theatre – audiences following different stories happening at the same time
  • Reinaldo Arenas, Leonardo Padura, TV shows ‘I’m Sorry’,’Broad City’ and kids TV.
  • Amparo – inspired by a call from a marketing company then turned into an experiential theatre work. The story of the family who created the real Havana Club Rum.

“Storytelling and then story selling.”

“There’s writing coming out of TV which is just as literary.”

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#52 – Kirsten Imani Kasai – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 52 with Kirsten Imani Kasai – writer, academic & editor

“I like grit and blood and meat in my work.”

Episode 52 – Kirsten Imani Kasai – Show Notes
  • Pantser at heart using an outline as a roadmap but allowing serendipity
  • Novels allow layering
  • Tea – Yorkshire Gold with vanilla cream or port and red wine
  • Writing described as dark and weird
  • Exploring love, romance, illness, death, spirituality and metaphysics
  • A different slant on romance – short story ‘Bleat’
  • Influence of growing up in a religious family – biblical imagery and spiritual cannibalism
  • Accepting valid criticism – lyrical writing and ‘purple prose’ – limiting adjectives
  • Allowing time to get a critical eye on own work
  • Challenges with current work ‘Girlstown’ mixing visual elements, fiction and non-fiction
  • Cindy Crabb ‘Things That Help’ 90s zines, Angela Carter, Octavia Butler, Helen Zahavi – Dark Weekend
  • House of Erzulie inspired by recurring dreams of a gothic house. Researching gothic literary elements. Triptych – three narrators across time. Epistolary structure and mirroring different POVs

“Too much structure hinders the creative process.”

“The first draft is work but also play.”

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#51 – Hester Fox – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 51 with Hester Fox – artist & writer of gothic historical fiction

“A love letter to New England set at this beautiful house.”

Episode 51 – Hester Fox – Show Notes
  • Not necessarily writing every day but doing things ‘writing-related’ every day
  • Tea, snack, cosy-up with the cat or coffee shop ambience
  • Conversion from pantser to plotter
  • Dark, gothic with a happy ending – strong female relationships and romantic love
  • Embracing the darkness as an exposure therapy
  • Making every word count
  • Critique partners – sharing chapter by chapter. Feedback and accountability.
  • Cadence and rhythm in a first draft – making notes to keep the momentum going
  • 19th-century authors – Jane Austen, Dickens, Hardy. More recent – Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, Susanna Kearsley, Simone St.James, Josh Malerman
  • Historic homes in New England and day job as inspiration for The Witch of Willow Hall. Interacting with objects and houses on a daily basis
  • Second novel – The Widow of Pale Harbour – 1840s Maine during Poe-mania and a gender-flipped retelling of Beauty and the Beast

“Juicy relationships set against a dark background.”

“Making every word pull its weight in a sentence.”

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#50 – Cathi Stoler – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 50 with Cathi Stoler – award-winning crime writer

“When I was younger I wanted to be a spy.”

Episode 50 – Cathi Stoler – Show Notes
  • Writing crime as a pantser
  • Not a plot spreadsheet but a character spreadsheet
  • Real dialogue and real-life crimes – identity theft, fraud, violent crime and how people are affected
  • Eavesdropping
  • Crime writing conferences in the USA – Malice Domestic, Bouchercon, International Thriller Writers Conference
  • Taking classes and getting your character’s details right
  • John LeCarre, Ian Fleming, Sue Grafton, Alison Gaylin, Meghan Abbott, Catriona McPherson
  • Technology, social change and crime writing
  • Bar None

“You’re not going to commit a crime but you like to read about it.”

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#49 – Rosalie Morales Kearns – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 49 with Rosalie Morales Kearns – feminist fiction writer and publisher

“Do you write every day?” “I wish!”

Episode 49 – Rosalie Morales Kearns – Show Notes
  • Novels give a chance to explore characters and a long history
  • Life getting in the way of writing every day
  • Hot chocolate and milkshakes
  • Magic realism and fabulism
  • Connections – how they are formed and how they affect people
  • Being conscious of the choice of what to show ‘in scene’ or summarise
  • Example of The Frog Prince.
  • Tools to play with during revision
  • Trying to be more organised in plot outlines
  • Creating a synopsis of your novel to highlight potential plot issues
  • Charlotte Bronte, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter,
  • Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Kingdom Of Women – inspiration
  • Historical saga and dealing with the balance of research

“There’s no single right way to do it.”

“Don’t over think it in the first draft.”

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Persistence – the unsexy secret to success

Today’s post is for the NaNoWriMo people amongst us and part of #NaNoInspo blog tour.

Hello NaNoers

It’s Day 7.

By now you’re probably over the initial blush of excitement which spurs on your Nano project.

If you’re lucky, the words are still flowing and you’re riding high.

But the fairy dust has probably fallen from your eyes and you’re staring into a white abyss with a stupid blinking cursor wondering what the fuck you signed up for.

I’ve done NaNoWriMo a bunch of times and for the first seven times, I flailed at about 20,000 word mark.

I learned the secret over time.

It’s not sexy.

It’s not cool.

It’s boring and hard and takes lots of time and it’s unrelenting.

But it’s the secret to writing success and probably the tip you don’t want to hear.

It’s the one thing that all successful writers have in common. No matter which genre.

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#48 – Icy Sedgwick – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 48 with Icy Sedgwick – blogger and writer of dark fantasy, gothic horror & westerns

“I couldn’t write po-faced literature if I tried.”

Episode 48 – Icy Sedgwick – Show Notes
  • Flash fiction can be more challenging and more fun than novels
  • Writing something every day but not necessarily fiction
  • Fun, entertaining, whimsical pulpy adventure. Standing up against wrongs, taking on bullies or oppressive regimes
  • Westerns – rabid fan base
  • Improving dialogue
  • The balance between ‘write what you know’ and ‘making stuff up.”
  • Plotting while keeping it fresh
  • Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Oscar Wilde, JK Rowling
  • The Stolen Ghost inspired by a childhood trip to Glamis Castle. Took 11 years to finish.
  • Being a hoarder and recycling ideas
  • Finishing Book 3 of dark fantasy series

“Coffee as black as possible. As nature intended.”

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#47 – Grant Faulkner – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 47 with Grant Faulkner – NaNoWrimo Executive Director & writer

“One part writing boot camp, one part rollicking party”

Episode 47 – Grant Faulkner – Show Notes
  • Length of project depends on the story idea. Balancing fiction and non-fiction to better inform both styles of writing
  • Plantser
  • Writing most days – experimenting with 15 minutes per day
  • Themes – trying to look behind the veil and transgressions
  • Writing regularly – showing up and writing every day is the key
  • Active reading
  • Discipline, creative momentum, confidence
  • Trying something new by telling a story through unsent letters
  • Lydia Davis, James Salter, Denis Johnson, Elena Ferrante, Leonard Cohen, Roland Barthes
  • Pep Talks for Writer – 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo
  • Vulnerability, Creative Community, Writers Block, Playfulness, Improvisation
  • Vomit versus Gush
  • Grant issues Madeleine a challenge

“Every writer should experiment with their creative process.”

“A goal and a deadline is a creative midwife.”

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#46 – Peter McLean – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 46 with Peter McLean – urban & grimdark fantasy author

“Grimdark doesn’t work like that. If your leg gets cut off, you’re going to get gangrene.”

Episode 46 – Peter McLean – Show Notes
  • Writing binges. Plotter and pantser
  • Strong black coffee and whiskey
  • Thriller writer at heart but in the fantasy genre
  • Aftermath of war, Peaky Blinders, retired service people as sensitive readers
  • Defining “grim dark” – consequences and more in line with reality
  • Reading and writing
  • First novel published was the fourth novel completed
  • Ed McDonald, Sarah Pinborough, Crab- cakes and Courtesans – republican Athenian social history, Anna Smith Spark, Joe Abercrombie, George RR Martin, Stephen King, Tanith Lee
  • Exploring different POVs
  • Writing urban fantasy but reading swords and horses fantasy
  • Priest of Bones inspired by a gangster character in a Joe Abercrombie novel and Peaky Blinders
  • The explanation behind the name Talonwraith

“I am one of the most undisciplined writers you’ll ever meet.”

“Just years and years of practice. I don’t think there are any shortcuts.”

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#45 – Elizabeth Spann Craig – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 45 with Elizabeth Spann Craig – cosy mystery writer & writing tip gatherer

“Don’t discount the elderly.”

Episode 45 – Elizabeth Spann Craig – Show Notes
  • Started off as a pantser
  • Understanding your genre’s patterns
  • Muscle memory after 26 books
  • Old fashioned puzzle mysteries – escape for the reader
  • Key theme – don’t discount the elderly
  • Set the bar the low
  • Twitterific Writing tips
  • Doubling down on production and reading more
  • Agatha Christie, MC Beaton, Anthony Horowitz
  • A reader’s suggestion inspired Cleaning is Murder
  • Traditional and independent publishing – getting rights back

“Set the bar low.”

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#44 – Charles Christian – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 44 with Charles Christian – award-winning journalist, podcaster & author

“People get carried with their gadgets… and forget about the human element.”

Episode 44 – Charles Christian – Show Notes
  • Novella length is favourite length. Better for ebooks and easier to consume.
  • Writing every day and learned discipline from career as a freelance journalist
  • ‘All written out’ by freelance journalism
  • Green tea, dark chocolate, chips and baked beans
  • Exploring how one event can change the entire direction of life – JB Priestly
  • Stop doing courses and start writing your own stories
  • Stick to the brief, meet the deadline & work count – who, why, what, where, how
  • Asking the question – is this project fun to write?
  • Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, MR James, David Sedaris, Richard Brautigan
  • Genre fiction tips: less about the gadgets, more about the characters

“Get on with it and be business-like about it.”

“If I can’t be bothered reading it, I can’t expect the reader to.”

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#43 – Trevor Young – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 43 with Trevor Young – PR and marketing specialist

“If you’ve got a blog you’ve got a digital heartbeat. You’re not on rented land.”

Episode 43 – Trevor Young – Show Notes
  • Books are more permanent but blogging helps develop a writer’s conversational personal style
  • Writing in focussed short sharp bursts; doing less but doing more
  • Fiction at night with beer and non-fiction in the morning with coffee
  • Joining the dots, identifying a trend and developing a philosophy
  • Tips on writing 1300 characters micro-stories – start with one tight idea
  • Writing Melbourne Noir. Inspired by childhood reading of Ed McBain and Ian Fleming
  • With non-fiction you need to know your market but with fiction you can write what you want to read
  • Creating an alter-ego for fiction writing
  • Seth Godin, Dorie Clark
  • Micro Domination and the changing nature of blogs
  • New book coming in October 2018 – Content Marketing for PR

“Getting more done by doing a little bit every day.”

“Edit your way to greatness.”

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#42 – Valerie Stivers – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 42 with Valerie Stivers – writer, editor & journalist

“The spirit of the book comes alive when you’re cooking from it.”

Episode 42 – Valerie Stivers – Show Notes
  • Personal non-fiction is the favourite or novels if the words are flowing
  • The Muse has to know where to find you
  • Afternoon tea and scones
  • Connections between people – both non-fiction and fiction
  • Training in an old-school newsroom – learning to write concise & communicative copy
  • Time pressure of modern newsroom – erosion of standards in journalism
  • Cooking along with writing
  • “Outrun your inner critic” – from Pat Barker
  • Food styling – the skill of the photographer
  • Ivan Doig, George RR Martin
  • Eat Your Words – The Paris Review Daily

“I want to show other people what’s inside my head.”

“Those years I spent getting yelled at by old newspaper guys were priceless.”

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#41 – Nin Harris – Write Through The Roof