This week’s blog is a collection of all the writerly podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs and movies that I have enjoyed lately. While I think it’s important to create before we consume, there comes a point where you’ve given all that you can. You can’t constantly produce if you aren’t also filling your mind with ideas, information, and insights. The conversations, advice, and ideas contained within these sources will do just that. They are the kindling you need when you’re starting to feel a little burnout and I hope you find them useful.
Jennifer Mills is a writer of short stories, fiction, and poetry and she is the Literary Editor of Overland magazine. In this interview, she discusses her typical writing day, the difference approaches she uses for fiction vs non-fiction writing and the role literature has in our culture and society. In relation to her work with Overland, Mills identifies the common literary trends she sees in submissions, what good writing is and the types of stories she wished she saw more of.
In this interview, Wood reflects on her writing process, her career as a writer and the downside of winning literary awards. Wood has a way with words, even off the page. Somehow, her description of the writing process debunks all the romantic notions we’ve come to associate with writing while simultaneously reinforcing it.
Robert Lukins (Episode 39)
Robert Lukins’ writing career is an unusual one. He is not a freelance writer and he doesn’t have a folder filled with rejection letters. Most writers submit to competitions and magazines in order to get their work seen and to sidestep into the industry. Lukins worked odd jobs and wrote in his free time. He spent years honing his craft through writing exercises, some of which were novel length. Eventually, he decided enough was enough, it was time to write a ‘real’ novel. So he did.
In this episode, Fox talks about her face-to-face interview with America’s most prolific living serial killer. It is a fascinating and totally insane story. I’ll say no more, just listen to it!
In this interview, Meyer discussing the research involved with her eagerly awaited, and incredibly complex, debut novel, ‘A Superior Spectre’.
Both interviews can be found here, simply scroll down to find these, and other, podcasts. https://soundcloud.com/booktopiapodcast
If you are interested in self-publishing, then consider checking out Jenna Moreci’s channel. She covers a range of topics in her vlogs, including marketing advice, reviews of online services, and tips about self-publishing. Her advice and reviews are honest, transparent and very funny.
Ellen Brock is a fiction editor. Her videos concentrate on the most common craft issues she encounters while editing manuscripts. The strength of these videos is Brock’s clear articulation of what ‘bad’ writing looks like and how to fix it. She also provides plenty of great examples from successful commercial novels.
Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection, ‘Her Body and Other Parties’, is a strange and exciting hybrid. The collection would certainly be described as literary, yet it contains elements of science fiction, horror, gothic and the supernatural. One of the more bizarre stories in the collection is a summarisation of Law and Order SVU, and what every episode was “really” about.
I hadn’t heard of Roz Morris before I came across this interview, but seeing that she has worked predominately as a ghostwriter and fiction editor, that’s not surprising. Let’s be honest, we’ve all heard a lot of writing advice and most of it is a regurgitation of the same stuff. However, Roz’s specific advice about how to take a two-dimension character and turn them into a living person felt like a fresh find in a sea of same-same.
Writing and the Permission to Succeed: The Intersection of Art and Shame by Elissa Altman
Altman adds depth to what may otherwise feel like a very familiar topic: writers looking for permission. Altman acknowledges our self-consciousness while weaving her own personal anecdotes and insights with beautiful quotes from well-known authors. This elegant essay is the permission slip we think we need.
Stephen King: Master of Almost All the Genres Except Literary by Douglas E. Cowan
There are a lot of great articles on the lit hub, but I am a huge Stephen King fan, so I decided to go with this one. Douglas E. Cowan traces King’s career, the fact that his prolific body of work is often dubbed as “fast fiction,” and he attempts to answer what it is about King’s style of storytelling that we connect with so strongly.
How to Network Better by Saying Less by Jane Friedman
I’ve occasionally been trapped by other writers as they harp on about their current work in progress. Don’t be that guy (and it’s always a guy…sorry). If you think you might just be that guy, please, read this article.
Seeing, doing, knowing by Jenn Webb
This one is a scholarly article published by the fantastic TEXT journal. Webb explores the idea of “who owns creativity” and what role does art for arts sake play within the academy – where research projects must be justified.
Anne with an E
So, I fully bypassed ‘Anne Of Green Gables’. I think of Anne the same way I think of ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’: these are the narratives of American childhoods. I was raised on ‘Possum Magic’ and ‘Blinky Bill’. As I grew older, my taste turned to Roald Dahl and Paul Jennings. Speaking of, whatever happened to Jennings? **Googles Paul Jeannings. Wow. Still alive?!** Anyway, I understand that ‘Anne with an E’ is an adaption and from the reviews I’ve read, it walks a darker path then the books, but I’ve enjoyed my time at Green Gables and my childhood desire for red hair has been reinvigorated.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Confession, I watched the movie and then read the book. I enjoyed both immensely and I feel that the movie did a great job of capturing the novel’s voice. However, I enjoy the subtle narrative tension established in the novel better than the slightly illogical tension established in the movie.
Well, that’s all I have for you this week! I hope you enjoy these sources as much as I have and if you have any fantastic writerly sources that you would like to share, please do so in the comments.
Until next week, happy writing.