Posts Tagged So You Want To Be A Writer

How to organise events for selling your books – Ep49 FREE podcast for writers

I’d never have believed, when we recorded this episode in October 2015, that its subject would seem like a relic of a bygone age. It certainly felt bygone in the depths of lockdown winter. Now, as the sky brightens in the second week of March 2021, we might at some point be able to hold events where authors meet readers. Though they will be adapted for our new times, some principles we discuss in this episode still hold – attracting readers, boosting the work of the authors who participate, and giving everyone a good time. So as the UK Government presents its roadmap back to normal, I present to you a roadmap to a small, much-missed aspect of author and bookselling life. If you’re moved to comment on how this makes you feel, do drop a note in the box below.

As always, my co-host is (retired) independent bookseller Peter Snell.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

If you’d like more writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk (and my very exciting new novel), look here. You can subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Should your book be first person, third person (or even second)? Ep48 FREE podcast for writers

Who’s narrating your book? Whose eyes is the story seen through? Sometimes we know by gut feeling which mode to tell a story in. It arrives to us as a first-person account and that’s that. First person also brings interesting limitations and biases, or even the suggestion of unreliability. (These can be interesting.) Sometimes, we want the reader to share more than one perspective or timeline, so third is the way to go. What are the advantages of each, and the pitfalls? Might your story change for the better if you include other viewpoints…. or close it down to just one? And what, pray, is the much maligned sin of head-hopping and how do you avoid it?

That’s what we’re talking about today. My co-host is independent bookseller Peter Snell.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, my Nail Your Novel books are full of tips like this. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

What movies get wrong – and right – about authors. And Elizabeth Taylor: Ep47 FREE podcast for writers

Here’s someone you might never have heard of. Elizabeth Taylor. No, not that one. There’s a novelist Elizabeth Taylor.

I discovered her through this book, Angel, which is about a monstrous, astoundingly successful romantic novelist. There’s a movie, too, which misses many of the nuances, but both versions are full of truths about the publishing industry and the world of writers – details that movie makers usually get completely wrong.  See how many you agree with.

That’s what we’re talking about today. My co-host is independent bookseller Peter Snell.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, my Nail Your Novel books are full of tips like this. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

What to call your characters and places – Ep 46 FREE podcast for writers

What’s in a name? Sometimes, a lot of agonising. A lot of mind-changing. A name in a work of fiction is never random. It hits the reader with meaning. Overtones. The sound in the reader’s mind-ear, the shape it makes on a page. Sometimes a name has associations for the writer too, associations that help us envisage the character more vividly and truthfully. Or help us empathise. Or not. Sometimes, a name outstays its welcome and needs to be changed.

That’s what we’re talking about today. My co-host is independent bookseller Peter Snell.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

BTW, if you like this subject, you might like this post on naming your characters and settings.

If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, including my own (difficult) third novel, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , ,

6 Comments

How to write the difficult second novel. And why it’s difficult. Ep 45 FREE podcast for writers

The difficult second novel. Why might it be difficult? Does it have to be? Are there ways you could make it, well, easier? Indeed, we contend there are ways in which your second novel will be much easier to write than the first.

We are, of course, Peter Snell, a bookseller, and me!

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, including my own (difficult) third novel, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , ,

4 Comments

I’ve written a book – what now? Ep44 FREE podcast for authors

You spend all that time on the manuscript. Polishing, honing, changing your mind. But eventually, you’re satisfied with it. What then? Send it to a literary agent, a publisher, explore self-publishing? What do all those entail? Is there anything else you should to do ensure your book is really ready?

That’s the topic we’re discussing today. And we have a special guest, David Beecroft, who asks all the things that we might not have thought to raise, because we don’t have the beginner’s eye-view. My co-host is independent bookseller Peter Snell.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Should you let anyone read your book before you’ve finished? Ep43 FREE podcast for writers

Once upon a time, writing was a solitary activity. Just you, your thoughts and your pages. Now, writing can be one of the most sociable things you can do on the internet. You can post chapters on a blog as you finish them, or on a serialisation platform like Wattpad, or in online communities.

Some of us – like me – hate to show anything before it’s had a lot of polishing.

We’re all different, but we all need feedback at some stage. Even the most secretive of writers (me!) occasionally yearn for an encouraging comment, simply for its own sake, to share the thing we’ve been building, to help us keep going, Artistic life is sometimes perverse.

Are there good times to show an unfinished work? Are there times when you should be cautious? Might you live to regret it? What about comments from readers – when might they be useful and when might they steer you wrong?

These are the questions I’m considering in this episode with my co-host, independent bookseller Peter Snell.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

 

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments

How to write books for children and young adults – Ep42 FREE podcast for authors

Writing for children. It’s harder than you think. It’s simpler than you think. What are the misconceptions? What makes a really great book for children? What are the main age bands and what are the rules for each? What about YA and books for teenagers?

If there’s somebody who can tell you about this, it’s my co-host, independent bookseller Peter Snell.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

What’s on an author’s bookshelf? Ep 41 FREE podcast for writers

What books does a working author keep to hand? Books for reference. Books for quick answers. Books on craft. Books for inspiration. A simple question, with surprising answers.

My co-host is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

How to write a sequel – and when not to. Ep 40 FREE podcast for authors

When we recorded this, sequels were a hot topic in bookworld. Go Set A Watchman, a sequel to Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mocking Bird, had just been released. Many people were curious but also dubious. The top FAQ on Google is ‘Is Go Set A Watchman worth reading?’

So when does a book deserve a sequel? When is one book enough? When do you add something worthwhile and when do you outstay your welcome? And actually, if you’re au fait with Ms Lee, you’ll know that the Watchman/Mockingbird situation isn’t as straightforward as book/sequel. Mockingbird was originally created from the back story of Watchman, at a publisher’s suggestion. Complicated. But one book is still derived from the other, so as far as we’re concerned, that counts.

My co-host is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments