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Write Through The Roof | For writers who want to improve their writing
28 minutes | a year ago
#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 Tim Ewins blogTim on TwitterTim on Instagram The post #76 – Tim Ewins – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
29 minutes | a year ago
#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 wayWord count spreadsheet – 1000 words per dayObsessive about editsSatisfies the canine overlords before she begins a writing sessionDark and weird genre – on the edges of horrorThemes – loss and death and love – various aspects of being human- twisted fairytales and folklorePerceptions of horror writers‘Reading a lot. Writing a lot.’The benefits of working with a good editorWriting in the middle of the night – inspired by HP LovecraftMichelle Paver, Jason Arnop, Paul Tremblay, Joe Hill, Katrina Ward, Andrew Michael Hurley, Nathan Ballingrud, Priya Sharma, Angela Slatter, Graham JoyceMistletoe – ghost stories at Christmas – MR James, Victorian times – folklore and history of the plant and the seasonHistorical 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 Alison LittlewoodTwitter The post #75 – Alison Littlewood – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
33 minutes | a year ago
#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 Jon Black WritesTwitterFacebook The post #74 – Jon Black – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
27 minutes | a year ago
#73 – Kristy Childs – Write Through The Roof podcast
Interview with debut steampunk author, Kristy Childs “How to make Sleeping Beauty an active protagonist.” Episode 73 – Kristy Childs – Show Notes Writes seasonally – starts in November with Nanowrimo until April Light plot outline but generally pantsing Fuelled by green tea Themes are usually concepts to be included in the work – e.g. airship heist Start with character or concept first? Steampunk or gas lamp – genre definition Editing Changing British English into American English and difference in grammar rules Passive voice cut-out and strengthening word use Microsoft Word extra grammar features “I before e except after c” – exceptionsFavourite genres to read – urban fantasy and YA – N.K. Jemisin, Tamora Pierce, Ben Aaronovitch, Warlock Holmes The Nightmare Detective inspired by The Maltese Falcon but set between the Wars and Sleeping Beauty retelling. Sleep disorders Current project is a Chinese fantasy for Nanowrimo. Inspired by ‘cultivation novels’ – Dragonball Z “I want dinosaurs and I want explosions” Links Kristy on AmazonKristy on Twitter The post #73 – Kristy Childs – Write Through The Roof podcast appeared first on .
28 minutes | a year ago
#72 – Violeta M. Bagia – Write Through The Roof
Interview with paranormal author, Violeta M. Bagia “Whatever you do, you’re only going to get better by repeating it.” Episode 72 – Violeta M. Bagia – Show Notes Writes every day without fail Early morning writing time is the best Nice pair of shoes are required to write Poetic and “prose-y” style. PTSD, new identity, personal transformation The problems with defining a genre – paranormal or urban fantasy or war fiction Routine is all-important to build a writing habit Learning to plot to meet the publisher’s expectations Whiteboard wall Stephen King, Jennifer L Armentrout Jack of Hart – the book came after “finishing” the series. Quick to write but then expanded to double the size. Taking back the rights of the Hart of Darkness series from the original publisher and republished Links Violeta M. Bagia The post #72 – Violeta M. Bagia – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
31 minutes | 2 years ago
#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 formJournalistic background but mainly a pantserWrites 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 peopleThe mystery provides the framework to flesh out with characters and comedyBased on her real village life and her communityClosed communities in a mystery; village and classic English boarding schoolCosy mystery popularity – an antidote to modern life, resolution and happy ever afterWriting 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 penTouch typingAgatha Christie, Dorothy L SayersSophie 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 https://authordebbieyoung.com/ The post #71 – Debbie Young – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
30 minutes | 2 years ago
#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 writeAnalytical approach to writing – informed by linguistics backgroundDaily writing ritual – coffee pot on a timer and ready to goRe-reading a favourite author as writing fuelEmpathy between characters. Epistolary novel form.Five core components to any scene: setting, goal, conflict, resolution, cliffhanger/pivot/changeMargaret Atwood. David MitchellEmpathy series – internet access brain implants inspired by smartphonesTaking time away from a manuscript to get perspective before retoolingMultiple 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 RR Campbell’s websiteRR Campbell on TwitterRR Campbell on FacebookWritescast Network of podcasts The post #70 – R.R. Campbell – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
28 minutes | 2 years ago
#69 – Alan Baxter – Write Through The Roof
Interview with Alan Baxter, writer of dark weird shit ‘Write caffeinated and edit drunk’ Episode 69 – Alan Baxter – Show Notes Baxter believes plotting and pantsing is a sliding scale. Vomit drafter but often edits a little before starting each day’s writing sessionHas a target of 5000 words per week when writing first drafts but doesn’t try to write every day Coffee in the day, whiskey in the evening Genre is ‘dark weird shit’ – soup of urban fantasy, horror and the weird plus crime and noir Themes of justice and consequences Time is the most important thing Martial arts mindset – time and commitment – developing a practice and striving for improvement Stepping away from the manuscript to let the brain to work out the problems Short stories can shake up the process, like cross-training Clive Barker, Stephen King, Lovecraft, Poe, Kaaron Warren, Margo Lanegan and comics Short story collection Served Cold leans more into horror and explores Australian identity Links Alan Baxter – websiteAlan on Twitter The post #69 – Alan Baxter – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
34 minutes | 2 years ago
#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 childrenPrepare 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 poetsAll writing is rewriting.Working on plotting skills but not plotting too much. Needs a sense of tension to keep the writing process interestingTolstoy, Chekhov, Gogol, Helen Garner, Robert Dessaix, Zadie Smith, Geoff Dyer, Joan Didion, Karl Ove KnausgaardImperfect – 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 Lee’s websiteLee on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Linkedin The post #68 – Lee Kofman – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
29 minutes | 2 years ago
#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 Agnes on FacebookAgnes on TwitterAgnes on Instagram The post #67 – Agnes Gomillion – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
34 minutes | 2 years ago
#66 – Alison Morton – Write Through The Roof
Interview with alternative history novelist Alison Morton ‘Exercise your writing muscle in different ways on different days.’ Episode 66 – Alison Morton – Show Notes 30% plotter and 70% pantserBlack moments: when it all falls apart for the main characterWriting versus marketingTea imported in from England – sergeant major’s teaWanted to explore female-led action stories with a Roman flavour. But needed to create an alternative history world to feature strong female leaders. Values, betrayal, rebellion, resilienceAlternative history research: taking history and twisting it but anchoring back to the facts.Using historical logic – what would have happened if?Collaborating with other writers, exchanging ideas, being accepting and givingA team effort to produce a bookRobert Harris’ Fatherland, William Boyd’s Restless, Sebastian Faulks, Lindsay Davis, Georgette HeyerAurelia: going back to write the backstory of the grandmother of the main character of the Carina Mitela seriesWriting short stories and novellas ‘30% plotter and 70% pantser.’ ‘You do need other people to get a successful book out.’ Links Alison Morton – websiteAlison on TwitterAlison on Facebook The post #66 – Alison Morton – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
35 minutes | 2 years ago
#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 plotThe first book took 15 years to write but now tries to be more disciplinedWrites most daysTwo solutions if the words are hard – walk away or force herself to write‘Edit as you go’ personOnce a week writing group to share work-in-progressNanowrimo – to kick start a book or finish a book offTea, coffee and water and wine o’clockDisplacement: theme comes from childhood experiences, relationship problems, PTSD and impact of war, self discovery, religious bigotryReading: taught to read by her fatherLearnt from editor; tough but also positiveRead aloudWriting two books at once; keeps the writing freshClassics: Hardy, Brontes, Anya Seton, Jean Plaidy, Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, Tolstoy, Zola, Kate Atkinson, Amor Towles, historical researchHybrid publishingStorms Gather Between Us ‘A competitive person, even if the competition is myself.’ ‘It’s got to have highs & lows and lights & darks.’ Links Clare FlynnOn AmazonOn Facebook, Instagram & Twitter The post #65 – Clare Flynn – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
28 minutes | 2 years ago
#64 – Christopher Ruz – Write Through The Roof
Interview with horror and fantasy writer Christopher Ruz ‘Look for people who are one or two stages ahead of where you’re at.’ Episode 64 – Christopher Ruz – Show Notes Doesn’t know how to write short stories any more. Tries to write every day – most productive when writing every dayRituals – encasing in a bubble, getting rid of visual distraction and white noise. Pomodoro method – 100 words every 5 minutes.Themes – horror-based but fantasy and sci-fi. But also spy fictionA narrow focus on character – even with epic fantasy using a single narrator. Using a single narrator to create tension with a timeline Finding a group of writers who were better than him Penny Arcade, Discord, Reddit, Twitter Dictation in the car with a lapel mic Cormac McCarthy, Emma Osborne, NK Jemesin, James SA Corey China Mieville and Joe Hill – horror short stories The Ragged Blade – epic fantasy – inspired by a vivid dream – started as a short story All These Shiny Worlds Working on The Ragged Blade 2 (yet unnamed) Originally self-published the first two parts of The Ragged BladeThe journey from self-published to traditionally published ‘The novel is the lazy form’ ‘Every change they recommended made it a better story’ Links Christopher Ruz on TwitterChristopher Ruz’s website The post #64 – Christopher Ruz – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
29 minutes | 2 years ago
#63 – Toby Neal – Write Through The Roof
Interview with best-selling romance & mystery writer Toby Neal ‘People are preoccupied by crime because we want to recognise the wolves in our midst’ Episode 63 – Toby Neal – Show Notes Writing is like a muscle – needs regular workouts2000 words a day targetBoth a plotter and a pantser. More pantser for romance and plotter for mysteries Recording affirmations and listening prior to writing session Themes of good versus evil and the shades of grey in everyone and how love can overcome a multitude of problems Dark themes but with hope – fascinated with the duality between dark and light Mastering your craft – Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – the 10,000 hour ruleTake off your pants – Libbie Hawker – the hero needs to find a cure for their flaw Unconventional childhood – Memoir – FrecklesPutting off writing goals for security – started with an anonymous blog – using real life experience as a school counsellor Speeding up the writing process Dictation, health and accessing creative brain by writing longhand Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens, The Outlander series – Diana Gabaldon Wired Truth: multi-cultural kick-ass female main character. Pushing the envelope for what’s acceptable with female behaviour. Experimenting with different kinds of love. ‘Nothing but writing is going to make you a better writer’ ‘I tried to do literary fiction and I bored myself by page 40’ Links Toby Neal The post #63 – Toby Neal – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
23 minutes | 2 years ago
#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 beatsMaking notes every day but not writing every dayTea and chocolate – frecklesConnection between music and writing: lyrical and poetic.Themes of lack of belonging, search for self or a home, life and musicLearning that the language is secondary to the story and the interaction between characters gives rise to the plotWriting novellas: taking up an opportunityJeanette Winterson, Patricia McKillip, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Angela SlaterImportance of word of mouth for recommendationsPortals 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 Suzanne J Willis The post #62 – Suzanne J Willis – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
29 minutes | 2 years ago
#61 – Pauline Wiles – Write Through The Roof
Episode 61 with Pauline Wiles – women’s fiction author & writing productivity coach ‘We need to figure out our own path and plod along steadily.’ Episode 61 – Pauline Wiles – Show Notes Benefit from writing both fiction and non-fiction: entertainment v exploring own worries Take a day off once a week Tea – English breakfast with milk Bacon controversy Fiction – light-hearted escapist women’s fiction but dealing with finding yourself as a person before getting in a relationship. Quirky cultural differences between the UK and the US. Non-fiction – productivity for writers – purposeful productivity. Comparisonitis. Humans learn by comparing. Listening to her own advice. Mindfulness – catch own thinking before it spirals out of control. Ten-minute daily meditation – listen to own breath. Dividing week into blocks of time. Writing, business, promotion and marketing. Creating a parking lot for ideas Jane Austen, Marian Keyes, Emily Giffin, Laura Vanderkam, Gretchen Rubin Indie With Ease Ten Things my Husband Hated ‘Try to compare when you’re having a positive day.’ ‘I’m definitely not sitting there on a fluffy cloud of zen.’ Links Pauline Wiles The post #61 – Pauline Wiles – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
28 minutes | 2 years ago
#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 deadlineBoth a plotter and a pantser – wearing two hatsSuccessful writers are very productiveWriters being hermitsWinning a competition but having an unsatisfying experience with a Hollywood guruExplaining the story craft without telling the writer what to doStorification – what jumps off the page and lives in the reader’s mind e.g a moral message in a fairy taleThe 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 meaningLeaving gaps makes the reader create meaning in their own mind – puzzles for the reader to do the workPG Wodehouse – books released after his deathThe Primary Colours of Story coming out in 2019 ‘He’d been rubbish but he became a genius because he worked’ Links David Baboulene’s websiteDavid on Twitter The post #60 – David Baboulene – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
28 minutes | 2 years ago
#59 – Rebecca Tope – Write Through The Roof
Episode #59 – Interview with cosy-mystery writer Rebecca Tope. ‘I didn’t get published until I was 50.’ Written 35+ murder mystery novels as a pantser Coffee or gin Themes of natural burials & anti-technology. British cosy mysteries featuring a village pub. Mobile phones affecting crime stories & the inclusion of drones Practice – millions & millions of words Writing groups didn’t help Mentoring others helps own writing – seeing the good & bad in aspiring writers Brutal feedback Long apprenticeships & writing competitions Biography of Sabine Baring-Gould – writer of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ Research – a lot of research done for the biography & historical fiction but little research for murder mysteries Celia Fremlin (domestic suspense), Agatha Christie, Lee Child, Kate Atkinson, William de Morgan Settings – real & fictitious The Grasmere Grudge, Secrets in the Cotswolds, the Patterdale Plot One draft ‘Readers don’t mind if they think their house is the scene of a murder.” ‘I only really do one draft.’ Links www.rebeccatope.com The post #59 – Rebecca Tope – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
32 minutes | 2 years ago
#58 – Patty Jansen – Write Through The Roof
Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft. Episode 58 – Patty Jansen– award-winning science-fiction & fantasy writer ‘Don’t bore the reader. Don’t annoy the reader. Don’t confuse the reader.’ Episode 58 – Patty Jansen – Show Notes Do something on the manuscript every day Being a rebel and going with the flowWriting after 4pm and into the evening Themes – down to earth, gritty and difficult topics – sex, religion and politics. Duality in the problems the characters face.Writing workshops – the value is not the critiques you receive but what you learn from reading other people’s work. The bigger the group the betterHandling critiquesOnline Writing Workshop for Science-Fiction, Fantasy and HorrorThe three rules for writing; don’t bore the reader, don’t annoy the reader & don’t confuse the reader.Concentrate on telling a good story. Get a reader and an editor and don’t sweat the small stuff.Non-fiction reading – the psychology of marketing and political biographies. In fiction, writers who can write across genres – Harry Potter/Robert GalbraithAmbassador series – different ecosystems, politics and conspiracies, action, Kiwis in space. Currently working on book 9. ‘It is up to you. It’s not up to them to write your book.’ ‘It is a fantasy setting but it obviously has reverberations in the real world.’ Links Patty Jansen The post #58 – Patty Jansen – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
26 minutes | 2 years ago
#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 readDefining ‘weird fiction’Science facts writing and reading informs science-fictionThe benefits of writing a poem a weekCoffee with milkThemes of real-life loss and trauma mixed with the supernaturalEpiphany during a Clarion Writing Workshop – learning about the five-point plot structureUsing description as an opportunity to reinforce characterisation – what matters most is what the character thinks about what they’re seeing.Popular fiction and literary fictionWriting a space opera web serial – Broken Eye book Patreon – Eyedelon MagazineLaunchpad workshop – astronomy for writersCaitlin R Kiernan, Christa FaustGarden of Eldritch Delights – a collection of fantasy, science fiction & horror stories. Batching up stories of similar themesNext up is the fourth book in the Jessie Shimmer urban fantasy series ‘Poetry is great cross-training’ Links www.lucysnyder.com The post #57 – Lucy Snyder – Write Through The Roof appeared first on .
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