Weekly Inspiration for Writers

NaNo Prep: Finding the Beats of Your Story, featuring Jessica Brody

Do you feel stuck in your story? Not sure where to begin, or where to go from here? This episode has real solutions! Jessica Brody has taken a popular structure used for screenplay writing and adapted it for novelists—and in this episode she unpacks how that works, explaining beats and how writers can think about them and use them to crack their own stories. As they gear up for NaNoWriMo, Grant and Brooke consider the value of structure, and also reiterate that no matter your approach, NaNo can be a game-changer in your writing process.

NaNo Prep: Insider Secrets from NaNoWriMo’s Founder , featuring Chris Baty

In this episode, NaNoWriMo Founder and record-holder for the most NaNoWriMo’s ever completed, Chris Baty, joins Grant and Brooke to talk about NaNoWriMo’s origin story and how setting the bar really low is part of the point of doing NaNo in the first place. This inspiring episode will help listeners considering doing NaNoWriMo this year get over any anxieties they might be harboring. With less than a month to go, Write-Minded is getting in the mindset to get words on the page.

Changing the World by Writing Alternate Histories (and Prepping for NaNoWriMo), featuring Mary Robinette Kowal

This episode kicks off a series dedicated to preparing for and getting through National Novel Writing Month in November. Guest Mary Robinette Kowal has embraced the structure and community of NaNoWriMo for all of her novels, and she shares with listeners about how she’s a “plantser,” and also some of her personal strategies around preparing to write a new novel. In this episode, Grant, Brooke, and Mary Robinette discuss the sub-genre of “alternate histories” and encourage listeners to gear up for NaNoWriMo by harnessing some of that “what-if” sensibility at the heart of alternate history storylines.

Perseverance and the Art of Changing Directions, featuring Emily X.R. Pan

It took today’s guest, Emily X.R. Pan, ten years to finish her novel. In today’s high-pressure, fast-paced, ambition-oriented culture, you hear more about the people who write a book a year than you do about all the writers toiling away at their craft—and the perseverance, endurance, and diligence it takes to finish a book. In this episode Grant and Brooke talk about taking U-turns in your writing, reinvigorating projects that feel like they’re dying on the vine, and the many variations of creative process that exist.

“I Should Be Writing,” featuring Mur Lafferty

All writers face that nagging, guilting critical voice telling us: you should be writing. This episode’s title comes from Mur Lafferty’s podcast: I Should Be Writing, and Mur talks with Grant and Brooke about some of the challenges she and her many guests face in their writing. Writers will always face time constraints and other obstacles to getting their writing done, so today’s episode, perhaps more than anything, provides comfort in knowing you’re not alone (with a bit of inspiration and few good tips thrown in for good measure!)

Cultural Appropriation in Fiction and Who Gets to Write What, featuring Kirstin Chen

In this episode Brooke and Grant share the definition of cultural appropriation from Amandla Stenberg’s YouTube video, in which she says, “Cultural appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated, but is deemed as high fashion cool or funny when the privilege take it from themselves.”

Bending Genres: Telling Your Story, Your Way, featuring Kwame Alexander

Grant and Brooke discuss unconventional writing, and how and why it’s not particularly embraced by the traditional publishing industry. Their guest, Kwame Alexander, is best-known for his book The Crossover, which is a YA novel in verse that big publishers didn’t think would attract a wide readership. They were wrong. This episode is a celebration of following your heart and embracing the unconventional.

Social Media — Love It or Hate It, featuring Amy Ferris

Brooke and Grant share how they wrangle with social media—and why it’s a friend and a foe. Their guest, Amy Ferris, shares how she’s grown her Facebook following to capacity, garnering hundreds of comments and shares with each post.

Everyone’s a Writer, featuring Mark Nepo

Today’s episode taps into the heart and soul of the Write-minded message (and cornerstone of NaNoWriMo)—that everyone’s story matters. Guest Mark Nepo talks about writing as a birthright, and Brooke and Grant muse over how writing became an elitist endeavor, and why we should challenge that.

Coming Soon

Susan Dennard: NaNo Prep: Coaxing the “Magical Cookies” Out of Your Story

OCT 22, 2018

Jasmine Guillory: NaNo Prep: The Power of Believing in Yourself as a Writer

OCT 29, 2018

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