Episodes

Weekly Inspiration for Writers

Craft-minded series: Writing “Imaginative Fiction,” featuring Jeff VanderMeer

Craft-minded series: Writing “Imaginative Fiction,” featuring Jeff VanderMeer

As we continue on with our Craft-minded series, Write-minded is honored to have Jeff VanderMeer speaking about imagination and how to mine the depths of your imagination to make yourself a better writer. Jeff’s classic craft book, Wonderbook, is written for the “imaginative fiction writer” rather than the “realistic fiction writer,” so we’re taking a dive into imagination, into creativity. This is an episode about keeping an open mind and having fun, which is the kind of energy anyone who’s going into NaNoWriMo next month needs to cultivate. So come on the journey with us. We have your supplies all ready for you!

Craft-minded series: Craft as Shaper of Story, featuring Morgan Talty

Craft-minded series: Craft as Shaper of Story, featuring Morgan Talty

In this third of six episodes in the Craft-minded series, Grant and Brooke speak with guest Morgan Talty about story form and how to listen for what your book wants to be. If, as a writer, you believe in the power of being in conversation with your own book, you’ll find a lot of comfort in Morgan’s articulation of that relationship between self and creative output, in addition to concrete ideas about how we shape our work by listening, patching together bits and pieces from here and there, and growing alongside our stories. An episode for the spirit, as well as the craft-minded.

Craft-minded series: Characterization, featuring A.M. Homes

Craft-minded series: Characterization, featuring A.M. Homes

This week kicks off a 6-week craft-minded series, starting with the great A.M. Holmes on characterization. In this episode we talk about dialogue, indirect and direct characterization, character tics, and how to pay attention to your own writing tics and “bad habits.” Homes is a seasoned writer of many books and teaches creative writing at Princeton, and she’s known for her depth and breadth of character—so you’re in for a treat on this topic that feels like it could be endlessly mind. Much food for thought for the craft-minded!

How to Have an Opinion in Memoir, featuring Mychal Denzel Smith

How to Have an Opinion in Memoir, featuring Mychal Denzel Smith

This week’s episode is a celebration of opinion, of boldly stating what you mean and what matters to you and why. Writing is an exercise in truth-telling, and when it’s your personal truth—no matter what your genre—it’s scary as hell. And while this week centers memoir, the episode is for anyone who’s trying to write what they think. It’s about why it matters that writers synthesize, interpret, make meaning, extrapolate, and also examines consequences—for you as a writer, and also for the world outside of you. If you’re wrestling with truth, with fallout, with consequences, with what’s at stake—Mychal Denzel Smith will provoke many questions and leave you inspired.

On Writing and Selling Trauma, featuring Stephanie Foo

On Writing and Selling Trauma, featuring Stephanie Foo

In her profound and moving new memoir, What My Bones Know, guest Stephanie Foo writes about trauma, and about a diagnosis of Complex PTSD that is lacking first-person narratives. In this week’s episode, the first of Write-minded’s fifth year, co-hosts Brooke and Grant talk about why trauma is a slippery subject to sell to publishers, and why Stephanie’s book is a breakthrough kind of memoir that paves the way for more of these kinds of narratives in the future. Stephanie is an insightful guest, offering valuable tips for how to write trauma and sharing how this was a book she had to write, and some of the considerations and fears she faced on the memoir journey.

How to Follow Your Passions When the Creative Expression Feels Elusive, featuring Charlie Jane Anders and Azar Nafisi

How to Follow Your Passions When the Creative Expression Feels Elusive, featuring Charlie Jane Anders and Azar Nafisi

In our final summer episode, we bring you two voices of advocacy in an episode that will both stoke your passions and remind you to be gentle with yourself at the same time. Guests Charlie Jane Anders and Azar Nafisi both speak to why we must write our truths, pay attention, bear witness, and remember the power of one person’s voice and words to save and change lives.

Emotional Expression Is as Scary and Important as You Think It Is, featuring Erica Jong and Lilly Dancyger

Emotional Expression Is as Scary and Important as You Think It Is, featuring Erica Jong and Lilly Dancyger

This week Write-minded revisits two powerful interviews in which guests Erica Jong and Lilly Dancyger shared with us about the power of emotion on the page. Erica Jong’s work has often centered fear and desire while Lilly Dancyger’s work has circled anger. Both women share the power of unlocking emotion on the page, and touch upon the ways in which women are expected to be more confined in their emotional expression. This is exactly why it’s so important to feel those emotions and express them on the page, and these two authors give the absolute permission to do so, and model how in their wonderful works of fiction and nonfiction.

Using Subtext and Omission to Achieve More by Writing Less, featuring EJ Koh and Charmaine Wilkerson

Using Subtext and Omission to Achieve More by Writing Less, featuring EJ Koh and Charmaine Wilkerson

This week’s episode is chock-full of craft tips and ideas for thinking about the subtle art of subtext and omission, featuring two of our favorite craft episodes from the past year. E.J. Koh and Charmaine Wilkerson will help you think about what to leave out, how to help your readers read between the lines, and why these craft techniques are an exercise in building trust with your readers. Two excellent writers on two important craft points that create more depth and sophistication when it comes to storytelling and scene-writing.

For the Love of Fantasy, featuring Kwame Mbalia and Namina Forna

For the Love of Fantasy, featuring Kwame Mbalia and Namina Forna

In this week’s remembrances of some of the best episodes of the past year, we’re highlighting fantasy’s importance as a genre with guests Kwame Mbalia and Namina Forna. There’s so much goodness packed in here—about process, about why we write, about inspirations, and some fabulous tips for staying the course even when you feel like you don’t have the time. This isn’t so much an episode about fantasy as it is about writing intentionally and infusing meaning into genre writing just as you would any writing you do.

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