This week? Well, our podcast is not our normal format because we've been in the car for... um... Okay? Forty-eight hours?
So, this week we drove from Maine to Vermont to Maine to North Carolina to Maine. In North Carolina, we went to Shaun's dad's funeral and it was the first time that Carrie's been in a Southern church.
This week's podcast if you can't see it below.
The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here!
“Carrie’s feedback is specific, insightful and extremely helpful. She is truly invested in helping each of us move forward to make our manuscripts the best they can be.”
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My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
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WHAT IS PATREON?
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.
Seriously. The best books are like wedgies. You can’t ignore them. They get right up inside you and into places they aren’t supposed to go. And sometimes it’s hard to get them out. This week Carrie talked to a lot of her writers about how if you don’t long to write your scenes, your readers probably aren’t going to long to read those scenes either. And recently the New York Times talked to Steve Martin (actor, writer, comedian) about books. He’s allegedly addicted to audiobooks, which is cool. He said, “I’m also a sucker for the magic of opening paragraphs. I’ll never understand what the sorcery is in literature and movies that engages you immediately and makes it impossible to look away.” A wedgie engages you immediately. And a book can do that too, sometimes. But sometimes it’s not like a wedgie; it’s more like a bad 8-hour Zoom meeting about land use ordinances and setback requirements in a town you’ll never visit. So how do you keep your book from being boring? You wedgify it. Yes, we made up that word. HOW DO YOU WEDGIFY A BOOK? You go all in. Make the conflict as big as possible.You have dynamic scenes where things happen. Not just the character’s meandering thoughts about Zoom meetings.You make us care. Wedgies matter because your bum matters. WRITING TIP OF THE POD Go all in with your stories. ...
In our random thought of the podcast, which is not transcribed here, Shaun gets a bit mad at political things. If you’re not into that, you might want to skip to the eight-minute mark. Okay, first things first. What is a writing platform? An author’s platform is basically just the author’s presence on the web. Your website. Your TikTok, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Instagram, your podcast, your blog. Unlike Coke or Spanx, your platform isn’t faceless. It’s all about you, the writer. As the foundation of your brand, you have to figure out what it is that you want to do and achieve. Most writers want to tell stories. That’s their goal. So as an author your platform is going to be about how to tell your stories and how you tell your story, especially the story of you, the writer. I’ve failed at this a lot because I’ve historically not been into talking about writing. I prefer to just write, but that put me in a weird little vacuum, a void. A lot of writers worrying about their platform get started with a mission statement. WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT. According to Tim Berry (link on the podcast notes), “A mission statement is a simple statement that explains your company’s goals. It’s a summary of what your company does for its customers, employees, and owners. It explains how you do what you do. And, it focuses on why your company does what it does. Some of the best mission statements also extend themselves to include fourth and fifth dimensions: what the company does for its community, and for the world.” And Blake Stockton wrote: “A mission statement is a short, meaningful sentence (or several sentences) that summarizes ...
Hard writer truth time: First drafts suck. Almost everything stinks the first time you do it. That’s because it’s THE FIRST time you do it. But, we tend to expect to have our writing be perfect somehow. Why? Guitarists don’t expect to be Mark Knopffler the moment they pick up a guitar. Singers don’t expect to be Norah Jones the first time they sing. Sculptors don’t expect to be Michelangelo. Here’s the Thing: Being good takes practice. And even if you’ve written 100 novels already? There is a high likelihood that your first draft of your next novel? It’s going to suck. But it’s not the end of the world. The end of the world is when you give up. So, how do you make your sucky first draft better? Think about it. You can do it WRITER TIP OF THE POD You want to make that first draft a better second draft? Think of these three things to start off right. Think about what your character wants more than anything in the world. Make sure you have that in your story. Think about what your character would never do – ...