10. Into the Double Ds

In celebration of making double digits (episode 10!), we have an extended episode this week.

We started with a discussion of the rules of our different writing genres. 

 

Kate started us off, discussing the rules of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but we side-tracked into world building, Sweet Valley High, Sookie Stackhouse, Game of Thrones, before recovering to get back to the rules.
Máire in typical fashion disagreed with all the established rules of comedy and invented her own, the fundamental one being NO KICKING DOWN! She is very clear on that! I wrapped up this section with a rules of detective fiction.

 This discussion was followed with a writing update and semi-writing-breakdown as I share my recent (horrible) revelation that my novel is not improving as I go through the structural edits and still will not fit comfortably in any established genre. This section is probably closer to group therapy than writing updates.

 

9. Key resources and key people

This time we talk about the things that we’ve used that helped us: books, websites, courses, conferences, and everyone refuses to enable my insistence that movie watching counts as writing! I then asked when are you ready to go looking for an agent. And we talk about the agent’s role, finding the right agent, how writers become authors, and the luxury of time for first time authors…. and the beginnings of a Santa origin story.

Resources we mention are:

 

8. Have we learned anything at all?

In this episode we discuss how sparks of ideas end up as written stories, what we look for in ideas to  make them into stories, and ponder how we picked the subject or if the subject picked us. This segued neatly into talking about what we would do differently knowing what we now know, and how we’ve obviously developed the perfectly streamlined process by now… probably… or maybe not.

7. Name calling and a writing update

This week we gave a writing update to see how far we had come since the pilot episode, and what were the obstacles in the way.

We then flowed into the thorny subject of naming characters, places and sometimes things. The question of using nicknames or borrowing the associations of distinctive names was .. well, not really answered to tell the truth (!) but they were both discussed.

 

6. A beard stroker and putting it out there

This week Kate stumped us with an excellent question: what role does the act of listening play in our writing. We grappled with this and finally emerged with some very different thoughts and views (and a conspiracy theory was born: has this whole podcast been set up by my family to get me to
listen more??). 

 

 Then we moved back to safer ground – putting your writing out there; advantages, challenges, hurdles. How do we do it and why.

 

5. A good story and a better competition

This week we had a discussion on what makes a good story and what is it that really attracts a reader to a story. We discuss what attributes make our favourite stories our favourites, and what traits should be absolutely avoided.

This was followed by a natter on competitions – the benefits, the pitfalls and really how useful are they to a writer?

 

4. Raving (classes) and Ranting (writer’s block)

In a continuing discussion from episode 3, the conversation turned to writing classes – what benefits do they bring and why should people do them. As a confessed class-aholic I love a good writing class and attend them frequently, however, interestingly, Kate and Maire never do.

This then lead to a discussion (read: argument/rant) about writer’s block. Mixed in with terribly fake Dublin accents and overtones of feminism, there was a discussion questioning the very existence of writer’s block and, assuming that it is real, how should one overcome it