Convert that commute to a crammer session with inspiring content from fine minds in literature and publishing. You'll find here the best podcasts for writers according to the novelists of The Novelry.
These podcasts with writers and editors will prove consoling and cheering, and see you through not just the first draft, but the long haul. Ten great podcasts to keep writers smiling.
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On your iPhone or iPad.
If you have an iPhone you can use the Apple podcasts app to listen to podcasts.
Last week, on our intensive writers' residential course, we heard from bestselling authors Sophie Hannah and Louise Doughty and from literary agent Tim Bates at Peters, Fraser + Dunlop.
The three agreed on one thing. Since 2000 the market for fiction has changed dramatically, and these three long-haul survivors have learnt one lesson very well. The rise and rise of psychological fiction, and the thriller form, has changed the way we want to read books now. The rise of this fast-moving genre coincides with the Age of Impatience and the new media of Netflix & Co. 'What's going to happen, next?' We expect twists and pace.
The thrills and spills of mainstream fiction via this dark, internalized cloak and dagger genre and it's partners in crime and mystery, has snuffed the life out of the Literary Fiction genre, irreparably it seems. if you want Literary Fiction, see Trollope. Tim Bates made the comment that literary fiction can only make it if there's a...
How to get your entire novel manuscript that final professional polish submission?
It's a two-stage process.
First, DIY. You grow as an author by being able to edit your own novel through numerous passes, and our Editing courses will help you eliminate a few drafts. We'll show you how to do it, giving you a method to last you a lifetime. (Our 'reversible' course is quite a cool way to plan a novel too!)
Second, Professional Help. When you've done multiple successive drafts and cracked story and character development to the satisfaction of any reader, you'll want to dot some i's and cross some t's and you may wisely feel you need another pair of eyes on your full manuscript and some final proofreading beyond the tools we recommend at The Novelry, you'll need some human help which can take into account your creative treatment's quirks and ploys.
You need to be very hard on your work, and push it through as many drafts as required. As...
As we enter the exciting season of our annual Firestarter Competition at The Novelry for the best opening to a novel in progress, it's worth thinking what entering competitions can do for you and your career as an author.
Some points of view from our writers.
By Louise Tucker, member of The Novelry.
This time last year I started entering my unpublished novel into writing competitions. I had drafted and redrafted it, had good feedback from agents but no takers, and wasn’t quite sure whether to give it up and start something else. Then someone at The Novelry shared a link about the Stockholm Writers’ Festival First Pages Prize and, thinking I had nothing to lose but money, I entered.
The same week another friend at The Novelry put up a reminder about the Lucy Cavendish Prize and I decided to enter that too. What harm? I thought, as I pressed the...
In the first blog of the series, we took a look at why you should start your novel writing plan with your title rather than pick and mix as you go or pin a tail on the donkey at the end. In the second blog we saw the dominant form for the novel title prior to the Twentieth Century was the eponym - or the name of the main character of the story. In the third blog of this series, we saw how the dominant form for the novel title in the Twentieth Century became the Reference; poetic or biblical. In the fourth blog, we saw the emergence of low-brow references and the rise and rise of the Supermodel Solo title at the end of the century.
Welcome to the 21st Century, which we might describe as the Age of Obscurantism, with strained efforts on the part of authors to reach for titles which challenge the reader.
References become more scientific, technical, ever-so academic, arcane, abstruse and sometimes unwelcoming of the less advanced reader...
In the first blog of the series, we saw the dominant form for the novel title prior to the Twentieth Century was the eponym - or the name of the main character of the story. In the last blog this series, we saw how the dominant form for the novel title in the Twentieth Century became the Reference; poetic or biblical. Perhaps they've given you inspiration for writing your own novel title as a statement of your literary purpose to guide writing our novel from the start?
Now we are going to look at the rise of other forms, one a cunningly disguised variant of the Reference, and the other the late Twentieth Century 'supermodel' of titles.
Here's a recap on how the widely acclaimed best novels of the Twentieth Century are titled - in clusters.
The Subversive Reference.
Robert Penn Warren's novel All the King's Men was published in 1946, and as we saw in the last blog, the title is derived from a low-brow source - Humpty Dumpty.
In the last blog, we saw the dominant form for the novel title prior to the Twentieth Century was the eponym - or the name of the main character of the story. To an extent, this is reflective of the tacit understanding of the novel's purpose as form versus a play or a short story or a poem - as one person's moral or literal journey.
It's all change in the Twentieth Century!
In this first of two, we're going to look at the first half of the century, and in the next the end of the Twentieth Century as there's a sea change from the 1980's.
In the Twentieth Century the eponym is old news and almost gone.
Yes, there's a slightly broader range of 'statements of literary intention' but not so much as you might think.
In fact, the title form from 1900-2000 is dominated by one form.
The Reference. (The Deferential Doffing of the Author's Cap.)
The citation or quotation. A referential, deferential, preferential doffing of the hat either to the Bard, the poets, or to the...
Welcome to Titology, or the study of titles.
In this short series of blogs on the origins of novel titles, I will perform a rude taxonomy to classify the species. For my roll call I'm using a combination of the bestselling, best-regarded 'Top 100 Novels' lists from the UK and the USA.
A title is a statement of literary intention.
As a form in itself it has become increasingly nuanced over time, but it's still possible to decipher the motives and meanings behind titles, and quite fascinating. Once armed you can title your book with confidence and sharpen your creative intentions. When we know what we're doing, as authors, we tend to do it rather well. When we don't we tend to do it rather badly. Post-rationalising your intentions in multiple drafts of a novel is a bore, as I described in the last blog.
Now, the modern novel is considered to have started in 1605 with The Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes better known as...
"In my younger and more vulnerable years," (to borrow from the opening line of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald) I would write a novel, many times over many drafts, discarding huge amounts of material, then set about the business of the novel title.
My 'blue' period of retro-fitting a novel title has been one of twenty years, so you could say it's become a habit. Possibly a bad habit. I wonder how other novelists work? As you will know from an earlier blog, Scott Fitzgerald struggled with the title of his most famous work and it came after the novel was complete.
Having become aware, thanks to exposure to The Novelry, that most writers can write, but most (like me) struggle with story, I've sharpened my practice and put story first and foremost, and I teach that way too. We begin with what readers want; story. The idea for a story needs to be good, not great, but good enough. The rest is in the treatment and the logic that unfolds what happens next.
In the coming weeks at the Sunday blog, we will be getting you all set to take it from the top and start writing your new novel in 2020. If you know what you'd like write, get started with our creative writing course like the Ninety Day Novel course. If you're a writer short of an idea, the Classic course will help you create a powerful story. If you mean business, and 2020 is the year you're writing that book, then sign up for our Book in a Year program for a safe and steady managed process. In the meantime, mull the idea over. Consider how you're going to write it. Here's this year's annual for novelists. Click on any image to read novel writing tips from Louise Dean. You can find the complete collection of our writing advice for those writing a novel here. Happy reading!