Episode 40: The Big 4-0

The Big 4-0, subtitled Can you make him die faster? 

Good news! In this episode, Jennie tells Abby and Mel that they're in totally different (awesome!) places than they were before as writers. Abby and Mel agree that the problems that they're fixing in their writing aren't as daunting as they were before they started the coaching process ten deadlines ago. 

In this episode:

  • "While I wanted to be a writer before, and I thought I kinda knew how to do it, I really needed someone to show me how. It took some guidance to get me on the right path. If you'd asked me last summer, 'Are you a writer?' I would say no. But now I feel like I can say yes!" - Abby 
  • How do you write when there's no such thing as a normal week? Abby's been dealing with 3-day-long power outages, Mel's been dealing with illness rampaging through her house, and we know every other writer parent out there gets handed all sorts of things day-to-day that get in the way of working on our stories. So, what to do? Work through it, write through it. The podcast is called MomWrites for a reason - not WritesMom. We Mom first, we write in the margins when we have to!
  • Jennie and Mel review her third chapter, something partially retrieved from her old manuscript with new writing weaved in. Now that the big problems with the story are solved, we're circling back and adding in more nuance. We say this a lot around here, but writing is iterative - it's never just one pass through. We go back again and again, improving the story, the plot, the characters and their connection to each other and the events they're experiencing. 
  • Meryl Streep once said about acting the part a queen: "Oh it's easy - it's how other people react to you." The same thing is true for writing, especially world-building. Character reactions to events in the story show how the people in this world feel about their situation, and an easy and slick way to do this is through interaction between characters, their thoughts, feelings and dialogue. 
  • Logic issues: where are we in time and space? This is especially important in action scenes. Anything that makes your reader think too hard about what your character is doing, where they're standing, etc., takes the reader out of the story. We don't want this! Time and space needs to be seamless--sometimes it seems silly, don't make your reader figure it out!