Episode 31: Thunderclap of Awkward

Writing is a messy process, and it shows in this episode, where I have to face the fact that sometimes you throw away words that you love. I also seek to embrace my inner-middle-schooler by remembering my own experience and forcing my friends and family to remember theirs! After all, writers often steal from real life!

In this episode:

  • I make the world’s worst ninja.
  • The challenges of writing when your schedule is off and you are supposed to be on a weekend “away,” but your story is nagging at you.
  • When all the kids go off to school, how much time do you really have?  It’s easy to squander your time if you aren’t careful. I attempt to time-block to counteract my tendency to nickel and dime my time.
  • Jennie is a huge fan of using an actual kitchen timer when trying to build a writing habit. She uses an actual hourglass!
  • In my book, I keep my surface level details, while changing gears in the driving force behind my story. I discovered that the reason why I couldn’t connect the beginning and end of my story was because I was solving a different problem at the end than I presented at the beginning of the book.
  • Don’t build a world that doesn’t make sense for your story.
  • Sometimes you have to give up world-building details that you love in order for your story to make sense.
  • I used the idea behind the Parent Trap movie and the tropes in my genre to pull it all together—the wicked step mother and the wicked step sister. I think it would be fun if my main character had to choose between having the wicked step-mother OR having the wicked step-sister.
  • When writing about middle school, you have to lean into all the awkward moments and memories of things that happen. I surveyed people asking for their worst memories of middle school for inspiration! And we include them. Including an EPIC Melanie Parish Middle School Moment as a bonus at the end!!
  • Real writers do this thing called “throwing stuff out”—words are cheap, just get rid of them.