Yes, you read that right. On Tuesdays, Scott O’Connor shows up at my house along with a band of students.
It really is the most incredible good fortune. When I was offered the chance to host a novel writing workshop this summer, of course I said yes. Get to talk about writing with a bunch of fellow writing nerds in my own house every week? Yes please. And, even beyond that, to learn with a teacher who is the perfect blend of encouraging and practical. I’m so so glad he succumbed to my persistent requests to come on the show so I could share all that encouragement with you.
Much of what Scott shares is straightforward on the surface, but often hard to follow through on: keep writing forward all the way through the draft. Don’t let the urge to rewrite a scene until you get it perfect stop you from continuing. It’s possible to figure things out by finishing the draft- you won’t know where it goes until you get all the way through the story. All these things make logical sense. But writing a book isn’t always logical. I hope you enjoy this episode. I have been getting so much from hearing the advice Scott shares every week in my own class, so it’s a special treat to share it with all of you.
Discussed in Episode 72 with Scott O’Connor:
- Writing all the way through & fighting the revision compulsion
- The second draft notebook and the highlighter vs. notebook method
- How to keep good notes
- Why the novel you end up with is very different than the one you begin
- Finding the actual beginning of your book
- The Scooby & Shaggy principle of story writing
- 12 notebooks in a plastic Super King bag
- What to do when you get 60-70 pages in and totally run out of ideas
- The moment of panic
- How to know there’s a novel in there
- The pessimistic nature of writers
- The danger of the public persona of the writer
- Ways to mix it up and keep going when you’re stuck
- The difficulty of getting rid of parts you wrote
- taking a sharp right or left out of a stuck place
- The trick of endings
- Balancing several projects and the new idea as life-preserver