{Secret Library Podcast} Scott O’Connor teaches in my Dining Room

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.

Listen up on iTunes | Scott’s Website | Scott’s Books | Twitter

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


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