Pen On Fire blog

Wally Lamb and Mary Troy on Writers on Writing

New York Times bestselling author Wally Lamb joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest novel, I’ll Take You There.  He discusses feminism, recurring characters, magical realism, how his interests have shifted over time, and his nostalgic love affair with an age now past.

In the second half, Mary Troy shares her novel Swimming on Hwy N.  Mary discusses her love for Missouri and bringing that place to life on the page, quirky characters, and how she approached the novel after her work in short fiction.

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(Broadcast date: December 14, 2016)

Revision tool: Shrink your manuscript

I’m revising my novel and am looking for tips, so I went online and came across this idea by Darcy Pattison. It calls for shrinking your manuscript so you can see the structure, see your strongest chapters, character arc, etc. This 20-minute YouTube video shows you how.  Let me know how it works for you and if you come across any other good methods that help you revise, report back with those, too.

Teddy Wayne and Shawn Wong on Writers on Writing

In the first half hour, novelist Teddy Wayne, author of Loner, talks with Nicole Nelson about leveraging spare use of the second person to add menace, building dread gradually through multiple drafts, and managing his writing time to balance work on fiction as well as being a regular contributions to The New Yorker and The New York Times.

In the second half, novelist Shawn Wong, author of American Knees, talks about his pioneering work in the field of Asian American Studies, how watching and listening closely to women helps him write rounded female characters, and how working with returning soldiers through the Red Badge Project taught him to think on his feet.

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(Broadcast date: November 30, 2016)