Secret Library Podcast


Secret Library Podcast Episodes

#72 Scott O'Connor

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