Episode 114: Writing outside Your Lane

This week Andi and Lise discuss the old writing adage of “writing what you know” and how that is or is not problematic. They delve into “writing outside your lane” and writing characters who aren’t like you, and being responsible about doing that and why it’s important, and why you need to think about the lens through which you view the larger society. There are no easy answers, but the conversations are important. 

Writers on “writing what you know” 

Mo Black on writing diverse characters 

Alexander Chee at Vulture on how to unlearn everything: “When it comes to writing ‘other,’ what questions are we not asking?” 

Writing the Other — Resources 

Shout-outs: Lise shouted out horror novel The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher in which a woman, freshly divorced ends up living in her uncle’s house and discovers a portal to other worlds haunted by scary things. Andi is shouting out working on getting her stress levels under control and also, she would like to shout-out Lise for doing the editing on the audiofiles! GO, Lise!!!!! 

Episode 98: Beyond Romance in Lesfic with KD Williamson

Andi and Lise were joined by author KD Williamson to talk about lesbian fiction aka “lesfic.” Why does it seem to be predominantly defined by storylines that feature romance — F/F — that usually involve sexual consummation, whether it’s fade to black or depicted as part of the storyline? Why aren’t there other genres represented as much as romance under the lesfic umbrella? After all, being LGBTQ+ involves a lot more than romance and sex. Andi, Lise, and KD ponder. 

Shout-outs: Lise is not pleased about this, but getting it done will be great – fixing up the bathroom! For her part, KD has been doing some of her gaming. She’s got Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on the Xbox and Ni no Kuni on the Nintendo Switch AND the PS5! Meanwhile, Andi sucked it up and just bought a PS4. The first 3 games she got are Uncharted: Lost LegacyHorizon Zero Dawn,  and Wolfenstein II: New Colossus

Episode 95: Writing in the Time of COVID

Andi and Lise talk about how to create/write during a time of intense upheaval – in this case, a pandemic. How can writers incorporate it? Do they? Should they? How do you incorporate global traumatic events into, e.g., romance? How can you ensure that you are accurately capturing the experiences of people from different backgrounds who are also experiencing the pandemic? Also, Andi coins the term “panfic” though probably somebody out there has already done it. LOL 

Shout-outs: Lise highly recommends two novellas by Vietnamese author Nghi Vo. The novellas are 1 and 2 in the Singing Hills Cycle and include “The Empress of Salt and Fortune” and “When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain.” Queer rep, interesting POV approach. Andi has started watching season 2 of the CW’s Nancy Drew take and so far, she’s enjoying it. The new approach takes on Nancy Drew with paranormal twists. You can find the first season on Amazon Prime

Episode 75: Writing Book Series

This week, Andi and Lise talk writing (since they’re writers and all). Specifically, the pitfalls and fun stuff in writing series. Both have series they’ve written or are writing and they break down some of the things they think about or have thought about as they’re writing different kinds of series in different genres. Like, you know, character continuity, plot arcs, world-building, other stuff…like that.

Shout-outs!
Lise recommends the animated series Gravity Falls, available on Disney Plus (and also Hulu) while Andi binged Picard, on CBS All Access. Find info about Lise’s series at her website, lisemactague.com. Find out more about Andi’s at andimarquette.com.

On writing series:
Notion Press: How to Write a Great Book Series
Now Novel: How to Write a Series, 10 Tips
Just Writerly Things: How to Write a Series

Episode 60: Our Writing Processes

Andi and Lise get a little personal and talk shop about their respective writing processes. Both write spec fic, though Andi also writes romance and mysteries, and those genres take a different approach. They discuss how they approach different projects, what kind of preparation they do, multitasking different projects or not, outlines or not, and tools of the trade. They also talk about how writing influences how they watch, read, and analyze other creators’ work.

Writing platforms they talked a bit about:
Word
Scrivener

Notebooks (as in actual paper!) both use for project notes/character sketches/plots/timelines:
Moleskine
Link to a bunch of different notebooks (Andi uses several different kinds, usually plain-covered or something with a skull on the cover…lol)

Andi and Lise both recommend doing NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month, which is every November. 50,000 words in a month is what NNWM is about. Try it! Great community, great fun!
NaNoWriMo

Find them at their websites:
Lise MacTague
Andi Marquette

And finally, Andi geeked out about the start of the final (sob) season of Killjoys. Lise got raved about the excitement of She-Ra’s third season.

Episode 44: NaNoWriMo

Andi and Lise discuss the annual giant writing event, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, in which participants hammer out a short novel of 50,000 words over the course of November. They tell you what it is, how it works, what some strategies might be to help you approach your NaNo writing project, offer their own experiences doing it, and remind you not to freak out.

If you’re a novice writer, NaNo is a great way to see what the professional writing life is like, because it requires you to write every day if you want to hit that 50,000-word mark by the end of the month. It also provides structure and a writing community, which is really valuable because you need critique to help you grow as a writer.

There other types of writing events, too:

Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo)

National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo)

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)

And this week, Lise recommends the medical mystery/weirdness podcast Sawbones while Andi implores people to please watch the CW series Legends of Tomorrow.

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