Fact or fiction: autobiographical novels with Édouard Louis

This episode of the Guardian Books podcast featuring Édouard Louis had me absolutely hooked. I hadn’t heard anything about Édouard Louis before, but two things struck me about his interview. First, the eloquence and clarity with which he talks about his childhood and the impact it had. Second, the way he was able to separate […]

How to build a fictional world

This is a great TED-Ed video by Kate Messner. And this is the important bit: “Just like real life, fictional worlds operate consistently within a spectrum of physical and societal rules. That’s what makes these worlds believable, comprehensible and worth exploring.” It doesn’t really matter what you write, whether it’s fantasy, science fiction, erotica or […]

How Ricky Gervais learned to write

There are two things I like about this clip of Ricky Gervais talking about the writing advice he received at school. First, the larking about at the start and suggestion that no one writer’s process is any more interesting or important than any other’s. Second, that there is truth in the everyday – the boring: […]

George Saunders on the mystery of storytelling

So if I’m going to start sharing the good stuff with you here on the site, it’s going to have to be the good stuff. And it doesn’t get much better than this video of George Saunders talking about storytelling and the writing process. This resonates with me: “My experience is to have some idea […]

Picking the right idea for your novel

Writing on her blog for writers, Writability, Ava Jae today asked the question: where do your novel ideas come from? It’s a good question and one that writers will answer differently, I’m sure.