Reading as a Writer

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Rebecca Kordesh, Director
Twitter | Blog

While I was reading a spoiler laden discussion thread about the ending of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater the other day I found myself wanting to respond to a complaint about the direction of the story by saying, “OK, but I am a writer and I know when I write sometimes I do the same thing.” This is a comment I’ve made on many discussion threads in the past, and it got me thinking about myself as a reader and how that’s shaped by the fact that I am a writer.

When I call myself a writer, I’d like to clarify that I am not referring to a profession but rather to an identity. Since I was a kid I’ve been obsessively writing stories, to the extent that I now have nine novels completed (and two more getting their finishing touches) and hundreds of projects begun and in various stages of writing. I will maybe one day work on publishing or self-publishing my writing, but I don’t write because I want to publish. I write because I can’t help it. Writing is fundamental to who I am and is the one thing that has remained a constant for me for as long as I can remember.

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Writers’ Nook 06: Left Brain, Right Brain, Left Knee?

Join us for a special interview with Rinske Verberg, a talented author from the Netherlands. As part of her education, she learned about Left Brain and Right Brain approaches to creative writing… but also a Left Knee approach?!

This episode is also available on YouTube and your favorite podcast app. Get in touch if you have trouble finding Backroom Whispering/Book Table content on the app of your choice!

Recommended watching:
Iain McGilchrist: The Divided Brain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFs9WO2B8uI
Recommended reading:
Writing Down the Bones: http://goo.gl/dkxOlZ
The Artist’s Way: http://goo.gl/n6q4nr

Note: This was the first Writers’ Nook episode recorded as a Writers’ Nook episode, but for convenience, previous “Nanosodes” have been renamed “Writers’ Nook.”

In this episode you heard from:
Dorothy | dorothyannwrites.wordpress.com
Rinske| http://www.rinskeverberg.nl/

The Book Table is a podcast from Backroom Whispering Productions. Our theme music is by Mark Wayne.

If you liked this podcast, rate us on iTunes! Or get in touch with us:
Twitter | @BackroomWhisper
Facebook | facebook.com/BackroomWhispering
Email | BackroomWhispering@gmail.com

Reviews Blues (or, Books Vs Toasters)

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Dorothy McQuaid
Showrunner for Pycera/Social Media for BWP
Twitter | Blog | e-mail

 

In this day and age, people don’t even buy a toaster without reading reviews first. Amazon, Yelp, Goodreads, Angie’s List, there are dozens of online services that let consumers read countless reviews, see pictures from all angles, and even videos of products in use. My grandma, who doesn’t have a computer or the Internet, was very intrigued to hear that I could read strangers’ reviews of their toasters on my cell phone. She also wondered why I would do that, but given that her toaster had just broken after a few months of use, it did seem handy.

But what does this have to do with literature? Book reviews and recommendations have existed as long as books have existed, and didn’t rely on the Internet: plain old word-of-mouth and book columns in newspapers did the trick just fine. In this day and age, however, the information is more accessible than ever: if none of my friends (or even my Facebook friends) have read a particular book, I can simply type the title into Google and have reviews at my fingertips. This can be a good thing, because if a book is universally trashed, I will know to avoid it, or it can be a bad thing: negative reviews can put me ‘on guard’ to notice a book’s shortcomings, or positive ones can get me so excited that I feel let down by the book.

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The Truth About ‘Happily Ever After’

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Rebecca Kordesh, Director
Twitter | Blog

 

February is the month of love, apparently, and here at Backroom Whispering Productions we are having a lot of fun thinking about love and literature and all the many facets of that rather broad category. My husband and I did an interview about being writing partners as well as life partnersAkhi wrote an engaging post about what he learned about love from reading fantasyThe Book Table did a Valentine’s Day special about sex in fantasy literature and how it’s handled across the genre; and Dorothy wrote a fantastic blog post to follow it.

All of this thinking about love and literature got me musing about the concept of “happily ever after” in fantasy literature and the way the happily ever after trope has played into my real life and into my writing life. I am not ashamed to admit my love of romantic fantasy; indeed, I am far more likely to pick up a book if it has one of those cliche “until she meets ____” or “the boy who may be her undoing, or her salvation” lines in the synopsis. Sometimes, if those lines are missing, I’ll read the end of the book before I decide to read it to see if it seems like there is a resolution to a love story.

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What Fantasy Taught Me About Love

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Akhi Pillalamarri
Head Web Content Contributor
Twitter | Website

 

Hello readers and friends! Valentine’s Day is approaching and be sure to tune in to listen to our special Book Table episode about sex in fantasy, which will be released on the 10th! Plus, our very own Dorothy will have a special follow-up post for that day. We also had a nanosode about a married couple who write together- February seems to be the month for talk about romance.

Today, however, I’m going to talk about some of the lessons of romance, love, and moving on that I’ve gleaned from reading fantasy. One of the reasons I love fantasy so much is that as I immerse myself in worlds and their characters, I learn, through empathy or example, so much about life. These are not things one can learn from reading abstract philosophy or history that deals with power struggles and interstate interactions on a scale not relevant to daily life. There’s something about the struggle of a heroic character in fantasy, even when he or she is flawed, that inspires one to be a better person. When you live out a character’s struggles in literature, it sometimes makes you a stronger person.

Spoiler-warning

This post contains minor spoilers for both The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and the second Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson.

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TBT Special: Writers’ Nook 05: Writing Partners, Life Partners

Join us for a special interview with Dave and Rebecca Kordesh, a recently (almost a month!) married couple who fell in love while plotting a novel. Hear how that novel is going and how they manage to be writing partners and romantic partners!

In this episode you heard from:
Dorothy | @bwp_dorothy
Rebecca | @rumy91989
Dave | 

This episode can also be found on Soundcloud, YouTube, and iTunes. Or, use your favorite podcast app and search “The Book Table!” Let us know if you can’t find us, and we’ll try to help!

The Book Table is a podcast from Backroom Whispering Productions.  Our theme music is by Mark Wayne.  

If you liked this podcast, rate us on iTunes!  Or get in touch with us:
Twitter  |  @BackroomWhisper
Facebook  |  facebook.com/BackroomWhispering
Email  |  BackroomWhispering@gmail.com

Top 4 Reasons Rebecca Writes Women

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Rebecca Kordesh, Director
Twitter | Blog

 

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As a follow-up to our January 13th Nanosode, and to Madeleine’s brilliant post about it, I thought I’d take a minute to think a bit more about why I almost exclusively write female POVs. I thought about writing a nice hefty dissertation on gender issues in society and the difficulties females often face when entering a designated male sphere, but as my co-worker constantly reminds me: it’s best to make information snackable. Ain’t nobody got time for a dissertation. So here we are: a snackable list (YUM!) plus some pretty pictures because we are all children at heart.

let's do this

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Character Gender Fluidity

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
Website | Twitter | GoodreadsBookTube

A COMPANION TO NANOSODE 04

Very recently, I discussed POV characters with Rebecca, specifically trying to examine our opposite predilections as it pertained to the genders of our written POV characters: I predominantly write a male voice, whereas she leans towards the female.

While this was something to which I had truly never given much thought, our initial conversation sparked some thinking about my hitherto unexplored process by which I genesis my characters. Specifically, I began to realize that characters are “born” inside my head with near-100% gender fluidity or neutrality.

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TBT Special: Writers’ Nook 04

Your NaNoWriMo 2015 winners are back! Madeleine and Rebecca have a discussion over character genders, especially why they think they have opposite predilections from each other when it comes to choosing their characters’ genders. 

In this episode you heard from:
Madeleine  |  @madnbooks  |  youtube.com/madnbooks
Rebecca | @rumy91989

The Book Table is a podcast from Backroom Whispering Productions.  Our theme music is by Mark Wayne.  

If you liked this podcast, rate us on iTunes!  Or get in touch with us:
Twitter  |  @BackroomWhisper
Facebook  |  facebook.com/BackroomWhispering
Email  |  BackroomWhispering@gmail.com

 

TBT Special: Writers’ Nook 03

We had many fearless Whisperers participate in National Novel Writing Month this past November…and not all of them were entirely successful. In this third special Nanosode, hear from two of our Whisperers who didn’t quite manage to make that coveted 50,000 word mark.

In this episode you heard from:
Dorothy  |  @bwp_dorothy
Shelly  |  @shllybkwrm

The Book Table is a podcast from Backroom Whispering Productions.  Our theme music is by Mark Wayne.  

If you liked this podcast, rate us on iTunes!  Or get in touch with us:

Twitter  |  @BackroomWhisper
Facebook  |  facebook.com/BackroomWhispering
Email  |  BackroomWhispering@gmail.com