Susan Dennard is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series as well as the New York Times bestselling books Truthwitch and Windwitch. Susan is one our community’s most requested authors for the show and is known for her really helpful and eye-opening resources for writers. And not to mention, she also has a solid reputation of being known as an author who really cares about the writing community.
This episode is a must for listeners who love conversations about the craft of writing. We cover how to create a successful “plan of attack” for your novel’s revision process, how to develop a strong magic system, advice on crafting a believable male point of view who isn’t a stereotype or a personification of female idealism, and Susan shares the three phases of writing that helps her turn ideas into concrete stories.
We discuss ways for writers to overcome perfectionist tendencies and use it to your advantage, how to discover and fine-tune your writing process to help you reach your writing goals, how a beta-reader or a critique partner can help you avoid info-dumping in your world building, and why it’s crucial to distance yourself from your story idea in order to help it grow.
We also talk about how Susan learned to be self-motivated, how to cope with the loneliness that usually comes along with a writing career, and the importance of sharing your experiences with a writing community who truly understands what you are going through.
For NaNoWriMo participants, there’s still time to join Susan’s ‘The Mighty Pens” fundraiser by clicking here!
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“What one person likes, is not what someone else is going to like.”
“If it doesn’t feel right, if the cookie is not there, I can’t write it.”
“Be kind to yourself. It’s okay if you don’t write everyday.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- Ways for writers to overcome perfectionist tendencies and use it to your advantage
- How Susan learned to be self-motivated
- Where to find affordable writing workshops to help improve your craft
- The importance of doing your research when querying literary agents
- Susan’s advice on how to format your manuscript and query letter
- How to cope with the loneliness that usually comes along with a writing career
- The importance of patience when facing rejection
- How Susan’s travels inspire her story ideas
- How trusting your instincts will help you learn more about yourself as a writer
- Susan’s three phases of writing that helps her turn ideas into concrete stories
- The importance of sharing your experiences with a writing community who truly understands what you are going through
- How to discover and fine-tune your writing process to help you reach your writing goals
- Why it’s crucial to distance yourself from your story ideas to help them grow
- Writing tips on developing a strong magic system
- Creating a successful plan of attack for your novel’s revision process
- Tips on crafting a believable male point of view who isn’t a stereotype or a personification of female idealism
- How a beta-reader or critique partner can help you avoid info-dumping in your world building
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.
Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.
Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.
Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Learn More About Susan Dennard
Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. Working in marine biology, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to you yet, Asia!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.
She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series as well as the New York Times bestselling books Truthwitch and Windwitch, and when not writing, she’s usually slaying darkspawn (on her Xbox) or earning bruises at the dojo.
She lives in the Midwestern US with her French husband, two spoiled dogs, and two grouchy cats. Learn more about her crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on her blog, newsletter, twitter, or instagram.
Books & Resources Mentioned in Susan’s Episode:
The Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb