Have you been researching different ways to strengthen your craft? Or how to build tension in stories? How about strategies for finding time to finish your manuscript? We talk about it all and more with Marie Rutkoski.
We begin our conversation by discussing her love for storytelling and the role her family played in inspiring her to craft stories. We’ll learn how writing her dissertation in college taught her how to structure a novel and inspire the idea behind her first novel. We then move on to discuss her newly published novel The Midnight Lie, her experience crafting a queer romance, and her heartwarming coming out story. She shares how hiring a freelance editor can help strengthen your novel before entering the querying process, how to craft persistent tension in your story, and how to avoid cultural appropriation and underrepresentation when writing about a culture separate from your own. And later, we discuss a writing strategy that can help you craft your novel while working full time and unique ways you can practice the art of storytelling away from the page.
Books and resources:
- Poets Langston Hughes and William Shakespeare
- Authors Judy Blume and Elizabeth George
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Who Gets to Write What by Kaitlyn Greenidge
- When it comes to writing the “other,” what questions are we not asking? by Alexander Chee
- We Need Diverse Books
- Authors Renée Ahdieh, Dhonielle Clayton, and Kat Cho
- Author Emily X.R. Pan (check out her 88 cups of Tea episode right here!)
- On Writing and Carrie by Stephen King
- Professor James Shapiro
- Girl, Women, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
- A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell
- Politics and The English Language by George Orwell
- Author George Saunder’s Youtube video On Story
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
- How Fiction Works by James Wood
Check out these highlights:
- Marie’s earliest memory of when she fell in love with writing and the role her family played in her writing journey
- She share’s her experience living around the globe and how her travels have influenced her stories
- The moment Marie found the inspiration for her first novel The Cabinet of Wonders and how her experience writing her dissertation in grad school helped her structure the book
- One of the most challenging times she experienced while writing her newly released novel The Midnight Lie
- Marie shares her heartwarming and hopeful experience coming out as queer to her family
- How hiring a freelance editor can be very beneficial before you query agents
- Ways to build tension throughout your novel to draw readers in
- Writing techniques to help you finish your novel when money and time is tight
- Unique ways to help you practice the art of storytelling
“I feel in love with writing by falling in love with reading.”Marie Rutkoski
“The way to build tension is to make certain while you’re writing the book that you are asking a question; that there is a question that readers will want to know the answer to.”Marie Rutkoski
“Even if you only have fifteen minutes, you can cobble that together into a book.”Marie Rutkoski
Say “Hi” to Marie:
Learn more about “The Midnight Lie“
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski’s The Midnight Lie is an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us―and the lies we tell ourselves.
Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.
Nirrim keeps her head down, and a dangerous secret close to her chest.
But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away, who whispers rumors that the High Kith possess magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.
Learn more about Marie Rutkoski:
Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Shadow Society, the Kronos Chronicles, and the New York Times-bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, which has garnered starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and was included in lists for Best Books of the Year by Amazon, YALSA, and Kirkus, among others. She is a professor at Brooklyn College and lives in New York City.