Arvin Ahmadi is the author of “Down and Across”. From Buzzfeed, “Ahmadi writes with head and heart, captivating readers with passages that leap beautifully from the pages.” Publishers Weekly describes his debut as “witty, smart, and inspiring” and The Washington Post says it’s a “humorous” and “deeply human coming-of-age story.”
In today’s episode, Arvin walks us through the inspiration behind “Down and Across”. We unpack how to manage writing difficult and emotional scenes with your characters, how to maintain authenticity in your story throughout your editing process, and how to improve your craft through reading within your genre.
We also discuss why it’s crucial to seek feedback from your writing community, and Arvin shares tips on writing in a first-person point of view that’s different from your own.
Arvin will be taking over our Instagram stories for the release of his episode and it’s going to be so much fun! Be sure to catch his takeover on Instagram by clicking here.
PS. If you enjoyed this episode, I’d really love your support in growing our community by subscribing to us on iTunes, and leaving a rating and review. These specific steps help to increase our visibility on iTunes which really helps new listeners discover us. A huge heartfelt thank you for your time and support! You can click here to go directly to our iTunes page!
“This is the book where I learned to write a book.”
“You build out this world in your head. As a writer, why would you crush that for your reader, this world that they’ve imagined and characters that have become so real to them?”
“My first draft was very raw and very authentic and kind of poorly written too. Of course I went through ten, eleven, twelve drafts before I even sold to Penguin and a lot of that was trying to maintain that authenticity while fiddling with the structure to make it a better book.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- Arvin unpacks the inspiration behind his novel “Down and Across”
- The artistic insight behind the cover art of Arvin’s novel
- How to maintain authenticity in your story throughout your editing process
- The importance of seeking feedback in the writing community
- Improve your craft through reading within your genre
- How to manage writing difficult and emotional scenes with your characters
- Tips on writing in a first-person point of view that’s different from your own
- Arvin’s thoughts on satisfying endings
Learn More About “Down and Across“
“[A] humorous, deeply human coming-of-age story.” —The Washington Post
Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion. With college applications looming and his parents pushing him to settle on a “practical” career, Scott sneaks off to Washington, DC, seeking guidance from a famous psychologist who claims to know the secret to success.
He never expects an adventure to unfold. But that’s what Scott gets when he meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. When the bicycle she lends him gets Scott into a high-speed chase, he knows he’s in for the ride of his life.
Soon, Scott finds himself sneaking into bars, attempting to pick up girls at the National Zoo, and even giving the crossword thing a try—all while opening his eyes to fundamental truths about who he is and who he wants to be.
Learn More About Arvin Ahmadi
Arvin Ahmadi was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He graduated from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn. Down and Across is his first novel.
Books & Resources Mentioned in Arvin’s Episode:
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
Grit: The power of passion and perseverance Ted Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Black Mirror created by Charlie Brooker
Daily Celebrity Crosswords
Crosswords with Friends
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg