Video: Flipping the Script

Here’s a video about something uncomfortable: when authors from majority backgrounds create an excuse to write about their group as an oppressed minority.

It’s almost never a good idea to write a story with a premise like “what if men were oppressed?” or “what if black people enslaved white people?” Not only because people who write these stories tend to have an agenda and feel they’re being made irrelevant by greater equality in the world, but also because they tend not to truly understand those marginalization narratives well enough to write them convincingly. This video outlines some examples of story ideas that have done this and some thoughts on why it’s rarely advisable to do this.

Video: Plotter vs. Pantser

This video contains perspectives on the “Plotter vs. Pantser” issue: should you plot things out before you write, or should you write by the seat of your pants and see what shakes out?

I give some advice, but mostly I just explore the pros and cons of each writing approach.

Video: Research

My latest video offers perspectives on why it’s so important to collect your own observations directly when you’re researching for a book. Your take on the world is what makes your story something only you can write, so that research should be personal too!

Please watch “Research.”

Video: Starting Over

Let’s say you’re working on a book and it’s just not coming together, and now you have to start over. Or let’s say you got feedback from someone you trust and you’re realizing your book has a fatal flaw or could be much better if you made a fundamental change to it. Is this scary? YES! Are there some pointers I can give you to reassure you while getting through it? You bet!

Here’s a video talking through why you might be starting an existing story over again with a new draft and some thoughts on how to approach it.