Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Writers Ask: Running a Train


We’re neck-deep in National Novel Writing Month, listeners, and that means this week we’re bringing you a super-sized Writers Ask. Mike reads an excerpt from his NaNoWriMo work-in-progress, and Tom digs up questions from the NaNoWriMo forums: how to name characters (people have so many questions about how to name characters!), what to do if you can control and/or travel through time, how many candles it takes to summon the muse, and how to get your stubbornly passive characters to just do something exciting already.

Before we get to those very pressing questions, though, we’ve got advice to dole out about MFA programs, to both a prospective applicant wondering if she should go through with it and a current MFAer who is very, very unhappy with his (unnamed) program.

In case you’ve forgotten, we’re still in the midst of our annual fundraising drive, trying to raise a couple thousand dollars to keep the show going for another year. If you like the show, please consider throwing us a few bucks. We love doing the show, but it’s also a lot of work each week. We’ve also got ongoing costs to cover, like file-hosting for the episodes, which add up over the course of a year. But we’re not just asking for your altruism; in fact we’ve got a bunch of cool donor gifts we will give you in exchange for your money. It’s almost like capitalism! Visit the support page for all the details, or just click on that piggy bank over in the right-hand column.

In addition to your donations, we’d love it if you helped us spread the word about the show. We rely primarily on word-of-mouth to find new listeners, so tell your book-loving friends to check us out.

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As always, you can stream or download the episode below, or you can visit us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe to the podcast and never miss another episode. Thanks for listening!


Download Writers Ask: Running a Train


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

5 thoughts on “Writers Ask: Running a Train

  1. I really enjoyed Mike’s NaNovel excerpt. Hope it turns into something great.

    Also, FWIW, Infinite Jest is 543,709 words. So the NaNoWrimers who are writing a million words in a month are writing two Infinite Jests. More power to them, I guess, but I wouldn’t read those drafts with a ten-foot pole.

  2. Maybe it starts like this: “David said, ‘what will I call my novel? I know: it will be titled INFINITE JEST.’ Then he proceeded to read the novel aloud, from front to back. It sounded like this: [Insert FULL TEXT OF INFINITE JEST]”

  3. First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to
    ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear
    your head prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting
    my thoughts out there. I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or hints? Thanks!

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  4. Pingback: How to be a weird loner on your flight to AWP | Book Fight!

  5. Pingback: Bonus Episode: NaNoWriMo 2016 | Book Fight!

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