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.

Also! Barrelhouse Issue 12 is now available! You can order it here! Do it for America! And yourself! Because it is great!

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