Craft Talk Book Club is a podcast for writers who want to improve their craft by reading great books. Each month, Nicole Breit (Spark Your Story Lab creator and Best American Essays notable essayist) and Mary Adkins (The Book Incubator founder and HarperCollins novelist) choose a recently published novel or memoir to unpack the craft choices made by the author—which they discuss over four weekly episodes. Together, we’ll read and learn from some of the best writers publishing today.
”Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson: Character descriptions
Writing character descriptions is the bane of Mary's existence...and Wilkerson does it so well in this book. In this episode, we analyze a couple of her character descriptions and why they work so well, and Mary shares a trick she uses to describe characters.
”Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson: Point of view...many of them
Black Cake is a story told from many points of view, and not in an omniscient way. Wilkerson skips POVs chapter to chapter, delineating the shifts in point of view with breaks. What are the costs and benefits of writing a novel in this way? We discuss in this episode.
”Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson: Linked narratives
Wilkerson structures her novel Black Cake in a series of short, linked chapters that jump from point of view to point of view. How does she do this so that it works? We discuss.
”Solito” by Javier Zamora, part 4: What about memory gaps?
Before he wrote Solito, Zamora wrote about his migration to La USA in poetry. For writers dealing with traumatic childhood memories, Nicole + Mary discuss how poetry can be a natural starting point for working with gaps and fragments.
”Solito” by Javier Zamora, part 3: The perfect title...
Nicole and Mary unpack the possibilities of what "solito" means as a title that encapsulates this harrowing story about love and yearning, risk and danger, fear and hope...
”Solito” by Javier Zamora, part 2: World building in memoir
Can "world building" apply to memoir if a story revisits a world the author no longer inhabits? Mary + Nicole discuss how Zamora creates a full immersion experience in Solito.
LOVE this podcast
I think this idea for a podcast is genius! The hosts bring such enthusiasm and curiosity to the books it makes me want to go back and read them again. This is a book club for anyone who gets frustrated with book clubs that never actually discuss the book! Highly recommend!