86 episodes

This is a podcast for emerging writers, who are looking to improve their work with an aim to having it published, or anyone who would like a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry. Your host, Bianca Marais (the author of 'Hum If You Don't Know the Words' and 'If You Want to Make God Laugh') will be interviewing authors, agents, editors and just about anyone and everyone who's involved in bringing a book to market. She's joined by her cohosts, literary agents Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra, from P.S. Literary Agency who read and critique query letters and opening pages in their Books with Hooks segment. Expect good advice, honest insights, and a few laughs along the way.

The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Bianca Marais, Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 267 Ratings

This is a podcast for emerging writers, who are looking to improve their work with an aim to having it published, or anyone who would like a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry. Your host, Bianca Marais (the author of 'Hum If You Don't Know the Words' and 'If You Want to Make God Laugh') will be interviewing authors, agents, editors and just about anyone and everyone who's involved in bringing a book to market. She's joined by her cohosts, literary agents Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra, from P.S. Literary Agency who read and critique query letters and opening pages in their Books with Hooks segment. Expect good advice, honest insights, and a few laughs along the way.

    Building a Writing Resume on Your Journey to Publication - Deesha Philyaw

    Building a Writing Resume on Your Journey to Publication - Deesha Philyaw

    In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe each take on two query letters. They discuss being cognizant of including descriptive features of the characters that don’t actually add any information/teach us anything about the character themselves;  the trick of re-writing a scene in a different POV to really fine-tune emotional feelings within a scene; ensuring that dramatic questions in your plot actually center around your main character; being careful of using descriptions that are too derivative; how sensory details can beef up a description; and being mindful of how many names you throw out in the query letter since you don’t want it to read too much like a synopsis.

    After which, Bianca chats with Deesha Philyaw, award-winning author of the short story collection The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, about publishing a short story collection;
    having an agent that believes in what you want to write and the direction you want to go; not taking rejection personally; getting some short stories published first in reputable magazines/journals before presenting them as a collection to publishers; finding that place of play and experimentation in your writing; and how the most interesting stories can come from a place of discovery.

    Find us on our socials: 
    Twitter: @SNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra 
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com
    Deesha on Twitter and Instagram: @DeeshaPhilyaw

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Granting Yourself Permission to Tell a Story - Kerri Maher

    Granting Yourself Permission to Tell a Story - Kerri Maher

    In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe are kicking it back to the old format in which they look at the same three queries together. They discuss how important it is to show that there's enough plot and escalation to merit a whole novel when writing a query; the pitfall of using the term "crossover"; being mindful of when your book is coming off as quiet or too interior to the protagonist; avoiding a recap beginning, where you give too much background info, like a recap on a show; looking out for redundancies during the polishing phase; the difference between telling the reader something versus making the reader FEEL something; and how it isn't enough to just paint a picture - the picture needs to feel real.

    After which Bianca chats with Kerri Maher, author of The Paris Bookseller, about fictionalizing real people (including the potential pitfalls and how to do it in a meaningful way); the social contract involved in writing/reading historical fiction; how to quiet the doubtful voice when writing, granting yourself permission to write a particular story; and how to frame novels that span a significant period of time.

    Find us on our socials: 
    Twitter: @SNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra 
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com
    Kerri Maher on Instagram: @kerrimaherwriter and on Twitter: @kerrimaherbooks

    • 56 min
    BONUS EPISODE: From Rocky Beginnings to Strong Endings

    BONUS EPISODE: From Rocky Beginnings to Strong Endings

    In today's Bonus Episode, Bianca chats with two awesome guests. The first is Genevieve Gornichec, author of The Witch's Heart, who discusses querying a book that's ten years in the making when you’re not sure if it has a place in the market; the whirlwind of quickly getting an agent and book deal; turning your NaNoWriMo novel into a successful book; avoiding info-dumping through dialogue; creating a narrative outline; and reading outside your genre.
    In the second interview, Bianca chats with Jes Trudel, co-founder of writingcommunity.ca about The Story Endings Matrix. Jes discusses how publishers use a SWOT Analysis to analyze a manuscript; how YOU can use a SWOT analysis to identify areas of weakness in your manuscript; how to ensure you have the proper ending for your book in any genre; and reverse outlining—working back from your ending to the beginning.
    Find us on our socials: 
    Twitter: @SNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra 
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com
    Genevieve on Instagram and Twitter: @gengornichec 
    Jes on Twitter: @jes_trudel
    www.writingcommunity.ca

    • 36 min
    Knowing When You're Not Quite There... Yet - Tomi Adeyemi

    Knowing When You're Not Quite There... Yet - Tomi Adeyemi

    In today's Books with Hooks, guest agent Veronia Park joins us from Fuse Literary to discuss Joanne's and Gaylen's submissions with them. In the segment, Veronica chats about straddling the line between two age categories; knowing, with MG fiction, who your target parents and teachers are because they're the ones who're going to be putting your book in their children’s hands; writing a dual-POV query letter for a dual-POV novel; letting your characters lie a little, or hold back truths, especially in the beginning; and including the first few pages of each POV character in a dual-POV situation.

    After which, Bianca chats with the amazing Tomi Adeyemi, #1 NYT bestselling and award-winning author of Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance about working through rejection to use the feedback you’re given; making the most of opportunities like Pitch Wars; reading new releases in your genre so you know what’s currently doing well; knowing when to give up on a project and move on; getting validation from yourself rather than external sources; how to be inspired rather than intimidated by great work; why trying and failing isn’t a bad thing; and how rejected books can act as your MFA. Tomi also discusses her amazing writer's masterclass called The Writer's Roadmap.  

    Find us on our socials: 
    Twitter: @SNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra 
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com
    Veronica Park on Twitter: @veroniKaboom
    Fuse Literary on Twitter: @FuseLiterary
    www.fuseliterary.com
    Joanne on Twitter: @JoanneKelle
    Gaylen on Twitter: @gaylenjoy
    Tomi Adeyemi on Twitter: @tomi_adeyemi
    Tomi on Instagram: @tomiadeyemi
    https://www.thewritersroadmap.net/

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Ending the Year with a Shot of Positivity from Alka Joshi

    Ending the Year with a Shot of Positivity from Alka Joshi

    In today's Books with Hooks, guest agent Veronia Park joins us from Fuse Literary to review four submissions. During the segment, Veronica discusses having the query vibe matching the sample pages vibe; under-promising and over-delivering with the sample; ensuring you have stakes at the end of each POV paragraph in the query; when not to include the prologue in the sample pages; and the three-part rule: what does your MC want more than anything, why can’t they get it, and what will happen if they do/don’t get it?

    After which, Bianca chats with Alka Joshi, author of The Henna Artist and The Secret Keeper of Jaipur about how there isn’t a ticking clock for publishing; having and listening to external cheerleaders; tooting your own horn; when an MFA is worth it, and when it’s not; five crucial tips for emerging writers; taking time away to recharge and then coming back to appreciating your story; and the importance of knowing the story behind the story.

    Find us on our socials: 
    Twitter: @SNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra 
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com
    Veronica Park on Twitter: @veroniKaboom
    Fuse Literary on Twitter: @FuseLiterary
    www.fuseliterary.com
    Alka Joshi on Twitter: @alkajoshi and on Instagram: @thealkajoshi

    • 1 hr 12 min
    How Using Writing Software Can Elevate Your WIP

    How Using Writing Software Can Elevate Your WIP

    In today's BONUS EPISODE, Bianca chats with Janet Forbes and Dimitris Havlidis of World Anvil about how the right writing software can take your writing to the next level. Janet and Dimitris discuss how they came up with the World Anvil software and the many ways it can assist with world building for those working in speculative or historical fiction. They also break down the ways in which the software can improve the writing process for those writing in different genres including the aspects like the community building, forums, feedback and writing sprints.

    World Anvil is offering a 50% discount on all levels of its software for those attending the The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Virtual Retreat in January.

    Find them at www.worldanvil.com
    Twitter and Instagram: @worldnanvil

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
267 Ratings

267 Ratings

JJ says Tate Rocks ,

THIS PODCAST IS AMAZING

I swear I have learned so much from this. One of the best writing podcasts ever.

👍🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳 ,

Wish I’d found this podcast sooner

Bianca Marais offers so many nuggets of wisdom via her own experience and that of her charming and informative guests. Her humor and empathy help soften the harsher realities of publishing today, and her actionable advice makes you want to go out and get started. Currently binging on this podcast…or maybe I’m just procrastinating?

Kathmack ,

Entertaining and Insightful

I’ve learned so much from the Books with Hooks segment with Bianca, CeCe, and Carly––and from all of Bianca’s guests. I wish I’d stumbled upon this podcast before sending out my first query letters. This podcast is a must-listen for emerging writers.

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