Butter Up Your Writing: Episode 294 Using Universal Fantasy to Write Better and Sell More with Theodora Taylor
Who doesn’t want a craft book that’s fun to read and will help you plan your fiction (or memoir), write that fiction, revise that fiction and then sell that fiction? This week we talked to Theodora Taylor, author of more than 50 novels and one brilliant book about writing that made Sarina and I (KJ) go SQUEEEE and then text back and forth frantically for a couple of hours. It’s all about the “Universal Fantasies” that give our story-loving brains the things we need when we read—and how to spot those in your own writing to help you tell people what you’re all about, use them in drafting and revising and just generally make sure they’re everywhere in everything you write—literary, commercial, genre, short stories, novellas—everything.
We read Harry Potter for Hogwarts fun and the hero’s journey—but we also are in it for the universal fantasies of “crushed underdog proves self to loathsome family” and “ordinary person turns out to be special” and “loyal friends can be better than family” and so on—and the thing about those elements is that they appear everywhere. You could find a book in any genre that scratches those itches, and those feelings are a big part of what we’re reading for. As Theodora says, they’re what makes your book taste good.
They’re the butter.
Facebook group: 7 Figure Fiction
Theodora: Beastars Manga by Paru Itagaki
KJ: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Sarina: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Hey! Know what else a great craft book is good for? Helping you give better advice to fellow writers—or be a better book coach! I just finished Author Accelerator’s Fiction Book Coaching course, and I learned a lot about my own writing—and of course about helping others with theirs. I was an editor for many years but I still doubted my ability to help with a whole book until I finished the course, and learned not just about editing but about coaching—helping someone through the process of writing a book, which is challenging in so many ways that aren’t just about the words and the pages. If that sounds fun to you, find out more about the coaching course at bookcoaches.com.