Oct 21, 2022 • 44M

How Butter Makes Everything (Including Books) Better: Writing Can't-Stop-Won't-Stop Fiction with Theodora Taylor (Flashback Friday)

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

Listeners, we’re sharing this interview again because if you’re not already subscribed to Theodora’s substack, you should be. We sent you a taste of it this morning on top of this episode. We adored talking to TT, as we like to call her around here—but now that she’s revved up her Substack, every single time we’re texting back and forth about its brilliance. “Butter” has joined our official #AmWriting lexicon.

So, enjoy a favorite that you might have missed when it originally rolled out over the holidays last year.

Notes on the Pod: 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.

7 Figure Fiction: How to Use Universal Fantasy to Sell Your Books to Anyone

Facebook group: 7 Figure Fiction




Theodora: Beastars Manga by Paru Itagaki

KJ: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Sarina: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

People my people, if you’re thinking becoming a Book Coach might just be your next sparkly goal, DO NOT MISS this live event with Jennie Nash: Find Your Zone of Genius as a Book Coach, Jennie will host the top reasons people resist starting a new endeavor, and how to fight through those negative thoughts and share how to brainstorm your way to a zone of genius to your book coaching business.

This is a live working session that will not be recorded - because Jennie wants to workshop with YOU on your idea. It’s happening October 27th at 1PM Pacific, 4PM Eastern. FIND OUT MORE.

Also…. you know we here at #AmWriting tend to think working with a book coach or developmental editor is the gold standard for getting help with your project. But that’s not always in the cards. If you’re more in the market for a course that will help you move forward with your project, check Happily Ever After Week. Our friends at Pages and Platforms have distilled what they've learned working with hundreds of authors into a 3-part framework to give you: 

  • the mindset you need to persist in your efforts,

  • the tools you need to write the best book possible, 

and the willingness to put yourself out there and build the audience your book deserves. Learn more HERE. We’re an affiliate, so we do make a little something if you decide to sign up. But please know that we only team up with people and businesses we trust!