Aug 11 • 41M

When Good Ideas Go Bad (the most common mistakes writers make)

Idea Factory Episode 6

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Appears in this episode

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.

You’ve no doubt heard people say of non-fiction books “that should have been an article”. Not every idea can sustain an entire book or story. Many things that feel like ideas are really set-ups: what if there was a school for dragon riders? Yes, absolutely, cool, but the who and the what happens and the why do we care never go away. In this episode, we talk about turning the flicker of an idea into a full light bulb, and rescuing an idea that didn’t turn out to be quite enough.

Good news for memoir writers! Y’all probably know how much I love Jennie Nash’s Blueprint books. They really are the closest thing I’ve found to a guide for getting through draft after draft. I start with them, and I go back to them when I’m stuck. The Blueprints keep me on track and help me write the book I set out to write for the readers I hope to reach.

Her newest, Blueprint for a Memoir: How to Write a Memoir for the Marketplace is out now!

I think this Blueprint is Jennie’s best yet, with insights into story-telling that I’ll be using in all my work.

Get your copy now!

Have you checked out #AmReading? It’s KJ’s weekly email on books and bookish enthusiasms, and you’ll find everything from a surprising take on who’s doing the best Austen adaptations now and why to a book for anyone who felt saved and seen by their favorite childhood authors. You’ll love it!