One favorite resource that helps me learn more about writing fiction writing is the The New Yorker Fiction Podcast. It’s a free subscription that you can find by searching on “New Yorker: Fiction” in iTunes. You can also access them through The New Yorker website. I love it. Every month Deborah Treisman, the magazine’s fiction editor, asks an established author to choose a short story to read and then discuss with her. Though I’m familiar with some stories, I’m not with all. And it’s wonderful to not only discover new stories but to also hear current writer’s talk about writing. Why they chose the story, how the story has affected or influenced them, the choices the story’s writer made in terms of character, plot, language, etc. and then the emotional effects, the images, subtext, and all else that resulted from those choices.
The Writer’s Voice, Literally
It’s also interesting to hear audio of writers’ voices, both for how they spontaneously discuss the work and for how they read or “perform” the work. They’re obviously not actors but T.C. Boyle did a great punchy performance of “Bullet in the Brain” while Jhumpa Lahiri read William Trevor’s work in a less theatrical, more straightforward manner. Some writers read sort of somewhere in between.
Anyway, the other night I had to drive from Tucson to Phoenix to pick up my husband at the airport and being immersed in the art of fiction while driving in the dark for an hour was an engaging, energizing use of my time. I had to share my joy for this resource.
If you know of other fiction podcasts and would like to pass them on, please share a comment.
Karen Hugg is a writer and gardener living in the Seattle area. She is a certified ornamental horticulturalist and Master Pruner. When not digging in the dirt, she writes. She's been published in various journals, anthologies, websites, and more. Her life is happily hectic but she's lucky to have a patient husband and sweet children. Her pets aren't bad either. To learn more, explore http://www.karenhugg.com.