Today my Author Takeover episode of the Speculative Sandbox podcast came out, and I realised that I haven’t actually talked about the podcast before, despite having appeared on the show last year as well. Speculative Sandbox is the creation of author Vickie Lan, and in each episode she discusses various creative writing topics, from dystopian governments to parallel universes, ghost therapy to interplanetary travel, with a guest.
I was lucky enough to be on the show last year to discuss the interesting subject of Modern Gods. I had a great time, despite feeling somewhat unqualified to cover the topic, and so when Vickie reached out to me to do an episode entirely on my own I was keen to take part. Only one problem, I had absolutely no idea what I could possibly talk about. I had a couple of weeks of panicking and depression, with more than a touch of imposter syndrome, before finally concluding that the only thing I felt comfortable talking about was my own experience as a writer. As such my episode is about my journey from being a plotter to a pantser.
For those of you who don’t know, a pantser is someone who writes without an outline/plot for where the story is going, and just lets the characters and situation guide things. For years I tried to write in what I though was the “correct way”. I would try to plot out my stories and would almost always struggle to do so. As a result I only managed to finish one story in the best part of twenty-five years. But then, as a result of taking part in NaNoWriMo, I was forced to just wing it and write in a completely different way to how I had done before. And it worked for me. Since then I have written two full books using this approach, Little Words of Wisdom and my new book, The Blight, which will hopefully be out in the next few months.
Anyway, if you are a writer, or just enjoy thinking through interesting creative ideas, then I definitely recommend checking out Speculative Sandbox. There are some really great episodes out already, and no doubt many more to come this year.