Writing to Survive & Building Worlds with Charlie Jane Anders


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By Matthew Felix and SFWC: Authors on Books. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

* Charlie Jane Anders is the author of The City in the Middle of the Night and All the Birds in the Sky. Her fiction and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, McSweeney's, Mother Jones, Tor.com, Wired, and elsewhere. Her TED Talk, "Go Ahead, Dream About the Future" got 700,000 views in its first week. Along with Annalee Newitz, she co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Charlie Jane will be a keynote speaker at the 2022 San Francisco Writers Conference.

* Charlie Jane talked about two books that she has published recently: the nonfiction "Never Say You Can’t Survive" and the young adult fiction, "Victories Greater than Death."

* "Never Say You Can’t Survive" is "a mixture of encouragement, ideas for how to use writing to feel OK in a world that’s not OK, and actual technical advice on stuff like characts, plot, and worldbuilding."

* Podcast host Matthew Felix and Charlie Jane discussed many of the topics in the book, including how to strike the right balance between outlining and allowing for spontaneous creativity; the challenge writers sometimes have in giving themselves permission to write; imagination as a form of resistance; and navigating the challenge of representing without appropriating. * Matthew and Charlie Jane talked about impostor syndrome and how to get beyond it. * Charlie Jane talked about the art of worldbuilding (i.e., creating fictional worlds), and how daydreaming, researching the past, and more can help with the process. * She also elaborated on an observation she made in her Tedx talk that “the world ends all the time, and we keep going.” * "Victories Greater than Death" is about a young woman - a clone - who is the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon that is about to activate, making her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars possible. * Charlie Jane explained the challenges of writing a young adult novel, including finding the right pace and voice. She also discussed how she knew this book was just the first in a trilogy, as well as the book's exploration of gender identity. * Charlie Jane talked about the worldbuilding that went into "Victories Greater than Death," the challenges of writing the forthcoming second book in the series, and the possibility of returning to this world for other books. * Charlie Jane shared the future of her popular San Francisco reading series, Writers with Drinks.

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60 episodes