So I'm Writing a Novel...

So I'm Writing a Novel...

The show where you join me, Oliver Brackenbury, on the journey of writing my next novel, from first ideas all the way to publication & promotion. In this unique, one-man-reality show I'll share you with you my ever evolving thoughts and feelings on how I write, being a writer, and everything that entails at each stage of the process. I'll also answer listener questions and, sometimes, interview people who write fiction. If you're the kind of person who likes to learn how things are made, and get to know the people making them, then this is the show for you.


June 5, 2021 54 secs

A brief intro to the host and concept of the show, So, I'm Writing a Novel...


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Meet host Oliver Brackenbury as he introduces the podcast, himself, and the titular novel "Untitled Sword & Sorcery novel". He also discusses the genre of sword & sorcery, then shares his experience working with an editor on the short story which become the first chapter of the novel. It can be lonely writing a novel, and Oliver would love some company. Maybe, through the podcast, you'll join him? Want...

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June 21, 2021 31 mins

Oliver shares with you the path he took from being inspired by a famous painting, through to his creating the protagonist of "Untitled Sword & Sorcery Novel", Voe, roughly nine years later. He also answers a listener question about best practices when soliciting and receiving feedback on your work. PATREON: BUY OLIVER'S BOOKS: SO I...

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June 28, 2021 25 mins

Oliver discusses what a short story cycle is in novel form, his initial brainstorming of stories to include in his novel, and reclaiming dry or even dispiriting material from your school days as a source of pleasure later in life. This episode's listener question comes off of episode two's discussion of protagonists, with Oliver answering in further detail how Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter inspired him, and why he's been dr...

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Concerned about just creating a shallow expression of the genre, and wanting to better understand what he likes about sword & sorcery before going further in outlining "Untitled Sword & Sorcery Novel", Oliver compares and contrasts Robert E. Howard's The People of the Black Circle with Lin Carter & L. Sprague De Camp's Conan the Buccaneer to see what he can learn from it. You, dear listener, may wish to read the former (available f...

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July 12, 2021 30 mins

Oliver discusses how, after the initial sugar rush of brainstorming for the novel, he stepped back to make several important decisions that would help keep him from getting lost while finishing the outline of the novel, as well as writing the dang novel itself! This involves choosing tense, perspective, primary POV, theme, all that good stuff, as well as discussion of having a healthy attitude toward writing advice, and your own ev...

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July 19, 2021 38 mins

In this episode I share the essay I found that helped me envision the ending of the novel, an almost anti-sword & sorcery essay, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction by Ursula K Le Guin. First I read it to you (click here if you want to read it yourself), then get into how it helped me see the story I want to tell so much more clearly. Then in the listener question segment I discuss how I discovered, and was drawn to work with, a rem...

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July 26, 2021 53 mins

Okay, NOW I read to you the short story that birthed this novel writing project, "Voe". I'll also explain why I've waited this long, provide commentary on my decision-making while writing "Voe", and discuss how this episode marks an important point in the progress of both podcast & novel. I will also reveal my greatest strength, which is also my greatest weakness. In the listener question segment I'll discuss ways I've worked ou...

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Oliver gets into universal translators and "The Common Tongue", Robert Howard's prose, reads a few cool paragraphs by Howard and a handful of his S&S contemporaries, gets into writing while not being entirely aware of the precise terminology for the techniques you're using, our old friend racism, and doing your best to avoid the inherent potholes in representing large groups as separate species instead of simply humans with a diffe...

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August 9, 2021 35 mins

In this episode Oliver gets down to the task of choosing exactly what stories are going to go into this short story cycle of a sword & sorcery novel, discusses the importance of order of information, figuring out the word count he wants to aim for and more. PATREON: BUY OLIVER'S BOOKS: SO I'M WRITING A NOVEL... TWITTER: https://twi...

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In the show's first interview, Oliver speaks with two authors whose work - The Red Man and Others - not only entertained him, it provided him with a great deal of hope for his own novel-in-progress and the future of sword & sorcery in general. Aside from Red Man, they discuss being a couple who also write together, what they like & dislike in author's public presences, the very concept of writing advice, and more.

Buy The Red Man a...

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August 23, 2021 29 mins

Oliver looks at the risky proposition of mixing some scifi in with his fantasy via the sub-sub-genre known as Sword and Planet, explores S&P and makes some recommendations, then walks you through the thought process that got him to the kind of S&P story he'd like to tell in his Untitled Sword & Sorcery Novel. He also tries to be "a good podcast boy", whatever that is! PATREON:

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August 30, 2021 57 mins

Author of the recently concluded Ring-Sworn trilogy, editor of the most excellent sword & sorcery magazine Tales of the Magician's Skull, and teacher of a heroic fantasy writing class Oliver recently attended (the next session just opened to registration), Howard Andrew Jones has been a source of inspiration, knowledge, and encouragement for Oliver while our earnest podcast host has worked on his book. In this conversation they co...

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September 6, 2021 28 mins

Oliver chats with you about how easy it is to miss putting Zelda lore in your non-Zelda stories, the deadly disease known as "Wikipedia Mouth", and other aspects of how he handles research for writing fiction. PATREON: BUY OLIVER'S BOOKS: SO I'M WRITING A NOVEL... TWITTER: OLIVER'S TWITTER: https://tw...

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September 13, 2021 42 mins

Outlining the rest of the book has begun! Oliver walks you through how he outlined the second story in the novel, currently called "The Woman Who Floated Through Time", which includes discussion of whether or not characters should change over the course of a story, templates vs writing prompts, when its time to really break down who your protagonist is, "poop pipes", and more. PATREON:

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September 20, 2021 49 mins

This time around we're outlining story number three in our sword & sorcery short story cycle! Oliver introduces you to the marvelous book which made him want to tell this story, thrusting his protagonist Voe into the middle of a mighty battle between empires in the absolute meat grinder of a canyon floor with arrows raining down from either side! He then goes on to dissect the mentor/mentee relationship, share a formative story f...

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September 27, 2021 46 mins

This time around we're outlining story number four in our sword & sorcery short story cycle! Oliver sets out to write a sword & sorcery love story, but is that what he ends up with? He also gets into that time the rural Canadian mafia murdered Oliver's brother because his parents wouldn't give them gold, knowing when to break your own format, the dangers of trying to will what you want into existence, and, as always, more.


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October 4, 2021 38 mins

With this, the fifth short story, we've reached the end of the first act! In Disgrace the Stone, the outlining of which Oliver will share with you, Voe is finally a "hero" as she's struggled to be but the events of this story will change her mind about that being what she wants. The brainstorming for this story involved an unexpected intersection between the webcomic Achewood, Leonard Cohen, and the pandemic (though this isn't a ...

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October 11, 2021 61 mins

We're kicking off a block of interviews with a chat with Oliver's mum, about her relationship to creativity as both parent and "pre-parent", the book she wrote, the book Oliver's dad says he'll finish, what it's like for both Oliver and Christine to look back on his decision to try making writing what he does for a living, and more. Oh and of course they cover the time she struck back at workplace sexism with a picture of a big ol'...

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October 18, 2021 68 mins

Oliver has a long, highly informative chat with author, actor, and voice actor J.M. Frey about her experiences as a writer, including what happens when your book grows to around the 200K word mark, self-publishing, the challenges of author exhaustion (incl. frank discussion of how the economics of publishing deals have evolved), when she received her first piece of fan art based on her work, and more! Jess is terribly knowledgeable...

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