gillianflynn1Hacking the Craft
by Taylor Stevens and Stephen Campbell


Editor's note: For some time, Taylor's been working on a course based on what she's learned the hard way called "Hack the Craft - Shortcut your way to cleaner, stronger writing." This three-part series from The Taylor Stevens show gives us a glimpse into what that course might have to offer.

If you're a long-time subscriber, you've already signed up for Taylor Stevens's newsletter. A couple issues ago, I explained why you should listen to the Taylor Stevens Show.

If Steve and you and I keep applying the pressure, in addition to being the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of the Vanessa Michael Munroe series, we might be able to coax her into helping us become better writers too.

From notes on an upcoming course she's teaching. "Taylor came to writing fiction late. Born into an apocalyptic cult and raised in communes across the globe, she was denied an education beyond 6th grade, and spent her adolescence as a child laborer, cleaning and cooking for up to a hundred people, or out on the streets begging on behalf of commune leaders. Like many aspiring authors she had no credentials or plat- form, and no direct route into the publishing world . These experiences allow her to teach from a ground up perspective that's easy to understand and apply."

Full financial disclosure. This three-part lesson cost me a couple batches of cookies. Send Taylor an email to let her know what it was worth to you.


1. How to Tighten the Dialogue in your Novel

From Steve's show notes:

A few weeks ago we asked that listeners send in some dialogue we could use as a concrete example for a future show and several of you were kind enough and brave enough to submit.

Taylor selected a scene from a larger work for multiple reasons.

One, because it was already very good. But more importantly, there were multiple examples of things we could cover that we felt would be useful to listeners, in addition to the dialogue.

We'll be going over this scene in detail over the next few weeks, with Taylor making suggestions and providing actual copies of what she marked up for the shows, in addition to before and after versions of what we cover each week.

We cover dialogue today, but over the next two weeks we'll get into show versus tell and point of view issues.

Complete Podcast with Show Notes

2. Being Michelle: Dealing with Telling Versus Showing and Adding Immediacy to your Scenes

From Steve's show notes:

The first show in the series was focused on dialogue and the last will be focused on point of view issues. This show covers everything else, so it's a bit of a hodgepodge episode where we deal with telling versus showing and changing some 'showing' language to inner dialogue to add immediacy to our scene.

Complete Podcast with Show Notes

3. Quick Ways to Heighten Dialogue with Description and Movement

From Steve's show notes:

In part three of our series we hear Taylor's thoughts on a point of view (POV) problem within the scene. In this week's episode, we insert description that had been standing alone into dialogue and movement, then dig into the POV issue that was the source of the original email from the author to Taylor.

Complete Podcast with Show Notes


Call to action:

Subscribe to Hack the Craft email list.

Subscribe to the Taylor Stevens newsletter, specifically Taylored to your interests.

Subscribe to the Taylor Stevens Show podcast via iTunes or Stitcher.

Taylor Stephens Website - Sign Up for her Email, Subscribe to Her Podcast

Sneak-a-peek at Taylor Stevens's Barry Award-winning thriller

SteveAuthor268x300Stephen Campbell

Stephen Campbell is the author of Four Seasons of Reno Hart.

Through Camven Media he also helps readers and writers connect.

Julie Mulhern - Send in the Clowns | Hacking the Craft by Taylor Stevens and Stephen Campbell | Why to NaNoWriMo by Jess Lourey | Shirley Jackson and the Haunting of Facebook | Spooktober Gratitude

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