Podcast

The Foundation of Fiction: 5 Questions for James Wade

“I’ve found the challenges of being a writer are permanent… and the best way to approach them is to run away. If it’s writer’s block for a certain scene, write a different scene in your manuscript… the pressure we put on ourselves as writers to “overcome” stuff is in direct opposition to the reality of the writing and publishing world. For me, it’s about finding the strength to write everyday despite not overcoming many of these obstacles.” -James Wade

James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is the author of River, Sing Out and All Things Left Wild, a winner of the prestigious MPIBA Reading the West Award for Debut Fiction, and a recipient of the Spur Award for Best Historical Novel from the Western Writers of America. His forthcoming novel Beasts of the Earth will be released in October from Blackstone Publishing.
 

On Saturday, September 3rd, James Wade is teaching a class for the WLT called “Introduction to Fiction Writing: A Crash Course on Craft. In this class you’ll learn how style, tone, setting, and voice can impact your work as well as get tips on how to strengthen your craft. 

Here’s what James had to share with us:

Scribe: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you write? How did you come to writing?

James Wade: Howdy, folks! I’m James. I live with my wife and daughter in the Texas Hill Country. I write literary fiction, and I came to writing through a love for reading and a healthy amount of financial necessity.

Scribe: In your own work, how do you approach overcoming the challenges that come with writing, be it writer’s block or craft or business-related challenges?

JW: I don’t. Not even a little bit. I’ve found the challenges of being a writer are permanent little bastards, and the best way to approach them (business or craft) is to run away. If it’s writer’s block for a certain scene, write a different scene in your manuscript. If it’s business-related, it’s probably something you can’t control, so just go write. We’ll talk more about this in our class, but the pressure we put on ourselves as writers to “overcome” stuff is in direct opposition to the reality of the writing and publishing world. For me, it’s about finding the strength to write everyday despite not overcoming many of these obstacles.

Scribe: Has there been a moment of epiphany in terms of your work, when you thought, “This is it! Now I know what I’m doing?” How long did that feeling last?

JW: The less I knew about writing and publishing, the more I had those epiphanies. I still get them every now and then, but I let go of them pretty quickly because I’ve accepted that I’ll never actually know what I’m doing (see above), and that’s kind’ve the point.

Scribe: What piece of advice do you find yourself giving to writers again and again?

JW: Read as much as you can. Remember why you fell in love with writing and try to repeat it every time you sit down to work.

Scribe: What is one thing that people will take away from this class?

JW: That there isn’t “one way” to approach the page. There aren’t these iron-clad rules that you need to follow in order to produce great fiction. We’ll give you a ton of tools and examples, and then help you find your own voice. Your writing will sound like you, not some cookie-cutter version of everyone else.

Thanks, James!

Click here to learn more about James Wade’s upcoming class.

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