Episode 4: How to get started writing a novel


Welcome to episode 4 of Scratch Paper!

Have you always wanted to write a novel, but not known where to begin?

Ever wondered: how do writers get ideas big enough for a novel? Do you need an idea to start?

This episode kicks off a series called How to Get Started Writing a Novel. Go from zero to the first ten pages of your novel in the next five episodes.

In this episode (episode 4), we’ll talk about getting ideas. Next week, more ideas–then onto outlining, drafting, and research.

Listen in for prompts, ideas, and examples of ways to brainstorm a novel-sized story. We’ll talk about place–whether it’s a small place (like your house) or a big place (like Malaysia), place is a great way to start thinking about a story. I’ll give you place-related prompts and examples of how I get ideas from place to help you get started.

Grab a notebook and a pen and listen in!


Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Finding Lucy

Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella is a good example of a book where someone wants to live somewhere different but can’t.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Beauty and the Beast

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (THIS BOOK IS AMAZING)



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Episode 3: What writers can learn from Ravelry

Disclaimers: I definitely say this is the “Scratch Pad” podcast; it is not. It’s Scratch Paper.


This is a tad bit (ok, two times) as long as the first two episodes. I have so much to say about knitting people!

And next week, I promise to start a series on HOW TO START WRITING A NOVEL! So if you dislike knitting or somewhat rambly podcasts, just tune in next week.

However, if you like the sound of my voice and want to hear how I think we should make the writing community better by taking a page from the wonderful community of fiber artists, go ahead and click play below. You can also find this podcast on iTunes!

Thanks for listening, friends! Here are the links I mention:

Here’s a link to something related to Finding Lucy. =

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert


(I am @likesoatmeal on Ravelry)

A fine list of Knitting Retreats

AWP: Association of Writers and Writing Programs (yes, they are missing a W)

AWP Conference

Yarn Harlot (a fabulous, hilarious blog by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee)

Glimmer Train


Flask Dress is in Best New Writing 2015

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Scratch Paper Podcast, Episode 2: A pep talk for tackling big projects


Hello again!

This week I share the results of my attempts to force myself to write–and yay! Success!

And then I give you a motivational, encouraging pep talk for tackling those BIG projects, like writing a novel or finishing your first short story.

Listen in below or find “Scratch Paper” on iTunes. Enjoy!


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Introducing Scratch Paper: A writing-related podcast


My, it’s been a long time. I’m still *far* too busy with a tiny human to actually post anything on here. But I’ve been itching to make a podcast, and so…I did.


Spoiler alert: it’s about writing. And it’s called Scratch Paper.

I’ll be posting new episodes (roughly) weekly–each one includes a reading and writing update from me (to keep my honest and accountable), plus a lesson in writing or a writing pep talk. I’ve actually recorded…a bunch of these episodes, and I have just now gotten the time and brainspace to share them.

I want these lessons to be helpful to aspiring and beginning writers, and to writers who are trying to get published traditionally. I started the podcast because I found myself missing the actual teaching of writing, which I did back in grad school at UNH and then through my ebooks. I won’t have any ads or anything like that in my podcast–I just want to reach out to my fellow writers and create a little corner of the internet where we can all hang out and help each other. I want it to be an uplifting, non-competitive, happy writing space.

Sound like fun? Listen below or in iTunes–just search “Scratch Paper.”

And I would love to hear your feedback/comments/questions! You can comment on this very blog post, on the particular episode’s blog post, and hit me up on Twitter.


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