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The Seventh Draft |

By The Seventh Draft |

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Writer Jon Armstrong and Editor Juliet Ulman analyze, hash, debate, and overthink writing, rewriting, and editing. From First Lines, to Plot. From Character Development to overuse of the word Said.

Customer Reviews

a novelist opens his books for critical scrutiny

Jon Armstrong has been working for the past few years on the third book in a near-future trilogy which blends cultural satire with a passionate interest in the nitty gritty of textiles, tailoring, and fashion. Sounds like an odd blend, perhaps, but it works; sci-fi offers a window to the technological potential of the future, and fashion is the pursuit of clothes designers to exploit and transcend the limitations of textile processing technology to pleasurably manipulate our experience of life in a fragile human body swept up in a churning stew of cloth-swaddled flesh.

With this podcast, Jon, joined by his wryly skeptical, Howard Hawksian editor Juliet Ulman, exploits the behind-the-microphone experience he accumulated with his excellent and under-appreciated "If You're Just Joining Us" interview podcast to bring us a deeper view inside his process of writing novels and Juliet's process of editing them. The duo ably buttress their observations on authorial and editorial craft with examples drawn from canonical and contemporary works.

In the first episode, Mr. Armstrong gives us an invaluable chronological overview of the evolution of the opening sentence of his latest novel, while eagle-eared Ulman mercilessly demolishes the miscalculations and pretentions of each opening sentence leading up to the current draft, which earns her grudging approval. It takes a strong ego for an author to not only publicly acknowledge but laugh along with us at his mistakes. Such confidence is rare, and we as curious listeners will surely reap riches of insight from his generous spirit.

A Great behind-the-scenes look at the writing process

With Jon Armstrong’s brutally honest stories of his own writing and Juliet Ulman’s insightful comments, this podcast is fantastic. I’m not even a writer and I love it.

Falling Apart

Once they leave the nitty gritty minutia of the writing process, they find themselves on shaky ground. Listen to John Armstrong denigrate his listeners, Pulitzer prize winning novelists, beginning writers and himself, in a sado-masochist ramble. Dig a little deeper and you find two people who are holding onto their place in the publishing world by their fingertips, while dangling from the first floor window. That is as high as they climbed. They need to return to writing 101 where they have some competency.

The Seventh Draft |
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