S1 E1: MATTHEW NORMAN - AUTHOR
Matthew Norman (@thenormannation) is an author of two books—Domestic Violets and We’re All Damaged—with a third on the way later this year. In this episode of Creative How, we dig deep into the evolution of Matthew’s career to illustrate what the journey to becoming a professional novelist could look like.
Matthew details his disciplined day-to-day regimen and the process he follows to bring a story to life. He talks about how he managed an advertising career with his burgeoning fiction-writing career, along with how a trusted circle of peers can provide essential feedback that will ultimately make your novel better.
All of this content is aimed at illuminating your own approach as a creative…and possibly an aspiring novelist. Here are Three Big How’s from the honest, funny, eloquent, and extremely talented Matthew Norman:
THREE BIG HOW’S
TRY A NOTECARD ROADMAP
As you think and write, you’ll imagine significant moments and scenes in the story. Create notecards based on these moments, and sort them into a “roadmap.” This will help you continue to visualize the story as a whole, along with enabling you to use the distances between the moments to enrich your story with turns and developments.
STICK TO THE REGIMEN
Set up a time every day—for Matthew it’s at night—sit down, and write. Do not leave. Do not walk away. Do not say you’ll come back to it. Even if you’re stuck and sitting there staring at the screen, keep doing it. It seems obvious: treat it like a job.
YOU NEED FEEDBACK
We asked Matthew how it felt to get feedback from peers and editors. As always, he was very honest and positive. What was really interesting was his willingness and, in fact, his need to show his work to trusted readers and get their take. These readers are not a random group of people but rather other writers Matthew knows and even some fellow students he met while getting his MFA.
So, that’s just a small taste of the insights he shared. Matthew also delivers thoughts on the importance of an agent, how a book ultimately becomes a movie, and the complexities of how a potential audience can actually shape the story you tell and the POV.
We hope you learn a lot and have fun!