Rainbow Rowell on Crafting Relationships and more

We interview the delightful Rainbow Rowell, celebrated author of Eleanor and Park. Topics include crafting relationships, writing from the gut, building believable characters, the “New Adult” genre, pacing, and Rainbow’s upcoming novel, Fangirl.

Other things we mention:

Direct Download Link for the episode

More about this show, for new listeners:

In The Narrative Breakdown, Cheryl Klein, James Monohan, and other guest co-hosts discuss storytelling tips and techniques of interest to any writer, student, or fan of quality creative writing, screenwriting, playwriting, fan fiction, English literature, etc. Each episode, Cheryl and James draw upon their respective experiences in publishing and filmmaking to analyze popular novels, movies, plays, television shows, short stories, and song lyrics. Featuring various co-hosts and writers, as well as material from Cheryl Klein’s book ‘Second Sight’ and James’ iPhone / iPad app ‘The Storyometer.’


5 Responses to “Rainbow Rowell on Crafting Relationships and more”

  1. Michael August 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Another great episode! I always enjoy listening to this podcast and always learn a lot. Keep up the great work.

    I especially found interesting the discussion of likeable characters. It really is an odd and funny subject. I so agree with Rainbow about not wanting to read a character that you wouldn’t want to spend time with. Granted a few chapters of an evil or annoying character can serve as a nice counterpoint and create interesting tension, such as scenes with just Voldermort and his underlings.

    I wonder if a book completely from Voldermort’s POV be compelling though? I kinda think at first, definitely, because it’s a counter POV from a whole different angle on a familiar story. And, seeing elements of situations and plot that occurred in the hero’s tale but were only knowledgeable to the villain, well, I find that fun. But, I think too much of an unlikable POV becomes annoying and kind of a downer to read.

    I think for a completely unlikable POV to be compelling and interesting, it has to offer the reader more than just “becoming” and living as that character and feeling what that character feels. Because who wants to feel hate and anger all day long (or whatever negative emotions this unlikable character portrays)?

    Maybe if the reader is able to “learn” from an unlikable character’s actions or “study” the character arc as if it were a character study or “enjoy” and “feel” more of the good qualities of the world that are in contrast to this darker or more unlikable character, then I think it’s possible to do an entire POV from an unlikable character, just more difficult.

    Maybe give the reader just enough material to know what the unlikable character feels like, but after that I think the reader probably doesn’t want to indulge in those negative and/or annoying feelings that this character embodies.

    Sorry for the rambling.

  2. Jack Dever October 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    First off, I am thouroughly enjoying the podcast. I’ve just finished mainlining all 28 and am going back through the website to see if I missed anything.

    One thing about bad guy POVs… the only time I remember reading a whole book from the point of view of the bad guy is “The Killer Inside Me” by Jim Thompson. Not so much that I enjoyed the character, but was totally fascinated by his rationalizations for his sociopathic behavior. Maybe that could tie into the “Flaw” conversation? I’m guessing being a sociopath could be considered a flaw.

    Thanks for the podcast and keep up the good work.

  3. Melissa @ Harley Bear Book Blog November 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    I’m so sad I’m almost done listening to all these podcasts so far. They’re awesome! I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the first time ever and all these podcasts were such a big help so far. I loved hearing about Rainbow’s writing process and her inspirations. I agree. Falling in love as a teen is wacky. All your senses feel more intense and it’s just a huge shift in the universe.

  4. Karen Soarele April 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Cheryl, I have to disagree with you. I am a Ravenclaw writer. :)
    But I confess sometimes it lacks me a little of “Gryffindorness”.


  1. Rookie » Screen Time - February 12, 2016

    […] who has worked in film, TV, and more. They interview an array of awesome writers, including Rainbow Rowell and E. Lockhart, and they talk about EVERYTHING story-related. If you are interested in writing a […]

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