Garth Risk Hallberg on The Big Novel


Write-minded: Weekly Inspiration for Writers is currently in its fourth year. We are a weekly podcast for writers craving a unique blend of inspiration and real talk about the ups and downs of the writing life. Hosted by Brooke Warner of She Writes and Grant Faulkner of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), each theme-focused episode of Write-minded features an interview with a writer, author, or publishing industry professional.

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This week we take on The Big Novel and unpack our thoughts on novel length, the very concept of The Great American Novel, advances, and more. Guest Garth Risk Hallberg joins us to talk about his own long works of fiction, as well as his writing process that involves seeing where his characters want to take him. We touch upon characterization vs. plot, the nature of long stories, and finding what motivates your characters in fiction. There’s a lot to take away from this episode, so tune in!

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Garth Risk Hallberg’s first novel, City on Fire, was a New York Times and international best seller and was selected as one of the best books of 2015 by The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and others, and adapted into the Apple TV+ series of the same name. He is also the author of the novella A Field Guide to the North American Family. In 2017, Granta named him one of the Best of Young American Novelists. His new novel is Second Coming.





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