Ep31 – Story Consultation with Matt John of Rogues in the House

In this story consult, featuring a very personal sword & sorcery tale by Matt John, we discuss a story which was polished, then submitted to a magazine and…rejected. Happens to pretty much all stories, but what do you do when it happens to you? Matt sought out an editor, Oliver, and in this episode you can hear them discuss strategies for Matt to consider in the next draft of his story. Hey, did you know Oliver’s now offering editing services?

In this conversation they discuss working through personal tragedy and difficult emotions in your stories, the “that” test and removing other filler words, good and bad editing/teaching philosophies, being a new writer working with an editor, how there’s just so much to remember in terms of writing rules, how nobody on Earth can write perfectly without an editor, Alan Moore’s love of tentacles, managing the distance between reader and protagonist, adding specificity to your stories, how it can be better not to name monsters, Stephen King’s On Writing, proper nouns as names in genre stories, Encanto and trauma producing magic, spotting when something you wrote works for you but is unlikely to work for a reader, how deeply felt emotions can fuel but also cause lapses in writing, Cormac McCarthy’s wife, thematic statements, writing exercises looking beyond your ending, PUBERTY, good old (literary) rejection, back matter and behind-the-scenes info in novels, what writing sex scenes and fight scenes have in common, HOW OLIVER’S NOW OFFERING EDITING SERVICES, learning to be comfortable showing your work to someone for critique, holding onto notes on your stories, and MORE.

Check out Matt on Rogues in the House, the sword & sorcery podcast he co-hosts!

Please consider: Supporting us on Patreon and Buying Oliver’s Books!


  1. sethelindberg says:

    Moving episode. It really hits at the heart of writing. The open sharing is splendid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it Seth! Thanks for the kind words.


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