B.J. Novak on storytelling and writing for the kid beside you

"Write for the kid sitting next to you ... that is the only writing advice that I'm sure about" - B.J. Novak (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)


You may know comedian, TV writer, and actor B.J. Novak as Ryan on TV's The Office, (or from his hilariously sincere turn on Ask A Grown Man). But he's also behind a new collection of funny, and surprisingly dark short stories called One More Thing: Stories and More Stories.

Guest host Gill Deacon talks to Novak about how he turned little notebooks full of misfit ideas into a solid volume of fiction, and why he thinks his short stories are more personal and revealing than a memoir would have been.

Earning the story

Choosing non-fiction may have been easier for a guy with a trove of true stories -- like that time he played Scattergories with Michael Jackson at Deepak Chopra's house -- but Novak said he hasn't "earned" anecdotes that just happened to him.

"I don't know what my own take is other than, 'can you believe this?'"

His fiction, on the other hand, comes from sorting through the ideas that constantly swirl in his mind and choosing the ones that affect others.

"Write for the kid sitting next to you ... that's the only writing advice I'm sure about."

Check out the trailer for B.J. Novak's book below.

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