The Creative Writer's Toolbelt
Practical, accessible advice for the creative writer
Episode 100: Reflecting on the best advice and insight from 100 episodes of the Creative Writer's Toolbelt with writer editor and fellow podcaster Sarah Werner
May 20, 2017 12:00 AM PDT
After just over three years the Creative Writer's Toolbelt reaches 100 episodes! To mark the occasion I'm reflecting on some of the best advice and insight I've received over that time, and to do that I am joined by writer, editor, speaker and fellow podcaster Sarah Werner. In our conversation I ask Sarah some great questions(!) and we reflect on story structure, character, setting, genre, research and the writers life. I'll also give you an update on the Handbook, which is due out in October, and there's news about the "Writer's Jumpstart" conference which is in London on November 11th, where I will be speaking with Scottish Crime writer Wendy H Jones.Episode 99 - Six simple principles for living well as a writer.
April 28, 2017 12:00 AM PDT
Continuing the theme of "the writer's life" this episode offers some evidence based advice and practical steps for looking after ourselves so that we can live well and write well. From getting enough water and sleep, to eating well, exercising, socializing, and being mindful of our spiritual well-being. These tips will help us all to look after the totality of who we are, so that we can look after ourselves and our writing.Episode 98 - How to look after yourself and not be a jerk - living the writer's life well with Marie Bilodeau and Derek Künsken
April 09, 2017 12:00 AM PDT
This episode is a conversation with Ottawa based speculative writers Marie Bilodeau and Derek Künsken. In the conversation we explore how to live the writer's life well, and what it means to follow the navy maxim that we need to be able to float, sail and shoot. We explore Marie's experiences with retreats, and Derek's experiences with sabbaticals, and we reflect on Derek's best advice for writers: Don't be a jerk.Episode 97 - If you only get one thing right in your writing make it this
April 03, 2017 12:00 AM PDT
As of this month (April 2017) I’m working hard on the Creative Writer's Toolbelt Handbook. As I look back on nearly 100 episodes I’ve realized that there's one fundamental thing we writers have to do to create great work, and it's this: be authentic! In this episode we explore what it is to be authentic, and we look at some practical tools to achieve that authenticity.Episode 96 - Different routes into publishing: Interview with Wendy H Jones and Ryan Dalton
March 28, 2017 12:00 AM PDT
This episode is a conversation with two authors who have come to publication by different routes. Wendy H Jones has self published crime fiction with the DI Shona McKenzie series, and a book on marketing for authors, she has also traditionally published a YA novel. Ryan Dalton is the author of the Time Shift Trilogy, and the first book in that series, his debut novel, The Year of Lightening was published in January 2016, Book 2 in the series The Black Tempest is published in April of this year.Episode 95 Into the crucible - empowering your work with symbol dilemma and innovation
February 27, 2017 12:00 AM PST
In episodes 92 and 94 we explored the landscape of genre and trope, theme and moral, and in this episode we continue that exploration with a look at symbol and motif. We step back to look at how all of these aspects of creative writing are connected and how we can use the power of symbols, the fascination with dilemma, and the potential to subvert tropes as tools to empower our work.Episode 94 Jesse Pinkman meets Lady Macbeth. Themes ethics and morality in your story
February 20, 2017 12:00 AM PST
In this episode we explore the right and wrong way to handle themes in our work. We say 'no' to preaching and lecturing the reader, and 'yes' to weaving the themes we want to present into the story, and giving the engagement of the characters with those themes real consequences. We explore some great examples of how themes can be explored in story, from Elizabeth and Darcy to Harry Potter, and Jesse Pinkman to Lady MacbethEpisode 93 - Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky
February 13, 2017 12:00 AM PST
This episode is an interview with award winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky. Adrian and I talk about the long road to producing publishable quality material, how to work with genres and their tropes, the writer's life, and why it's always helpful to have a contact at the Natural History Museum.Episode 92 - A home and a market for your story. Navigating your way around trope and genre
February 06, 2017 12:00 AM PST
What genre does your story fit into? And how can you use the tropes of that genre to make your story fresh, original, and compelling? In this episode we explore the challenge of identifying the genre or genres of your story, and looking at way to embrace the tropes of that genre by re-imagining them and subverting them to keep your work interesting and cliche free.Episode 91 - Stay on target! How to write a great action scene.
January 31, 2017 12:00 AM PST
For this episode I am again joined by Jessi Rita Hoffman (jessiritahoffman.com). Jessi is a former publishing house editor-in-chief and award-winning magazine editor now offers professional book editing services and author coaching. In this episode Jessi and I discuss the key elements of the action scene. From the need to keep the prose tight, to managing the rising tension, from dumping those 'hedge' words, to not telling us how much your protagonist is bleeding. Remember - keep the girl, or guy, fighting!
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