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Episode 95 Into the crucible - empowering your work with symbol dilemma and innovation
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February 27, 2017 12:00 AM PST
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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
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February 20, 2017 12:00 AM PST
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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 Macbeth

Episode 93 - Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky
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February 13, 2017 12:00 AM PST
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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
Clean
February 06, 2017 12:00 AM PST
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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.
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January 31, 2017 12:00 AM PST
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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!

Episode 90 - Let the romance do the talking! Writing a great love scene
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January 14, 2017 12:00 AM PST
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I'm joined for this episode 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. Jessi and I talk about the essential elements of writing the romance scene. Creating a compelling romance scene is essential for any genre, and Jessi and I discuss how to keep the scene real, why the Victorians were so good at romance, keeping the lovers together and apart, and finally the merits of getting cosmic.

Episode 89 - Power up your prose! Making sentences paragraphs and scenes work for you
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January 07, 2017 12:00 AM PST
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In this episode we look at the way in which the building blocks of prose: the sentence, the paragraph, and the scene, work. We explore the fundamental principle that drives all of them, and how you can use these structural tools to enhance your work and captivate your reader

Episode 88 - My favourite reads of 2016 and the CWT Survey
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December 27, 2016 12:00 AM PST
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This rather Christmassy episode is a review of my favourite reads of 2016. It's a subjective review, just stuff I've read that I liked, and a bit about why I liked it. Also news about the CWT 2017 listener and subscriber survey.Take part to be entered into the prize draw and get a copy of the Overview of the forthcoming Handbook.

Episode 87 - Inside the publishing house - conversations with the team at Gollancz
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December 21, 2016 12:00 AM PST
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This very special episode takes us inside one of the most iconic publishing houses in the world. The episode comprises four conversations with press, marketing and commissioning staff at Gollancz; the fantasy, horror, and science fiction imprint. The episode includes a conversation with Gollancz's Publishing Director, Gillian Redfearn. Many of you will know Gollancz as the publisher of prominent authors like Brandon Sanderson, Ben Aaronovitch, Stephen Baxter and Al Reynolds as well classic books from the likes of Arthur C Clarke, Philip K Dick, and Terry Pratchett. These conversations cover issues that apply to writers from all genres; from tips on submissions to what a publisher wants from their authors, and from the the importance of voice through to the mistakes aspiring authors make in their manuscripts, and how to avoid them. And for those interested in submitting material directly to Gollancz there’ll be news on what their submission plans are for 2017.

Episode 86 - Handle with care! Writing and placing the flashback scene
Clean
December 15, 2016 12:00 AM PST
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Loved and hated in equal measures, the flashback remains a firm favourite with authors. When it's done well it can enthrall readers, give them a poignant and dramatic experience, and drive the engine of your story. Done badly, and it will leave your reader confused and frustrated. In this episode we look at the good and bad of the flashback scene, and identify the guiding principles for using this type of scene appropriately.

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