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Episode 82 - Interview with children's author Bob Hartman
Clean
October 15, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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This episode first appeared (briefly!) back in 2014 but mysteriously disappeared, making it a missing episode. It's a conversation with the writer Bob Hartman. Bob is a children’s writer and storyteller, he draws inspiration from the Bible and classical sources like Aesop’s fables for his work. In this interview he talks about the essentials of writing for children as well as storytelling and how to approach a publisher.

Episode 81 - You have a deal with your readers - here's how to deliver your side of it
Clean
October 05, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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In this episode we use the development of a scene to illustrate a critical element of the author:reader relationship, that’s the implied deal that you, the author, have with your readers. We are going to look at what that deal is, and how you can make good on the reader's expectations that you are going to be competent and honest. We’ll explore some techniques that you can apply, scene by scene, and to help us we’re going to borrow a practice from the world of the theatre known as ‘blocking’.

Episode 80 - The absolute essentials of writing a scene
Clean
September 24, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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The scene is a key building block of a story, so how can we make sure that the scenes in our writing work? In this episode we explore the three key questions that every writer needs to ask about each scene they write:what is the objective of the scene? How does the scene begin and end? And what gives the scene energy and direction?

Episode 79 - The sound of your writing is critical to your success - here's how you can improve it
Clean
September 14, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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This episode is a round up of everything we've been talking about concerning the sound of writing over the last few episodes. We look at tone, style, and voice, the importance of clarity, brevity, and precision and then go on to think about the problems and solutions related to sentence structure.

Episode 78 - Conversation with Becky Chambers and Nisi Shawl + Indiegogo launch for the Handbook
Clean
September 09, 2016 11:55 AM PDT
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In this episode I'm excited to announce the launch of the Creative Writer's Toolbelt Handbook, a project to gather the very best advice and insight from all of the podcasts into book form. Development of the book is being crowdfunded through Indiegogo, please check out 'The Creative Writer's Toolbelt Handbook' at indiegogo.com. The main part of the podcast is a wonderful conversation I had with the authors Becky Chambers and Nisi Shawl. We talk about physicality and writing, the difference between a romance scene and a sex scene, the nature of joy and compassion in their work, and then each of them reads a passage from their respective new novels.

Episode 77 - Listen to the voices! What we can learn about voice from great writing
Clean
August 29, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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In this episode we are going to look at a number of very different examples of writing that excel in the area of how the writing sounds. They are deliberately different in terms of style, and authorial voice, but each of them can teach us something. And because they are very different the benefits that they bring to their respective stories is very different.

Episode 76 - It's not just what you say it's the way that you say it. Why the sound of your writing matters.
Clean
August 19, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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There's a lot of truth in the old adage: "it's not what you say, it's the way that you say it". We all want to tell a great story, but part of that is how we tell our story. Some authors seem to have a captivating and beguiling sound to their work. How do they do it? What are the problems that can occur with the sound of writing, and how can we avoid them? In this episode we look at some of the problems that can make your work sound stuttering or clunky or dull - and then we go on to discuss the key to making your writing sound good: it's all in the editing.

Episode 75 - Unlocking the secrets of excellent writing style
Clean
August 08, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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What is excellent writing style? And how can we develop that style without simply mimicking the writers we admire? In this episode we apply some of the ideas presented in episode 73 by looking at the way in which clarity, brevity, and precision can help us to develop our writing style. These, together with knowing who you are writing for, and working with the story, are the keys that unlock the secrets of great writing style.

Episode 74 - Thirty Years of the Arthur C Clarke Award. A conversation with Award Director Tom Hunter
Explicit
August 01, 2016 12:36 AM PDT
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The UK’s most prestigious Science Fiction literature prize, the Arthur C Clarke award, is 30 this year. In this episode I talk to Award Director Tom Hunter about the history of the award, plans for its future, and the state of contemporary Science Fiction writing. Tom gives us some tips for using social media effectively, and we find out what’s most likely to excite a literary agent.

Episode 73 - Unlocking the secrets of tone style and voice
Clean
July 24, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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This episode marks the start of a new series for the Creative Writer's Toolbelt, looking at the sound of our writing. We're going to cover a whole range of confusing, and sometimes overlapping terms; establishing what they mean, and working out how to use them to improve our work. In this introductory episode we are going to look at tone, style, and voice.

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