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Episode 87 - Inside the publishing house - conversations with the team at Gollancz
Clean
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.

Episode 85 - An interview with Anne Perry editor at Hodder and Stoughton
Clean
November 27, 2016 12:00 AM PST
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This episode is a wide ranging interview with commissioning editor Anne Perry from Hodder and Stoughton. Anne draws on her experience to talk about how the commissioning process works, what an author should be prepared to do to help with the process, and what she wants to see in a manuscript. Anne also gives us some advice on writing action and romance scenes, and how to tackle the presentation of characters from diverse backgrounds. Enjoy!

Episode 84 - Finishing well. Principles for writing a great closing scene
Clean
November 23, 2016 12:00 AM PST
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Writing the closing scene of a story is more than just tying up the loose ends and sending our characters off into the sunset. We want to leave our readers with the best possible impression of our work, so that they have fond memories of reading what we have written but also to ensure they come back for more, and tell others why they should read our work as well. In this episode we look at the principles for finishing well, as they apply to the stand alone story, and one of a series.

Episode 83 - Curtain Up! Essential Principles for the Opening Scene
Clean
October 27, 2016 12:00 AM PDT
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We all know the opening scene in any book is the critical moment to make your mark on the reader, to grab their interest, to set out your stall, and to keep them hooked. This episode explores the four principles that make an opening scene work and give your whole story a great start

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.

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