Best Storycraft podcasts we could find (Updated March 2019)
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Before you can be a successful author, you have to write a great story. Each week, co-hosts, Alida Winternheimer, author and writing coach at Word Essential, Kathryn Arnold, emerging writer, & Robert Scanlon, author of the Blood Empire series, have conversations about the craft of writing fiction. They bring diverse experiences and talents to the table from both the traditional and indie worlds. Our goal is for each episode to be a fun, lively discussion of some aspect of story craft that en ...
 
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Writers of the Dawn
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Two writers - David V. Stewart and Matthew J. Wellman - talk about the trade of storycrafting, narrative, screenwriting, publishing, and writing in general.
 
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This week, Alida, Robert, & Kathryn discuss the role of humor in story writing, the various kinds, how to get it on the page, and why it’s hard to create humor in the written work. If you’re enjoying the show, please give us a 5-star rating wherever you get the podcast. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.…
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, & Robert discuss the shape of stories told in parts. What kind of story should be told in parts? What do the breaks between parts signify to readers? What choices do authors need to make when using parts? How do storylines and parts work together? Are subplots treated differently in a story with parts? We use Octavia ...…
 
What exactly is a subplot? When do you need them? Who should they revolve around? And can they really alleviate the soggy middle syndrome? And please don’t forget your characters have lives too! Don’t make them live entirely in the main plot line. Show notes & links at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.
 
Alida, Kathryn, and returning guest Carlee discuss the pros and cons of using multiple points of view in your works. What does it take to craft a solid multiple POV story? How do you know whether or not to include that POV? Recommended reading for those interested in multiple POV. Show notes & links at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.…
 
Alida & Kathryn welcome Carlee Tressel Alson back to the Round Table to discuss process. Carlee gives us her 5 steps to getting through a first draft without the pain of being stuck—a process she developed after getting stuck in the middle of a major book project. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.…
 
This week, Alida and Kathryn continue our conversation with Carlee Tressel Alson about taking emotional risks in writing. It's about more than how you feel while writing. There is a relationship formed between the author and the reader when a text is shared. What does it mean to tell the truth in writing fiction, as well as creative nonfiction? ...…
 
This week Alida and Kathryn welcome Carlee Tressel Alson to the Round Table. After our episode on emotional risk-taking with guest Dain Edward, we thought we could go deeper with that topic, so we invited Carlee to join us for a deep dive into what it means to take emotional risks in both fiction and creative nonfiction writing. It's about way ...…
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert start with a listener question about writing a culture that is not our own, and take off on a journey of writing what you don’t know, or the “other.” Why is it a political hot potato? And how can you be careful in your writing? We talk about the problem of stereotypes, and our own view from the “white middl ...…
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, & Robert answer a listener question. Steve is wondering about the dos and don'ts of writing places based on real places and using real place names. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, & Robert welcome Dain Edward back to the round table. We're discussing the psychology of storytelling. How is storytelling used in the real world? Is storytelling fundamental to being human? How do we experiment with being human without getting hurt? By imagining possibilities, experimenting with life in fiction, and ...…
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, & Robert discuss the year to come. If you haven't already, listen to last week's show, 2018 Year in Review. We get into not only where we'd like to be heading, but will keep us motivated with lots of tips, tricks, and recommendations. I've already got the book Robert mentioned! There's also a challenge posed. Join us ...…
 
This week, Robert, Kathryn, and Alida discuss progress made and lessons learned from the year gone by. It's a writerly taking stock of struggles and successes with reflection on what it means to be a writer and where we plan to go from here. Next week's show is a companion episode about goals and motivation for writers. Complete with an invitat ...…
 
This week, Alida, Robert, and Kathryn talk about villains you can't vanquish: How do you handle a villain that can't wear a hat, black or otherwise? When your story calls for a force instead of a figure, what does that mean for your plot? For your character? What do you need to be aware of when writing a bad event or circumstance, instead of a ...…
 
This week, Dain Edward joins us at the round table to discuss the importance of taking risks in your writing. How is fiction different from creative nonfiction? Why should we take risks and put all of our messy selves into our stories? And what can we learn from incarcerated writers? Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.…
 
This week, Alida, Robert, & Kathryn bring Dain Edward to the round table to discuss the intersection of script-writing and novel-writing. What can we learn from script writing? How are screenplays different from novels? How should we consider the audience when we write? Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com…
 
This episode is pulled from the archives. We continue our conversation with graphic designer Daria Brennan. This week, we do side by side comparisons of book covers, getting into some obvious and not-so-obvious issues with design. How important is your font? What do the details of a cover say about a book? How can a cover convey genre? If you h ...…
 
This week we pull a fantastic episode from the archives. Graphic Designer Daria Brennan comes to the Round Table to help us understand how to approach and work with a designer, what makes a book cover outstanding, market considerations, and so much more. Previously published as episode 4. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.…
 
This week, Alida, Robert, and Kathryn define the story premise and how it works to get you writing. It’s simple. It often seems cliche. But it’s an essential first stage of the writing process. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, & Robert answer a listener's question. Elise wants to know how to tackle revision other than by following the old advice to "rest" the manuscript, putting it in a drawer for months. We talk about lots of tools we use to get into those second, third, and later drafts without a minute of drawer time! Show notes and more ...…
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss your character's fatal flaw. This is critical to your character development, character arc, plot, and theme. So what is it and how do you get one?! Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert continue their discussion of story structure, this time focusing on Act II and Act III. What is act II?Why does it sound so easy but prove so difficult to write? How can you avoid common pitfalls, like the soggy middle? Get show notes and more at www.storyworkspodcast.com.…
 
This week, we cover one of Robert’s favorite topics, agency! We discuss the role of agency in terms of both character and plot. How does motivation affect agency? What happens when a character lacks agency? How can you fix issues with agency? Show notes and more at www.storyworkspodcast.com.
 
Do you understand the elements of structure structure? This week, Robert and Kathryn ask Alida to define story structure, then we did into the various components of long form fiction. We discuss the three act structure, using examples from archetypal works. And we pay special attention to act I and how to launch your novel. Show notes and more ...…
 
This week, Kathryn and Alida discuss what happens to stories when authors are too nice to their characters. Being too darn nice is a common problem of how we write and treat our characters that affects plot. Nicey nice reduces tension, alleviates friction, and leads to...yawns. What to do about it? Listen and find out! Show notes and more at ww ...…
 
This week, Alida, Robert, & Kathryn explore the relationship between stakes & agency. How do these vital aspects of plot and character function together to drive your story? Show notes & more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.
 
This week, we discuss killing your characters, how, why, and to what end? When is it essential and when is it gratuitous? How can it shift the story and the protagonist? How might we want it to affect the reader? And how can we pull off that desired effect? When is the best time to kill a character? Show notes & more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com…
 
This week, Alida is off in the Black Hills, so we pull an episode from the video-only archives, bringing Matt Herron back to the Round Table. We discuss pacing, what it really is and how it functions in your story. How do you decide the best pace for your story? And how do you achieve that pace? What kind of effect can pacing have for your read ...…
 
In this episode, we follow up the Evoking Emotions episode with a discussion of how to get your character’s emotions on the page. How many ways can we convey emotions in writing? What are the options for showing feeling in words? How do we get beyond the obvious facial expressions? And why is this so important to fiction? Show notes & more at w ...…
 
This week, Alida, Robert, & Kathryn discuss what makes a strong ending, challenges with hitting the right end note for your story, when an ending becomes spoon feeding the reader, & how to resolve your story threads. Show notes & more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com
 
In this week’s can’t miss episode, we delve deep into making your readers feel along with your characters. As writers, it’s our job to pull our readers strings…but how? Show notes at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert answer a listener's question about how to get good descriptions of your characters on the page. It's not as simple as writing there stood Joe. He was 6' tall with brown hair. In fact, please don't write that. Besides dos and don'ts, we each select a description to read and discuss what makes it work. And th ...…
 
This week we get crafty again, talking about theme. What is it? How does it work with plot? Should you develop theme before, during, or after plot? And more...then we end with a writing prompt. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.
 
This week, we pull one from the archives. This episode was formerly known as video-only episode 2. Alida, Kathryn, and Matt discuss the benefits and pitfalls of writing groups? What kind of criticism is good criticism? And how can I be a better critic? How do I know if a writing group is a good fit for me? Should I join or run away? Show notes ...…
 
This week, we bring Matt Herron back to the Round Table to discuss what we writers can do with our short stories. We define the collections, the novel-in-story, and serialization, discussing pros and cons of each. This week we stray into marketing territory, because when it comes to deciding what to do with your stories, how you brand them matt ...…
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss short stories and how they’re different from the novel. We cover topics like the shortness of short stories, ambiguous endings, the importance of theme, stories versus lead magnets, writing short to build craft skills, and more! www.StoryWorksPodcast.com
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert answer a listener's question and address how to better write scenes heavy with dialogue. We talk about keeping things interesting using tools other than dialogue, the apprentice-master model of scenes that instruct both character and reader, what we can learn from the movie montage, incorporating action int ...…
 
This week, we welcome Kathryn back to her seat at the Round Table, and thanks again to Matt Herron and Emma Darwin for keeping the seat warm! We're talking character motivation. It's crucial to every element of your story and you'll do yourself a favor by having a handle on it in the prewriting stages. We talk about the protagonist, the reader, ...…
 
Alida and Emma Darwin continue the conversation on “show, don’t tell” this week. We get right into psychic distance and more. Way more. Show notes and a special offer this week at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com
 
This week, Alida and Emma Darwin discuss the old adage "Show, don't tell." We deep into what that saying really means, discussing the point of view lens, distance, and common mistakes writers make as a result of misunderstanding show, don't tell. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com.
 
This week, Alida & Robert are joined by award-winning author and writing teacher Emma Darwin. We discuss narrative drive, the forward movement essential to any story. We go deep into narrative craft, exploring the difference between a story set adrift and one with a current that pulls the reader forward. This is a don't miss episode! Show notes ...…
 
This week, Robert and I welcome Emma Darwin to the round table for an extensive discussion about writing historical fiction, but as with every genre special, this isn't just for writers of historical works. Emma has an amazing knowledge of storycraft and we go deep this week. Kathryn's going to busy with the show notes! Show notes and more at w ...…
 
This week, Alida, Robert, & Matt discuss tales of first encounters, from the pilgrim to the UFO. These are ethnocentric stories addressing a primal human fear, asking friend or foe, and sometimes leading to understanding and cultural immersion instead of war. Show notes & more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com Save 20% on the Structure of Story cour ...…
 
This week, Alida, Robert, and guest host Matt Herron discuss hard and soft systems of magic, science, and other forms of world-building logic necessary to fiction. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com
 
It’s our birthday! SWRT is one! This week, Robert and Alida welcome MG Herron to the round table to discuss the benefits of keeping a community of writers. We discuss the ways we’ve found community, how we’ve benefited from them, the differences between online and live communities, and how we’ve changed as writers thanks to the writers we know ...…
 
This week, Alida and Robert continue their conversation about the writing process, creativity, first drafts, where ideas come from, and how revision really works. The inspiration for our conversation is George Saunders' essay "What Writers Really Do When They Write." Get the essay at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/04/what-writers-re ...…
 
This week, Alida and Robert discuss a craft essay by George Saunders, titled "What Writers Really Do When They Write." It's all about the writing process, and we get a lot of value out of this essay. We highly recommend it to anyone writing a story. Get the essay at The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/04/what-writers-really ...…
 
This week, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss using real people and events in your fiction. What are the pitfalls of writing fact into fiction? What extra responsibilities do you have to history, your story, and your reader when you write reality-based fiction? Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com…
 
This week, we pull an episode from the video archives. Alida, Kathryn, and Matt discuss what makes a great opening. Do you need to begin in media res? What is in media res, anyway? How about opening with a scenario? How much depth of character is needed in an opening? How do you get it on the page and hook a reader? Previously published as vide ...…
 
In this week’s Story Works Round Table, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss the need for both action and non-action in story arcs, how to balance action with non-action, and what goes wrong when the balance is off. Show notes and more at www.StoryWorksPodcast.com
 
Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss the rules of writing we all know but often don't fully understand, how they trip us up and actually become limiting factors in our writing. If you've every been told "show, don't tell," "adverbs are bad," or any number of other writing rules, you have to listen to this conversation at the Round Table. The good ...…
 
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