Posts Tagged audio

Does a story’s protagonist have to be likable? We discuss! Ep 29 FREE podcast for writers

Does the main character of a story have to be likable or sympathetic? It’s a point that’s frequently raised by writers, readers, editors and critics. But consider this: a story is usually about a person under pressure. And people under pressure don’t always behave well or likably. Because they’re not saints.

On the other hand, they must have something that makes the reader care. So what is that?

We’re discussing that in today’s show. ‘We’, in case you’re wondering, are independent bookseller Peter Snell and moi.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books (especially my book on characters). If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use Bookshop.org. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , ,

4 Comments

Slipped resolutions! Get your writing back on track – Ep 24 FREE podcast for writers

Oh my! We begin with a different song. And it’s a real treat. I promise.

Why did we begin with a different song? Because we’re talking about routines that have gone awry. Specifically, writing routines. Resolutions that seemed possible and exciting and shiny and life-changing… then didn’t work out. And how to change things up to find a routine that will work for you. So we put our beginning music at the end, and a new song at the beginning. You get the idea. We don’t just throw these shows together.

Most of all, your failed writing routine is the chance to build a much better one that works for your particular needs. Honestly.

Asking the questions is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Answering them is me!

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

20-ish FAQs about being a writer – Ep20 FREE podcast for writers

Twas our twentieth show!

So we decided that was a magic number, hence this version of Twenty Questions.

These are the questions writers are most often asked. Some are impossible to answer, and my co-host Peter Snell thought long and hard to make sure he asked them, to cause me maximum mumbling and stammering and thought noises. Sit back and enjoy. And if there’s something you wish we’d raised, pop it in the comments. I’m here and ready to answer more!

Asking the questions is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Answering them is me!

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

All about blogging and social media for authors – Ep19 FREE podcast for writers

How can authors use blogging and social media effectively? How should they get started? How much time does it take to build an audience? Will you like it?!

That’s what we’re talking about this episode.

A caveat! These shows are a few years old now. We recorded this episode in 2015. Some of the platforms might not be so fashionable or useful for authors now. On the other hand, Facebook and Twitter are still going strong and are still the main places I meet readers and writers I want to know better. And blogs? We must have been through several periods where everyone declared blogging was dead – but you are here and I am here and this is a blog and none of it is dead at all.

Moreover, social media have been the entire mechanism by which I built a career as a writer under my own name, without a publisher (in case you don’t know, I have a big secret career writing books under other names). The finer points might have changed – and might well change again. But the methods and principles will still be the same. So I’m hoping this show will still be a useful primer.

Asking the questions is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Answering them is me!

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

How to write sparkling, meaningful dialogue – Ep18 FREE podcast for writers

Dialogue is an art in itself. It’s much more than characters talking to each other. Great dialogue can convey subtext, hidden agendas, freudian slips, personality, the author’s themes. It gives the reader the sense of watching a story’s characters in real time, witnessing them with our own eyes. But how do we get all that in? And how do we make it read naturally?

That’s what we’re discussing in today’s episode. Asking the questions is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Answering them is me!

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

Using pictures and music to inspire your writing – Ep 15 FREE podcast for writers

Although our medium is words, our inspirations don’t have to be. In this episode, we talk about ways to use pictures and music to help our writing along. This was such a creative episode – storyboards to help map out plots, collecting photos of strangers who suggest mental images of our characters. And music – so much to say about that. (As you’ll know if you’ve seen my blog series The Undercover Soundtrack.)

Asking the questions is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Answering them is me!

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books, especially my workbook, which includes prompts to help you build your own personal inspirational library. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Masterclass in writing style and voice – Ep13 FREE podcast for writers

What do we mean when we talk about a writer’s voice or style? How do writers develop this? How might they make it distinctive? Might it change over the years or even from book to book? How can writers learn style from other authors… without sounding like a copy or pastiche? How do you find your true voice, your unique voice?

That’s what we’re talking about in today’s episode.

Asking the questions (or most of them) is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Answering them is me!

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

All about character arcs – Ep 11 FREE podcast for writers

Today we’re talking about character arcs. What is a character arc? What do we mean by that? Why do stories have arcs anyway? How do characters help you to develop a satisfying plot and vice versa? Can you write about people who aren’t like you? How might you apply this to non-fiction as well as fiction?

Asking the questions is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Answering them is me!

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books, especially my in-depth book on characters. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Masterclass in titles, book covers and spines – Ep 10 FREE podcast for writers

What makes a good title and cover? What mistakes do authors generally make when devising a book title and how can they get a title that does the job well? What job is that, indeed?

How about covers? What conventions do you need to consider for both? Why have we made a special point about spines? And can you discuss book covers on the radio?

Yes you can!

That’s what I’m covering in today’s episode, with my co-host, independent bookseller Peter Snell. I usually describe him as asking the questions, with me providing answers, but today it’s more the other way around. Titles, covers (and spines – don’t forget the spines) are areas where authors can be too close to the work. The opinion of a sage and experienced bookseller, though, comes into its own.

The editing of this episode seems to have gone a bit haywire. The radio station included some of the previous show, so scroll to about 8mins and you’ll find our theme tune (Wonderous Stories by Yes). Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books, especially the workbook, which includes a special section to help you brainstorm the perfect title. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment