Do you enjoy the show?
Do you learn something every week?
Do you feel like you have company on your writing journey?
This show is unsponsored. That means every minute we spend on it is unpaid, and the costs of producing, hosting, and distributing the show are out of pocket.
If you value the what we do, making a donation will help offset these expenses and show your support.
Use the Donate button to make a one-time donation to the show in any amount. Truly, no amount is too small.
Use the Subscribe button to make a recurring donation of $1, $3, or $5 per month.
Your support will help pay for hosting, production, and distribution costs.
What do we mean by “do bad”? And when should you let your characters make these morally reprehensible decisions? We talk about how to use the emotional bank account, and the motivation of your character to keep readers from losing their sympathy for the protagonist. And what about those snapped moments? Or when your character is acting out of character? Ultimately we decide it’s a powerful tool, so use it wisely!read more
How do you craft a story where readers buy the implausible? Does every genre have to deal with this issue? What tools can you use in your character, plot, and world-building to keep your reader engaged in the story? When do your genre conventions help your plausibility? And when can they hurt it?read more
What are some problems with fight scenes? What happens if you go too quickly? Or too slowly? How can you slow the action down in a good way? What does slow action do to the tension within your story? And don’t forget about your character’s wounds!read more
What is a traveling chapter? And why do all books, regardless of genre, have them? What can you do to amp up your traveling, and make it interesting and compelling to your reader?read more
What is Intrusion and Liminal Fantasy? And why would you choose to mix the types? Why is Nico writing an intrusion fantasy? And what is his take on world-building? In the end, it’s all about writing a story that says something, has impact, and matters to your readers!read more
How did Nico get into writing fantasy? And what is the history of this genre? How would you write a classic fantasy story today? And should you have a distinct good versus evil plot? We dive into types of fantasy stories, starting with the Portal/Quest fantasy and how to immerse your reader, without losing them!read more
What is a sequencing issue, and why is it so bothersome to Mike (and Alida)? Why do they happen? And how should you address them? What tools do you miss out on when things are out of order? How can you use narrative to help craft surprise, and reveals? And what is the problem with delaying your dialogue tag? We leave you with ways we discover problems in our own manuscripts.read more
You have a draft, now how should you approach revising to your theme? Mike breaks down a way to approach your draft across multiple facets of your novel, and we talk about how it all works together. How do you transform description, action, and dialogue into a thematic powerhouse? By keeping your theme front and center! Now, go write it on a post-it note and stick it to your monitor!read more
This week, Alida, Kathryn welcome Mike Stop Continues back to the show to discuss prewriting theme. We cover: why you should find your theme before you write, why themes that are too timely are no good, being human, the role of the character arc in theme, how does...read more
What is the reveal? And how do you craft one? How do you introduce intrigue artfully? And when should you follow that intrigue with the reveal? Remember your reveal must be worth the emotional investment of the reader!read more
About the Hosts
Alida Winternheimer is the author of The Skoghall Mystery Series, A Stone’s Throw, and The Story Works Guide to Writing Fiction Series. She further pursues her fervor for all things story as a writing coach and developmental editor. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her Golden Retriever, Seva the Wonder Dog. She camps, bikes, and kayaks in her free time. Unless it’s winter, in which case she drinks chai by the fire. You can find more at www.wordessential.com/about.
Kathryn Arnold writes fantasy and anything else that sparks her creativity from her home in Kingston, Washington. She currently earns her living as an insurance underwriting assistant, where she also creates marketing and web copy. When not writing, she plays (and teaches) piano and keyboard in a band (or two), and is working on starting a ministry team with her husband. You can find Kathryn at www.skyfirewords.com.
Robert Scanlon was born in Australia, but whisked off to England when only a baby. After many years complaining about the weather, he did the sensible thing and moved back to Australia. Despite a career in the music industry, followed by decades teaching public speaking, Robert is an introvert who adores reading. Robert grew up on a diet of sci-fi masters, eventually discovering he had read the library’s entire science fiction section. Now he has to write his own. Robert is the author of Constellation, book one of the Blood Empire space opera series. Find out more at www.RobertScanlon.com
Former co-host, Matt Herron, was a member of SWRT from episode 1 through episode 17.
Matt is the author of The Auriga Project, a scifi thriller, Scrivener Superpowers, a how-to book for writers, and the forthcoming Tales of the Republic, a serialized novel set in a specualtive future. He also founded the Indie Author Society, an organization that offers community and support for indie authors. When he’s not bending words to his will, Matt likes to climb mountains, throw a frisbee for his Boxer mutt, Elsa, and travel to expand his mind. Learn more about him and his books at www.mgherron.com.