Is it even possible to have an arcless protagonist? What is an arcless protagonist? After diving into some famous and beloved arcless protagonists, we dive into how to make it work. How can you use your secondary characters to create emotional resonance? And how can you keep that emotional buy in through a series? Do you need the same supporting characters around your arcless protagonist? And what are some of the drawbacks to using one? Just remember: an arcless protagonist is the exception, not the rule!read more
How did Chris Fox start writing science fiction? And how can you write a science fiction book with limited research? What is classic science fiction about anyway, and how does it compare with today? If you want to write science fiction, what are some technological and science based tropes you should be aware of? And how should you approach alien characters? Don’t make your readers work too hard! And how can you make tropes work for you?read more
Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss the soggy middle problem and what to do about it. Keep your action interesting and stakes and tension rising throughout the entire story. VIDEO AUDIO SHOW NOTES What is a soggy middle? And what kind of writers tend to have...read more
What is a cozy mystery? And how do you develop the right cast of characters to fit inside of one? What skills to they need? And who do they need around them? We discuss genre conventions for mysteries in general, and cozy mysteries specifically. Don’t forget your law enforcement, or your red herrings!read more
We welcome special guest, Lisa von Biela, to the Story Works Round Table this week to launch a series on genre fiction. Lisa has numerous dark, horror, speculative stories published, primarily with Dark Fuse. We talk about inspiration, plotting, and the twists of...read more
In this week’s episode we discuss point of view.read more
How is dialogue in fiction different from real life? When should you use exposition versus dialogue? And how do you use your dialogue to move your story forward? When do you use dialogue to communicate information or explain things? And when should you shy away?read more
Find out what the Story Works Round Table podcast is all about and meet your hosts, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert.read more
How do you develop supporting characters? What goes into them versus your protagonist? How do you move them from plot device to fully fleshed being? And what role should they play? Above all how do you keep them from all sounding the same?read more
How do you know when to end your story? And how do you deliver your ending in a way that leaves readers thinking about your story and character for days? Be deliberate about what you leave unresolved, and don’t let that ending be disappointing! Above all make sure your protagonist takes center stage. And don’t be fooled by our decoy endings.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.