Monday, April 27, 2015

Podcast Picks for Writers - April 2015

Since I don’t have a Marvelous Middle Grade Monday book for today, I thought I’d post my thoughts on some of my favourite podcasts from the month. (You can find a list of middle grade books to read over at author Shannon Messenger's blog.) 

Writing Excuses 10.16 – What Do I Do with All This Blank Space?

This 20-minute podcast focuses on the beginning of a novel and the promises made to the reader right when you start. They discuss how, if you choose the wrong starting point, you can set up a false impression of what your story is about, and risk disappointing the reader. If you’ve done any reading about story beginnings, you will probably have heard some of the tips they cover, like not writing the first page first, or don’t sit staring at a blank page but jump in somewhere.

I was intrigued by their thoughts on how to order information in a story. I also liked their reminders about the opening hook and how it needs to indicate the tone of the story.

As a first time listener, I appreciated the way Sarah Enni set the stage, describing where and when the interview took place. I was especially interested in their conversation about the pressures and stress of what comes after the debut book. And I loved that Erin is such a big Harry Potter fan! It was really interesting to learn how she uses social media and her interests to connect with her readers.

Advice to authors: “Look at what you like, and put that into your own writing.”

The Creative Penn – Writing Fiction: Tips on Plot with Roz Morris

Every time Roz Morris is interviewed on The Creative Penn, I learn something new or get a different perspective on my writing. I think this is the 3rd or 4th time she’s been on. This time, their discussion about the coherence of the plot and novel got me thinking. This point struck me as so important, to make sure "you’ve got an idea that you can make enough of without having to add loads of other stuff.

I have done this -- put all kinds of stuff into a novel and ended up with a giant mess because there are too many different things going on. 

If you'd rather read than listen to a podcast, the transcript is posted at The Creative Penn.


  1. I'm a big fan of Erin's. I'll try to check out her interview. Thanks.

  2. All of these podcasts sound helpful, but I think I especially need the last one. More than one agent has told me there's too much going on in my novels. Thanks, Andrea!

  3. These sound really good! I think I need to listen to the last one. I have a manuscript that I think is suffering from this very problem. I've gleaned a lot from The Creative Pen website.


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