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Fiction Writing Made Easy

English, Arts, 1 season, 149 episodes, 2 days, 20 hours, 37 minutes
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How do I write a book? How do I create compelling characters that readers will love? How do I build a believable world for my story? What does it even mean to write a story that works? Do you have any writing tips? These are just some of the big questions that developmental editor and book coach, Savannah Gilbo, digs into on the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast. Each week, Savannah shares actionable tools, tips, and strategies that will help you write, edit, and publish your book. So, whether you're brand new to writing, or a seasoned author looking to improve your craft, this podcast is for you!
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#143. How To Pitch Podcasts With Michelle Glogovac

“Human beings want to hear the stories of other human beings. And that's exactly what podcasts do.” - Michelle GlogovacYou have a finished book, now what? Learn how to pitch yourself to podcasts (and create your own podcast book tour!) in this episode.  Here’s a preview of what’s included:[04:47] What is a podcast book tour? And what are the benefits of doing one?[12:20] How to pitch yourself, even if you don’t have a finished book.[31:32] How to repurpose content from your interviews so you get the biggest ROI from your effort.[36:58] Michelle encourages authors of all experience levels to share their own unique story—and to find value in sharing that story, even if you don't have a finished book just yet. Links mentioned in this episode:Michelle's WebsiteBook: How to Get on PodcastsFollow Michelle on InstagramEpisode #85: Student Spotlight: How She Overcame Her Fear of the Blank Page (and Indie Published Her Novel) with Jennifer LauerRead this episode's blog post here!Interested in becoming a book coach? Author Accelerator has a free quiz you can take that tells you if you're a good fit for a career in book coaching. Click here to take the quiz and to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program! Support the Show.Looking for a transcript? If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, scroll down below the episode player until you see the transcript.
5/21/202439 minutes, 55 seconds
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#142. How To Write A Query Letter That Get Requests

Send us a Text Message.“I recommend working on your query letter as soon as you feel good enough about the overall shape of your story.” - Savannah GilboAgents and editors must sort through hundreds of query letters to find an outstanding story. So, how do you write a query letter that catches their attention and makes them want to read more? Tune into this episode to learn how to write a query letter that works! Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:31] What are query letters and why are they important?[03:46] How to write a query letter.[14:49] How to troubleshoot your query letter if it’s too long or not working.[18:02] A query letter is a 300-500 word document that writers send to literary agents or editors as a way to introduce themself and their work. Personalizing your letter is important to show agents and editors your intention of finding the right fit. Follow up with them if you don’t hear back, but no more than once.Links Mentioned In This Episode:Episode #58: 10 Querying Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)QuerySharkQueryTrackerRead this episode's blog post here!Click here to get instant access to my FREE training: 5 Steps To Writing A Novel (Without Letting Perfectionism Or Procrastination Get In The Way)!Support the Show.If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
5/14/202421 minutes, 16 seconds
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#141. How To Create Believable Monsters With Randy Ellefson

Send us a Text Message.“The object itself didn't cause the conflict. The person who made the choice with the object caused the conflict.” - Randy EllefsonIn today’s episode, we’re going to cover something really fun—how to create believable monsters. And I have a special guest joining me today—someone that knows way more about creating monsters than I do. His name is Randy Ellefson, and he is the author of The Art of World Building.  Here’s a preview of what’s included:[03:48] Randy gives us his definition of a monster, what physical or physiological deformities they may have, and whether they are sentient beings.[16:05] Randy breaks down the three types of monsters: accidental monsters, monsters by design, and monsters by evolution. [28:42] Is it more effective to compel readers to keep reading despite knowing the outcome, or to cultivate curiosity that propels the audience to move forward? [29:15] Randy shares common monster motivations, including a popular one that may lack credibility.[50:47] The idea of exploring diverse topics and genres can expose writers to new ideas and provide fresh perspectives, even for writers not typically inclined towards fantasy, sci-fi, or historical fiction. Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to register for the free Sci-Fi & Fantasy Author's Summit hosted by Paula Judith Johnson and Randy Ellefson! Randy's WebsiteRandy's BooksRandy's Worldbuilding ClassesEp. 111 - Student Spotlight: From Messy First Draft to Publishing His Debut Novel With Edward J. CembalRead this episode's blog post here!Click here to get instant access to my FREE training: 5 Steps To Writing A Novel (Without Letting Perfectionism Or Procrastination Get In The Way)!Support the Show.If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
5/7/202452 minutes, 46 seconds
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#140. First Chapter Analysis: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

“We need to advance the plot and we need to develop the character. When you can marry the two, you have a strong scene.” - Abigail K. PerryWe’re taking a deep dive into Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins to see how and why it works. Join me and Abigail K. Perry as we break down this first chapter of the third book of The Hunger Games trilogy to see how it hooks our interest and pulls us into the story! Here's a preview of what's included:  [04:03] Chapter summary: This opening chapter sets up themes of resistance, manipulation, and personal agency against a backdrop of political turmoil and survival[07:41] Macro analysis, using Paula Munier’s 7 Key Questions: Suzanne Collins masterfully sets up the expectations by addressing the tone, themes, and stakes of "Mockingjay", ensuring readers are engaged and eager to uncover what lies ahead[26:17] Microanalysis, using Story Grid’s 5 Commandments: In the opening scene, Katniss Everdeen deals with the pressure to become the Mockingjay. Her internal conflict regarding her future role intensifies, setting the stage for subsequent events in the story.[53:13] Final thoughts: The opening scene balances macro and microelements, ensuring readers are engaged and invested from the start. Evaluating your opening chapter through this comprehensive lens is invaluable for effectively delivering the big picture and the intricate details to your audience. Links mentioned in this episode:Check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry here! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.Episode #132 - First Chapter Analysis: The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsEpisode #136 - First Chapter Analysis: Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsRead this episode's blog post here! Want to write a novel but not sure where to start? Click here to grab a FREE copy of my Story Starter Kit workbook that'll help you get clarity on your characters, setting, theme, plot, and so much more!Support the Show.If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
4/30/202456 minutes, 33 seconds
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#139: 5 Multi POV Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

Telling a story through multiple viewpoints can be a great way to create a more expansive (and objective) look at your characters, world, plot, and/or theme. But with each additional viewpoint character you add to your story, the more room there is for mistakes. In this episode, I'm sharing the 5 most common multi POV mistakes writers make and how to avoid them in your draft.Here’s a preview of what’s included:[00:00] Mistake #1: Including too many POV characters without an intentional reason for including each one.[00:00] Mistake #2: Not developing each POV character as if they were the protagonist of their own story—they lack their own goal, motivation, and conflict.[00:00] Mistake #3: Not tying the characters' storylines together via a common plot problem, a central relationship, or binding their fates together.[00:00] Mistake #4: Head hopping between different POV characters without making the switch clear to the reader.[00:00] Mistake #5: Rehashing the same scene from different POVs without offering the reader new and potent  information.Links Mentioned In This Episode:Ep. #7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersWant to write a novel but not sure where to start? Click here to grab a FREE copy of my Story Starter Kit workbook that'll help you get clarity on your characters, setting, theme, plot, and so much more!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
4/23/202420 minutes, 40 seconds
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#138: How To Manage Your Creative Anxiety With Rhonda Douglas

“Writing is a creative project. It's not an earthquake, but the thoughts and the worries can feel similar. If I can have a positive association or feel prepared for an earthquake, surely I can do that for writing.” - Rhonda DouglasEver found yourself staring at the blank page, trying to write but unable to find the right words? You’re not alone! Tune in to hear Rhonda Douglas share strategies for managing creative anxiety and writer’s block.  Here’s a preview of what’s included[01:29] What is creative anxiety and how does it commonly show up?[12:13] The difference between preventive vs. curative measures for dealing with creative anxiety and some examples of each that you can implement in your routine[32:21] Dividing the writing process into smaller segments, such as outlining part one of your book or focusing on just one paragraph, can help you overcome creative anxiety[38:24] I adored Rhonda's insight in this episode about proactively addressing creative anxiety before it even kicks in during your writing sessions. It's such a brilliant notion! Plus, the beauty lies in how personalized this approach can be for each writer. Whether it's a quick meditation session, setting up a cozy ambiance with a flickering candle, or simply brewing a comforting cup of tea while rounding up your favorite snacks, the options are endless!Links mentioned in this episode:Rhonda's websiteInstagramPodcast: The Resilient Writers Radio ShowSupport the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
4/16/202440 minutes, 22 seconds
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#137: 5 Tips For Writing Better Fiction (Even If You're Just Starting Out)

“Focus your pre-writing and drafting and revising efforts on the present moment of your story.” - Daniel David WallaceI asked five of my peers to share one of their favorite writing tips, and boy, did they deliver! Tune in to hear 5 editors and coaches talk about their favorite tip and why it’s so helpful. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:40] Tip #1: Fully embrace scene structure in your storytelling process because the narrative will flow seamlessly from beginning to end.[06:12] Tip #2: Keep your focus on the forward momentum of your story by avoiding excessive backstory or exposition that might slow down the pacing.[11:05] Tip #3: Dedicate equal attention to crafting your protagonist's internal journey as you do to advancing the external plot of your story.[14:48] Tip #4: Make the most of your story's midpoint to steer clear of the often chaotic middle of the second act. [21:52] Tip #5: If you hit a creative roadblock, assess which perspective you're currently in and try shifting to another viewpoint.[27:26] It's so easy to overlook the three distinct perspectives—be it that of the author, character, or reader—which only adds unnecessary complexity. I find immense joy in discovering what resonates with others and moves the needle for them, particularly within the writing community. After all, different techniques suit different individuals, and exploring various perspectives from writers, coaches, and editors is invaluable.Connect with Guests:Emily Golden WebsiteStory Magic PodcastInstagramDaniel David Wallace WebsiteInstagramNicole Meier WebsiteSteps to Story PodcastInstagramAbigail K. Perry WebsiteLitMatch PodcastInstagramLinks Mentioned In This Episode:Episode #40: How to Write a Well-Structured SceneEpisode #99: 5 Mindset Tips to Help You Unlock Your Writing PotentialSupport the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
4/9/202432 minutes, 1 second
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#136. First Chapter Analysis: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

“Usually stakes start personal and they become public. That's a way of raising stakes, regardless of the genre.” - Savannah GilboWe’re diving deep into Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins to see how and why it works. Join me and Abigail K. Perry as we break down this first chapter to see how it hooks our interest and pulls us into the story! Here's a preview of what's included:  [05:22] Chapter summary: This chapter focuses on Katniss, who is navigating life after winning the Hunger Games. There is a suggestion of impending conflict or tension on a larger scale and overall, the story explores themes of survival, resistance against oppressive systems, and the complexities of relationships under duress.[13:31] Macro analysis, using Paula Munier’s 7 Key Questions: Suzanne Collins expertly lays the groundwork for an engaging and suspenseful story. Readers are likely to feel curiosity, concern, and wonder throughout the chapter. They are curious about the unfolding events, for Katniss's well-being and relationships, and intrigued by the dystopian world. [35:16] Micro analysis, using Story Grid’s 5 Commandments: Overall, this scene marks a turning point in the protagonist’s journey, throwing her into a more dangerous and complex conflict with President Snow. It sets the stage for the central conflicts of the narrative, particularly Katniss's struggle to navigate her public image and maintain her autonomy in a society ruled by fear and control.[50:21] Final thoughts: This first chapter emphasizes the character development of Katniss and the intricate layers of stakes and decisions that drive the narrative forward. Ultimately, the discussion highlights the complexity of storytelling and the various paths that can lead to a compelling climax.Links mentioned in this episode:Check out the LitMarch Podcast with Abigail Perry here! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.The Writer's Guide to Beginnings by Paula MunierStory Grid by Shawn CoyneRead this episode's blog post here!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
4/2/20241 hour, 1 minute, 1 second
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#135: Mastering Point of View and Voice: Expert Tips From Gabriela Pereira Of DIY MFA

“You, the writer, have a bigger sphere of knowledge. You know more things than the narrator necessarily knows.” - Gabriela PereiraIn today’s episode, I ask Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA for her thoughts on some of the most commonly asked questions I get about point of view and voice—and she shares some of her favorite tips and strategies for mastering POV and voice in your writing.  Here’s a preview of what’s included:[1:51] What's Gabriela’s advice for writers trying to choose the "right" point of view for their book?[05:01] 3 Tips from Gabriela for mastering POV and voice in your writing.[15:27] Using an omniscient third-person narrator may feel easier than a limited third-person but this isn’t necessarily true. We discuss how to utilize third-party omniscient without feeling dated.  [21:10] We talk about voice and Gabriela shares why she hates when people say "Find your voice".[38:20] The takeaway from this conversation is the importance of approaching the editing process systematically. For instance, beginning with the big picture before focusing on minor sentence-level adjustments, ultimately leads to a better editing process. It is valuable to also maintain consistency in voice and POV, making sure that the writer's voice shines through for clarity and coherence of the story.Links mentioned in this episode:Gabriela Pereira's WebsiteBook: DIY MFAEpisode #90 How to Choose the Best Point of View for Your StoryRead this episode's blog post here!Click here to get 15% off a 30+ page manuscript report from The Spun Yarn's beta readers! Use code SAVANNAHGILBO at checkout.Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
3/26/202442 minutes, 11 seconds
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#134: How To Stop Procrastinating: 5 Productivity Tips For Writers

“It's really important to focus on the big picture story first and not worry about granular details that you can figure out later.” - Savannah GilboGet more done in less time, overcome procrastination, and become a master at time management with these 5 super simple productivity tips that I’ve been using daily for the last 10 years. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:07] What is productivity and why does it matter?[04:44] How to time block your days in a way that works for YOU—plus, what this looks like for me (spoiler alert: I’m a night owl so I do my best work at night!).[10:49] Tips for prioritizing your most important tasks so you don’t get stuck in the weeds doing things that don’t move the needle in terms of finishing your book.[17:12] Why multitasking is NOT the answer to higher productivity—and a few surprising ways writers multi-task without even realizing it.[27:26] Cultivating these habits is a gradual process that requires consistent effort. If incorporating all five tips seems overwhelming, experiment with a single tip this week. As you progress, incorporate additional habits and eventually, you'll evolve into a more productive writer.Links Mentioned In This Episode:Story Starter KitClick here to get 15% off a 30+ page manuscript report from The Spun Yarn's beta readers! Use code SAVANNAHGILBO at checkout.Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
3/19/202429 minutes, 18 seconds
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#133: A Week in the Life: 7 Days Behind the Scenes with Savannah (March 2024)

“Sometimes it's easy to take feedback to mean that your story's broken when it's not.” - Savannah GilboI’m taking you behind the scenes with me throughout my entire work week! You’ll see how I plan my days, what projects I work on, what I learn from the writers I work with, and so much more! Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:48] Sunday Update - This week will be a mixed bag. I’m taking a 2-day online course from Laura Belgray, who’s sharing a behind-the-scenes look at her most recent book launch. The other fun thing I’m doing is giving a presentation for ProWritingAid’s Romance Writers Week. Also, the third Crescent City book from Sarah J. Maas comes out this week, and I am so excited to read that. [06:48] Monday Update - Today, there are two big things I need to do: craft some emails for the Women In Publishing Summit, which I'm speaking at in March. The other big thing I'm working on is growing my email list and one of the ways I’m planning to do that is to be a guest on as many other writing podcasts as possible. [11:08] Tuesday Update - I’m coaching a writer who is working on two stories at once. Working on two projects at once would be hard for most people to handle. However, because this author has two novels in different stages of the process, it allows her to use different parts of her brain on different days.[16:33] Wednesday Update - The virtual class that Laura Belgray is hosting is about how she launched her book, Tough Titties, and it was awesome. I also have a little bit of a selfish reason for wanting to see what she did because I have a book coming out later this year, and I’m hoping to learn from what Laura did so that I can have a great book launch myself. [21:03] Thursday Update - It's so easy to second-guess ourselves when it comes to mapping out or outlining our stories. There are so many decisions to be made. If you are a student of my Notes to Novel class, you can submit your loglines for me to review during any of our Q&A calls. If you don't know what a logline is, it’s essentially a 1-2 sentence summary of your story—and you can craft it before you’ve even outlined or written a single word of your book. [28:57] Friday Update - I am writing a book and it’s an analysis of the first Harry Potter book. It’s a craft book for writers that’s going to dig into the big picture and the small picture to find out why and how this story works so well. This project is something I started 5+ years ago, and it got shelved for various reasons but is now coming back into the spotlight. Links Mentioned In This EpisodeEpisode #54: How to Test an Idea Before Writing the First DraftEpisode #94: How to Reveal Your Character’s Inner Life on the PageEpisode #102: 3 Common Interiority Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)Waitlist: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Analysis Guide Click here to get 15% off a 30+ page manuscript report from The Spun Yarn's beta readers! Use code SAVANNAHGILBO at checkout.Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
3/12/202435 minutes, 7 seconds
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#132: First Chapter Analysis: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“In stories that feel society dominant, is survival even worth it if you don't have freedom?” - Abigail K. PerryWe’re taking a deep dive into The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to see how and why it works. Join me and Abigail K. Perry as we break down this first chapter to see how it hooks our interest and pulls us into the story! Here's a preview of what's included:  [04:39] Chapter summary: In the opening chapter, the author employs a tight focus on Katniss's perspective, utilizing vivid imagery and carefully chosen details to immerse the reader in the setting. [08:57] Macro analysis: We use Paula Munier’s 7 Key Questions to highlight the multifaceted nature of the narrative, incorporating elements of action, societal critique, and internal transformation. [44:16] Micro analysis: We talk through the structure of the scene using The Story Grid’s 5 Commandments. We focus on a specific scene involving Katniss and Gale since it is a well-crafted and impactful part of the narrative, showcasing the author's adept talent to convey character dynamics, conflicts, and thematic depth.[01:04 ] Final thoughts: Reflecting on this scene, it becomes apparent how it propels the narrative forward and leaves a lasting impact on the characters entwined within it. Ultimately, this initial chapter accomplishes all the essential functions expected of a compelling opening.Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.Links mentioned in this episode:5 Mistakes Writers Make in Their Opening PagesHow to Write a Well-Structured SceneA New Workshop For Writers: How to Hook Readers in Your First Five PagesUnderstanding Genre: How to Write Better StoriesClick here to get 15% off a 30+ page manuscript report from The Spun Yarn's beta readers! Use code SAVANNAHGILBO at checkout.Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
3/5/20241 hour, 7 minutes, 13 seconds
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#131: 5 Steps To Start Planning Your Book Series

“The key to making books within a series work is to grow, escalate, and complicate the conflict and stakes from book to book.” - Savannah GilboA good book series allows readers to immerse themselves in a world and stay there. But how do you write a series that works? To start, here are 5 steps to help you start planning your book series. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:42] Savannah discusses the the three primary categories of book series—static, dynamic, and anthology.[03:06] The 5 steps to start planning your book series.[11:48] Analyzing a character's journey across the Hunger Games trilogy.[14:50] Unpacking Voldemort's grand plot objective versus the specific goals within each book—and the strategic implications.[21:35] A useful exercise to stimulate plot ideas for your series.[29:03] A bonus tip for enriching the worldbuilding/setting of your book series.[32:45]  As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into planning a book series. Don’t expect to have everything figured out in one or two sittings. This is something you’ll need to start and add to over time, so please know that going into this process!Links Mentioned In This Episode:Understanding Genre: How to Write Better StoriesHow to Uncover the Theme of Your StoryInterested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
2/27/202434 minutes, 56 seconds
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#130: How to Craft Romantic Chemistry & Tension Between Characters

“ Flat or boring characters who are underdeveloped are never going to light up a scene, no matter how many tricks you pull.” - Savannah GilboIf you’re writing romance, the chemistry and tension between your characters can make or break your story. Let’s explore how to create romantic chemistry between two characters in an authentic and compelling way to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:44] What is chemistry?[03:01] The first thing we need to do when creating chemistry between two characters is to have fully fleshed-out characters with their own goals, motivations, and inner obstacles.[03:42] Capitalize on opportunities for opposition and harmony between your characters.[07:41] The 3 key ingredients of chemistry are vulnerability, desire, and resistance[09:14] Examples from Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.[17:51] Writing romantic tension between romantic and non-romantic characters[22:56]  If you want to master crafting irresistible chemistry and tension, I highly recommend studying your favorite stories. This is the best way to improve your writing. You can ask yourself questions like:What do I like about the chemistry and tension between these two characters?How did the author play on each character’s vulnerabilities within the relationship?What does each character like (or desire) about the other (physically, mentally, and emotionally)?How did the author create resistance between the characters? Why do the characters not want the relationship to move forward?What can I replicate in my own writing?And if you need help getting started with your story, check out my FREE Story Starter Kit: 5 Questions To Ask Before You Start Writing. This fillable workbook will help you build out the foundational elements of your story: genre, character, setting, plot, and theme. Grab your free copy here!Links mentioned in this episode:5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersFourth Wing by Rebecca YarrosInterested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
2/20/202425 minutes, 34 seconds
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#129: Overcoming The Fear Of Marketing With Alexa Bigwarfe

“Work on being a better writer and work on your craft and the other stuff will follow. As long as you have a great book, marketing comes a lot easier.” - Alexa BigwarfeIn today’s brand-new episode, I’m sharing a conversation with Alexa Bigwarfe about how writers can overcome the fear of marketing their books and what you can do right now to kickstart your marketing efforts. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[3:55] Where should new writers market their books?[05:14] Alexa advises on what to do if you're afraid of marketing your book.[09:06] How soon should writers start thinking about marketing their books?[14:16] After writing 14 non-fiction books, what is it like for Alexa to now be in the fiction world?[22:22] Alexa shares her ideas for marketing the second book of her series.[35:56] Alexa talks about the Women In Publishing Summit, a virtual conference for authors of all experience levels to learn and connect with others in the industry.Links mentioned in this episode:Women In Publishing Summit  Alexa's Instagram  Click here to get FREE access to The One Page Book Coaching Business Plan! Use code JENNIE24 to claim your discount.Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
2/13/202443 minutes, 48 seconds
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#128: What Are Obligatory Scenes And Conventions?

“When a story doesn't include these key scenes and conventions of its genre, it's just not going to work.” - Savannah GilboWant a framework for your entire story? Learn what readers expect from a story like yours, and then use these obligatory scenes and conventions as a framework to craft a story that works. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [03:47] What are obligatory scenes and conventions (and why are they important)?[06:58] 3 steps to finding the obligatory scenes and conventions for your story's genre.[10:31] Savannah breaks out most of the required scenes and conventions, which you can download by visiting the blog post for this episode.[13:58] How to handle the obligatory scenes and conventions of your subplots vs. the main storyline.[16:51] Final thoughts: If you don’t do the work to understand your genre, you’ll have a hard time getting your books into the hands of readers. And without readers, your story will never be experienced. That’s a terrible thought, right? To avoid this, know your genre and give your readers what they’re expecting in a new and exciting way. Give them the emotional experience they’re looking for, and you’ll earn loyal fans for life. Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 2: Understanding Genre: How to Write Better StoriesEp. 95: How to Start Writing Your Sci-Fi or Fantasy NovelSTORY by Robert MckeeThe Story Grid by Shawn CoyneWant a behind the scenes look at what it takes to build a successful book coaching business? Grab this free ebook from Author Accelerator and join Jennie Nash (CEO of Author Accelerator) and Suzette Mullen on February 6th for all the juicy details! Click here to grab your free ebook >Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
2/6/202419 minutes, 5 seconds
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#127: First Chapter Analysis: The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

“It might seem strange to start a story with an ending, but all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.” - Abigail K. PerryIn this episode, we’re talking about The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom to see how and why it works. Join Abigail K. Perry and me as we break down this first chapter to see how it hooks our interest and pulls us into the story. Here's a preview of what's included:  [02:40] Chapter summary: Abigail reads a summary of the first chapter and talks about how (and why) the author gives away the ending of the story upfront.[15:52] Macro analysis: We talk through the 7 Key Questions as laid out by Paula Munier in her book, The Writer's Guide to Beginnings, and how the chapter serves as a compelling opening for a character-driven story.[21:42] Abigail talks about how this story is a great example of a novel with a unique voice.[45:46] Micro analysis: We talk through the structure of the scene using the 5 Commandment scene framework as laid out by Shawn Coyne at The Story Grid, including the use of “postcard scenes”—a term they borrowed from Donald Maass.[58:30] Final thoughts: The first chapter is essential in driving the story forward so writers should ensure that they are delivering enough of the big picture to engage readers. Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
1/30/20241 hour, 7 seconds
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126. Save The Cat! Troubleshooting Common Plot Problems With Jessica Brody

“Every time you write something hard, it changes you as a writer, and it makes you a better writer.” - Jessica BrodyToday I'm sharing a conversation with Jessica Brody where we talk about some of the most common mistakes writers make when outlining, writing, and editing their books using the “Save the Cat” method. Here's a preview of what's included:[02:30] Jessica introduces herself and shares her experience writing fiction using the Save The Cat! plotting method.[04:00] Savannah asks Jessica about marrying the external plot of a story to the protagonist's internal arc. Savannah sees a lot of writers focus solely on the external plot events and not enough on character growth and development. Jessica shares her thoughts on how to make sure you're balancing both plot and character as you write.[11:45] Savannah asks Jessica to talk about two important multi-scene beats—the Fun and Games beat and the Bad Guys Close In beat. Jessica shares her thoughts on breaking these longer beats down into smaller, more manageable chunks.[18:00] Savannah asks Jessica about being too rigid with the Save The Cat! structure. Specifically, what happens if your beats don't line up with the percentages recommended? Jessica shares her thoughts.[21:50] Jessica talks about how she had a hard time with the All Is Lost beat and the Dark Night Of The Soul beat until she figured out a very important distinction.[30:40] Jessica talks about some things to consider in terms of your first 25-50 pages when it comes time to query agents.Links mentioned in this episode:Learn more about Jessica Brody on her website or connect with her on InstagramCheck out Jessica's craft books to go deeper into the STC! method—Save the Cat! Writes a Novel and Save the Cat! Writes a YA NovelJoin Jessica's membership, The Writing Mastery Academy, and get $20 off your annual membership using code 'FWME'My Notes to Novel course is officially OPEN for enrollment until January 24th at midnight PT! Click here to learn more and to join me for this LIVE 8-week experience! Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
1/23/202441 minutes, 45 seconds
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#125: Novel Writing Pitfalls: Don't Make These 5 Mistakes

“ The purpose of a first draft is not to come up with something that's perfect. Instead, the purpose is to explore your story and get it out of your head.” - Savannah GilboTransform your writing as I reveal 5 all-too-common mistakes that plague writers. Learn the savvy strategies to sidestep these blunders and discover my top-notch tips for rectifying them if you've already fallen prey. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:20] Having gratitude for every mistake encountered and acknowledging that they served as valuable lessons. The repetition of these errors helped Savannah develop numerous solutions, contributing to her growth as a writer, editor, and book coach[05:38] The essence of a story lies in how external events impact someone striving for a challenging goal and the subsequent transformation they undergo. The narrative's power lies in the underlying story, not just the eloquence of words. Without a compelling story, the manuscript lacks substance.[11:07] Common worries and self-doubt faced by writers often revolve around questioning one's capability and self-worth. Shift to tackling these concerns by identifying the content genre of the story, offering a pathway to navigate and overcome these common anxieties in writing.[17:53] Advice to choose one or two writing methods that resonate with writers and focus on them. Whether it's scene structure or character development, selecting a preferred approach like scene and sequel or goal-motivation-conflict is encouraged.Links mentioned in this episode:How to Outline Your Novel with Save the Cat!How to Write a Well-Structured SceneNotes to NovelClick here to register for the free masterclass > The Confident Writer's Roadmap: 5 Steps To Writing A Novel Without Letting Perfectionism Or Procrastination Get In The Way!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
1/16/202426 minutes, 32 seconds
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#124: Student Spotlight: 5 Lessons Learned from Notes to Novel (Season 3)

“That's how much my writing's improved. But not just the writing, it's the ease. It's not a struggle when I sit down in front of the laptop to write. Everything just seems a lot easier.” - Morgan SchrockIn today's episode, I reached out to some of my Notes to Novels Season 3 students and asked them to share the number one thing they learned about writing a first draft. You're going to get to hear from real writers who are in the trenches, actively working on their novels and I think it'll be very fun for you to hear how they did it plus some of their biggest takeaways. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:26] Lindsay Sfara shares her experience where she initially faced challenges with an insufficiently detailed outline, leading to a lack of direction in her superhero fantasy novel.She highlights her struggles and the transformative impact of the Notes to Novel course. [07:56] Liya Gray has been working on a YA series since 2015, facing challenges and halting progress. She credits Savannah’s course for unlocking a new understanding of her story's structure, and realizing the difference between scenes and chapters. [12:43] Ami Blackford talks about her insights into the Notes to Novel course and its impact on her writing journey. Amy, initially felt there were missing pieces in her eighth novel's outline but she highlights four significant takeaways from the course regarding theme, content genre vs. commercial genre, structured scenes, and fast first draft and magical edits.[18:46] Tanja Fabsits shares her experience with her first novel, and a significant realization during the course was related to scene structure, but her favorite takeaway was the overall feeling of relaxing into the outlining process.[20:56] Morgan Schrock, with a background in scientific writing for journals, decided to write a fiction novel. Her most significant realization was that the middle of her story felt boring, and she identified the problem as a lack of agency for her main character. The course's outlining technique proved to be a game-changer for her.Links mentioned in this episode:Lindsay Sfara  - InstagramLiya Grey - Website, Instagram, FacebookAmi Blackford - Website, Instagram, FacebookTanja Fabsits - BookMorgan Shrock - X, InstagramFree Workshop - The Confident Writer's RoadmapClick here to register for the free masterclass > The Confident Writer's Roadmap: 5 Steps To Writing A Novel Without Letting Perfectionism Or Procrastination Get In The Way!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
1/9/202430 minutes, 9 seconds
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# 123: How To Overcome The 5 Types Of Imposter Syndrome

“Try learning new skills and then putting what you learn into practice right away, because, at the end of the day, you can only really learn through doing anyway.” - Savannah GilboIs imposter syndrome holding you back from writing a novel? Here are the EXACT action steps you can take right now to combat your feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and fear—and to overcome imposter syndrome for good. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:28] What exactly is imposter syndrome? How can you conquer it?[06:18] How overindulgence in work can drain the creativity and enjoyment from crafting a novel and may even jeopardize your relationships.[11:06] Overly independent writers tend to reject assistance or input from others, even when it is necessary, out of the fear of being perceived as incompetent.[14:13] Writers who believe that continually reading more craft books, enrolling in additional training, or rewriting the opening chapter repeatedly, might eventually amass enough knowledge to create a flawless novel.Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 122 - Counting Down The Best Tips From FWME In 2023The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Dr. Valerie YoungUnlock Your Story ChallengeAll podcast episodes are available here.Join the LIVE 5-Day Unlock Your Story Challenge here! Let me help you develop the 4 foundational elements of a working story idea—a plot that hooks interest, a protagonist with a compelling goal, conflict with high stakes, and a theme with heart—for only $47! Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
1/2/202419 minutes, 43 seconds
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#122: Counting Down The Best Tips From FWME In 2023

“My point is that you have to do the work to make the mistakes and learn.” - Savannah GilboThe past year on Fiction Writing Made Easy has been a treasure trove of insights, expert advice, and creative hacks, all neatly bundled up in amazing podcast episodes and interviews. Today, we dive into a delightful countdown, revisiting the very best tips that get into the heart of fiction writing, and uncovering the gems that made 2023 an inspiration for writers. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:00] Savannah’s favorite ways to brainstorm subplots and then layer them into your story in an organic way.[13:34] The best technique to write quality fiction that readers will connect to.[21:30] Being willing as writers to put things out there that aren’t perfect.[35:09] As a writer, create your milestone list from one to ten.Links mentioned in this episode:Tip 10: Episode #98: How to Add Subplots to Your NovelTip 9: Episode #90: How to Choose the Best Point of View for Your StoryTip 8: Episode #109: 5 Common Scene Issues (And How to Fix Them)Tip 7: Episode #82: Show, Don't Tell: What This Advice Really MeansTip 6: Episode #79: 3 Things to Focus on if You're a Brand New WriterTip 5: Episode #88: Perfectionism vs. Procrastination: What’s REALLY Going On?Tip 4: Episode #96: 5 Worldbuilding Tips for Sci-Fi & Fantasy WritersTip 3: Episode #104:10 Tips for Writing Better DialogueTip 2: Episode #102: 3 Common Interiority Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)Tip 1: Episode #108: Why Your Capacity for Zero is Crucial as a WriterAll podcast episodes are available here.Click here to get your personalized Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast playlist! Answer 4 simple questions, et voila! Ten curated episodes that will meet you right where you're at on you writing, editing, or publishing journey!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
12/26/202341 minutes, 42 seconds
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#121: 5 Takeaways From Coaching Writers in 2023

“The more work you do up front and the more you get your mindset right, the more likely your chances of success are.” - Savannah GilboIn this episode, I'm giving you a glimpse behind the scenes and sharing some of the key takeaways I learned from coaching writers this year. I hope that you'll be able to reap some of the benefits of these lessons so that you can move forward with your writing in the most efficient way possible.  Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:50] It's easier to make progress when surrounded by a community of like-minded writers.[05:48] Before your query letter and submission materials, you should have a finished draft of your synopsis and get outside feedback from a developmental editor or beta readers.[09:53] Why do more writers seem to be choosing self-publishing over traditional publishing?[15:04] Savannah’s recommendation of starting a story at a different place and how perfectionism has also impacted almost every writer I worked with this year.Links mentioned in this episode:Episode #66: The Pros and Cons of Traditional PublishingFREE Story Starter KitJane Freedman's Hot Sheet NewsletterNotes to Novel Unlock Your StoryClick here to get your personalized Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast playlist! Answer 4 simple questions, et voila! Ten curated episodes that will meet you right where you're at on you writing, editing, or publishing journey!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
12/19/202323 minutes, 59 seconds
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#120: First Chapter Analysis: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

“I think that's really important at the end of every time that you write a scene. Ask yourself, how can I raise the stakes even more?” - Abigail K. PerryI'm thrilled to have you join us today as we embark on a thrilling literary journey through the fantastical world of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yaros. In this episode, I'm joined by Abigail K. Perry and I encourage you to read this mesmerizing tale, peel it apart with us, and participate in our analysis of it. Here's a preview of what's included:  [05:42] Chapter summary: The first chapter of Fourth Wing leaves readers hanging on the edge, both emotionally and figuratively, setting the stage for a tale brimming with intrigue, familial conflict, and the high stakes of a world defined by war and loyalty.[11:53] Macro analysis: This novel aims to captivate readers with its combination of action, fantasy, and romance within the new adult framework. The novel features a skillful balance between internal character development and external conflicts, seeking approval from parents, creating a rich narrative that explores both the character's inner struggles and the broader context of a war-torn world filled with secrets and conspiracies.[32:54] Micro analysis: Discussing differing views on the crisis and turning point, a debate about whether to consider the author’s writing as one scene or split it into multiple scenes, and understanding the protagonist’s goal and actions and decisions within it. Also, there is the effectiveness of putting a crisis on the page, illustrating the character's internal struggle and the stakes involved. [53:08] Final thoughts: The balance between setup and resolution in scenes, emphasizing the need for purposeful content that propels the plot forward, and the careful construction of scenes, focusing on character development, plot progression, and the effective integration of stakes and conflicts. Links mentioned in this episode:"Fourth Wing" by Rebecca Yarros“The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings: How to Craft Story Openings That Sell” by Paula MunierSupport the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
12/12/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 35 seconds
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#119: Student Spotlight: Writing Character Realities and The Art of Embracing Dual Timelines with Fern Bernstein

“It's the inciting incident, the turning point, the crisis moment, the climax, and the resolution, and each scene really needs to have that to move the story forward.” - Fern BernsteinIn today's episode, I’m sitting down for a conversation with Fern Bernstein to talk about her debut novel, Staunch: The Edie's of Grey Gardens.  Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:44] Savannah reads the back cover of Staunch: The Edie's of Grey Gardens to get context for today’s discussion.[12:14] The history and unanswered questions around the Edie’s, how they inspired Fern’s book, and the character work and story structure Fern worked through with Savannah about these wonderful women of Grey Gardens, East Hampton, New York.[21:11] Going through the outline, having consecutive drafts, and the balancing act of taking the reader through a particular emotional journey through two different timelines.[32:37] How beta readers impacted Fern’s opinion of her writing and being open to feedback and constructive criticism as a writer.Links mentioned in this episode:Fern Bernstein's WebsiteFern Bernstein's Amazon PageFern Bernstein on InstagramFern Bernstein on FacebookMah Jongg Mondays PodcastThe Mahjong Line PinterestFern Bernstein on XThe Mahjong Line on YouTubeGrey Gardens (movie)The Spun YarnSupport the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
12/5/202345 minutes, 34 seconds
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#118: How To Find The Major Dramatic Question Of Your Story

“Every story has one main question that it raises in the beginning and answers by the end.” - Savannah GilboIn this latest podcast episode, we'll explore a fundamental element of storytelling: the Major Dramatic Question (MDQ). From the outset of your story, readers should be gripped by this central question. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:31] Savannah talks about why the major dramatic question (MDQ) of a story is a helpful question for writers and how you can find the MDQ of your story.[04:27] What's going to help you write a story that's full of narrative drive (the thing that keeps readers turning the pages)?[08:12] Once you know your story's Major Dramatic Question (MDQ), what do you do with it? [09:44] How your story’s MDQ can help during the publishing process and can pique a potential reader's interest. Links mentioned in this episode:Episode #2: How to Choose the Best Genre for Your StoryThe Fourth Wing by Rebecca YarrosNotes to Novel CourseUgly Love by Colleen HooverYellow Face by R. F. KuangSupport the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
11/28/202311 minutes, 53 seconds
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#117: Exploring the World of Beta and Sensitivity Reading with Julie Taylor from The Spun Yarn

“As I kid I was like, I would love to get paid to read.” - Julie TaylorIn today’s episode, I’m sitting down to chat with Julie Taylor, Chief Operating Officer at The Spun Yarn - a company that offers paid beta reading and sensitivity reading services to authors. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[06:15] How does The Spun Yarn create a perfect matching system between its authors and its beta readers?[15:37] When would an author need this type of service? How is it different than working with an editor? [31:14] The beta-readers-questioning-method and thinking process.[47:28] Making changes throughout the years thanks to feedback given by both authors and beta readers.Links mentioned in this episode:The Spun Yarn websiteThe Spun Yarn on FacebookThe Spun Yarn on LinkedInThe Spun Yarn on XSupport the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
11/21/202359 minutes, 6 seconds
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#116: First Chapter Analysis: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

“In every story, you want to have that internal change because, without internal change, there is no character change.” - Savannah GilboIn today’s episode, both Abigail K. Perry and I talk about the intriguing world of "Anxious People" by Frederick Backman. Buckle up, because this first chapter exploration is different from any other you've encountered before. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[05:08] Chapter summary: an unnamed narrator describes a plot involving idiots, bad decisions, and a hostage drama. The narrator outlines key events and this summary stands out because it reveals what appears to be the story's conclusion, offering a unique approach.[16:14] Macro analysis: the challenge of categorizing this book within a specific content genre due to its unique blend of elements and how labeling it solely as a crime story might not align with the reader's expectations. [41:30] Micro analysis: highlighting the importance of identifying character motivations and understanding the events that propel the story forward, even in the absence of a traditional scene. [47:37] Final thoughts: the concept of turning points within the narrative structure and dissecting the crucial moments that force characters into dilemmas. Links mentioned in this episode:"Anxious People" by Frederick Backman“Anxious People” on NetflixEpisode #113” First Chapter Analysis: The Magicians by Lev GrossmanHamilton The MusicalHarry Potter Book SeriesLit Match: Hosted by Abigail K. PerryWant to join is to chat about The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros? Our next meeting is on November611th, 2023 and we're going to be reading and deconstructing this uber popular fantasy novel to see how and why it works. Click here to join or to learn more!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
11/14/202356 minutes, 39 seconds
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#115: Student Spotlight: How Anne Mortensen Went From Inspiration to Publication (& Indie Published Her Novels)

“I tried to ignore it, but when inspiration strikes, sometimes the inspiration keeps striking, and it just didn't want to go.” - Anne MortensenIn today’s episode, I’m sitting down with Anne Mortensen to talk through what it was like to write, edit, and publish not one, but two of her books. You'll also get an exclusive look at her experience working alongside a developmental editor and book coach (that's me!) to bring her stories to life. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[02:05] Anne introduces herself, talks about her background, and lets us know what kind of books she writes.[04:44] A quick highlight reel of Anne’s books and writing journey.[08:34] Where the inspiration for her novel, The Arcadian Match came from.[11:03] Working on getting to the essence of the book's characters.[14:40] How much of the external plot changed from the first draft to after Anne met her character?[18:21] While pressure testing the outline, does Anne remember having any moments where something clicked?[22:09] What was it like for Anne to go back to her first book after working on her second book and hitting a roadblock?[27:30] Is the coaching experience the best? If so, why?[29:54] What was Anne’s relationship with feedback before coaching?[32:20] What would Anne say to other writers who are afraid of the feedback of others?[35:46] How long did it take to get a first draft done for “Arcadian Match”?[37:21] Is Anne working on her third book now?[40:24] How to deal with challenges and never give up?[41:38] What are the things Anne sees that make the writers she works with successful and other writers not?[43:21] Parting words of wisdom from Anne.If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Links mentioned in this episode:Head over to savannahgilbo.com for a full transcriptAnne Mortensen's websiteThe Arcadian Match (out June 2023)The Truth Effect (out October 2021)Want to join is to chat about The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros? Our next meeting is on November611th, 2023 and we're going to be reading and deconstructing this uber popular fantasy novel to see how and why it works. Click here to join or to learn more!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
11/7/202348 minutes, 6 seconds
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#114: 3 Common Dialogue Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

“Dialogue is a form of action. We can utilize what's happening around the dialogue to assist what's being said.” - Savannah GilboToday, I'm thrilled to talk about the intricate art of dialogue with you once more. We're going to explore three common pitfalls that often lurk in dialogue and learning how to navigate these challenges can truly elevate your storytelling. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[02:34] Savannah explains the meaning of attributions and what to do when you doubt if something being said is clear to the reader.[06:55] Reading a snippet from “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins and why it is a great example of keeping attributions simple.[11:27] Why asking rhetorical questions undermines the emotional potential of your scenes. [14:15] The value of not including too much backstory or too much information in your dialogue. Links mentioned in this episode:Episode #104: 10 Tips For Writing Better DialogueThe Hunger Games Series (Book 3): Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsThe Unmaking of June Farrow by Adrienne YoungDivine Rivals by Rebecca RossWant to join is to chat about The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros? Our next meeting is on November611th, 2023 and we're going to be reading and deconstructing this uber popular fantasy novel to see how and why it works. Click here to join or to learn more!Support the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
10/31/202318 minutes, 58 seconds
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#113: First Chapter Analysis: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

“I feel that emotional connection, the emotional struggles here are going to be a big gameplay in how the story is executed.” - Abigail K. PerryMagic has always fascinated us, hasn't it? The mere thought of a world where the impossible becomes possible, where spells are cast, and extraordinary adventures unfold, has captivated readers for generations. In the realm of adult fantasy novels, one name stands out – Lev Grossman and his masterpiece, "The Magicians."Today, both Abigail K. Perry, host of the LitMatch podcast, and I embark on a magical yet realistic journey as we unravel the intricacies of the first chapter. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[06:17] Abigail gives a summary of The Magicians by Lev Grossman[21:51] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings[58:40] A micro analysis of the scene within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[01:20] Final thoughts on analyzing chapters and scenesLinks mentioned in this episode:The Magicians by Lev GrossmanLitMatch podcastSupport the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
10/24/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep. #112: 5 Questions Your Reader Shouldn't Have To Ask

You need to get readers asking questions to hook them into your story, but you don’t want them asking the wrong questions or being so confused that they stop reading altogether. In this episode, I share 5 questions your readers should never have to ask—here's a preview of what's included:[01:58] Who is this person?[03:35] Where is the scene taking place?[04:50] Who else is in the scene?[06:15] What's the point of this?[07:55] Why should I care?[10:25] Final thoughts and episode recapLinks Mentioned in the Episode:Ep. 10 - How to Create Memorable Characters Using HooksSupport the showIf you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show! Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo
10/17/202312 minutes, 56 seconds
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111B. [48 Hour Bonus] 5 Secrets To Help You Start & Finish Your Novel

This episode is a recording of a LIVE masterclass I just did, and I wanted to give you an exclusive audio peek into what it was all about.  Enjoy this audio, but hurry, it's only live for 48 hours!In this audio, you'll hear what’s *actually* necessary to brainstorm, outline, and write a novel—even if you've never written a novel before. Specifically, you will learn things like:How your story's genre can provide the framework for your entire story (and how one writer used this framework to finish her draft in 90 days)A small but mighty mindset shift that will transform the way you look at writing a novel—spoiler alert: writer’s block will never stop you again.How creating a well-structured (yet flexible!) outline can help you make twice the progress in half the time (even if outlines have never quite worked for you before)The secret to following through and finishing your draft—no cabin in the woods, fancy degree, or magic wand necessary!How the link between your protagonist and antagonist that can make or break your story—and how this link is the secret to crafting a cohesive storyMy Notes to Novel course is officially OPEN for enrollment until October 12th at midnight PT! Click here to learn more and to join me for this LIVE 8-week experience!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/10/20231 hour, 27 minutes, 3 seconds
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#111. Student Spotlight: From Messy First Draft to Publishing His Debut Novel With Edward J. Cembal

In today’s episode, I’m sitting down with Edward J. Cembal to talk through what it was like to write, edit, and publish his debut novel, The Monsters In Our Shadows. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [00:00] A quick introduction to Edward J. Cembal (including a timeline of his writing, editing, and publishing journey) as well as a summary of his debut dystopian novel, The Monsters In Our Shadows[00:00] Edward describes what it’s like working with a book coach, an editor, and beta readers—including what it’s like receiving feedback from different sources[00:00] What it’s like to dig deep and put your “blood on the page” in terms of writing a protagonist who shares some of your own inner struggles—and how Edward feels now that he’s gone through that process[00:00] Edward shares how his novel accidentally ended up in Hollywood—and how this totally uprooted his plans to self-publish (but why he self-published anyway)Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Edward J. Cembal’s websiteEdward J. Cembal on InstagramThe Monsters In Our Shadows (out October 2023)Richard LJoenes (cover designer)Andrew Lowe (editor)Rachel Cone-Gorham (RxD Agency)Wango Films (Tim Doiron, James van der Woerd, April Mullen)P.S. Want to learn more about my Notes to Novel course? Click here to read all about it and join the waitlist. Doors are opening again soon!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/3/202333 minutes, 3 seconds
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#110: Is A Writing Course Really Worth it For Beginners?

In today’s episode, I’m sharing my thoughts on writing courses—including 5 things that make a fiction writing course worth your time and money. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [02:15] A good writing course should provide you with more than just “tactics and templates.” It should move you beyond just learning and get you into action.[04:45] A good writing course should provide you with a community of like-minded writers who share similar goals and access to a mentor who can support you.[08:05] A good writing course should feel like a “HECK YES!” And if it doesn't, then it's probably a heck no—and that's okay! Trust your gut on this decision.[09:15] My two cents re: the question, "Can you learn to write a book from all the free resources online and/or in craft books?" (Spoiler alert: YES, you can!)Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Interested in joining the Notes to Novel course next time doors open for enrollment? Click here to add your name to the waitlist!Join the LIVE 5-Day Unlock Your Story Challenge here! Let me help you develop the 4 foundational elements of a working story idea—a plot that hooks interest, a protagonist with a compelling goal, conflict with high stakes, and a theme with heart—for only $47! Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/26/202312 minutes, 6 seconds
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#109: 5 Common Scene Issues (And How to Fix Them)

In today’s episode, I’m sharing 5 of the most common “scene level” issues to look for when editing your draft.  Here’s a preview of what’s included: [02:44] Issue #1: The scene isn’t properly structured and it feels flat.[03:59] Issue #2: The POV character doesn’t have enough agency.[05:57] Issue #3: There’s too much extra stuff crowding the scene.[07:50] Issue #4: There’s not enough interiority on the page.[09:35] Issue #5: The POV is inconsistent (aka there's head hopping)[11:22] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:The 5-Day Unlock Your Story: A LIVE challenge designed to help you get your ideas out of your head and onto the page.Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured SceneEp. 43 - 10 Tips For Writing Better ScenesEp. 63 - Don’t Start A Scene Without These 3 ThingsEp. 74 - When Should You Write in Scene vs. Summary?Ep. 94 - How to Reveal Your Character’s Inner Life on the PageJoin the LIVE 5-Day Unlock Your Story Challenge here! Let me help you develop the 4 foundational elements of a working story idea—a plot that hooks interest, a protagonist with a compelling goal, conflict with high stakes, and a theme with heart—for only $47! Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/20/202313 minutes, 45 seconds
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#108: Why Your Capacity For Zero is Crucial As A Writer

In today’s episode, I’m sharing one of my favorite mindset tips—and it all has to do with your ability (and willingness) to start from scratch. I call it strengthening your capacity for zero. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:25] Your capacity for zero describes how willing you are to start over if something you’re outlining or writing doesn’t work.[04:45] What happened when I told one of the writers I work with that she had to start over after writing a 40,000-word first draft[11:00] How to strengthen your capacity for zero (including some question prompts to get you started thinking about your current capacity for zero)[12:25] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 71 - Student Spotlight: How She Wrote a Novel in 6 Months (and Landed an Agent 10 Months Later) with Stefanie MedrekFREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/14/202314 minutes
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Email List Building Essentials For Authors

In today’s episode, I’m sharing 3 steps to help you get started with list building. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[00:00] Having an email list is one of the best ways to build relationships with your readers over time. It’s what helps keep you top of mind the next time readers are looking for a new book to read, or a book to share with their friends and family.[00:00] Step 1: Define your target audience of readers. These are the people who will buy your book, leave you positive reviews, and recommend it to all their friends. It’s who all your marketing efforts need to speak to![00:00] Step 2: Start generating leads for your list by offering a freebie (or lead magnet) in exchange for email addresses. You could offer things like sample chapters, book club questions, free ebooks, character interviews, and more.[00:00] Step 3: Develop your content strategy so that you can stay in communication with your subscribers and build that “know, like, and trust” factor before you write and sell your next book. Don’t overcomplicate this step![00:00] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 106 - 5 Steps to Building Your Author PlatformFREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/5/202315 minutes, 4 seconds
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5 Steps to Building Your Author Platform

In today’s episode, I’m sharing 5 steps to building an author platform. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [00:00] Your author platform is the foundation for all your future book marketing efforts. You can start building it no matter where you’re at in the writing process![00:00] Step 1: Define your target audience of readers[00:00] Step 2: Design your unique author brand[00:00] Step 3: Create your author website[00:00] Step 4: Setup your email list[00:00] Step 5: Develop your communication strategy[00:00] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 4 - How to Identify Your Story’s Ideal ReaderFREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Interested in becoming a book coach? Author Accelerator a 5-day Book Coaching Business Plan Challenge to help you determine your next steps. Click here to sign up and use promo code PODCAST to get 50% off the enrollment price! Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/29/202319 minutes, 42 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

In today’s episode, Abigail K. Perry and I take a deep dive into the first chapter of Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Here’s a preview of what we talk about:[03:17] A very quick summary of the first two chapters[06:30] Our analysis of the scene/s within the first two chapters using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[25:11] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.FREE TRAINING: 5 Secrets to Help You Start and Finish Your Novel. Register here for instant access to the free video training!Interested in becoming a book coach? Author Accelerator a 5-day Book Coaching Business Plan Challenge to help you determine your next steps. Click here to sign up and use promo code PODCAST to get 50% off the enrollment price! Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/22/202326 minutes, 1 second
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10 Tips For Writing Better Dialogue

In today’s episode, I’m sharing my top 10 tips for writing stronger, more impactful dialogue in your novel. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [00:00] Tip #1: Make sure your dialogue serves a purpose in the overarching story[00:00] Tip #2: Think of your dialogue as action vs. exposition (or active vs. passive).[00:00] Tip #3: Get clear on each character’s goal and motivation within a scene.[00:00] Tip #4: Make sure your dialogue is ripe with conflict and tension.[00:00] Tip #5: Check that your dialogue sounds right for your genre and tone.[00:00] Tip #6: Ensure each character has a unique and rich vocabulary.[00:00] Tip #7: Curate your dialogue to show readers only what they need to see.[00:00] Tip #8: Keep your dialogue short and to the point.[00:00] Tip #9: Aim to have your dialogue do more than one thing—and include subtext.[00:00] Tip #10: Use dialogue to help you control your story’s pacing.[00:00] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 92 - The 5 Functions of Dialogue in Your StoryFREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/15/202322 minutes, 33 seconds
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Morality Genre Conventions

In today’s episode, I’m covering the conventions of the morality genre using the movie A Man Called Otto as an example. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [05:09] The protagonist starts the story at their worst (with a "wrong" moral compass)[06:40] The antagonist pressures the protagonist to face their bad behavior/wrongdoing[07:54] The protagonist is haunted by their past mistakes or selfish behavior[09:09] A character who represents the consequences of the protagonist’s wrongdoing[10:20] At least one mentor figure who helps the protagonist see right from wrong[11:13] External conflict that pits the protagonist's goals against the needs of others[12:53] A foil character who positively or negatively demonstrates different behavior[14:24] The protagonist gets help from unexpected sources[15:23] The setting must offer the protagonist opportunities to be selfish or altruistic[16:49] The end of the story is often bittersweet[18:04] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 72 - The 6 Key Scenes Every Morality Story NeedsEpisode Freebie: Morality Genre Cheat SheetFREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Interested in becoming a book coach? Author Accelerator a 5-day Book Coaching Business Plan Challenge to help you determine your next steps. Click here to sign up and use promo code PODCAST to get 50% off the enrollment price! Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/8/202321 minutes, 21 seconds
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3 Common Interiority Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

In today’s episode, I’m sharing the 3 most common interiority mistakes I see writers make, as well as how to fix them. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [03:20] Mistake 1: The “too passive” protagonist. Your protagonist should always crave agency, even if they can't physically take action. [06:17] Mistake 2: The protagonist whose always present. Real people think about the past and future while making decisions. Your characters should too![09:12] Mistake 3: The protagonist knows what the author knows. It's important to separate the character's knowledge from the author's so the reader can properly immerse themselves in the story.[13:00] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersEp. 82 - Show, Don't Tell: What This Advice Really MeansEp. 94 - How to Reveal Your Character’s Inner Life on the PageFREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Interested in becoming a book coach? Author Accelerator a 5-day Book Coaching Business Plan Challenge to help you figure out your next steps. Click here to sign up and use promo code PODCAST to get 50% off the enrollment price! Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/1/202314 minutes, 34 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

In today’s episode, Abigail K. Perry and I take a deep dive into the first chapter of Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. Here’s a preview of what we talk about:[05:38] A very quick summary of the first chapter[13:37] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings[43:08] A micro analysis of the scene within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[52:50] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.FREE TRAINING: 5 Secrets to Help You Start and Finish Your Novel. Register here for instant access to the free video training!Interested in becoming a book coach? Author Accelerator a 5-day Book Coaching Business Plan Challenge to help you figure out your next steps. Click here to sign up or to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program! Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/25/202355 minutes, 14 seconds
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A Week in the Life: 7 Days Behind the Scenes with Savannah (July 2023)

In today’s episode, I’m taking you behind the scenes with me throughout my entire week, and I’m going to share what I’m working on, what big projects I’m focused on right now, and basically, anything that happens during the week. I'm always curious as to how people set up their day and what they're working on, and how they choose what they're going to actually work on that week. So, I thought you might be curious to know what I do all day as an editor and book coach—what I focus on and how I navigate through many, many, many action items. So, that’s what this episode is all about. I hope you enjoy this peek behind the scenes!Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to register for my FREE training all about the 5 Secrets to Help You Start and Finish Your Novel!Ep. 85 - Student Spotlight: How She Overcame Her Fear of the Blank Page (and Indie Published Her Novel) with Jennifer LauerEp. 91 - Student Spotlight: How She Went From First Draft to Landing Her Dream Agent with Jamie VaronWant to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Interested in becoming a book coach? Author Accelerator has a free quiz you can take that tells you if you're a good fit for a career in book coaching. Click here to take the quiz and to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program! Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/18/202339 minutes, 12 seconds
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5 Mindset Tips to Help You Unlock Your Writing Potential

In today’s episode, I’m sharing a round-up of mindset tips from some of my peers! Here’s a preview of what’s included: [02:00] Rachel May of Golden May Editing shares a mindset tip about taking the pressure off of your writing practice by letting it be easy. You can learn more about Rachel, Golden May Editing, and her Story Magic podcast here![04:43] Georgina Green shares a mindset tip about using better language to talk to yourself about writing. She suggests operating from a growth mindset vs. a fixed one. You can learn more about George and her Calliope Writer’s Group here![08:55] Kenny MacKay shares a mindset tip about not letting your self-doubt and limiting beliefs get the best of you. He suggests facing them head-on so that you can start making progress. Learn more about Kenny and his Author Your Dream podcast here![12:00] Dani Abernathy shares a mindset tip that will help you infuse more of YOU in your writing so that you can make a bigger impact. Learn more about Dani here![16:10] Brooke Adams Law shares six ways to develop your persistence muscle so that you can stick with it and finish your book. Learn more about Brooke here![20:40] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Interested in becoming a book coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program and to claim your $300 worth of bonuses before the offer expires on July 15th!FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Interested in becoming a book coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program and to claim your $300 worth of bonuses before July 15th!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/11/202322 minutes, 28 seconds
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How to Add Subplots to Your Novel

In today’s episode, I’m sharing how to add subplots to your novel. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [1:50] Subplots are secondary storylines that receive less emphasis (and page time) than the main plot. The main purpose of any subplot in a novel is to enhance the main theme and conflict of the story.[2:45] Subplots have three primary relationships to your main plot. They can contradict or complement your theme and/or complicate the central conflict of your story.[06:05] Subplots typically come into play at the start of the second act (or at the start of the middle section of your story). However, subplots can also start and develop right alongside your primary plotline in act one (or in the begging section of your story).[09:00] Examples from Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone[11:20] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Interested in becoming a book coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program and to claim your $300 worth of bonuses before July 15th!FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Interested in becoming a book coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program and to claim your $300 worth of bonuses before July 15th!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/4/202313 minutes, 55 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

In today’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Join me and fellow developmental editor Abigail K. Perry as we talk through the first chapter of this popular fantasy novel. Here’s a preview of what we talk about:[08:20] A very quick summary of the first chapter [21:00] A micro-analysis of the first chapter to see how many scenes are present within the opening chapter—as well as how and why the scenes work[34:00] Our thoughts on how the opening chapter gives readers plenty of clues re: what this story is going to be about (and how it plays on the global stakes)[47:00] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Doors to my Notes to Novel course are officially OPEN! Click here to learn more and enroll before doors close on Wednesday, June 28th at 11:59 PST!Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.Click here to learn more about my Notes to Novel course!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/27/202355 minutes, 31 seconds
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5 Worldbuilding Tips for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers

In this episode, I’m sharing my top 5 worldbuilding tips for science fiction and fantasy writers, with examples from popular novels. Here's a preview of what's included in the episode:[02:39] Tip #1—Go narrow and deep in your worldbuilding, not wide and shallow. Pick 2-3 worldbuilding categories to focus on, and only flesh out whatever's relevant to your plot and/or characters.[05:43] Tip #2—Determine what kind of magic or technology will exist in your story world. Will your magic/tech be used to create and solve problems (hard magic/tech)? Or will it be a bit more nebulous (soft magic/tech)?[09:20] Tip #3—Avoid generalizations when it comes to the people or creatures who populate your story world. Real people have their own unique worldviews, beliefs, fears, and dreams. So should your population![11:21] Tip #4—Your story world needs its own internal logic—for every cause, there’s an effect; for every action, there’s a reaction. Whatever you change in your world, consider the ramifications to build your internal logic.[12:33] Tip #5—Use your target audience’s age range to help inform your story’s learning curve. In general, middle-grade stories will have a more shallow learning curve whereas adult stories will have a steeper one.[14:56] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Doors to my Notes to Novel course are officially OPEN! Click here to learn more and enroll before this enrollment period closes on Wednesday, June 28th at 11:59 PST!Ep. 95 - How to Start Writing Your Sci-Fi or Fantasy NovelClick here to learn more about my Notes to Novel course!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/20/202318 minutes, 46 seconds
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How to Start Writing Your Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

In today’s episode, I’m sharing my top five tips to help you get started with your science fiction or fantasy novel. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [00:00] Step 1: Decide what kind of fantasy or science fiction story you’re writing. Find both the commercial genre and content genre of your story.[00:00] Step 2: Determine what your protagonist wants and needs. Look to your content genre for guidance, and then make your answer specific to your story idea[00:00] Step 3: Figure out what kind of conflict your protagonist will face as they pursue their goal. Consider both the external and internal conflict.[00:00] Step 4: Flesh out your story world. Where and when does your story take place? Focus on a few areas to go deep in—and don’t worry about figuring everything out![00:00] Step 5: Summarize the beginning, middle, and end of your story. Write a 1-2 sentence logline and a 2-3 paragraph synopsis that focuses on the primary storyline[00:00] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 2 - How to Choose the Right Genre For Your StoryEp. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersEp. 14 - How to Handle Character Backstory in Your NovelWant to get on the waitlist for my Notes to Novel course? Click here to sign up—doors are opening up again very soon and there will be an early bird discount, but only if you’re on the waitlist! FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Want to join our book club? Our next meeting is on July 13th, 2023 and we're going to be reading and deconstructing Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Click here to join or to learn more!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/13/202322 minutes, 33 seconds
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How to Reveal Your Character’s Inner Life on the Page

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about writing interiority—aka how to reveal your character’s inner life on the page. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [03:20] What is interiority? Interiority is on-the-page access to a protagonist’s psyche as they process information in an interesting way.[06:15] What is the primary purpose of interiority? Interiority helps readers connect with your characters by exposing their inner life (plus so much more!).[08:20] An example of what interiority looks like from a real-life published novel (and two questions to help you determine if a passage is interiority or not).[11:00] 10 questions to help you ground yourself in your point of view character’s perspective (and write better interiority in your scenes)[14:20] Final thoughts and episode recap Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 82 - Show, Don't Tell: What This Advice Really MeansEp. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersFREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here →Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/8/202317 minutes, 10 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

In today’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Legendborn by Tracey Deonn. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we talk through the first chapter of this popular YA fantasy novel. Here’s a preview of what we talk about:[03:25] A very quick summary of the first chapter[05:00] A microanalysis of the two scenes within the first chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[18:25] Our thoughts on prologues[20:00] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/30/202322 minutes, 32 seconds
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The 5 Functions of Dialogue in Your Story

In today’s episode, we’re going to look at the five functions of dialogue in your story. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [03:50] Function #1: Dialogue can help you advance the plot[05:50] Function #2: Dialogue can help you reveal character[08:30] Function #3: Dialogue can help you establish context[12:40] Function #4: Dialogue can help you set the tone and mood[15:45] Function #5: Dialogue can help you reveal or hint at your theme[17:40] Key points and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/23/202319 minutes, 17 seconds
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Student Spotlight: How She Went From First Draft to Landing Her Dream Agent with Jamie Varon

In today’s episode, I’m sitting down with Jamie Varon to talk through her incredibly inspiring story of how she went from writing the first draft of her novel to landing her dream agent. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[04:15] A quick introduction to Jamie Varon (including a timeline of her writing, editing, and publishing journey) as well as a summary of her novel, Main Character Energy[17:45] Jamie describes what it’s like working with her agent—including what it’s like receiving feedback and collaborating with her on changes to the manuscript[30:00] Jamie talks about what it was like to hear some really tough feedback from her literary agent—and how this feedback led Jamie to seek representation elsewhere. Spoiler alert: she ended up landing her dream agent shortly after![59:30] What it’s like working with a screenwriter to turn her memoir/self-help book, Radically Content, into a movie (plus, our final thoughts on writing)Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Jamie Varon’s websiteJamie Varon on InstagramMain Character Energy by Jamie Varon (out September 2023)Radically Content by Jamie VaronRadically Content (The Journal) by Jamie VaronRoot Literary AgencyP.S. Want to learn more about my Notes to Novel course? Click here to read all about it and join the waitlist. Doors are opening again soon!Want to join our book club? Our next meeting is on May 11th, 2023 and we're going to be reading and deconstructing Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. Click here to join or to learn more!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/9/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 31 seconds
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How to Choose the Best Point of View for Your Story

In today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through how to choose the best point of view and tense for your story. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:35] Point of view is the lens through which your story is told. It’s whose eyes the reader will experience your story through.[01:56] In first person point of view, your protagonist is the narrator. They’re telling the story in their own words, from their own perspective, and filtering things through their own worldview and biases.[04:50] In second person point of view, the writer makes the reader the protagonist in the story, speaking directly to “you” as the story unfolds.[06:03] In third person omniscient point of view, the story is told from a god-like, all knowing perspective, by a narrator who doesn’t have a role in the story. [09:20] In third person limited point of view, the story is told from a distance following the perspective of one POV character per scene. It’s similar to first person POV, but told from a bit more of a distance.[13:30] If you’re writing from multiple perspectives, make sure they’re connected in some way. They can be in a relationship together, have their fates tied together, or face a common form of conflict.[16:39] Key points and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:FREE WORKBOOK: Grab my brand-new, multi-page Story Starter Kit that will walk you through five key questions to answer before you start writing. P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
4/4/202319 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep. 89 - Student Spotlight: How She Used Short Stories to Hone Her Craft (and Publish Her Debut Novel) with Pauline Yates

In today's episode, I’m sitting down with Pauline Yates to talk through how she used short stories to hone her craft and publish her debut novel. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [03:05] An introduction to Pauline Yates and her story, Memories Don’t Lie.[03:55] How she used short stories to hone her craft and practice submitting her work to publishers (and spoiler alert: she’s now published many of her short stories!)[13:45] Pauline’s take on what it was like to work with me (and how there was one little thing I kept harping on—if you know me, you know it was scene structure)[18:40] How she develops her characters and “spends time” with them until she knows exactly what they’d do and how they’d behave in any given scenario[24:55] The aspect of writing Pauline struggles with the most—and spoiler alert: it’s worldbuilding—plus, what’s she learned about worldbuilding during revisions[37:25] A behind-the-scenes look at her experience querying over 30 agents before finally finding her dream publisher in her own (Australian) backyard[50:25] Final words of wisdom and advice from PaulineRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Visit Pauline’s website herePauline’s debut novel, Memories Don’t Lie on AmazonRead Pauline’s short story, The Secret Keepers, in this edition of Metaphosis MagazineCheck out other books published by Black Hare PressWant to learn more about my Notes to Novel course? Click here to sign up for my FREE TRAINING: The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Writers Make (& What to Do Instead)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/21/20231 hour, 1 minute, 50 seconds
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Perfectionism vs. Procrastination: What's REALLY Going On?

In today’s episode, I’m talking about how perfectionism is really just another form of procrastination. I also share some words of wisdom to help you get back on track and moving forward with your writing again. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[02:20] My two cents on how perfectionism and procrastination are linked and what to do if you find yourself stuck in a neverending loop of procrastination[05:25] A recent story about how I did an imperfect presentation (and got called out on it)—and how this relates back to your own writing journey[09:40] A mindset shift that will help you say goodbye to perfectionism and procrastination once and for all—trust me, you’re going to love this!Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode!Grab your FREE Story Starter Kit here!Seth Godin’s videoP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/14/202314 minutes, 53 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

In today’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we talk through the first chapter of this popular fantasy novel. Here’s a preview of what we talk about:[03:45] A very quick summary of the first chapter[16:45] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings[26:55] A micro analysis of the scene within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[38:05] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/28/202338 minutes
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A Week in the Life (7 Days Behind the Scenes with Savannah)

In today’s episode, I’m taking you behind-the-scenes with me throughout my entire week, and I’m going to share what I’m working on, what big projects I’m focused on right now, and basically, anything that happens during the week. I'm always curious as to how people set up their day and what they're working on and how they choose what they're going to actually work on that week. So, I thought you might be curious to know what I do all day as an editor and book coach—what I focus on and how I navigate through many, many, many action items. So, that’s what this episode is all about. I hope you enjoy this peek behind-the-scenes!Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Looking for more info about how to enroll in my Notes to Novel course? Sign up for my FREE masterclass, The 5 Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (and What To Do Instead) to learn more!Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/21/202329 minutes, 5 seconds
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Student Spotlight: How She Overcame Her Fear of the Blank Page (and Indie Published Her Novel) with Jennifer Lauer

In today's episode, I’m sitting down with Jennifer Lauer to talk through how she overcame her fear of the blank page and indie published her debut novel. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [03:00] An introduction to Jennifer Lauer and her story, The Girl in the Zoo[09:30] What the beginning of the writing process looked like for Jennifer—and when she finally realized that her fear of the blank page was preventing her from writing[14:45] What happened when Jennifer finished the first draft of her book (and changed her genre from love to action)[26:00] Jennifer’s experience entering a Twitter pitch contest—and how it gave her the courage to submit her pages for a critique on TSNOTYAW podcast[30:35] Why Jennifer ultimately decided to indie publish her novel (even after getting a positive response from a few industry professionals)[43:35] The 3 biggest lessons Jennifer learned from this experience (and the advice she’d give to her past self when embarking on this writing journey)[47:00] Final words of wisdom and advice from JenniferRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Links mentioned in this episode:Visit Jennifer’s website or follow her on Instagram @jenniferleelauerJennifer’s debut novel, The Girl in the Zoo on AmazonJennifer’s fiction podcast The Strange Chronicles The Spun Yarn Beta Reader ServiceThe Shit No One Tells You About Writing PodcastDyna Kau (cover designer) and Barbie at Monocle EditingJoanna Penn’s websiteJane Friedman’s websiteWant to learn more about my Notes to Novel course? Click here to sign up for my FREE TRAINING: The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Writers Make (& What to Do Instead)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? It's free to join and you can request access here.Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/14/202348 minutes
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The 6 Scenes Every Status Story Needs

In today’s episode, I’m covering the key scenes that every status story needs. I’ve also included examples of how they show up in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:40] Status stories center around the protagonist’s inner need for respect that manifests as a specific desire to achieve or accomplish something in the external world.[02:40] Readers of status stories want to feel hopeful that the protagonist will succeed. They want to read about someone who works hard to improve their situation–and they want to feel a sense of triumph when that person succeeds.[04:20] 1- The protagonist becomes aware of an opportunity to rise in position.[05:07] 2- The protagonist commits to pursuing this new opportunity, leaving their comfort zone or current circumstances to go after it.[05:55] 3- The protagonist sees the true nature of the antagonist and/or learns what the antagonist wants and why.[07:00] 4- The protagonist reaches an all-is-lost moment where the antagonist or rival takes the lead and/or destroys the protagonist’s chance at getting what they want. [08:00] 5- The protagonist faces the antagonist, and either gets what they want or redefines their definition of success to get what they need.[09:05] 6- The protagonist is rewarded externally, internally, or both.[09:50] Key points and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Status Genre Conventions PDF Cheat SheetClick here to take the Fiction Writing Made Easier quiz to get your personalized podcast playlist!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/7/202312 minutes, 14 seconds
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Bonus: Ask Savannah (Listener Q&A)

In today's extra special bonus episode, I'm going to answer some questions from my listeners! Here's a quick overview of what we talk about in this episode:[01:15] Ame says, “Would you be able to talk more about the coming of age genre, specifically how to develop a good plot and the aim of the book?”[02:50] Emme says, “I have a really compelling story idea, characters, and full outline that I'm really excited about, but I'm not confident in my writing and abilities to bring it to life. What should I do?”[05:25] Ben says, “I have a story that fits both the thriller and the horror conventions. Is that possible or would I need to include the conventions for both or just try to pick the one that best fits?”[06:30] Chris says, “I am completely new to writing fiction. How "rough" can I make my first draft? The sage advice seems to be that the first draft should trump all story construction and prose activities, but I am wondering how "good" does it need to be?"[09:05] Shamsee says, “Do you have any information (like the key scenes and conventions) on the fairy tale genre?”Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to take the Fiction Writing Made Easier quiz to get your personalized podcast playlist!Ep. 1 - The #1 Myth That Holds Writers BackEp. 2 - How to Choose the Right Genre for Your StoryEp. 35 - 3 Reasons You're Not WritingEp. 39 - The #1 Reason So Many Novels Go UnfinishedEp. 45 - How to Say Goodbye to Imposter SyndromeP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/2/202312 minutes, 35 seconds
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What Kind Of Editor Do You Need For Your Book?

In today's episode, we’re going to talk through the different types of editors you might need to work with to get your book ready to publish. Here's a preview of what's included: [01:40] A developmental editor is someone who is concerned with the overall content and structure of your manuscript, and whether or not your story “works.” They focus on things like character development, story structure, plot, genre, theme, and point of view.[05:32] A line editor is someone who focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to readers. They help you make sure the voice and style of writing are consistent, too.[06:40] A copy editor is someone who focuses on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They will address commonly confused words (for example, affect vs. effect) as well as ensure consistency with capitalization, hyphenation, and numerals. [07:45] A brief description of some other editing roles including acquisition editors, beta readers, and proofreaders (plus, when you might work with them).[09:15] Some things to consider when searching for an editor to work with—including a list of questions you can ask to help you find the right editor for your book.[11:55] Key points and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to take the Fiction Writing Made Easier quiz to get your personalized podcast playlist!Ep. 73 - The Four Phases of Editing a NovelP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/31/202314 minutes, 25 seconds
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Show, Don't Tell: What This Advice Really Means

In today’s episode, I’m sharing what the advice to “show, don’t tell” really means (and spoiler alert: it’s probably not what you think!). We’ll also talk about how to reveal your character’s emotions on the page, too. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:20] In general, the advice to “show, don’t tell” means that a writer should relate information to readers through sensory details and actions rather than exposition.[03:39] But there’s more to it than that. To me, “show, don’t tell,” means that you need to show your character’s emotional reaction to what’s happening in a scene—and there are three main ways to do this.[03:56] Method #1: You can tell readers what your character is feeling.[04:35] Method #2: You can show emotions via body language or physical tells.[06:14] Method #3: You can show readers what your character is thinking in response to what’s happening in a scene.[12:15] Final thoughts and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 2 - How to Choose the Right Genre for Your StoryWant to learn more about the Notes to Novel course? Click here to sign up for my FREE masterclass, The 5 Little Known Mistakes Most Writers Make (and What To Do Instead) for more info >>P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/24/202314 minutes, 58 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

In today’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we talk through this popular contemporary romance. Here’s a preview of what we talk about:[03:30] A very quick summary of the first chapter[05:30] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings[28:15] A micro analysis of the scene within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[55:15] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/18/202359 minutes
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Student Spotlight: 5 Lessons Learned From Writing a First Draft

In today’s episode, I asked five of my Notes to Novel students to share their biggest lessons learned while working through their first drafts. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [02:00] Kelsey Evans on how understanding her genre’s framework made the biggest difference in her ability to finally finish her first draft[06:35] Stefanie Medrek and her favorite advice for battling writer’s block[11:00] Angela Haas on the popular writing advice to “show, don’t tell” [16:00] Bree Cox on how she used her outline to test out ideas before writing[20:30] Kara Kentley on the importance of having a writing community[28:20] Casey Drillette on how she embraced the outlining process (as a pantser!)Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Follow Kelsey Evans on Twitter @kelseyevans or visit her website hereFollow Stefanie Medrek on Instagram @medrekwrites or visit her website here.Follow Angela Haas on Facebook or visit her website hereFollow Bree Cox on Instagram @breeacox or visit her website hereFollow Kara Kentley on Instagram, Tik Tok, or Twitter @karakentley or visit her website hereFollow Casey Drillette on Instagram @caseydrilletteMy FREE training—The 5 Little Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (and What To Do Instead).P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/10/202333 minutes, 30 seconds
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3 Things to Focus on if You’re a Brand New Writer

In today’s episode, I’m going to share the three things to focus on if you’re a brand new writer—or if I was coaching someone who was brand new to writing. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [02:17] Getting your mindset right is super important! Don’t expect to write the perfect first draft. Instead, consider your first draft the “discovery draft” and have fun with it![04:50] Figure out your story’s content genre so that you have a roadmap to follow. Your content genre can tell you all kinds of things, from the types of characters you’ll need, some of the key scenes readers expect to see, and more.[07:25] Learn how to write a solid scene. If you can write a scene that works, you can definitely write a story that works! Practice on your own work-in-progress scenes AND break down the structure of scenes in published novels, too.[09:55] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:FREE TRAINING: The 5 Little Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (and What to Do Instead). Click here to register for free!Ep. 2 - Genre: The Key to Writing a Story That WorksEp. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured SceneEp. 6 - 3 Reasons You Should Write in Scenes vs. ChaptersEp. 9 - Value Shifts: How to Determine if Your Scenes WorkEp. 43 - 10 Tips for Writing Better ScenesP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/3/202313 minutes, 10 seconds
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Counting Down The Best Tips From FWME In 2022

In this episode, I'm doing a little countdown of some of the best and most listened-to clips from the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast in 2022. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:[01:40] Tip #10: Test out your idea by writing a 1-2 sentence summary of your entire story, focusing on the main story thread.[04:15] Tip #9: Create a scene-by-scene roadmap for your entire story (and then pressure-test it!) before you start writing.[07:10] Tip #8: Write (and edit) your story in scenes, not chapters! This will help you stay on track and produce a well-paced story.[10:40] Tip #7: Not everything that happens in a story needs to be dramatized in a full-blown scene. Sometimes, you can summarize![13:05] Tip #6: Establish your character’s mental and emotional state at the very beginning of each one of your scenes.[16:45] Tip #5: When you finish writing a first draft, the very first thing you should do is take a break![19:50] Tip #4: Make sure something meaningful happens in your opening pages if you want to catch the reader’s attention![22:35] Tip #3: If you want to hook an agent’s attention with your query letter, don’t be vague when summarizing your story–be specific![25:15] Tip #2: If you want to get a traditional publishing deal, consider self-publishing (first) to gain experience and grow your audience.[26:55] Tip #1: Don’t assume a traditional publisher will provide significant marketing help if you get a book deal.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to learn more about the First 5 Pages Workshop!Ep. 54 - How to Test Your Story Idea Before WritingEp. 55 - 3 Tips for Writing a First Draft in 90 DaysEp. 56 - 5 Reasons Why Readers Stop ReadingEp. 58 - 10 Querying Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)Ep. 61 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanEp. 63 - Don’t Start a Scene Without These 3 ThingsEp. 66 - The Pros and Cons of Traditional PublishingEp. 67 - The Pros and Cons of Indie PublishingSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/27/202230 minutes, 44 seconds
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5 Takeaways from Coaching Writers in 2022

In today’s episode, I’m sharing some of the key takeaways I learned from coaching writers in 2022. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:30] Takeaway #1: Don’t be afraid to try new things! Plus, the story of how two different writers tried something new—and had surprisingly good results.[05:10] Takeaway #2: Writing interiority is hard for almost every writer. And in my opinion, it’s not talked about enough. This is something every writer should study more![08:10] Takeaway #3: Sometimes fast drafting is the key to success. Plus, how one writer moved through planning and outlining her story quickly, despite the discomfort.[11:35] Takeaway #4: Don’t be so precious about the beginning of your first draft. Plus, a tip for what to do if you feel stuck on your opening scenes or pages.[14:05] Takeaway #5: Trust the process! The ‘a-ha’ moments always come. How one writer was finally able to see the big picture of her story—but how it took getting all the way to ‘The End’ to do so.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 71 - Student Spotlight: How She Wrote a Novel in 6 Months (and Landed an Agent 10 Months Later) with Stefanie MedrekEp. 76 - Student Spotlight: The Power of Outlining (and How He Finished a First Draft in 3 Months) With James BeswickGet on the Notes to Novel Waitlist! Doors open again on January 9th!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/20/202218 minutes, 24 seconds
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Student Spotlight: The Power of Outlining (and How He Finished a First Draft in 3 Months) With James Beswick

In today's episode, I’m sitting down with James Beswick to talk through his incredibly inspiring story of how he finished his first draft in three months. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [03:30] An introduction to James Beswick and how he decided to write a book[05:30] How James carved out writing time in his calendar, while working a full time job [06:30] What James’s Notes to Novel experience was like—and why he decided to enroll in the course in the first place[08:25] How James initially wanted to write a screenplay, but then decided to write a novel instead (Plus, our thoughts on writing a novel vs. writing a screenplay)[11:00] How your genre framework removes the terror and overwhelm from the writing process (and pulls back the curtain on how to actually write a novel)[13:30] A quick description of James’s story[14:45] What is was like for James to create an outline—and the three things that helped him outline his story the most[16:30] The secret to avoiding writing problematic scenes where nothing happens[18:45] My feedback on James’s outline (the 3 main issues he had + what worked)[21:45] James’s big a-ha moment re: writing the perfect first draft (and the mindset shift that got him through writing a messy first draft)[24:30] Why James decided to get outside feedback from an editor once he had a finished draft (and what this process was like)[27:00] Our thoughts on the hardest section of the story to write[29:00] What it was like for James to get feedback on his first draft—and what some of the biggest issues were in terms of plot and character[36:00] An update on how the second draft is going for James (and how he’s using his outline to help him navigate the revision process)[46:00] Final words of wisdom and advice from JamesRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Follow James Beswick on Twitter!Interested in the Notes to Novel course? Click here to get on the waitlist. Doors will re-open in early January, and you'll be the first to know!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/13/202252 minutes
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Crime Genre Conventions

In today's episode, I’m covering the conventions of the crime genre. This includes the character roles, settings, and events that need to be present in a crime story in order for it to work and satisfy fans of the genre. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:30] Crime stories are all about the quest to either solve or commit a crime. So, these stories start with a crime, build with an investigation (or a completion of the crime), and end with identifying and bringing the criminal to justice (or not).[05:15] 1. There’s a crime with at least one victim that launches the investigation.[06:15] 2. The protagonist is intelligent and determined to solve the crime. [08:15] 3. There’s an equally smart or crafty antagonist who seems to be a step ahead of the protagonist the whole time.[09:15] 4. There is a closed circle of suspects, each with a credible motive and a reasonable opportunity to commit the crime.[10:30] 5. There’s a MacGuffin (or a very specific thing the antagonist wants).[11:30] 6. A sidekick character who acts as a sounding board for the protagonist.[12:25] 7. There are clues and red herrings that help (or hurt) the investigation.[13:40] 8. There’s a ticking clock by which the protagonist must solve the crime.[14:37] 9. There’s a speech in praise of the antagonist that shows their brilliance.[15:48] 10. There’s at least one shapeshifter character.[16:42] Key points and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Crime Genre Cheat SheetThe 6 Key Scenes Every Crime Story Needs (article)What are Obligatory Scenes and Conventions? (article)Understanding Genre: How to Write Better Stories (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/6/202220 minutes, 40 seconds
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When Should You Write in Scene vs. Summary?

In today's episode, I’m covering the difference between writing in scene versus writing in summary. Here’s a preview of what’s included:[01:45] Scenes are concrete moments that unfold in real time. Readers “watch” the characters move across the setting, interact with other characters or the setting, and speak as if everything’s taking place in the real world, in real time.[02:55] Summaries happen over a condensed period of time (days, months, years, etc.). They convey ideas, concepts, and information rather than create specific experiences that a character (and readers) are “living through” in that moment.[04:20] An example from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling[07:30] An example from Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (trigger warning: a dead body)[10:55] Top 3 guidelines for when you should write in scene[12:20] Top three guidelines for when you should write in summary[16:15] Do not get hung up on this when writing your first draft! Your main job when writing a first draft is to get to THE END–worry about scene vs. summary later.[16:45] Key points and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article)How to Write Better Scenes (workshop)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
11/29/202219 minutes, 30 seconds
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The 4 Phases of Editing: How to Revise Your Novel

In today's episode, we’re going to talk about how to edit your messy first draft without slipping into overwhelm. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:50] The very first thing you should do when you finish a first draft [04:15] A quick overview of the four editing phases, and how breaking your edits down into these phases will help you reduce overwhelm.[05:45] Phase 1: The “Story Level” edit[09:25] Phase 2: The “Scene Level edit”[13:35] How your editing plan might change depending on your publishing goals[14:30] Phase 3: The “Page Level edit”[16:20] Phase 4: The “Sentence Level edit”[19:35] My answer to writers who ask me, “Can I do these phases out of order?” (spoiler alert: my answer is almost always no)[20:00] FAQ: Is there a way to go through all four phases faster?[20:45] Key points and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Your Next Steps DIY Editing ChecklistThe Spun Yarn Beta Reading ServiceProWritingAidHemingway EditorGrammarlyGrammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty TipsP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
11/22/202223 minutes, 59 seconds
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The 6 Scenes Every Morality Story Needs

In today's episode, I’m covering the key scenes that every morality story needs. I’ve also included examples of how they show up in the movie Flight. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [01:45] Morality stories center around a protagonist with a moral compass that’s about to change, for better or for worse. They’re either seeking redemption from past mistakes or they want to silence their inner conscience so they can keep doing selfish things.[03:00] Readers choose these types of stories because they want to see what another person will do when given the choice to act selfishly or altruistically. Will they make the “right” choice? Or the “wrong” one?[05:15] Key Scene #1: The protagonist faces an opportunity or challenge to be selfless[06:05] Key Scene #2: The protagonist commits to doing nothing about the greater need (and may even move in the opposite direction)[07:30] Key Scene #3: The protagonist learns what the antagonist wants and why, and the greater external need is starting to become uncomfortable[08:40] Key Scene #4: The protagonist reaches an all-is-lost moment where it seems like their selfish ways will no longer work[09:35] Key Scene #5: The protagonist either sacrifices something in service of an individual, or they decide once and for all to maintain their selfish way of being[11:00] Key Scene #6: The protagonist is either rewarded with forgiveness, or they’re punished for sticking to their selfish ways[12:15] Key points and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Morality Genre Cheat SheetEp. 2 - How to Choose the Right Genre for Your Story (article)What are Obligatory Scenes and Conventions? (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
11/15/202215 minutes, 5 seconds
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Student Spotlight: How She Wrote a Novel in 6 Months (and Landed an Agent 10 Months Later) with Stefanie Medrek

In today's episode, I’m sitting down with Stefanie Medrek to talk through her incredibly inspiring story of how she went from having an idea for a story to landing an agent. Here’s a preview of what’s included: [05:00] The exact moment Stefanie had the idea for her story—and how she just knew it wouldn’t let her go until she put pen to paper[08:00] A quick description of Stefanie’s story[09:35] Stefanie’s initial reaction to my advice to throw out all 40,000 of the words she had written, and what happened when she did[12:00] A few of the key takeaways Stefanie learned from re-writing her first draft[15:00] What the editing process was like (and how long it took)[17:35] How and when Stefanie knew she was ready to start querying[19:00] Stefanie’s reaction to getting a heart on her #PitMad pitch (IYKYK)[22:30] The moment Stefanie almost gave up on writing… and then got a call from her (now) agent an hour later[25:00] How having a fleshed out outline helped Stefanie avoid spiraling into overwhelm[27:00] What happened when Stefanie got the offer of representation[28:00] What it was like to get feedback (and suggested changes) from her agent[30:00] A quick look into what writing book two looks like[34:00] Stefanie’s thoughts on 1:1 coaching vs. the Notes to Novel course[38:00] Final words of wisdom and advice from StefanieRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Stefanie Medrek’s websiteFollow Stefanie on InstagramThe doors to my Notes to Novel course are closing for the rest of 2022 very soon! If you want my proven roadmap for writing a first draft that works, click here to enroll so that you can get started today!Click here to sign up for my FREE TRAINING: The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Writers Make (& What to Do Instead)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
11/8/202244 minutes, 47 seconds
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Status Genre Conventions

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the status genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:45] Status stories center around the protagonist’s inner need for respect that manifests as a specific desire to achieve or accomplish something in the external world.[02:55] Readers of status stories want to feel hopeful that the protagonist will succeed. They want to read about someone who works hard to improve their situation–and they want to feel a sense of triumph when that person succeeds.[05:15] 1- The protagonist wants to gain respect, but what they need is self-esteem.[06:05] 2- The antagonist opposes the protagonist and threatens their position.[07:00] 3- There is a clear (and specific) definition of what it means to be successful.[08:15] 4- The setting is public; people will witness the protagonist's success or failure.[09:10] 5- At least one social problem or moral challenge for the protagonist to face.[10:05] 6- At least one foil character who demonstrates a different path to success.[10:40] 7- At least one mentor figure who guides the protagonist, for better or for worse.[11:35] 8- At least one shapeshifter character who hinders the protagonist’s progress.[12:15] 9- The protagonist must overcome an inner obstacle related to success.[13:25] 10- The ending of a status story is usually bittersweet.[14:30] Key points and episode recap.Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Status Genre Conventions PDF Cheat SheetConventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
11/1/202217 minutes, 20 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

In this episode, we're taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we nerd out about the seventh book in the Harry Potter series.Here’s a preview of what we talk about:[07:45] A very quick summary of the first chapter[11:40] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings[43:30] A micro analysis of the two scenes within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[54:00] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.Ep. 59 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's StoneEp. 60 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Chamber of SecretsEp. 61 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of AzkabanEp. 64 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Goblet of FireEp. 66 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Order of the PhoenixEp. 69 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Half Blood PrinceClick here to join our book club! Book Notes is a virtual book club for writers who want to read good books and then deconstruct them to figure out how and why they work. First up: UGLY LOVE by Colleen Hoover!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can click here to request access!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/26/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 20 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In this episode, we're taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we nerd out about the sixth book in the Harry Potter series–here’s a preview of what we talk about:[05:45] A very quick summary of the first chapter[07:15] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings[13:45] A micro analysis of the two scenes within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[57:25] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.Ep. 59 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's StoneEp. 60 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Chamber of SecretsEp. 61 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of AzkabanEp. 64 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Goblet of FireEp. 66 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Order of the PhoenixWorkshop: How to Write Compelling and Well-Structured ScenesP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can click here to request access!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/18/20221 hour, 3 minutes
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The Pros And Cons Of Independent Publishing

In today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through the pros and cons of indie publishing. Here’s a preview of what you’ll hear in the episode:[01:30] Indie publishing is the pure do-it-yourself publishing path. It's where you, the author, take on ALL the roles of and basically become the publisher of your own book.[02:30] The pros of indie publishing[08:20] The cons of indie publishing[13:20] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: How to Pick Your Publishing Path WorksheetEp. 66 - The Pros and Cons of Traditional PublishingThe Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)ALLi’s resource that’s all about choosing a self-publishing service that’s written by authors and full of unbiased advice.Indie Publishing Resources: IngramSpark and CreatespaceJane Friedman’s downloadable publishing chart that gives a wider look at the different publishing options available. Writer Beware has a lot of information about scams against authors and companies to watch out for. Preditors and Editors, which is a watchdog site for authors with listings of which publishers are recommended and which are scams. P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can click here to request access!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/11/202217 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Pros And Cons Of Traditional Publishing

In today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through the pros and cons of traditional publishing. Here’s a preview of what you’ll hear in the episode:[01:35] Traditional publishing refers to the established system of submitting a finished manuscript to agents with the goal of getting a book deal with one of the Big Five publishers.[03:00] The pros of traditional publishing[08:45] The cons of traditional publishing[15:20] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: How to Pick Your Publishing Path WorksheetIndie Publishing Resources: IngramSpark and CreatespaceJane Friedman’s downloadable publishing chart that gives a wider look at the different publishing options available. Writer Beware has a lot of information about scams against authors and companies to watch out for. Preditors and Editors, which is a watchdog site for authors with listings of which publishers are recommended and which are scams. P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can click here to request access!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/4/202218 minutes, 10 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix with Abigail Perry

In this episode, we're taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we nerd out about the fifth book in the Harry Potter series![03:40] A very quick summary of the first chapter[06:25] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings[25:00] A micro analysis of the two scenes within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[57:00] Final thoughts and episode recapRate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.Ep. 59 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's StoneEp. 60 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Chamber of SecretsEp. 61 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of AzkabanEp. 64 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Goblet of FireWorkshop: How to Write Compelling and Well-Structured ScenesP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can click here to request access!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/20/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 40 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire with Abigail Perry

In this episode, we're taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we nerd out about the fourth book in the Harry Potter series:[03:05] A very quick summary of the first chapter[05:50] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings[20:30] A micro analysis of the two scenes within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[38:50] Final thoughts and episode recapSubscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix, and if you’re not subscribed, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast, and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review,” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website (www.abigailkperry.com) or you can find her on Instagram @abigailkperry.Ep. 59 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's StoneEp. 60 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Chamber of SecretsEp. 61 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of AzkabanWorkshop: How to Write Compelling and Well-Structured ScenesP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can click here to request access!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/6/202259 minutes, 44 seconds
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Don't Start a Scene Without These 3 Things

In this episode, I'm sharing the three contextual elements you'll want to include at the beginning of each one of your scenes. We'll also look at how these three elements show up in the opening of a scene from the novel An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Here's a preview of the key points:[03:10] Key element #1: Where and when is this scene taking place?[04:35] Key element #2: What is your POV character's mental and emotional state?[08:55] Key element #3: What is your POV character's goal and motivation?[17:35] Final thoughts and episode recapSubscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix, and if you’re not subscribed, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast, and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review,” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured SceneBook: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa TahirP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can click here to request access!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/23/202221 minutes, 25 seconds
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The 6 Key Scenes Every Crime Novel Needs

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every crime story needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:15] Crime stories are all about the quest to either solve or commit a crime. So, these stories start with a crime, build with an investigation (or a completion of the crime), and end with identifying and bringing the criminal to justice (or not).[02:15] Readers choose crime fiction because they want to follow the trail of clues, make meaning of those clues, and figure out the puzzle right alongside the protagonist. They want to see the wrongs righted, and they want to see justice prevail.[03:05] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.[04:35] Key scene #1: The protagonist discovers a crime that’s indicative of a master antagonist.[05:55] Key scene #2: The stakes become personal to the protagonist, and they commit to figuring out what’s going on so they can bring the antagonist to justice. [07:10] Key scene #3: The protagonist learns more about what the antagonist wants and why. This raises the stakes, and the clock starts ticking.[08:40] Key scene #4: The protagonist reaches an all-is-lost moment where they realize they’ve come to the wrong conclusion or they’ve been pursuing the wrong person. [10:05] Key scene #5: The protagonist exposes the true criminal in the big climactic moment and unravels all the antagonist’s motives and plans.[11:40] Key scene #6: The protagonist brings the antagonist to justice (or not).[12:55] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix, and if you’re not subscribed, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast, and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review,” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Crime Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join, and you can click here to request access!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/11/202215 minutes, 50 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban with Abigail Perry

In this episode, we're taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we nerd out about the third book in the Harry Potter series:[03:00] A very quick summary of the first chapter[04:50] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings [21:00] A micro analysis of the two scenes within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[40:00] Final thoughts and episode recapFollow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website (www.abigailkperry.com) or you can find her on Instagram @abigailkperry.Ep. 59 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's StoneEp. 60 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Chamber of SecretsEp. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured SceneWorkshop: How to Write Compelling and Well-Structured ScenesSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/19/202248 minutes, 45 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets with Abigail Perry

In this episode, we're taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we nerd out about the second book in the Harry Potter series:[03:30] A very quick summary of the first chapter[05:30] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings [25:00] A micro analysis of the two scenes within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[46:00] Final thoughts and episode recapFollow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website (www.abigailkperry.com), or you can find her on Instagram @abigailkperry.Ep. 59 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's StoneEp. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured SceneWorkshop: How to Write Compelling and Well-Structured ScenesSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/14/202253 minutes, 20 seconds
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First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone with Abigail Perry

In this episode, we're taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we nerd out about the first book in the Harry Potter series:[04:30] A very quick summary of the first chapter[07:00] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings [38:00] A micro analysis of the two scenes within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid[60:00] Final thoughts and episode recapFollow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website (www.abigailkperry.com) or you can find her on Instagram @abigailkperry.Ep. 60 - First Chapter Analysis: Harry Potter & the Chamber of SecretsEp. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured SceneWorkshop: How to Hook Readers in Your First 5 PagesSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/25/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 36 seconds
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10 Querying Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

In this episode, I'm sharing the 10 most common querying mistakes I see writers make and how to avoid them. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:[02:45] Mistake #1: Your story isn't 100% ready to send out just yet.[04:25] Mistake #2: Sending your query to the wrong person.[06:15] Mistake #3: Not following the submission guidelines. [08:45] Mistake #4: You forgot to include your metadata.[09:50] Mistake #5: Your word count is too high or too low.[11:10] Mistake #6: The genre of your story isn't clear.[12:30] Mistake #7: The comp titles listed don't make sense.[14:25] Mistake #8: Your story summary is too vague.[16:35] Mistake #9: You've tried to fit too much stuff in your query.[18:55] Mistake #10: Your query letter is unprofessional or weird.[21:00] Final thoughts and episode recapFollow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Workshop: How to Hook Readers in Your First 5 PagesEp. 2 - How to Choose the Best Genre for Your StorySupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/18/202225 minutes, 45 seconds
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Bonus: Be A Bestseller 3.0 Summit Interview with Emma Dhesi

In today’s extra special bonus episode, I'm sharing an interview I did earlier this year with Emma Dhesi for her Be A Bestseller Summit. We talked about genre and how your story’s genre can help you write a story that works. And specifically, we dove into the thriller genre and talked about how the key scenes and conventions of the thriller genre show up in The Silence of the Lambs. This was such a fun event to be a part of because it’s always fun to talk about writing, but also there were 25-30 other speakers who all shared their insights, tips, and strategies on the writing, editing, and publishing process., too.The event is officially over, but you want to watch a replay of all the interviews, you can click here to purchase an All-Access Pass. Enjoy!Follow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links Mentioned in this Episode:Click here to access the interviews from the Be a Bestseller 3.0 Summit hosted by Emma Dhesi. Note: There is a fee for the All-Access Pass.P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/15/202240 minutes, 5 seconds
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Action Genre Conventions

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the action genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie The Hunger Games. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:25] Action stories are about life and death, and good versus evil. They’re about a character who has to rise up, overcome great obstacles, defeat forces of evil, and maybe even save the world. But that being said, these stories aren’t always about superheroes.[02:35] Readers choose action stories to experience the excitement of the life and death stakes and situations that the protagonist is presented with. But it’s not just about that—we choose these stories because they inspire us to become the best versions of ourselves, too.[03:35] Genre conventions are the character roles, settings, and micro-events that are specific to a genre. They’re what help us writers write a story that works AND evoke emotional reactions in our readers.[04:50] #1 - The protagonist has a special talent or gift and the potential for heroism. [06:55] #2 - The protagonist’s goal is to stop the antagonist and save victims.[08:10] #3 - There are multiple lives at stake (including the protagonist’s).[09:10] #4 - The antagonist is stronger and/or more powerful than the protagonist. [10:25] #5 - The protagonist has a moral compass that the antagonist does not.[11:50] #6 - There’s a speech in praise of the antagonist.[13:00] #7 - There’s a MacGuffin (or a very specific thing the antagonist wants).[13:50] #8 - There are sidekicks who help the protagonist save the victim/s.[14:45] #9 - There’s at least one mentor figure who gives the protagonist guidance.[15:25] #10 - There’s a ticking clock that puts pressure on the protagonist. [17:05] Key points and episode recap.Follow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Action Genre Conventions PDF Cheat SheetAction Conventions: The 10 Things Every Action Story Needs (article)Action Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Action Story Needs (article)Conventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/15/202220 minutes, 14 seconds
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5 Reasons Why Readers Stop Reading

In this episode, I'm exploring 5 reasons why readers might stop reading a novel. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:[01:50] Reason #1: Nothing meaningful happens in the opening pages.[04:15] Reason #2: It’s hard to connect with the point of view characters.[06:30] Reason #3: Readers don’t know what kind of story they’re reading.[09:40] Reason #4: Readers have seen the same thing before. [12:30] Reason #5: Readers don't care what happens next.[15:45] Final thoughts and episode recapFollow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Workshop: How to Hook Readers in Your First 5 PagesEp. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Craft Compelling CharactersEp. 2 - How to Choose the Best Genre for Your StoryEp. 16 - Genre Conventions vs. Tropes: What's the Difference?Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/3/202218 minutes, 40 seconds
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3 Tips for Writing a First Draft in 90 Days

In this episode, I'm sharing three tips for writing a first draft in 90 days. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:[01:35] How one of my Notes to Novel students, Jennifer, wrote a draft in 90 days (after creating a flexible, yet very fleshed out scene-by-scene outline)[04:35] Tip #1: Block out the time and space on your calendar so that you'll actually have the time and space to write a first draft in 90 days.[05:25] Tip #2: Accept that your first draft will be messy, but don't let that stop you from making forward progress. Use things like "details TK" to keep moving forward.[07:00] Tip #3: Create a scene-by-scene outline for your story so that you have a roadmap to follow each time you sit down to write.[09:25] Final thoughts and episode recapFollow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 34 - How to Plan Your Writing Projects for the New YearFREE Masterclass: 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What To Do Instead). Click here to save your seat!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/18/202211 minutes, 35 seconds
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How to Test Your Story Idea Before Writing

In this episode, I'm sharing two of my favorite ways to test out a story idea before you start writing a single word. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:[01:50] The goal of these two exercises is to find out which foundational pieces of your story still need to be fleshed out. Better to find out now than halfway through a draft![01:10] Exercise #1: Write a 1-2 sentence summary of your story. Try to capture the WHO, the WHAT, and the WHY of your global story.[04:45] If you don't know all the answers, look to your genre for clues! Your story's global genre will give you the framework for these summaries (and so much more).[06:00] If an idea does fall flat in this 1-2 sentence summary, this does NOT mean the story idea isn't good. It just means there's more work to do to flesh out the foundational elements required to write a full-length story.[06:30} Exercise #2: Write a 250-word (or less) summary of your story. Take your short summary and expand the WHO, the WHAT, and the WHY. Add details about your setting, too.[08:00] An example of a summary from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.[11:20] Final thoughts and episode recapFollow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 2 - Understanding Genre: How to Write BetterIMDB.com the Internet Movie Data BaseFREE Masterclass: 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What To Do Instead). Click here to save your seat!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/11/202213 minutes, 45 seconds
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Counting Down the Best Tips from FWME in 2021

In this episode, I'm doing my own little countdown of some of the best and most listened to clips from the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast episodes in 2021. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:[00:00] Tip #10: The more clear you are about your goals, the better chance of success you’ll have when it comes to accomplishing them.  [00:00] Tip #9: Knowing your story’s ideal reader can help you write, edit, publish, and market your book.  [00:00] Tip #8: Your point of view character needs to have a goal in each and every scene in your novel.[00:00] Tip #7: Your point of view character needs to face a tough choice in every single scene.[00:00] Tip #6: The theme of your story doesn’t have to be original![00:00] Tip #5: Focusing on writing solid scenes (vs. chapters) will allow you to finish your draft in the most efficient way (and become a better writer).[00:00] Tip #4:  If you’re stuck between multiple story ideas, ask yourself which one will help you become a better writer and start there.[00:00] Tip #3: You need to understand your character’s backstory to give them meaningful conflict to face in the story present.[00:00] Tip #2: Understanding the ins and outs of your genre is the fastest way to write a story that works. [00:00] Tip #1: Focus on crafting a compelling story before you focus on writing beautiful words and sentences.Follow & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Ep. 8 - 7 Secrets to Success Every Writer Should KnowEp. 4 - How to Identify Your Story's Ideal ReaderEp. 43 - 10 Tips for Writing Better ScenesEp. 40 - How to Write a Well Structured SceneEp. 5 - How t Figure Out the Theme of Your StoryEp. 6 - 3 Reasons You Should Write in Scenes vs. ChaptersEp. 3 - How to Decide Which Story Idea to Write NextEp. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersEp. 2 - Understanding Genre: How to Write Better StoriesEp. 1 - The #1 Myth That Holds Writers BacSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/21/202126 minutes, 39 seconds
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5 Takeaways From Coaching Writers in 2021

In today’s episode, I'm sharing some of the lessons I learned from coaching writers this year. My hope is that these lessons will help you to keep moving forward with your work in the most efficient way possible. Here's a quick preview:[01:15] Lesson #1: Most writers have trouble with the emotional layers of their stories. We need to properly learn how to convey our character's emotional reactions in order to successfully evoke emotions in readers.[05:00] Lesson #2: It's not always going to be easier to write your second book than it was to write your first book. Even if you've "leveled up," you'll still need to go through the process of writing a messy first draft to discover your story. Think of it as practicing your craft.[07:50] Lesson #3: It's important to speak up about what you want, what you think, and what's important to you--even if you're working with someone like a traditional publisher.[10:45] Lesson #4: Most writers don't spend enough time developing their antagonist as they do their protagonist, and they should! Your antagonist provides the central conflict for your story, so they're just as important to flesh out and make three-dimensional.[13:10] Lesson #5: It's so important to get to "The End" of your first draft because then, and only then, will you be able to see your story as a whole. The way forward will be so much easier once you see the big picture.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Notes to Novel: Learn how to confidently write the first draft of a story you feel proud of (without the crippling self-doubt, frustration, and overwhelm that stops most writers in their tracks). Click here to get on the waitlist!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/14/202117 minutes, 4 seconds
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3 Tips for Writing Unforgettable Secondary Characters

In today's episode, I'll walk you through three tips for crafting unforgettable supporting characters.  Here's a preview of what's included:[01:15] Supporting characters are any characters that are not your protagonist or your antagonist. In general, each supporting character in your story will either support or thwart your protagonist as they try to achieve their goal. [03:10] Tip #1: Develop your supporting cast of characters just as fully as you would your protagonist and your antagonist.[05:15] Tip #2: Let your supporting characters represent an aspect of the overarching story.[07:15] Tip #3: Give your supporting cast of characters a hook to help them stand out.[11:30] Key points and episode recap.Links Mentioned in This EpisodeEp. 2 - Understanding Genre: How to Write Better Stories (article)Ep. 10 - How to Create Memorable Characters Using Hooks (article)Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/7/202113 minutes, 15 seconds
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Save the Cat! The Ending Beats

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the beats that make up the end of a story, or the final section of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! (STC!) beat sheet so that you can efficiently outline (or write) your novel. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:45] A recap of the last three episodes (episodes #47, #48, and #49)/ [03:15] The average novel is about 80k words, and this section (the end) is about 20k of them. If you write 1,500-word scenes, you're looking at about 14 scenes here.[03:40] Some of the beats are single scene beats while others are multi-scene beats. I will tell you which is which![04:20] Beat #14 is the five part finale! And this beat is all about resolving all the problems that were raised in act one and act two. It's also about showing how much your protagonist has changed since page one.[05:45] Five Part Finale Part 1: Gathering the Team.[07:00] Five Part Finale Part 2: Executing the Plan. [08:35] Five Part Finale Part 3: High Tower Surprise. [10:15] Five Part Finale Part 4: Dig Deep Down. [12:15] Five Part Finale Part 5: Execution of the New Plan. [15:00] Beat #15 is the final image. And this is a single scene beat that shows how much your protagonist has changed since the opening image.[18:25] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Scene Planning Roadmap PDFEp. 47 - Save the Cat! The Beginning Beats (article)Ep. 48 - Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 1) (article)Ep. 49 - Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 2) (article)Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article)Book: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica BrodyBook: Save the Cat! by Blake SnyderSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/8/202121 minutes, 30 seconds
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Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 2)

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the beats that make up the second half of the middle section of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! (STC!) beat sheet so that you can efficiently outline (or write) your novel. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:55] A recap of last week's episode that focused on the first half of the middle beats in the STC! method. Click here to listen to episode #48 first![03:05] The average novel is about 80k words, and this section (the middle, part two) is about 20k of them. If you write 1,500-word scenes, you're looking at about 14 scenes here.[03:45] Some of the beats are single scene beats while others are multi-scene beats. I will tell you which is which![04:15] Beat #10 is the Bad Guys Close in beat, which is a multi-scene beat where the external and/or internal bad guys put pressure on your protagonist so that they're ultimately set up for change in the upcoming beats.[09:55 Beat #11 is the All is Lost beat, which is a single scene beat and the worst moment of the story so far for your protagonist where everything feels horrible.[24:25] Beat #12 is the Dark Night of the Soul beat which is a multi-scene beat where the protagonist evaluates, analyzes, and thinks about everything (especially whatever happened in the All is Lost moment) and has an epiphany regarding what to do next.[19:00] Beat #13 is the Break Into Three beat which is a single scene beat where the protagonist takes their first step or action to execute their new plan. [22:15] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Scene Planning Roadmap PDFEp. 47 - Save the Cat! The Beginning Beats (article)Ep. 48 - Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 1) (article)Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article)Book: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica BrodyBook: Save the Cat! by Blake SnyderSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/24/202125 minutes, 10 seconds
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Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 1)

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the beats that make up the first half of the middle section of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! (STC!) beat sheet so that you can efficiently outline (or write) your novel. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:55] A recap of last week's episode that focused on the beginning beats in the STC! method. Click here to listen to episode #47 first! [02:30] Act two is all about your character changing. In act one, the protagonist starts out one way, then they go on a journey in act two, and come out the other side in act three a new and improved person.[04:15] In act two, the protagonist needs to have agency over what they’re doing. They need to take active steps toward getting or accomplishing the thing they want (aka the thing they think will bring them happiness or fulfillment).[05:00] As we go through these beats, pay attention to how they put pressure on the protagonist until he or she changes. [05:25] The average novel is about 80k words, and this section (the middle, part one) is about 20k of them. If you write 1,500-word scenes, you're looking at about 14 scenes here.[06:25] Some of the beats are single scene beats while others are multi-scene beats. I will tell you which is which![07:00] Beat #7 is the B-Story beat which is a single scene beat that introduces a new character (or characters depending on your story) who will ultimately help the hero learn the lesson of the story. [10:30] Beat #8 is the fun and games beat which is a multi-scene beat where we see the protagonist really sinking into their new world, and they’re either loving it or they’re hating it. [18:30] Beat #9 is the midpoint beat which is a single scene beat that ups the stakes, and this is where the protagonist starts to shift from chasing their wants to letting go of the thing they want in order to figure out what they need.  [24:45] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Scene Planning Roadmap PDFEp. 47 - Save the Cat! The Beginning Beats (article)Ep. 5 - 3 Ways to Figure Out the Theme of Your Story (article)Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article)Book: Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/13/202128 minutes, 20 seconds
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Save the Cat! The Beginning Beats

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the beginning beats of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! (STC!) beat sheet so that you can efficiently outline (or write) your novel. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:05] The STC! method highlights 15 “beats” or plot points that each has a specific purpose and serves a particular function within your global story. [02:25] The average novel is about 80k words, and this section is about 20k of them. If you write 1,500-word scenes, you're looking at about 14 scenes here. [03:15] Some of the beats are single scene beats while others are multi-scene beats. [03:55] Beat #1 is the opening image which is a single scene beat that shows a “before” snapshot of the protagonist’s life and the flawed world that he or she lives in.  [06:10] Beat #2 is the theme stated which is another single scene beat where someone hints at the theme or what the protagonist will learn by the end of the story. [08:15] Beat #3 is the setup which is a multi-scene beat where readers get to see what the protagonist’s life and world are like–flaws and all. It’s also where important supporting characters and the protagonist’s initial goal are introduced. [011:30] Beat #4 is the catalyst which is a single scene beat where a life-changing event happens to the protagonist and catapults him or her into a new world or a new way of thinking.[13:50] Beat #5 is the debate which is a multi-scene beat where the protagonist debates what he or she will do next. This will take up the second half of the beginning section of your story. [16:40] Beat #6 is the break into two which is a single scene beat that acts as the bridge between act one and act two. Here, the protagonist decides to accept the call to adventure and leave their comfort zone, or adopt a new way of thinking.[18:15] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Scene Planning Roadmap PDFEp. 2 - How to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story (article)Ep. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters (article)Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article)Ep. 5 - 3 Ways to Figure Out the Theme of Your Story (article)Book: Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/22/202125 minutes, 30 seconds
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The 6 Scenes Every Worldview Novel Needs

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every worldview story needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:20] Worldview stories focus on a period of the main character’s life where he or she is transitioning from one significant state to another. These stories show how the external events of the plot affect a character in such a way that he or she must grow, change, and awaken to a new understanding of themselves, or the world around him or her.[02:30] Readers choose to read worldview novels because they are super relatable. Life doesn’t always give us what we want, right? We’ve all experienced some kind of “life problem” that has forced us to stop in our tracks and re-examine who we are and what we value in order to move forward. [03:45] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.[05:40] Key scene #1: A scene in which the protagonist's worldview is challenged.[06:45] Key scene #2: A scene in which the protagonist commits to the wrong thing.[07:50] Key scene #3: A scene in which the protagonist sees the truth (either part or all of it) but chooses to ignore it.[09:00] Key scene #4: A scene in which the protagonist realizes they can't run from the truth anymore. They need to change if they want to move forward.[10:00] Key scene #5: A scene in which the protagonist embraces the truth.[11:00] Key scene #6: A scene in which the protagonist's loss of innocence is rewarded.[12:25] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Worldview Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetWorldview Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Worldview Novel Needs (article)Worldview Conventions: The 10 Things Every Worldview Novel Needs (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/1/202115 minutes, 55 seconds
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How to Deal With Imposter Syndrome

In today's episode, I'm sharing three strategies that will help you overcome imposter syndrome.  Here's a preview of what's included:[01:50] A quick story about what my two dogs, Forrest and Luna, taught me about overcoming imposter syndrome (and how you can, too). [04:35] An example of how a client I worked with suffered from imposter syndrome for twelve years before every querying agents with her story. Spoiler alert: she's now a published author whose book is with one of the big five publishers.[05:35] Imposter syndrome is defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist in spite of evident success. Imposters suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. Almost all writers experience these feelings of inadequacy at some point in the writing, editing, and publishing process.[06:35] Imposter syndrome shows up differently for everyone. For one person, it might look like paralysis or the inability to move forward. For another, it might look like writer's block or even throwing in the towel and quitting altogether.[07:15] Strategy #1 is to stop overthinking so that you can reconnect with your heart and show up as your true self. That way, you'll be better able to share your unique message with readers and connect with them on a deep level.[9:50] Strategy #2 is to take some kind of action, no matter how big or small. This will help you move out of your head and into your heart. Not only that, but it'll also help you get your story done and out into the world.[11:00] Strategy #3 is to stop chasing shiny objects. If you keep jumping from story idea to story idea, or from one outlining method to another, you're never going to get to the finish line. Instead, keep your head down, stay in your lane, and keep moving forward.[16:15] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. <a href="https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fiction-writing-made-easy/id1502307717">Just click here to review</a>, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/25/202118 minutes, 15 seconds
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Performance Genre Conventions

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the performance genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie The Mighty Ducks. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:15] Performance stories center around a character who wants to achieve something specific in order to prove their worth to the world. For example, they might want to win a certain award, climb Mount Everest, be the best in their field, or be famous.[01:55] Readers choose performance novels because they are extremely relatable. Every day we deal with the pressure to perform on the world’s stage, and we are constantly faced with decisions that could result in success or failure.[02:55] Genre conventions are the character roles, settings, and events that are specific to a genre. They’re what help us writers write a story that works AND evoke emotional reactions in our readers.[04:45] #1 - There is an underdog protagonist who usually has some kind of special gift.[05:30] #2 - There's a MacGuffin or a specific thing the protagonist wants to get or achieve.[06:30] #3 - There's a mentor figure with a little bit of baggage.[07:45] #4 - There's a team of people who support the protagonist. [08:40] #5 - There are trials or training sequences that help get the protagonist ready for the big event.[09:55] #6 - The protagonist faces social problems or moral challenges (like bullying or social class divides).[10:55] #7 - The protagonist faces a worthy opponent. [11:30] #8 - There's a monkey wrench that gets thrown into the mix just when it seems like victory is in sight.[12:30] #9 - There's an internal change within the protagonist.[13:25] #10 - There's usually a bittersweet ending.[15:10] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Performance Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetPerformance Conventions: The 10 Things Every Performance Story Needs (article)Performance Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Performance Story Needs (article)Conventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/18/202117 minutes, 55 seconds
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10 Tips for Writing Better Scenes

In today's episode, I'm sharing my top ten tips for writing better scenes. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:45] Tip #1: Stick to one point-of-view character per scene. This will help you avoid head-hopping and getting off track.[02:45] Tip #2: Establish where and when each scene is taking place as soon as possible. Especially, if things have changed since the last scene.[03:50] Tip #3: Give your point-of-view character a specific (and meaningful) goal in each scene. What do they want? Why do they want it?[05:30] Tip #4: Make sure each scene contains a mini-arc of change. These mini-arcs of change will add up to create your story's overarching arc.[06:45] Tip #5: Give your point-of-view character agency in each scene. Let them make decisions and take actions that move the story forward.[08:15] Tip #6: Show readers what your point-of-view character is thinking and feeling throughout the scene. Let readers inside your character's head![09:15] Tip #7: Try to advance at least one subplot per scene. This will keep things interesting for readers and help you write a cohesive story.[10:45] Tip #8: Use the "story present" to trigger any backstory, exposition, or worldbuilding details. Don't build whole scenes just for the sake of delivering information.[12:00] Tip #9: Only include dialogue that's relevant to what's happening in the scene. If it's not relevant, you probably don't need it. It's that simple![12:30] Tip #10: Make sure each of your scenes contributes to the global story both externally (the plot) and internally (your character's arc).[14:30] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links Mentioned in This Episode:How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article and podcast)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
4/20/202116 minutes, 10 seconds
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10 Reasons Why Novels Get Rejected

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through 10 common reasons why manuscripts are rejected by publishers. Here's a preview of what's included:[02:05] After a rejection, you don't have to wait before making your next move. You can get to work right away and figure out what’s wrong with your draft so that you can fix it and resubmit your story.[02:25] Reason #1: The category or genre isn’t the right fit for the agent or the publisher. Usually, this means the author didn't do their research.[03:40] Reason #2: The submission materials are full of bad mechanics (aka poor grammar and spelling) and lackluster writing. [05:15] Reason #3: The author doesn’t know who their target audience is or, even worse, they say their story is for everyone.[07:15] Reason #4: The story world isn’t pulling its weight, or it doesn't feel organic.[08:300] Reason #5: The high-level story summaries are weak or all over the place.[10:15] Reason #6: The characters aren't unique or interesting. They don't pull readers in and get them invested in the story. [11:30] Reason #7: The author lacks a strong voice. [12:25] Reason #8: The plot of the story is predictable or cliche. Usually, this is because your characters are flat or predictable. [14:20] Reason #9: The theme of the story is overbearing and it reads like a lecture.[15:40] Reason #10: The story fails to deliver a powerdul emotional experience to readers. [17:30] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links Mentioned in This Episode:How to Identify Your Story's Ideal Reader (article and podcast)How to Test an Idea Before Writing a Draft (article)How to Create Memorable Characters Using Hooks (article and podcast)5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters (article and podcast)How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article and podcast)How to Uncover the Theme of Your Story (article and podcast)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here.Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/30/202119 minutes, 20 seconds
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The 6 Scenes Every Action Novel Needs

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every action story needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:25] Action stories are about life and death, and good versus evil. They’re about a character who has to rise up, overcome great obstacles, defeat forces of evil, and maybe even save the world. But that being said, these stories aren’t always about superheroes.[02:35] Readers choose action stories to experience the excitement of the life and death stakes and situations that the protagonist is presented with. But it’s not just about that -- we choose these stories because they inspire us to become the best versions of ourselves, too.[03:30] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.[05:10] Key scene #1: A scene in which there's a life-threatening attack made by the antagonist.[06:35] Key scene #2: A scene in which the protagonist half-commits to going against the antagonist or engaging in the conflict.[07:45] Key scene #3: A scene in which the protagonist understands what the antagonist wants (and why), and/or what the true nature or purpose of the antagonist is.[09:05] Key scene #4: A scene in which the protagonist's initial strategy for defeating the antagonist fails and he or she reaches an all is lost moment. They must change their approach in order to survive. [10:15] Key scene #5: A scene in which the protagonist is at the mercy of the antagonist and only one of them can win. In order to survive, the protagonist has to "unleash" their special gift, talent, or skill.[11:45] Key scene #6: A scene in which the protagonist's sacrifice is rewarded.[13:15] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Action Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetAction Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Action Novel Needs (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/9/202115 minutes, 55 seconds
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How to Write a Well-Structured Scene

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through how to write a well-structured scene. I'll also show you how this structure shows up in a scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Here's a preview of what's included:[02:50] A scene is a unit of story that takes place in more or less continuous space and time, features a specific cast of characters, is told from one point-of-view, and contains a value shift (or change) from beginning to end. [04:15] The first thing you need to know about writing a well-structured scene is that every scene needs to start with the point-of-view character’s goal. So, what does this person want to achieve or accomplish or learn in this scene? What are they trying to do? [05:00] Commandment number one is that there needs to be an inciting incident. And this is really just the first thing that gets in the way of your character accomplishing his or her goal. [05:35] Commandment number two is that there needs to be a turning point. A turning point is a moment where the conflict reaches its peak and the character can no longer go after their scene goal in the way they had originally planned.[06:40]  Commandment number three is that there needs to be a crisis moment or a moment where your character faces a decision about how to move forward. Will they do X or Y?[08:10]  Commandment number four is that there needs to be a climax or a moment where your character acts on their choice. Did they do X or Y?[08:45] Commandment number five is that there needs to be a resolution. So, how do they feel now that they’ve acted on their choice? How did their decision work out for them?[10:20] An example of a well-structured scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone including how these five commandments show up and help create a mini-arc of change. [13:55] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links Mentioned in This Episode:Progressive Complications: How to Write Better Conflict (article)Value Shifts: How to Determine if a Scene Works (article)3 Reasons You Should Write in Scenes vs. Chapters (article)The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne (book)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and pSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/23/202118 minutes, 24 seconds
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The #1 Reason Why So Many Novels Go Unfinished

In today's episode, we’re going to talk about why so many novels go unfinished, and what to do so that you can start finishing every project that you start. Here's a preview of what's included:[03:20] The #1 reason why so many novels are never finished is because most writers expect to produce a first draft that’s perfect, or at least, really good -- and then, when it’s not perfect or really good, they give up on writing their story altogether.[04:35] Trying to be a perfect writer (or even a good writer), trying to write a perfect draft (or even write a good draft), is an impossible task. It's like expecting to go through life without making any mistakes.[05:35]  Even if you outline your story in advance, or follow one of the popular plotting methods like Save the Cat or the Hero’s Journey, there’s a process of discovery that needs to happen with every story you write.[06:45] Too many people think or hope that they can write a perfect first draft. And even worse, they believe if they don’t then that somehow means they aren’t good writers. So they expect perfection, and then the moment they hit any kind of snag, they give up because they feel disappointed in themselves and their story.[07:45] You need to shift your mindset and allow for things to be a bit messy -- remember, they’re supposed to be. If you go into the drafting process knowing that you’re just figuring things out and that whatever you come up with WILL require revisions, it’s going to be so much easier for you to succeed.[08:25] A lot of the writers I work with try to do too many things at once. They try to write and revise at the same time. They try to discover the story and perfect the story simultaneously. Don't do this![09:15] You have to get to know your story first. You have to get it all down on paper and then worry about cleaning things up later. You can do this with an outline but you still need to allow your first draft to be about getting the story down first before you go back to revise.[10:35] It’s probably not going to feel easy at first. But every day that you can practice these mindset shifts, they’ll be more ingrained in your mind and you won’t have to think about them so much. They’ll just be a part of you and a part of how you approach the writing process. [11:25] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links Mentioned in This Episode:5 Questions to Ask Before Writing a First Draft (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk abouSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/16/202113 minutes, 38 seconds
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Romance Genre Conventions

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the romance genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie Twilight. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:30] What makes the romance genre unique? In romance novels, everything centers around two characters falling in love despite the odds, and despite the risks.[01:55] Readers choose romance novels because they want to feel all the excitement of falling in love without taking any of the emotional risks. And like all genre fiction, you have to deliver the emotional experience readers are looking for in order for your story to work.[02:30] Genre conventions are the character roles, settings, and events that are specific to a genre. They’re what help us writers write a story that works AND evoke emotional reactions in our readers.[04:00] #1 - There is a love triangle between two or more characters.[05:55] #2 - There are characters who are for the relationship, and those who are against the relationship (aka "helpers" and "harmers").[07:05] #3 - The protagonist is pursuing a specific goal that drives the story forward (usually, it has nothing to do with romance).[08:40] #4 - There's a clear sense of masculine and feminine sensibilities (or differences in how each character approaches love).[09:45] #5 - There's external conflict that occurs outside the protagonist (usually related to whatever goal he or she is chasing).[11:00] #6 - There's internal conflict that occurs inside of the protagonist (like a character flaw, a fear, an outdated worldview, etc.).[12:20] #7 - There's at least one secret.[13:25] #8 - The couple shares intimacy rituals.[14:25] #9 - There's an internal change in at least one of your main characters. In other words, they overcome whatever's been holding them back from true love.[16:30] #10 - A happily ever after (HEA) ending.[18:25] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Romance Genre Conventions PDF Cheat SheetRomance Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Romance Novel Needs (article)Romance Genre Conventions: The 10 Things Every Romance Novel Needs (article)Conventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
2/9/202121 minutes, 5 seconds
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5 Questions to Ask Before Writing a First Draft

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through five questions to ask before you start writing a first draft. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:25] The purpose of a first draft is to tell yourself the story. The purpose of a first draft is NOT to be perfect or to have everything 100% figured out.[01:50]  By doing some of the important work or heavy lifting upfront, you CAN write a stronger, more efficient first draft that feels more like a second or third draft. But to do that, you need to know the answer to five really important questions.[03:15] Question #1: Who is this story about? Who is your protagonist?[04:40] Question #2: What's the main genre of this story?[06:10] Question #3: What point are you trying to make with this story?[07:20] Question #4: Where and when does this story take place?[08:40] Question #5: What happens in the story's plot?[10:30] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: 5 Questions to Ask Before Writing a First Draft (PDF)How to Choose the Right Genre for Your Story (podcast and article)5 Questions to Help You Flesh Out Your Characters (podcast and article)3 Ways to Uncover the Theme of Your Story (podcast and article)How to Figure Out the Big Picture Shape of Your Story (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/26/202112 minutes, 35 seconds
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What is a Book Coach?

In today's episode, I'm going to cover all the different ways a book coach can help you finish your draft and become a stronger writer. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:15] A book coach is someone who guides a writer through the entire book writing process from start to finish while giving editorial feedback, accountability, and support along the way. [04:20] Generally speaking, you can work with a book coach any time -- that’s kind of the beauty of book coaches… they’ll dive in and meet you where you’re at. Plus, a few different scenarios in which a book coach can help you.[06:30] Tip #1: Ask yourself what you're looking for in a coach. What kind of coaching style works best for you? Do you want to meet on the phone or communicate via email only?[07:05] Tip #2: Decide whether expertise or experience in your genre is necessary. Make sure that the coach you're thinking about working with doesn't dislike your genre![07:45] Tip #3: Read their website thoroughly. Do they have any certifications or special skills that might be relevant to your story? Do they read widely in your genre? Do they have testimonials from writers they've previously worked with?[08:35] Tip #4: See if you can get them on the phone. Just like in real life, you will probably know pretty quickly if you jive with this person or not. Trust your instincts![09:25] Tip #5: Ask them if they think they're the right coach for you! Many coaches will be honest about this and if they're not the best fit, they can recommend you to someone else who might be a more perfect fit for you and your story.[10:30] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Do you want to work with a book coach on your story? Click here to learn more about my one-on-one book coaching services. P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/19/202112 minutes, 15 seconds
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3 Reasons Why You're Not Writing

In today's episode, I'm going to cover three roadblocks that might be keeping you from writing. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:45] So much of writing or editing a book has to do with managing your mind. And there’s no getting out of having to manage your mind either -- you can understand story structure, you can study all the books and take all the courses on character creation or worldbuilding or whatever, but until you understand that what you think about is going to create the emotion that either drives the action or inaction, you’re never going to take action. [02:45] Reason #1: You're stuck doing a bunch of busywork. What does this look like? Filling out character questionnaires, spending way too much time worldbuilding, taking all the courses, reading all the books, doing all the "things" -- except writing.[05:05] Reason #2: You're giving yourself too much time to get things done. What does this look like?  You're putting in the time to “work on your novel”, what you actually produce doesn’t line up with the many hours you’ve been working. [08:45] Reason #3: You're avoiding failure or feelings of discomfort. What does this look like? Not taking chances. Not putting yourself out there. Not finishing a draft. [12:00] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:The #1 Myth That Holds Writers Back (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/12/202114 minutes, 15 seconds
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How to Plan Your Writing Projects for the New Year

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through how to plan out your writing projects for the new year. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:25] Creating a strategic plan is something most writers don't think about doing but it’s the kind of thing that can actually help you achieve the big goals you have like writing a novel, or submitting a short story to publishers, or whatever it is that you're hoping to do.[02:55] Step #1: Review the last 12 months so that you can make a realistic plan for the future. What worked? What didn't work?[05:40] Step #2: Brainstorm all the big things you want to do and then choose the 3-5 main projects you want to focus on.[08:00] Step #3: Consider your non-negotiables. What do you need to make time for? What do you never want to do again?[09:50] Step #4: Start mapping out how you're going to accomplish your 3-5 main goals. What are the steps? How can you break this down so that it's a more specific, actionable goal?[14:25] Step #5: Get everything on your calendar and then do a gut check. Does your plan feel overwhelming? Or exciting?[18:30] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: The Writing Project Planner Workbook (PDF)Need help with your story? Click here to check out my book coaching and editing services. P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
1/5/202121 minutes
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5 Takeaways From Coaching Writers in 2020

In today’s episode, I'm sharing some of the lessons I learned from coaching writers this year. My hope is that these lessons will help you to keep moving forward with your work in the most efficient way possible. Here's a quick preview:[01:20] Lesson #1: It’s totally possible to write the first draft of a full-length novel in 90 days IF you do the hard work to outline and pressure test your story upfront. [04:25] Lesson #2: It’s okay to start with the plot of your story, or the external stuff that happens, AS LONG AS you have some idea of your character’s internal arc.[07:25] Lesson #3: If you learn how to write a scene that works,  it will be MUCH easier to write a first draft that works. Plus, your writing will improve a lot, too![10:25] Lesson #4: It’s okay if your first draft (or even your second draft) isn’t perfect. No matter how much work you do upfront, you will NEVER have everything figured out before you start writing.[13:05] Lesson #5: Your second draft is where the magic happens! Focus on getting the first draft done so that you can benefit from all the 'a-ha' moments and new ideas that come from getting to know your story more.[15:15] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:5 Questions to Help You Craft Compelling Characters (article)How to Write Scenes That Work via Story Grid (article)First 5 Pages Workshop: Learn the 5 key elements to include in your first five pages so that you can hook and hold the reader's attention. P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/15/202017 minutes, 25 seconds
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How to Start Editing Your NaNowriMo Draft

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through what to do with your messy first draft now that NaNoWriMo is over. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:20] Everything we cover in today's episode can be used whether you participated in NaNoWriMo or not. All that matters is that you have a finished draft.[02:30] Step #1: Take a break from your draft so that you can get some distance and give your imagination time to regenerate.[03:30] Step #2: Read your draft to familiarize yourself with what you wrote and to see all of the story pieces that you have to work with. Don't make any changes yet![04:10] Step #3: Read your draft, again, with your editor's hat on. Focus on the big-picture elements of the story (genre, characters, structure, theme, point of view, etc.) and take notes on things you want to fix, add, delete, or change. Don’t make any changes yet, just take notes. [09:10] Step #4: Make a plan for exactly HOW you’re going to tackle your revisions. When would you like to be done? How much time will you set aside each day/week/month to work on your revisions?[10:20] Step #5: Get an outsider's perspective once you've done as much as you can on your own. Enlist the help of beta readers, a developmental editor, or even a book coach.[11:30] When should you work with a professional editor or book coach? If you're just starting, or if your draft is a big mess, a book coach can help you start over from the ground up. If you have a finished draft, a developmental editor can help you figure out your next steps.[12:55] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: The NaNoWriMo Editing Checklist (PDF)How to Choose the Right Genre for Your Story (podcast and article)3 Ways to Figure Out the Theme of Your Story (podcast and article)5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters (podcast and article)How to Choose the Best POV for Your Story (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
12/1/202016 minutes, 30 seconds
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The 6 Scenes Every Thriller Novel Needs

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every thriller novel needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:18] Thrillers combine all the criminality and suspense of a good detective novel with the danger and life and death stakes from the action or horror genre. Usually, these stories center around a protagonist who's focused on stopping a future crime from happening.[01:40] Readers choose thriller novels because they want to experience the thrill of trying to outsmart and stop the villain before he or she commits more crimes -- all from the comfort of their own homes. And like all genre fiction, you have to deliver the emotional experience readers are looking for in order for your story to work.[02:15] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.[03:55] Key scene #1: A scene where a crime is discovered.[04:45] Key scene #2: A scene where the stakes become personal for the protagonist and they commit to stopping the antagonist.[05:55] Key scene #3: A scene where the protagonist learns what the antagonist wants and why. This scene helps to shift the protagonist from being reactive to proactive and helps them recommit to stopping the antagonist.[06:55] Key scene #4: A scene where the protagonist learns or does something that sets them up to be the antagonist’s final victim.[7:55] Key scene #5: A scene where the protagonist is at the mercy of the antagonist.[8:45] Key scene #6: A scene where readers learn whether justice prevailed or not.[9:45] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Thriller Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetThriller Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Thriller Novel Needs (article)Thriller Genre Conventions: The 10 Things Every Thriller Novel Needs (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
11/24/202012 minutes
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4 Reasons Why You Need a Target Word Count

In today's episode, we’re going to talk through four reasons why you should have a target word count for your story. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:50] Generally speaking, a novel is defined as any story over 40,000 words. But, the average novel is usually somewhere around 80,000-100,000 words.[02:05] Technically there’s no maximum length for a novel, but there are guidelines you can follow to determine whether your story is the appropriate length, or too long. These guidelines are determined by the genre and the target age range you’re writing for so, it’s always a good idea to know what your genre is and what age range you’re writing for before you land on a target word count.[03:15] Reason #1: Having a target word count can help you make a realistic writing schedule. You can break your target word count into smaller pieces and then estimate the time it will take to finish those pieces.[05:15] Reason #2: Having a target word count can help you outline your story. You can break down your target word count into the number of words within each act, the approximate number of scenes within each act, and more.[07:05] Reason #3: Having a target word count will help you edit your work. And that's because you can use your target word count to figure out approximately how many words you'll need to cut or add. From there, you can make a more realistic plan for editing your draft.[08:15] Reason #4: Having a target word count will help you when it comes time to publish. If you're planning to traditionally publish, being within your genre's average word count could be the difference between your manuscript being read or not. If you're going the self-publishing route, you'll want to keep story length in mind so that you can budget properly and meet reader's expectations.[10:00] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links Mentioned in This Episode:Episode Freebie: Average Novel Length by Genre and Age Range PDF Cheat SheetHow to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
11/17/202012 minutes, 30 seconds
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Horror Genre Conventions

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the horror genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie Halloween. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:25] What makes the horror genre unique? In horror novels, bad things happen to good people. There are life and death stakes, a monster intent on death and destruction, claustrophobic settings, and a major fight for survival.[02:35] Readers choose horror novels because they want to feel the thrill and the terror of being in a life and death situation without actually being in danger in real life. And like all genre fiction, you have to deliver the emotional experience readers are looking for in order for your story to work.[03:15] Genre conventions are the character roles, settings, and events that are specific to a genre. They’re what help us writers write a story that works AND evoke emotional reactions in our readers.[04:40] #1 - A monster (or antagonist) that can't be reasoned with.[05:50] #2 - The monster (or antagonist) is VERY strong or powerful.[06:50] #3 - There’s some kind of sin or past mistake that the protagonist (or the world) is being punished for.[08:00] #4 - The settings feel very claustrophobic.[08:45] #5 - There are multiple lives at stake (including your protagonist's).[09:25] #6 - The monster(or antagonist) stays hidden as long as possible.[10:30] #7 - There’s at least one shapeshifter character.[11:00] #8 - A ticking clock or some kind of deadline by which the protagonist has to stop the monster (or antagonist).[11:45] #9 - A speech in praise of the monster (or antagonist).[13:10] #10 - A false ending (and a sense that evil still lurks).[15:35] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Horror Genre Conventions PDF Cheat SheetHorror Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Horror Novel Needs (article)Horror Genre Conventions: The 10 Things Every Horror Novel Needs (article)Conventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
11/3/202018 minutes, 20 seconds
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Red Herrings: How to Mislead and Surprise Readers

In today's episode, we’re going to talk about how to mislead and surprise your readers using red herrings. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:20] A red herring is anything that distracts readers and/or your characters from an important truth. Red herrings can also lead readers and/or your character to mistakenly expect one particular outcome over another.[02:00] Red herrings are a type of foreshadowing. The term "foreshadowing:" encompasses all the different ways that an author can give readers hints or clues about what’s coming. [02:10] Red herrings can be used in any genre. If your story has any kind of plot twist or surprise ending, you can use red herrings to distract the reader (or your characters) from the truth of what’s actually happening. Different genres change how the reader will view and respond to the red herrings in your story.[03:10] I walk you through an example of how red herrings are used in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is one of my favorite examples of red herrings![06:15] Tip #1: Incorporate red herrings into the fabric of your story so that it feels like an organic part of the plot and not something random to create tension or conflict.[07:20] Tip #2: Give your innocent characters motivation, means, and opportunity to have committed the crime.[07:55] Tip #3: Give the reader no (obvious) reason to suspect your guilty character.[09:00] Tip #4: Focus the reader’s attention elsewhere when you plant "true" clues.[10:00] Tip #5: Always play fair with the reader. Don't mess with readers by withholding important information that should have been given upfront. [11:35] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/27/202014 minutes, 15 seconds
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The 6 Scenes Every Performance Story Needs

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every performance story needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:30] Performance stories center around a character who wants to achieve something specific in order to prove their worth to the world. For example, they might want to win a certain award, climb Mount Everest, be the best in their field, or be famous.[02:25] Readers choose performance novels because they are extremely relatable. Every day we deal with the pressure to perform on the world’s stage, and we are constantly faced with decisions that could result in success or failure.[03:00] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.[04:35] Key scene #1: A scene where your protagonist faces some kind of challenge or opportunity to perform.[05:45] Key scene #2: A scene where your protagonist’s initial plan for achieving his or her goal (or gaining some kind of external validation) fails.[06:45] Key scene #3: A scene where your protagonist commits to a specific “big event” which could be a fight, a play, a tournament, a recital, a solo performance, or anything like that.[08:15] Key scene #4: A scene where your protagonist suffers some kind of defeat and realizes he or she must change their approach in order to succeed. Is the external validation still worth it?[09:30] Key scene #5: A scene where your protagonist participates in the big event and either wins or loses.[10:25] Key scene #6: A scene where your protagonist is rewarded (usually on multiple levels) whether they’ve won or lost.[11:45] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Performance Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetPerformance Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Performance Story Needs (article)Performance Conventions: The 10 Things Every Performance Story Needs (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can rSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/21/202014 minutes, 10 seconds
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The Inciting Incident: How to Get Your Story Into Motion

In today's episode, we’re going to talk about crafting a great inciting incident for your story. I'm also going to show you how the global inciting incident looks different across the content genres. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:45] The inciting incident is an event that occurs and upsets the balance of your protagonist’s life. Life can't continue on in the same way now.[02:00] The inciting incident is also what sets your story in motion and gives rise to your protagonist’s overarching story goal. In this way, it gives rise to a specific question in your reader’s minds that they won’t find the answer to until the very end at your story’s climax. [03:05] The inciting incident is also what puts the protagonist and the antagonist at odds with each other. The protagonist wants one thing, the antagonist wants another thing.[03:45] The inciting incident of your global story should occur somewhere around the 12% mark or about halfway through your first act.[05:10] The three types of inciting incidents: the causal inciting incident, the coincidental inciting incident, and the ambiguous inciting incident (plus examples).[07:20] The inciting incident of your story is genre-specific. In other words, the inciting incident of your global story will most likely be determined by the genre you’re writing in. [13:15] An example of the global inciting incident in The Hunger Games.[14:00] An example of the global inciting incident in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.[15:35] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:How to Choose the Right Genre for Your Story (podcast and article)Recommended Reading: STORY by Robert McKeeRecommended Reading: The Story Grid by Shawn CoyneP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/6/202019 minutes, 24 seconds
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Bonus: Conquering the Writing Blues Summit Interview with Dr. Susan Hickman

In today's extra special bonus episode, I'm sharing my interview with Dr. Susan Hickman from the Conquering the Writing Blues Summit I took part in earlier this year. Here's a quick preview of what's included:[02:50] What does a developmental editor do? Plus how and why I became a developmental editor and book coach. [06:25] My take on plotting versus pantsing -- is one of them the “right way” to write?[10:00] What does a book coach do? Plus, why book coaching is having a “moment” with the increase in self-publishing.[12:45] Why don’t more writers choose to work with book coaches or editors?[15:35] How to stay motivated (aka how keeping the impact that your story will have on others in mind can help fuel your writing).[19:10] The two main areas where writers go wrong (and what to do instead).[20:30] How I help writers who are overwhelmed and confused with all the plotting methods out there. What do you do first, second, and third?[23:45] Why the belief that “you either have what it takes or you don’t” is not true. Plus, why there’s room for every style of writing -- each style has value and will resonate with a particular group of people.[27:25] What to do when you get bogged down in perfectionism. Plus, 5 questions to ask yourself about your story to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links Mentioned in this Episode:Episode Freebie: The 3 Questions to Help You Uncover Your Story PDFClick here to visit Dr. Susan Hickman's website, The Write Cause.Are you interested in becoming a Certified Developmental Editor? Click here to learn more about Story Grid's Editor Certification Program.Are you interested in becoming a Certified Book Coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification Program.P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
10/1/202036 minutes
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Worldview Genre Conventions

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the worldview genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:45] Worldview stories focus on a period of the main character’s life where he or she is transitioning from one significant state to another. These stories show how the external events of the plot affect a character in such a way that he or she must grow, change, and awaken to a new understanding of themselves, or the world around him or her.[02:55] Readers choose worldview novels because they are super relatable! They give readers a sense of relief, satisfaction, and maybe even hope that they, too, can survive whatever roadblocks or challenges are appearing in their own lives.[04:30] Genre conventions are the character roles, settings, and events that are specific to a genre. They’re what help us writers write a story that works AND evoke emotional reactions in our readers.[06:15] #1 - A mentor that can guide and support your protagonist.[06:55] #2 - An outdated worldview or some kind of false belief that your protagonist must overcome by the end fo the story.[07:55] #3 - Social problems or moral challenges for your protagonist to face (ideally, one that relates to your protagonist's outdated worldview).[09:05] #4 - At least one shapeshifter who says one thing and does another.[10:15] #5 - An internal change within your protagonist.[11:35] #6 - Some kind of confrontation with the adult world that helps your protagonist grow and change.[12:40] #7 - An emphasis on friendship.[13:45] #8 - External pressure from your protagonist's friends, family, or society to be a certain way.[15:15] #9 - Secrets.[16:05] #10 - A bittersweet ending.[18:10] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Worldview Genre Conventions PDFWorldview Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Worldview Novel Needs (article)Worldview Genre Conventions: The 10 Things Every Worldview Novel Needs (article)Conventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/29/202022 minutes, 5 seconds
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10 Steps to Get Ready for NaNoWriMo

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through ten steps to get ready for NaNoWriMo. Here's a preview of what's included:[03:40] Step 1: Choose one story idea to work on during NaNoWriMo.[04:40] Step 2: Test out (or flesh out) your story idea by writing a 1-2 sentence logline and a 250-word elevator pitch for your story.[00:00] Step #3: Choose your story's main genre so that you have a blueprint for writing a story that works.[07:40] Step #4: Uncover your story's theme so that you know what point you're trying to make with your story.[08:30] Step #5: Get to know your protagonist. What does he or she want? Why does he or she want that?[09:50] Step #6: Choose your point-of-view and tense.[10:55] Step #7: Develop your story's setting. Where and when does your story take place? [12:00] Step #8: Write a 1-3 page synopsis of your story.[13:45] Step #9: Create your big picture outline by breaking the goal of 50,000 words into three smaller parts.[15:15] Step #10: Brainstorm your story's key moments within each act.[20:30] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: The 10 Step NaNoWriMo Planning Checklist (PDF)How to Choose the Right Genre for Your Story (podcast and article)How to Decide Which Story Idea to Write Next (podcast and article)3 Ways to Figure Out the Theme of Your Story (podcast and article)5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters (podcast and article)How to Choose the Best POV for Your Story (article)Narrative Drive: How to Write a Page Turning Novel (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/15/202024 minutes, 15 seconds
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The 6 Scenes Every Romance Novel Needs

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every romance novel needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:45] Romance novels center around two individuals falling in love despite the odds, despite the risks, and despite the opposing forces in their life. These stories usually end in "happily ever after," or at the very least, "happily for now."[02:15] Readers choose romance novels because they want to experience all the butterflies and excitement of falling in love without the risks. They want to see love win.[03:00] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.[04:30] Key scene #1: A scene where your characters meet or first appear on the page together. This is the global inciting incident of your story.[05:20] Key scene #2: A scene where your characters share their first kiss or their first intimate moment. The specifics of this scene will depend on the heat level of your story.[06:25] Key scene #3: A scene where one character confesses their feelings for the other character. It's now clear that things are no longer platonic for at least one character. [07:45] Key scene #4: A scene where your characters break up or separate temporarily so that they can go off and learn the lesson of the story.[09:25] Key scene #5: A scene where one or both of your characters proves their love by sacrificing something for the other character.[11:25] Key scene #6: A scene where the lovers reunite and come back together. Plus, a glimpse at what "happily ever after" looks like.[12:55] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Romance Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetRomance Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Romance Novel Needs (article)Romance Genre Conventions: The 10 Things Every Romance Novel Needs (article)Recommended Reading: Pride and Prejudice: The Story Grid Edition by Shawn Coyne (book)P.S. Did you know that I have a FaceboSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/8/202015 minutes, 29 seconds
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How to Evaluate the Conflict in Your Draft

In today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through my five-step process for evaluating the conflict in your novel. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:20] Progressive complications are moments of conflict that gets harder and harder to deal with overtime. To learn more about writing good conflict, check out last week's episode (episode #21).[02:30] Step 1: Identify what your POV character wants and how they plan to get it. You’ll also want to have a good understanding of what your character expects to happen. So, do they expect to succeed? Do they expect things to be difficult? [03:30] Step 2: List everything that gets in your character’s way as they pursue their goal. And remember, these complications can be positive or negative. It’s just whatever gets in your character’s way as they go after their goal. [04:45] Step 3: Rank your list of complications to see if they escalate properly or not.[06:10] Step 4: Identify the turning point -- or the moment things change. Ask yourself how you feel about the change that occurs and determine whether it’s impactful or not.[07:50] Step 5: Consider how the scene (or whatever you’re analyzing) affects the global story. So, if you’re analyzing a scene, how does this scene contribute to the global story? How does it move the story forward?[08:45] An example of this type of analysis using a scene from the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Plus, how this seemingly insignificant scene is a set up for a lot of important stuff that happens later in the story.[14:15] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Need some help with your story? Click here to learn more about Savannah's developmental editing and book coaching services.Recommended Reading: STORY by Robert McKeeRecommended Reading: The Story Grid by Shawn CoyneProgressive Complications: How to Write Better Conflict in Your Story (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
9/1/202017 minutes, 56 seconds
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Progressive Complications: How to Write Better Conflict in Your Novel

In today's episode, we're going to talk about writing better conflict in your novel using "progressive complications." Here's a preview of what's included:[01:20] Progressive complications are moments of conflict that get more and more challenging to deal with over time. These complications can be people, places, things, or events, and they can be negative or positive. [02:10] Stories exist because of conflict. If there was no conflict, you'd have nothing to write about.[02:30] Progressive complications can help you build tension in the reader and keep them on the edge of their seats.[03:05] Progressive complications can help you give the reader insight into who your character is AND how they change over time.[04:05] Each complication needs to relate to the POV character’s goal. If it doesn’t, you risk writing a story that doesn’t feel cohesive and you risk confusing the reader, too. [05:15] Each complication needs to be more difficult to deal with than the last complication. Otherwise, the tension in your story won’t build properly and you’ll likely lose the reader’s interest.[07:05] Each complication needs to require more effort from your character. This is the key way you’ll be able to show that your character is growing and changing into someone that’s capable of handling the upcoming global climax. [08:40] Each complication needs to be unique and "complex." This not only helps you write an interesting story, but it helps keep the story feeling fresh for the reader, too.[10:30] Each complication needs to build to a turning point when things change for better or for worse. This is what helps you create that sense of change within a scene or within your global story.[12:45] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Recommended Reading: STORY by Robert McKeeRecommended Reading: The Story Grid by Shawn CoyneP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/25/202015 minutes, 46 seconds
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5 Strategies for Getting Unstuck While Writing

In today's episode, I'm sharing my five favorite strategies for getting unstuck while writing. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:30] If you need help pushing past the first few pages of your novel, I have a brand new workshop just for you! It's called How to Hook Readers in Your First Five Pages. Click here to learn more about the workshop or to enroll for $47. [02:00] Strategy #1: Zoom out and look at the big picture of your story before making any micro-level changes. Answer these three questions: What's your story's main genre? What does your protagonist want and need? What's the theme of your story? [05:25] Strategy #2: Look at the obligatory scenes and conventions of your genre for inspiration and guidance. These will help you flesh out your story and make sure it’s well structured.[07:20] Strategy #3: Consider what kind of subplots you already have in your story and/or what kind of subplots you might want to add in. Use the obligatory scenes and conventions of your subgenre to flesh these out.[08:35] Strategy #4:Create a flexible outline for your story that you can use as a place to explore new ideas or to capture changes you want to make to scenes you’ve already written. Update it as you go.[10:25] Strategy #5: Evaluate the narrative drive in your existing scenes. Does each scene lead into or cause the next scene to happen in a logical way?[12:00] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Understanding genre: How to write stories that work (podcast and article)5 questions to help you write better characters (podcast and article)3 ways to uncover the theme of your story (podcast and article)Conventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)3 ways to create narrative drive in your story (podcast and article)5 things that kill narrative drive (and how to fix it) (podcast and article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and ySupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/12/202015 minutes, 15 seconds
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Thriller Genre Conventions

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the thriller genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie The Silence of the Lambs. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:25] Thrillers combine all the criminality and suspense of a good mystery novel with the life and death stakes of an action or horror story.[01:50] Readers choose thriller novels because they want to experience the thrill of trying to outsmart and stop the villain before he or she commits more crimes.[02:30] Genre conventions are the character roles, settings, and events that are specific to a genre. They’re what help us writers write a story that works AND evoke emotional reactions in our readers. [04:05] #1 - A crime that indicates that there's a master villain or a master antagonist on the loose.[05:00] #2 - A victim (or victims) on the receiving end of the crime.[05:35] #3 - A master villain or a master antagonist who is intent on annihilation or devastation or gaining power at the expense of others.[06:35] #4 - True clues and red herrings for the protagonist to follow.[07:25] #5 - A speech in praise of the villain.[08:55] #6 - A MacGuffin (or the specific thing the antagonist wants).[09:40] #7 - A shapeshifter who says one thing and does another. [10:15] #8 - A ticking clock that puts some kind of deadline on the amount of time the protagonist has to defeat the antagonist.[10:40] #9 - Multiple lives at stake including the victim's life and your protagonist's life (and maybe others, too).[12:00] #10 - A false ending before the final conflict between protagonist and antagonist. [14:00] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Thriller Genre Conventions Checklist PDFThriller Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Thriller Novel Needs (article)Thriller Genre Conventions: The 10 Things Every Thriller Novel Needs (article)Conventions vs. tropes: What's the difference? (podcast and article)The Story Grid book by Shawn Coyne that includes a great breakdown of The Silence of the Lambs as well as these genre conventions and obligatory scenes. P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook grouSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
8/4/202017 minutes, 19 seconds
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5 Mistakes Writers Make in Their Opening Pages

In today's episode, I'm going to talk about the five most common mistakes I see writers make in their opening pages. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:00] Details about my brand new workshop called “How to Hook Readers in Your First 5 Pages.” In this workshop, I'll walk you through the five key elements that you need to include in your first five pages AND I’ll show you how these five key elements manifest in the first five pages of The Hunger Games. If you want to sign up, or if you want to learn more about this workshop, head over to savannahgilbo.com/pages.[01:45] The first reason your opening pages are so important is that we only have a very small window to catch a reader’s attention and make them want to find out how the story’s going to play out. And if we don’t catch their attention in the first three to five pages, they’re probably not going to keep reading the rest of the story. [01:55] The second reason your opening pages are so important is that editors, agents, and publishers will use these pages to get an overall sense of your story and your writing skill. And if those pages don’t grab their attention, they know the book isn’t likely to grab the reader's attention either.[02:30] Mistake #1: There's not enough big picture context and readers feel lost or confused. [03:30] Mistake #2: The protagonist is introduced too late -- or the story starts with a character who isn't the protagonist. [04:35] Mistake #3: There's a lot of action happening but it's all just objectively dramatic and doesn't really mean anything. [06:10] Mistake #4: There's too much info-dumping of backstory or worldbuilding details. [07:15] Mistake #5: There's nothing at stake -- or there is something at stake but doesn't really matter in terms of the big picture story.[09:10] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:How to Hook Readers in the First Five Pages of Your Story (workshop)How to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/21/202012 minutes, 9 seconds
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The 6 Scenes Every Horror Novel Needs

In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every horror novel needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:10] In horror novels, bad things happen to good people. There are life and death stakes, a monster intent on death and destruction, claustrophobic settings, and a major fight for survival.[02:25] Readers choose horror novels because they want to feel the thrill and the terror of being in a life and death situation without actually being in danger in real life. And like all genre fiction, you have to deliver the emotional experience readers are looking for in order for your story to work.[03:05] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.[04:55] Key scene #1: A scene that includes a threat from, or an attack by, the monster (or antagonist). This is the global inciting incident of your story.[06:00] Key scene #2: A scene where the protagonist ignores a crucial warning and consequently ends up on a path that's headed directly toward the monster. This usually occurs near the end of act one.[07:20] Key scene #3: A scene where your protagonist understands the true nature of the monster (or antagonist) and realizes what he or she is up against. This usually happens around the midpoint of a novel, or in the middle of act two.[08:50] Key scene #4: A scene where your protagonist learns, does, or realizes something that sets themselves up to be the monster’s final victim. This usually occurs near the end of act two.[10:05] Key scene #5: A scene where your protagonist is at the mercy of the monster. This is the moment readers have been waiting for since page one.[11:47] Key scene #6: A scene where readers learn whether the protagonist survives the confrontation with the monster (or not). Plus, a sense that "evil still lurks."[13:45] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: Horror Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetHorror Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Horror Novel Needs (article)Horror Genre Conventions: The 10 Things Every Horror Novel Needs (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook grSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/14/202016 minutes, 52 seconds
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Conventions vs. Tropes: What's the Difference?

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the difference between genre conventions and tropes. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:28] Genre conventions are story elements such as character archetypes, key events, and settings that are commonly found in a specific genre. These conventions define each specific genre and readers' expectations of a story in that genre.[03:10] Tropes are a specific way of delivering those genre conventions or obligatory scenes in your novel. They are subjective interpretations of a genre convention.[04:35] Genre conventions usually have an objective reason WHY they exist in a story while tropes usually do not. Genre conventions need to be met in order for your story to work and to satisfy readers' expectations. The way you deliver those conventions, or the tropes you choose to use, is totally up to you.[05:45] Some examples of tropes vs. conventions including the "Chosen One" vs. the Dark Lord, a love triangle that includes a "good guy" vs. a "bad guy." [07:25] Common mistake #1: Ignoring genre conventions because they think all conventions are tropes, and all tropes are predictable or cliche. This isn't true! Genre conventions help us write a story that works and that satisfies readers.[09:35] Common mistake #2: Including a bunch of tropes in their story without any kind of real purpose. As a general rule of thumb, always ask WHY something needs to be in your book. If you can't think of one, it probably doesn't belong.[11:00] Common mistake #3: Following every single rule in every single book. Instead, pick one method or one set of "rules" and focus on getting your draft finished. Once it's finished, you can go back through it and start to shape it into a story that works.[13:15] Do you really have to include all the obligatory scenes and conventions of your genre in your story? Nope. It's your story, you can do whatever you want. But, if you choose to veer away from the guidelines of your genre, you'll also want to readjust your expectations and your goals. Publishers probably won't pick up your book if you don't adhere to the genre guidelines.[15:05] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:How to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story (article)Wondering what the obligatory scenes and conventions for your genre are? Click here to view a list of the genres I've already analyzed for you!P.S. Did you know that I have a FaSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
7/7/202018 minutes, 51 seconds
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How to Figure Out the Shape of Your Story

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through how to figure out the big-picture shape of your story. Here's a preview of what's included:.[02:45] Each genre asks a specific story question. For example, in an action story, the central story question is some version of, "Will the protagonist defeat the antagonist and survive the encounter?" (This article has the start and end points by genre)[03:45] The central story question helps you create a framework for your story. That's because these two "ask and answer questions" become the global inciting incident and the global climax of your story.[04:00] The global inciting incident is a scene that raises the central story question in the readers's mind. It's the question that the whole story will work to answer.[05:55] The global climax is a scene that answers the central story question. It's what helps you deliver a satisfying emotional experience to the reader.[07:15] If you're writing an action story... the global inciting incident is usually some kind of threat or attack from the antagonist. These stories end with the protagonist defeating the antagonist (or not).[08:20] If you're writing a romance... the global inciting incident is usually the first time the lovers meet or appear on the page together. These stories end with these two individuals either committing to a romantic relationship (or not).[09:25] If you're writing a mystery... the global inciting incident is usually the discovery of some kind of murder or crime. These stories end with revealing the identity of the murder/criminal and bringing them to justice (or not).[10:35] If you're writing a worldview (or coming of age) story... the global inciting incident is usually a challenge to the protagonist's black and white worldview. These stories end with the protagonist maturing or staying stuck.[12:15] If you're writing a story with both an external and an internal genre, you can identify these key moments to create a story that feels like a cohesive whole AND a story that has more impact.[13:25] Key points and a quick recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is or what you'd like to see on a future episode. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:How to Figure Out the Shape of Your Story (article)How to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, weSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/23/202016 minutes, 13 seconds
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How to Handle Character Backstory in Your Novel

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through my top three tips for weaving your character's backstory into your novel in a way that engages the reader without bogging them down. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:20] What is character backstory? Character backstory is everything that has ever happened in your character's life that has helped to influence and shape who they are today, in the "story present."[02:20] The biggest mistake writers make when it comes to handling a character's backstory in their novel is they give too much information too soon -- or too much information at the wrong time in the story. [03:20] When you start a story with too much backstory or exposition, it's really hard for a reader to engage in the story and feel that "tug" to turn the page to find out what's going to happen next. [05:00] Tip #1: Only include backstory where it's relevant to what's happening in the story present. Backstory should always be "triggered" by something that's happening in the present moment of a scene. [06:00] Tip #2: Avoid info-dumping at all costs. Info-dumping is when a writer dumps a ton of information on the reader at one time. Instead, readers should only know what they need to know at the present moment.[07:00] Tip #3: Always show how the piece backstory you include affects the point-of-view character. If you stop the forward momentum of the story to include a piece of backstory, make sure you show the reader why it's important and how it impacts the present-day scene or situation your character is in.[08:00] A quick example of backstory done well from Chapter 7 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone that hits on the above tips. [09:45] Recommended exercise: Grab one of your favorite books, pick a random page, and see if you can identify bits of backstory that has been woven into the story present. [10:30] How do you know if the backstory you've already written works? How do you know if it's too much or if it's in the wrong place? Here's a quick process for analyzing the backstory in your draft. [12:25] Key points and a quick recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: 5 Questions to Help You Analyze Your Backstory PDFRecommended Reading: Story Genius by Lisa Cron. This is an amazing craft book that will help you build your character's backstory from the ground up. It's one of my all-time favorites!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/16/202015 minutes, 8 seconds
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5 Things That Kill Narrative Drive (and How to Fix it)

In today's episode, I'm continuing last week's discussion on narrative drive or that "thing" that hooks a reader's interest and pulls them through the story. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:10] What is narrative drive? Why should writers care? (Check out last week's episode for some tips on creating narrative drive in your story). [01:20] A story with "broken" narrative drive feels like it's going nowhere. [02:00 ] Mistake #1: Putting in too much exposition or backstory or worldbuilding details in a scene at once.[03:00] Mistake #2: There's no sense of cause and effect. In other words, each scene doesn't lead into the next (and what to do instead). [4:00] Mistake #3: Using false mystery to tease readers (and how to avoid doing this).[04:45] Mistake #4: Relying on cheap surprise to thrill or scare readers (and what to do instead). [05:40] Mistake #5: Solving plot problems with coincidences.[06:45] What should you do if you make some of these mistakes in your WIP?[07:30] 10 Questions that can help you fix broken narrative drive in your story (plus where you can go to download a worksheet with these questions!). [11:05] Key points and a quick recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:3 Ways to Create Narrative Drive in Your Story (podcast episode)Episode Freebie: 10 Questions to Help You Write Better Scenes PDFP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/9/202013 minutes, 11 seconds
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3 Ways to Create Narrative Drive in Your Story

In today's episode, I'm exploring narrative drive or that "thing" that hooks a reader's interest and pulls them through the story. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:25] What is narrative drive? Here's a quick definition.[01:35] According to Robert McKee, narrative drive is sustained when a story plays on two primary needs within the reader -- an intellectual need (curiosity) and an emotional need (concern). [01:50] Curiosity is the intellectual need to find answers to questions.[02:20] Concern is the emotional need to experience positive outcomes.[04:00] A quick overview of the 3 methods for evoking curiosity and/or concern in readers.[04:50] Method #1: Mystery evokes mostly curiosity because the reader has LESS information than the characters.[06:00] Method #2: Dramatic Irony evokes mostly concern because the reader has MORE information than the characters.[06:40] Method #3: Suspense evokes both curiosity and concern because the reader has THE SAME information as the characters. [07:25] How does this help you write a story? [9:15] Key points and a quick recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:How to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story (podcast episode)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
6/2/202012 minutes, 37 seconds
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10 Tips for Writing Better Love Triangles

In today's episode, I'm sharing my top 10 tips for writing better, more compelling love triangles. Here's a preview of what's included:[01:30] A love triangle is a relationship that takes place between three or more characters. Character A has to choose between character B and character C.[01:50] Three examples of popular love triangles from Pride and Prejudice, Twilight, and The Hunger Games.[02:15] Tip #1: Fully develop all three characters involved in the love triangle.[03:10] Tip #2: Make both suitors a believable and viable choice for the protagonist.[04:15] Tip #3: Don’t drag out your protagonist's decision or go back and forth between the suitors too much.[05:10] Tip #4: Have your protagonist actively choose one of the suitors to be with.[06:05] Tip #5: Give insight into who your protagonist is with the choice they make.[07:15] Tip #6: Don't feel like both relationships don’t have to start at the same time as the only way to achieve tension in your story.[08:35] Tip #7: Establish what’s at stake for your protagonist if they choose one suitor over the other.[09:40] Tip #8: Don’t neglect the rest of the story for the sake of your love triangle.[10:55] Tip #9: Have a solid reason for including a love triangle in your story.[11:40] Tip #10: Explore both internal and external conflict with your love triangle.[12:50] Key points and a quick recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:5 Questions to Help You Create Compelling Characters (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/19/202015 minutes
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How to Create Memorable Characters Using Hooks

In today's episode, I'm going to show you how to create unique and memorable characters using "hooks." Here's a preview of what's included:[01:15] What are character hooks? How do they help readers?[02:25] Hook #1: Give your character a unique accent or way of speaking.[03:20] Hook #2: Give your character an identifiable physical feature.[04:25] Hook #3: Give your character their own body language.[05:25] Hook #4: Give your character a human or an animal counterpart.[06:20] Hook #5: Give your character a unique personality.[07:35] Hook #6: Give your character both strengths and weaknesses.[08:40] Hook #7: Give your character a specific role in the story.[09:45] Hook #8: Give your character a connection to some group or family.[10:55] Hook #9: Give your character a default emotional state.[12:00] Hook #10: Give your character a part to play in concealing clues.[13:00] How do you incorporate these types of character hooks into your own story?[14:50] Key points and a quick recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: 10 Examples of Character Hooks PDF5 Questions to Help You Create Compelling Characters (article)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/12/202017 minutes, 11 seconds
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Value Shifts: The Quickest Way to Determine if a Scene Works

In today's episode, we're going to talk about value shifts. Specifically, how understanding the concept of value shifts can help you write an edit a story that works. Here's a preview:[01:10] What are value shifts and why do I need to care about them?[01:40] What does it mean to create a mini-arc of change in each scene?[02:10] How value shifts can help you create a better story outline and write impactful scenes that work.[03:50] Each genre has a core value at stake. For example, in a romance novel, the main value at stake is love. The protagonist stands to lose or gain love.[04:50] What should you do once you know the main value at stake in your story?[05:50] How to turn a low impact scene into a meaningful scene that works.[06:40] You can also think of story values as mini-answers to your central story question. For example, will Katniss survive the Hunger Games or not?[07:00] What to do if you can't figure out the exact value that will change in a scene. [07:50] How value shifts can help you weed out unproductive scenes and/or turn them into scenes that impact your global story.[08:30] Next level value shifts. How to weave internal changes with external changes to create a compelling story that keeps readers turning page after page.[12:00] Key points and a quick recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: How to Pressure Test Your Scenes with Value Shifts PDFNeed help figuring out the genre of your story? Check out episode #2 of this podcast or read this article on the blog.P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
5/5/202014 minutes, 42 seconds
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7 Secrets to Success That Every Writer Should Know

In today's episode, I share the 7 secrets to success that every writer should know. These 7 secrets will help you accomplish your goals, become a better writer, and live a writing life you love. Here's a preview:[02:00] Secret #1: Courage. Have the courage to take action even when you're not sure where your story is going or what the next step in the process is.[03:45] Secret #2: Confidence. Confidence is something that anyone can develop. Until you develop confidence in your skills, have confidence in that little voice inside of you that says "I was meant to be a writer" and let it fuel you.[05:06] Secret #3: Clarity. Get clear on your goals. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? How exactly will you accomplish it? Why is this goal important to you?[08:00] Secret #4: Consistency. Create a consistent writing habit that works for you. Can you show up every day? Once a week? Twice a month? Consistently taking action is what's going to lead to confidence and what will help you accomplish your goals.[08:50] Secret #5: Continuing Education. Continue to educate yourself on the craft of writing. Take online classes, read books and blogs, listen to a podcast, or work with a book coach. Anyone can write a book if they have the right tools and strategies, and put in the time to do the work.[10:40] Secret #6: Community. Find a community of like-minded individuals who share the same goals you have. Not only will you find friendship and support, but you'll become a better writer, too. Plus, it's a great way to find beta readers if you're at that stage of the process.[12:00] Secret #7: Commitment. Commit to your writing practice and to getting better over time. Put in the work to constantly evolve yourself and your skills. These seven secrets to success will help you learn and constantly evolve as a writer.[13:30] Key points and a recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: The 7 Secrets to Success That Every Writer Should Know PDFNeed an editor for your work? Click here to learn more about my editing services.Need help starting or getting to "The End?" Click here to learn more about one-on-one book coaching. The Fiction Writing Made Easy Facebook GroupNaNoWriMoSupport the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
4/21/202018 minutes, 23 seconds
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5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters

In this episode, I'll walk you through five questions that will help you write compelling characters. I highly recommend using these questions to flesh out both your protagonist AND your antagonist, but you can also use these questions to help you develop your secondary characters, too. Here's a preview of what we'll cover:[01:45] Question 1: What does your character want? Your character's goal will help you shape the external plot of your story as well as each of your story's scenes. [05:00] Question 2: Why does your character want to achieve this goal? Your character's motivation needs to be strong enough to push them through the story without allowing them to give up. [06:55] Question 3: What's standing in his or her way externally? What's the external conflict? This is essentially the antagonist or the antagonistic force in your story. [8:20] Question 4: What's standing in his or her way internally? What's the internal conflict? This is essentially any inner demons, fears, or an outdated worldview that your character needs to overcome in order to succeed in accomplishing their goal.[10:30] Question 5: What's at stake if they fail to accomplish their goal? In other words, what are the consequences for your protagonist if they fail?[12:30] Key points and episode recap.[14:00] How many characters should you answer these questions for?[14:45] Bonus exercise: Grab your favorite book and see if you can answer these five questions for the protagonist. Were the answers easy to identify? Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: 5 Questions to Help You Craft Compelling CharactersHow to Handle Character Backstory in Your Novel (blog post)P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
4/14/202016 minutes, 7 seconds
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3 Reasons You Should Write in Scenes vs. Chapters

In today's episode, I'm going to give you three reasons why you should write your draft in scenes instead of chapters. Here's a preview of what we'll cover:[01:20] The difference between scenes and chapters and how they each play a different role in your story's pacing.[02:45] 3 reasons why you should write in scenes instead of chapters:[02:55] Reason #1: It's easier to plan out your first draft because you can break down your total target word count into a target number of scenes that's appropriate for your story's genre.[05:00] Reason #2: It's easier to write a stronger more cohesive first draft because you'll be more focused on writing well-structured versus spinning your wheels over the perfect chapter beginning.[07:30] Reason #3: It's easier to edit your draft because when you look at each scene in isolation, you're more likely to spot things that don't belong in your story.[09:15] The best time to worry about chapter breaks is when you are confident that you have a first draft that works.[09:25] Key points and a recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: How to Plan the Number of Scenes in Your Story PDFP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
4/7/202012 minutes, 24 seconds
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3 Ways to Figure Out the Theme of Your Story

In today's episode, I'll walk you through three different ways to figure out the theme of your story. Here's a preview of what we'll cover:[00:50] What is a story's theme? And why do you need one?[01:30] How identifying your story's theme upfront can help you write a stronger draft.[02:40] 3 different questions to help you uncover the theme of your story.[03:00] Question 1: What do you have to say about life? What do you care about?[05:00] Question 2: How will your protagonist change from the beginning of the story to the end of the story? (+ an example from Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone).[07:30] Question 3: What's your story's content genre?[10:00] How to create a 1-2 sentence theme statement that describes what changes in your story as well as specifically why and how things have changed (+ an example from Pride and Prejudice). [10:45] What should you do if your theme sounds generic or cliche?[12:00] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: 3 Ways to Uncover Your Story's Theme PDFP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/31/202014 minutes, 47 seconds
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Bonus: Ask Savannah (Listener Q&A)

In today's extra special bonus episode, I'm going to answer some questions from you guys! Here's a quick overview of what we talk about in this episode:[01:30] Joe Larkin asks, "Do you have a general rule of thumb for how long a scene should be?"[02:45] Margo Geary asks, "Your job sounds really awesome! How do you become an editor or book coach?"[04:45] Julia Pentrose asks, "I get why info-dumping isn't a good idea, but how do you get your character's backstory or worldbuilding details in your story without info-dumping? Isn't that stuff important to show the reader?" [08:15] Karen Stroud asks, "I've heard that head-hopping is bad, but can you explain what head-hopping is and why exactly is it bad?"[12:00] James K. asks, "I read your blog post on creating an Ideal Reader Profile for your story and I have a question. What happens if you end up with an unplanned subplot or if your story takes a dif turn than what you were planning and you realize now that your ideal reader doesn't align with the direction your story has taken?"Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!Links Mentioned in this Episode:Story Grid Editor Certification CourseAuthor Accelerator Book Coach Certification CourseHow to Handle Character Backstory in Your Novel (blog post)My Notes to Novel Program (online course for writers)Join the Fiction Writing Made Easy Facebook CommunityIf you don't have Facebook, you can submit your question here.P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/24/202016 minutes, 42 seconds
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How to Identify Your Story's Ideal Reader

In this episode, we're going to talk about your story's ideal reader -- or the one person who is going to love your book just as much as you do. Here's a quick overview of what we talk about in this episode:[01:00] What is an ideal reader? And why does your ideal reader matter?[02:20] How understanding your ideal reader can help you write with purpose and edit with focus.[03:15] How understanding your ideal reader can help you when it comes time to pitch agents and market your book.[04:45] Meet my ideal reader, Sage, and hear how she helps me cut through the noise and stay focused[06:45] How one writer's ideal reader helped her get back on track after making big changes in her manuscript[09:20] 10 questions to help you identify your story's ideal reader [12:45] What about everyone else? What if I want my story to appeal to everyone?[14:15] Should each of my stories have a different ideal reader? Or would all my stories share the same ideal reader?[15:25] Key points and a recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance--I really appreciate it!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: How to Identify Your Story's Ideal Reader PDFP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/24/202018 minutes
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How to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story

In this episode, we're going to talk about genre -- specifically how to choose the primary (or global) genre for your story. Here's a quick overview of what we talk about in this episode:[01:30] What's the difference between commercial genres and content genres (aka the reader's genre and the writer's genre)? And why you should care about BOTH.[05:00] What's the difference between plot-driven stories and character-driven stories? And what are the 12 content genres?[07:00] A special note for science fiction and fantasy authors (if you're writing speculative fiction, you don't want to miss this!)[08:45] Why you need to choose one primary genre for your story -- and how this can actually make the writing, editing, and publishing process SO MUCH EASIER.[09:45] 5 questions to help you choose the main genre for your story. [17:30] Once you've identified your story's global genre, what's next? Here's a preview of how your story's genre can help you write a stronger first draft.[20:30] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance--I really appreciate it!Links mentioned in this episode:The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know book by Shawn CoyneEpisode Freebie: How to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story PDFP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/17/202023 minutes, 21 seconds
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The #1 Myth That Holds Writers Back

In this episode, we're going to talk about the biggest myth that holds writers back and what to do about it if you're falling prey to this myth. Here's a quick overview of what we talk about in this episode:[01:00] How do you know if you're falling prey to this myth? Here are 3 scenarios that might signal to you that you need to address the belief at the root of this myth. Which scenario best describes your writing practice?[03:00] The #1 myth that holds writers back (it's probably not what you think!)[03:30] A real-life example of a writer who almost gave up on her writing because she believed in this myth. Don't worry, it has a happy ending![06:45] Where does this myth come from? Why do we believe this myth? [08:00] Strategies for combatting this insidious myth and how unwinding this belief can help you write a stronger, more focused draft.[11:15] A new and improved definition of what it means to write a story. An example of what this looks like in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.[13:25] Key points and a recap of the episode.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance--I really appreciate it!Links mentioned in this episode:The Story Genius book by Lisa CronEpisode Freebie: The 3 Questions to Help You Uncover Your Story PDFP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/17/202016 minutes, 4 seconds
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How to Decide Which Story Idea to Write Next

In this episode, we're going to talk about how to choose between multiple story ideas, or how to decide which story idea to write next. Here's a quick overview of what we talk about in this episode:[01:20] Two reasons why taking the time to flesh out your story ideas before you start writing a single word will save you time, energy, and frustration.[02:15] 5 questions to help you decide between two or more story ideas.[03:15] An example from a real-life writer who was torn between a "for fun" romance novel and a "more serious" memoir. "Which one should I choose?"[06:15] What happens when your idea doesn't have enough "meat" to support a full-length novel (hint: it almost always has to do with a lack of conflict).[07:30] What's the difference between a topic and an idea? And how do you determine whether you have a topic (aka part of an idea) or an actual story idea?[08:50] If you have a topic, you can turn it into an idea that can support a full-length novel by asking yourself these key questions.[10:00] What's next? Here's how identifying your genre can help you further flesh out your idea and understand your next steps.[10:40] Key points and episode recap.Subscribe & Review in Apple PodcastsAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance--I really appreciate it!Links mentioned in this episode:Episode Freebie: How to Choose Which Story Idea to Write Next PDFP.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/17/202013 minutes, 11 seconds
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Introducing the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast!

Weekly writing tips from a developmental editor and book coach.My name is Savannah Gilbo and I'm a fiction editor and book coach. Every day, I help people, just like you, write, edit, and publish their books.I started this podcast because I want to prove that writing a novel doesn't have to be scary and overwhelming. Every week, I'll bring you a brand new episode with simple, actionable, and step-by-step strategies that you can implement in your writing right away.So, whether you're brand new to writing, or a more seasoned author looking to improve your craft, this podcast is for you! So pick up a pen and let's get started!For more writing tips, or to learn more about the show, head on over to https://www.savannahgilbo.com.P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!Support the showWant to support the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast? Click here to show your support, starting at $3/month >
3/10/20202 minutes, 37 seconds