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Rank #78 in Books category

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The Creative Writer's Toolbelt

Updated 7 days ago

Rank #78 in Books category

Arts
Books
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The Creative Writers Toolbelt gives practical accessible advice and encouragement to Creative writers.Each episode explores an aspect of creative writing technique, with examples, allowing you to apply what you learn immediately to your writing. We also throw in the occasional interview with writers and other artists, exploring their wisdom on subjects like story, style, character and the writing process

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The Creative Writers Toolbelt gives practical accessible advice and encouragement to Creative writers.Each episode explores an aspect of creative writing technique, with examples, allowing you to apply what you learn immediately to your writing. We also throw in the occasional interview with writers and other artists, exploring their wisdom on subjects like story, style, character and the writing process

iTunes Ratings

62 Ratings
Average Ratings
52
4
3
2
1

Excellent resource for new writers

By NewYA writer - Sep 13 2019
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Very clear and well presented practical tools and techniques given with clear example. Great structure to the podcast summing up at end resources and techniques explored. Starting at the beginning each builds into the next. Great backtracking at the start to refresh what was covered previously. Excellent resource!

Informative and Not Dull

By BiGGPaINS - Jun 06 2019
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I really enjoy this podcast. I wish they put out more than one a month. It’s a great listen. Keep up the good work!

iTunes Ratings

62 Ratings
Average Ratings
52
4
3
2
1

Excellent resource for new writers

By NewYA writer - Sep 13 2019
Read more
Very clear and well presented practical tools and techniques given with clear example. Great structure to the podcast summing up at end resources and techniques explored. Starting at the beginning each builds into the next. Great backtracking at the start to refresh what was covered previously. Excellent resource!

Informative and Not Dull

By BiGGPaINS - Jun 06 2019
Read more
I really enjoy this podcast. I wish they put out more than one a month. It’s a great listen. Keep up the good work!
Cover image of The Creative Writer's Toolbelt

The Creative Writer's Toolbelt

Latest release on Jan 16, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 7 days ago

Rank #1: Episode 47 - Get 'em off the couch! Goals motivation and passion as the driving forces for your characters

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Jeanne Cavelos, the Director of the Odyssey Writing Workshop says that the number one piece of advice she gives to writers is this: give your character a goal. It's so easy for us to create pet characters who just sit on the couch, docile and useless in our story. We may love these creations but they slow the narrative, and bore the reader. So how do we get our characters engaged, and working with our story not against it? Simple, we follow Jeanne's advice and give them a goal (or goals), as well as some strong motivation, and a driving passion as part of who they are.

Oct 15 2015

12mins

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Rank #2: Episode 149 Cops and Writers! Tips for authoring your police procedural with Wendy H Jones and Sergeant Patrick O'Donnell

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One of the most popular genres for fiction writers is the murder mystery or police procedural. But this is also a genre where writers can easily get things wrong. In this episode I'm joined by crime writer Wendy H Jones and we speak to Patrick O’Donnell, a serving officer with 25 years of experience in a large city police department in the US. In this conversation we cover: responding to a homicide, the arrest and court process, hostage situations, and what writers usually get wrong with police work.

Nov 02 2019

1hr 24mins

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Rank #3: Episode 89 - Power up your prose! Making sentences paragraphs and scenes work for you

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In this episode we look at the way in which the building blocks of prose: the sentence, the paragraph, and the scene, work. We explore the fundamental principle that drives all of them, and how you can use these structural tools to enhance your work and captivate your reader

Jan 07 2017

18mins

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Rank #4: Episode 141 So why did it take you 10 years to write this book? And other awkward questions for writers

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This episode features a conversation with me about my book "The Centauri Survivors" which is published today, and explores some of the lessons any author can learn as publication day approaches. I'm the guest for this one and the questions are being asked by my friend Wendy H. Jones. In this episode we explore issues like: the biggest mistakes I made along the way, the difficult decisions I had to make in editing, and why every author, however experienced they are, gets nervous just before publication.

Aug 01 2019

28mins

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Rank #5: Episode 39 - Harnessing the power of human psychology for your story

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In this episode we start to explore the third of the six stages of story, and answer the question: how can we make this tricky middle section of our work as compelling and excellent as possible? The answer comes from knowing one of the fundamental truths of human psychology: we all love a challenge, and we all love to see others challenged. This episode explores how to harness this truth in the third stage of story, and capture readers and keep them all the way through to the end.

Jun 25 2015

17mins

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Rank #6: Episode 100: Reflecting on the best advice and insight from one hundred episodes of the Creative Writer's Toolbelt with writer editor and fellow podcaster Sarah Werner

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After just over three years the Creative Writer's Toolbelt reaches 100 episodes! To mark the occasion I'm reflecting on some of the best advice and insight I've received over that time, and to do that I am joined by writer, editor, speaker and fellow podcaster Sarah Werner. In our conversation I ask Sarah some great questions(!) and we reflect on story structure, character, setting, genre, research and the writers life. I'll also give you an update on the Handbook, which is due out in October, and there's news about the "Writer's Jumpstart" conference which is in London on November 11th, where I will be speaking with Scottish Crime writer Wendy H Jones.

May 20 2017

49mins

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Rank #7: Episode 53 - Perfecting the devil. How to create a deliciously wicked antagonist

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This episode is all about the protagonist's nemesis, the antagonist. Traditionally seen as 'the bad guy' the antagonist's real function in a story is to contend with, and oppose, the protagonist at every step. In this episode we look at ways in which the antagonist can have their own character arc, with some characters switching into or out of the antagonist's role. We'll also look at the five strategies you can use to create the delicious antagonist, from a painful but convincing backstory to a personal connection with the protagonist, and from a firm belief in their own cause to good behaviour and an excellent dress sense. Welcome to the dark side of your story!

Jan 07 2016

16mins

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Rank #8: Episode 145: Own it! How to take charge of your own destiny as a writer with Abidemi Sanusi

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My guest for this episode is Abidemi Sanusi. Abidemi is a Nigerian born former human rights worker turned author, and has been writing and publishing books across multiple genres for fifteen years. Her novel, Eyo, about a 10 year old girl trafficked to the UK with promises of a better life, was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. She's also the founder of abidemi.tv, the website for ambitious writers', and she provides business success templates for freelance writers. A self-confessed tech geek, she is also the founder of writethemes.com - gorgeous Wordpress themes for writers that turn their Wordpress website visitors into paying fans.

Sep 10 2019

1hr 4mins

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Rank #9: Episode 52 - Superfood for the writer's brain

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In this episode, released on Christmas Day 2015, we take time out from the usual teaching and interviews for a few minutes to reflect on the relentless nature of the writer's life. Maybe the best way to keep up the pace with our writing is to take a break and give something back to that creative part of our brain that we've worked so hard. The festive season is a particularly good time to indulge in some "Superfood" for our minds, and reawaken the wonder and curiosity again.

Dec 25 2015

6mins

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Rank #10: Episode 60 'Writing the Other' with Nisi Shawl and Daniel José Older

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How should we present characters from a range of different backgrounds in our work? How can we portray these characters with integrity and respect, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and ability? And how can we navigate this issue with confidence, especially if we come from a group that is perceived to be privileged? Most us will need to present characters in our work who are not like us in some which is socially determined as important. So for example differences in race, and gender, and sexual orientation are currently determined by society as important. Dealing with these differences is the critical cultural issue for writers today, and to help us tackle it, I've invited the writer and journalist Nisi Shawl (www.nisishawl.com), and the writer, composer and musician Daniel José Older (www.danieljoseolder.net), to join me on the Creative Writer's Toolbelt. This conversation is essential listening for anyone who is serious about dealing successfully with the challenge of 'writing the other'.

Mar 30 2016

1hr 1min

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Rank #11: Episode 20 - Building a story from the ground up

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It's time to start planning that story, but with so many aspects to creative writing and the creative process being such a subjective and mysterious thing, how do you plan? In this episode we explore the dimensions to a story and how to balance the discipline of structure with the flexibility to harness imagination

Oct 18 2014

11mins

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Rank #12: Episode 122 - You’re not reading you're performing! A conversation with audiobook narrator Sean Pratt

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"It's a performance, not a reading", so says audio narration expert Sean Pratt. Sean has 30 years experience as an actor and voice-over artist, and in 22 years as an audiobook narrator, he has worked on close to 1,000 projects. In this episode, he lifts the lid on the audiobook business and gives us writers some expert tips on speaking well at public events, including book readings. He also tells us what an author needs to know if they decide to narrate their own book.

Jun 13 2018

49mins

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Rank #13: Episode 97 - If you only get one thing right in your writing make it this

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As of this month (April 2017) I’m working hard on the Creative Writer's Toolbelt Handbook. As I look back on nearly 100 episodes I’ve realized that there's one fundamental thing we writers have to do to create great work, and it's this: be authentic! In this episode we explore what it is to be authentic, and we look at some practical tools to achieve that authenticity.

Apr 03 2017

17mins

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Rank #14: Episode 21 The Fundamentals of Plot

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We've started on the process of building a story from the ground up, and we're going to kick off with plot. In this episode we look at three aspects of plot: the shape of the story, the engine of the plot, and the danger of cliches

Nov 01 2014

13mins

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Rank #15: Episode 36 - The DNA of Story. The six stage model of great storylines

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How do stories work? What are the stages in a story, and what are the objectives of those different stages? Understanding the answers to these questions will help you understand the way a great story can be constructed. In this episode we delve a bit deeper into the concept of the six stage story process, and show how this model represents the DNA of great stories, and how you can apply the model to inform and improve your writing

May 16 2015

15mins

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Rank #16: Episode 57 - Outstanding performance in a supporting role - making your supporting characters excellent

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It's no surprise that many of the principles that we use to develop our lead characters also apply to our supporting cast. The critical objectives with our supporting characters are the same, we need to create characters with a strong, believable essence, and clear goals and motivation, and then we need to deploy them effectively to support both the main characters and the story. We can do this by ensuring these characters have a strong backstory, even if they have just a walk on part, and we can draw on a range of sources including our imagination, caricature, and people we know in real life to build the composite character for our story.

Feb 18 2016

15mins

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Rank #17: Episode 3 - Sparse and Specific Description

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How to use a small number of very specific descriptive cues to show your reader both scene and character

Feb 16 2014

11mins

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Rank #18: Episode 124 A conversation with Book Coach and Literary Agent Sandra O'Donnell (Part 1 of 2)

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This episode is a conversation with Dr Sandra O'Donnell, founding partner of RO Literary. Sandra is a book coach and literary agent, and author of "Your first fifteen pages" an agent's guide to writing a novel that editors will publish and readers will buy. This is the first of two episodes featuring my conversation with Sandra; in this episode, we look at where submissions go wrong, the essential ingredients for the first fifteen pages of your novel, and what readers really want.

Jul 29 2018

43mins

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Rank #19: Episode 125 A conversation with Book Coach and Literary Agent Sandra O'Donnell (Part 2 of 2)

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This episode is the second part of a conversation I had with Dr Sandra O'Donnell, founding partner of RO Literary. Sandra is a book coach and literary agent, and author of "Your first fifteen pages" an agent's guide to writing a novel that editors will publish and readers will buy. In this episode, we look at how the 'why' of your novel has to hook the reader, how character and place work with the inciting incident and Sandra gives us her advice on mastering 3rd person Point of View in the ensemble story. We also discuss three of the most useful tools a writer can use: Airtable, Grammarly, and Story Grid.

Aug 03 2018

43mins

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Rank #20: Episode 110 - Why writing is hard work and how to keep doing it anyway

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In this episode we explore the unavoidable truth that writing is really hard work. We look at why that is the case and think about ways to acknowledge this truth, and keep writing anyway. We learn the one fundamental truth about writing that everyone from the most obscure writer to the likes of Stephen King will tell you, and we identify three 'tools' for the toolbelt to help us keep going with our writing even when it's tough going.

Jan 11 2018

16mins

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