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Rank #172 in Books category

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The Writership Podcast Editing Tips For Fiction Authors

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #172 in Books category

Arts
Business
Books
Read more

On the Writership Podcast, professional book editors Leslie Watts critiques five pages of fiction from writers who are, or soon hope to be, traditionally or independently published. The submissions come from actual authors who understand they may need help seeing the flaws in their stories and are brave enough to share this experience so that you might improve your writing too.

Read more

On the Writership Podcast, professional book editors Leslie Watts critiques five pages of fiction from writers who are, or soon hope to be, traditionally or independently published. The submissions come from actual authors who understand they may need help seeing the flaws in their stories and are brave enough to share this experience so that you might improve your writing too.

iTunes Ratings

90 Ratings
Average Ratings
76
9
2
3
0

Started great

By Bwholeton - Mar 22 2019
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I am a new listener but have gone through all of the available episodes and have to say that in my opinion this podcast was wonderful in the earlier episodes when it was more like a conversation between two people about the subject instead of a sermon being preached by one person.

best writing podcast ever

By JollyRancherCommandr - Sep 12 2017
Read more
love her voice, win, the tips help too

iTunes Ratings

90 Ratings
Average Ratings
76
9
2
3
0

Started great

By Bwholeton - Mar 22 2019
Read more
I am a new listener but have gone through all of the available episodes and have to say that in my opinion this podcast was wonderful in the earlier episodes when it was more like a conversation between two people about the subject instead of a sermon being preached by one person.

best writing podcast ever

By JollyRancherCommandr - Sep 12 2017
Read more
love her voice, win, the tips help too

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Cover image of The Writership Podcast Editing Tips For Fiction Authors

The Writership Podcast Editing Tips For Fiction Authors

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

On the Writership Podcast, professional book editors Leslie Watts critiques five pages of fiction from writers who are, or soon hope to be, traditionally or independently published. The submissions come from actual authors who understand they may need help seeing the flaws in their stories and are brave enough to share this experience so that you might improve your writing too.

Episode 77: Snow Like Ashes: Literary Short Story Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of Brian McWilliams’s “Snow Like Ashes” an as yet unpublished literary fiction short story. They discuss short stories, character arcs, conflict, and narrative identity. Special notice: This story contains some disturbing scenes involving the situations that firefighters experience.

Sep 14 2016

45mins

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Episode 93: The Writer’s Internal Genre

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark talk about the internal genre for your journey as a writer. As writers, we face resistance in different forms (we hit a snag in our project, life throws us a curve ball). These unexpected events are opportunities to become derailed or renew our commitment to our work. Leslie and Clark explore what you can do to stay on track.

Feb 15 2017

34mins

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Episode 102: How to Choose Your Story's Point of View

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In this episode, fiction editors Leslie and Clark discuss point of view (POV) in their critique of “The Second Prayer: A Confession for the Dead,” a thriller short story by David L. Storm. The POV is the filter through which the reader experiences your story: Each option has advantages and disadvantages and can produce vastly different results. In this week’s editorial mission, Leslie and Clark share a list of questions to ask when you choose the POV for your first draft and later when you revise your draft. Check out the show notes at Writership.org/episodes for the complete story and written critique.

May 18 2017

47mins

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Episode 76: The Automatic Author: Literary Science Fiction Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of Marcelo Mendes’s “The Automatic Author” an as yet unpublished literary science fiction short story. They discuss short stories, economy of words, where to start your story, and ways to evoke feelings.

Aug 31 2016

41mins

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Episode 3 - Last Search: Mystery Critique

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In this episode, Alyssa and Leslie critique the opening pages of a mystery novel in progress. They discuss: tense, point of view, consistency in characterization, dialect in dialogue, permissions and copyright issues, and touch on the issue of showing versus telling.

Apr 28 2015

39mins

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Episode 73: Feathers of the Phoenix: Historical Fantasy Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of J.T. Morse's Feathers of the Phoenix, an as yet unpublished historical fantasy novel. They discuss point of view, the omniscient narrator, word choice, and accents.

Aug 10 2016

39mins

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Ep. 131 Analyzing Your Scenes

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You’ve written lots of scenes for your work in progress, but how do you know whether they work? In this episode, Story Grid Certified editor Leslie Watts shows you how to analyze your scenes by looking at the opening of AW Moyer’s YA fantasy story, The Grim Book.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write better stories. In a typical episode, my guest-host and I critique a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. These writers want to find out what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. At the end of the episode, I’ll share an editorial mission to help you apply the topic we’ve discussed, so you can improve your writing too.

Click here to learn more about the podcast, read the full show notes, and grab this week’s editorial mission.

Jul 08 2018

58mins

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Episode 71: Daughter of the Flood: Magical Realism Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of Chrishaun Keller-Hanna's “Daughter of the Flood,” an as yet unpublished magical realism story. They discuss identifying characters, dialogue tags, setting, and strong verbs. 

Jul 20 2016

38mins

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Episode 101: Check Your Narrative Distance

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In this episode, fiction editors Leslie and Clark critique the beginning of Osweyth, an epic fantasy novel inspired by Cornish folklore by J M Hudson. They discuss narrative distance, omniscient point of view, and moving smoothly between vantage points. They also talked about the weather as a character in the story, lush prose, sentence and paragraph length, and commas. The editorial mission asks you to check your narrative distance, that is how close your reader is to the character or narrator. 

May 10 2017

42mins

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Episode 124: Your Character’s Internal Journey

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In this episode, Certified Story Grid editors Leslie Watts and Rebecca Monterusso critique “The Flight,” a science fiction short story by Scott Adam Gordon. They discuss the internal journey or change that characters experience as a result of external events in a story. Leslie and Rebecca then uncover which internal genres might be present in “The Flight.” This week’s editorial mission offers questions to help you identify and craft the internal change at work in your stories. 

Jan 04 2018

1hr 3mins

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Episode 24 - The Feedback Loop, Cyberpunk Techno Thriller Critique

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Alyssa & Leslie critique the first section of Harmon Cooper’s The Feedback Loop. They discuss how the POV and tense works for the genre, repetitive sentence structure, and dialogue (and its punctuation).

Aug 19 2015

28mins

Play

Episode 116: The Five Commandments of Story with Shawn Coyne

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In this episode, Leslie is joined by Shawn Coyne, the author of T_he Story Grid: What Good Editors Know_. They discuss the five commandments of story in the context of chapter five of Animal Farm by George Orwell and what makes this story a great one to analyze. The five commandments (the inciting incident, progressive complications, crisis question, climax, and resolution) provide the basic structure for your global story, but also your acts, sequences, and scenes, like nesting dolls. If you learn to execute the five commandments in your story, you’ll become a better writer. This week’s mission encourages you to look for the five commandments in one of your favorite stories, and then use them to plan or revise your own work-in-progress.

Oct 19 2017

1hr 14mins

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128. How to Take Your Story from Pretty Good to WOW!

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In this episode, Story Grid certified editors Leslie Watts and Lori Puma critique “Night Fishing,” a coming of age short story by Kevin Glasgow. They discuss how to take your story from pretty good to WOW.

You’ll discover specific tools to improve a story that’s already working by enhancing the elements of your genre and style to focus on your ideal reader’s specific expectations. You’ll also hear about ways to connect the protagonist’s external and internal journeys by showing what the former means to them.

For the full show notes, visit Writership.com.

Jun 15 2018

1hr 9mins

Play

Episode 5 - Think Tank: Middle Grade Fantasy Short Story Critique

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In this episode, Alyssa and Leslie critique an excerpt from a middle grade fantasy book. They discuss: point of view/head hopping, passive voice, streamlining language for impact, echoes, strengthening verbs, and hesitant words.

Apr 28 2015

31mins

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Episode 109: Where to Begin Your Story?

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In this episode, fiction editors Leslie and Clark critique the prologue and first chapter of From the Flame, a fantasy novel by Kristen Franklin. They discuss where to begin your story. If all the events of the protagonist’s life were laid out in front of you, which is the most powerful moment to use for chapter one? 

Aug 07 2017

47mins

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Episode 78: Me and My Bacon: YA Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of Ceanmohrlass’s Me and My Bacon a published YA novel. They discuss the passage of time, setting as it relates to the characters, and the characteristic moment.

Sep 21 2016

41mins

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Episode 6 - Looking in Shadows: Crime/Thriller Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Alyssa critique an excerpt from a crime/thriller novel in progress. They discuss what’s working for the unconventional opening, dive deeper into active openings, and ask for clues about the protagonist’s competence. They go on to discuss varying sentence structure, the creation of new words, and what to avoid with elaborate dialogue tags.

Apr 28 2015

21mins

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Episode 74: Hanna's Hearts: Romance/Science Fiction Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of Bobbie Carlton-Hess's Hanna's Hearts, an as yet unpublished Romance/Science Fiction novel. They discuss backstory and ways to convey what's important for the reader to know as well as polarizing topics. 

Aug 17 2016

40mins

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Episode 67 - Hypnotic Destiny: YA Fantasy Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of Charlie Reale’s Hypnotic Destiny, an as yet unpublished YA Fantasy. They discuss fight scenes, character thoughts and reactions, point of view as it relates to character description, setting, and strong verbs.

Jun 15 2016

39mins

Play

Episode 94: Edge of the Future: Science Fiction Critique

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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the first chapter of Edge of the Future, a science fiction novel by Andria Stone. They discuss ways to reveal character, including thoughts, reactions to events, and reactions from other characters. One thing to consider (especially in science fiction or fantasy) is how to convey what’s normal for the wider culture and within particular groups. This week’s editorial mission will help you make your characters unique. 

Feb 22 2017

39mins

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Ep. 138 World Building

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In this episode, Story Grid certified editor Leslie Watts takes a small detour from the usual format to discuss World Building, the way you craft the domain your characters inhabit. She offers several exercises to help improve your story by strengthening your world.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write a better story. In a typical episode, Leslie critiques a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. They understand they may need help seeing what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. Each episode comes with an editorial mission to apply the topic discussed so you can improve your writing too.

Click here for the full show notes.

Feb 08 2019

26mins

Play

Ep. 137 Strengthen Your Setting

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In this episode, Story Grid certified editor Leslie Watts takes a small detour from the usual format to discuss story setting, the place and time where your character gets into and hopefully out of trouble. She offered three exercises to help strengthen your setting and story.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write a better story. In every episode, Leslie critiques a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. They understand they may need help seeing what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. Each episode comes with an editorial mission to apply the topic discussed so you can improve your writing too.

Click here for the full show notes.

Jan 25 2019

22mins

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Ep. 136 Resolutions

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We all have some idea of what a resolution is, but what are these scene- and story-enders meant to do? In this episode, Story Grid certified editor Leslie Watts explores scene and story resolutions in the context of C. Gabriel Wright’s LBGTQ love story, “Someone.” The editorial mission encourages you to collect resolutions by reading and watching stories—and from your own life.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write a better story. In each episode, Leslie critiques a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. They understand they may need help seeing what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. Each episode comes with an editorial mission to apply the topic discussed so you can improve your writing too.

Click here for the full show notes.

Jan 18 2019

49mins

Play

Ep. 135 Scene and Story Climaxes

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What are story and scene climaxes? Why do you need them? In this episode, Story Grid certified editor Leslie Watts discusses the decisions your characters make, as well as the actions they take, when faced with a dilemma. You’ll hear Matt Bizzel’s horror story, "A Window Out: Or, the Accidental Death of Frank Ortiz" and Leslie’s analysis of the scene. The editorial mission encourages you to collect examples of these critical decisions and actions by reading and watching stories—and from your own life.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write a better story. In every episode, Leslie critiques a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. They understand they may need help seeing what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. Each episode comes with an editorial mission to apply the topic discussed so you can improve your writing too.

Click here for the full show notes.

Jan 11 2019

47mins

Play

Ep. 134 Crisis Questions for Your Scenes

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What are crisis questions? Why do our stories and scenes need them? In this episode, Story Grid certified editor Leslie Watts discusses the dilemmas your characters face on the way to scene and story resolutions in the context of the opening of Jerry Dawson’s science fiction story, Meteor. The editorial mission encourages you to collect crisis questions by reading and watching stories—and from your own life.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write a better story. In every episode, Leslie critiques a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. They understand they may need help seeing what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. Each episode comes with an editorial mission to apply the topic discussed so you can improve your writing too.

Click here for the full show notes.

Oct 20 2018

46mins

Play

Ep. 133 Progressive Complications for Your Scenes

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What are progressive complications? Why do our stories and scenes need them? This week, Story Grid Certified editor Leslie Watts discusses the people, places, things, and events that stand between your characters and their goals within the context of the opening of Anna Ferguson’s YA science fiction novel, The Empire of Saffron. The editorial mission encourages you to collect progressive complications by reading and watching stories—and from your own life.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write a better story. In every episode, Leslie critiques a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. They understand they may need help seeing what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. Each episode comes with an editorial mission to apply the topic discussed so you can improve your writing too.

Click here for the full show notes.

Sep 28 2018

57mins

Play

Ep. 132 Inciting Incidents for Your Scenes

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What are inciting incidents? Why do our stories and scenes need them? What are the elements of a solid inciting incident? This week, Story Grid Certified editor Leslie Watts discusses these story event catalysts in the context of the opening of Drew Horstman’s fantasy novel, Nicholas Crumb. The editorial mission encourages you to collect inciting incidents by reading and watching stories—and from your own life.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write a better story. In every episode, Leslie critiques a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. They understand they may need help seeing what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. Each episode comes with an editorial mission to apply the topic discussed so you can improve your writing too.

Click here for the full show notes.

Aug 31 2018

46mins

Play

Ep. 131 Analyzing Your Scenes

Podcast cover
Read more

You’ve written lots of scenes for your work in progress, but how do you know whether they work? In this episode, Story Grid Certified editor Leslie Watts shows you how to analyze your scenes by looking at the opening of AW Moyer’s YA fantasy story, The Grim Book.

The Writership Podcast is designed to help you develop self-editing skills and write better stories. In a typical episode, my guest-host and I critique a fiction submission from a real writer who is, or hopes to be, a published author. These writers want to find out what's working and not in their stories and are brave enough to share the experience. At the end of the episode, I’ll share an editorial mission to help you apply the topic we’ve discussed, so you can improve your writing too.

Click here to learn more about the podcast, read the full show notes, and grab this week’s editorial mission.

Jul 08 2018

58mins

Play

130. Writing with Abandon with Grant Faulkner

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In this episode, Story Grid certified editor Leslie Watts discusses writing with abandon with Grant Faulkner, the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month. They talk about what it means to write with abandon, how to go about it, and why it’s important. In lieu of an editorial mission, Grant shares the word sprint, an old NaNoWriMo practice to help you get your words down—just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.

Click here for the full show notes.

Jun 29 2018

56mins

Play

Ep. 129 Essential and Literal Action in Your Scenes

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In this episode, Story Grid Certified Editors Leslie Watts and Anne Hawley discuss literal and essential action in the context of “Madeline,” a short horror story by Nathaniel Patterson.

They show you how to identify the essential action (the character’s scene goal) and literal action (what the character does to achieve it) within your own scenes. You’ll find out why the essential action should be consistent and aligned with the character’s story goal (or conscious object of desire). In the editorial mission, they encourage you to identify the essential and literal action of a scene from a story you love, as well as one from your own work in progress.

Click here for the full show notes.

Jun 22 2018

59mins

Play

128. How to Take Your Story from Pretty Good to WOW!

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Read more

In this episode, Story Grid certified editors Leslie Watts and Lori Puma critique “Night Fishing,” a coming of age short story by Kevin Glasgow. They discuss how to take your story from pretty good to WOW.

You’ll discover specific tools to improve a story that’s already working by enhancing the elements of your genre and style to focus on your ideal reader’s specific expectations. You’ll also hear about ways to connect the protagonist’s external and internal journeys by showing what the former means to them.

For the full show notes, visit Writership.com.

Jun 15 2018

1hr 9mins

Play

127. Meeting Reader Expectations for Your Fiction Sales Category

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Leslie welcomes James Thorn, an author of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction and Story Grid Certified editor, to discuss how you can discover reader expectations related to your sales category.

They consider how dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction are the same and different, and which must-have elements will help you tell a satisfying story. The editorial mission encourages you to discover the specific sales category expectations for your story, whether it's dystopian fiction, a category romance, a character-driven literary novel, or something in between.

Click here for the full show notes.

Apr 13 2018

52mins

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126. Second Person Point of View

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Intrepid editors Leslie Watts and Anne Hawley talk about when you might want to use second person point of view in the context of David Austin's short story "All American."

This week's editorial mission challenges you to experiment with this rare point of view to see what insights can be gained from the unique perspective it affords.

Click here for the full show notes.

Apr 03 2018

1hr 17mins

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Episode 125: Putting Your Writing First with Mark McGuinness

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In this episode, Leslie talks with poet and creative coach Mark McGuinness from the 21st Century Creative podcast about why it’s important to put your writing first—both for you personally and for your creative career. The editorial mission asks you to write something you might not expect. 

Jan 11 2018

1hr 12mins

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Episode 124: Your Character’s Internal Journey

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In this episode, Certified Story Grid editors Leslie Watts and Rebecca Monterusso critique “The Flight,” a science fiction short story by Scott Adam Gordon. They discuss the internal journey or change that characters experience as a result of external events in a story. Leslie and Rebecca then uncover which internal genres might be present in “The Flight.” This week’s editorial mission offers questions to help you identify and craft the internal change at work in your stories. 

Jan 04 2018

1hr 3mins

Play

Epside 123: Leslie's Approach to Editing and Why You Need to Tell Your Story

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In this episode, Certified Story Grid editor Leslie Watts and Writership’s first officer, Liz Green, discuss the way things have changed around the podcast and answer some burning questions about the Story Grid, Leslie’s approach to editing, and why you need to tell your story.

Dec 14 2017

1hr 2mins

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Episode 122: Do Your Scenes Contain Conflict?

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In this episode, Certified Story Grid editors Leslie Watts and Courtney Harrell critique the first chapter of Seeker, a science fiction novella within the Chaos Nova universe by Smith & Kaos. They discuss conflict within stories and scenes.

Antagonistic forces and obstacles are necessary elements of stories because change within a character comes as the result of dealing with conflict. It is the vehicle through which they change over the course of the entire story, but also incrementally, scene by scene.

Conflicts delay the resolution of every unit of story (scene, sequence, act, story). If the character achieves a goal for the unit of story without effort or worry, then tension drops and narrative drive wanes. Even if your story overall has great conflict, you’ll tell a better story if each scene contains robust conflict as well.

This week’s editorial mission shows you how to analyze your scenes for conflict so you can make things as tough as possible for your characters.

Nov 30 2017

59mins

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Episode 121: Structure for Character-Driven or Literary Stories

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In this episode, fiction editors Leslie Watts and Rachelle Ramirez critique “How I Stumbled into the Golden Cage,” a short story by Jose Arroyo. They discuss genre and how stories that emphasize the protagonist’s inner journey still need structure.

Writers of literary stories can use the steps in the Kubler-Ross grief process to plan and revise the structure of their stories and may find it’s a better fit than other systems suited to more active stories. Even if you’ve written a thriller or an action story, you can use the Kubler-Ross steps to follow your protagonist’s inner journey alongside whatever structure you use for the external events of the story.

One challenge writers face with character-driven stories is how to demonstrate the inner shifts the character experiences without over-relying on thoughts and telling. Leslie and Rachelle talk about ways to dramatize internal events to evoke certain emotions in your reader.

This week’s editorial mission encourages you to use the Kubler-Ross steps to check your protagonist’s internal journey and be sure the important events are present and adequately dramatized.

Nov 20 2017

55mins

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Episode 120: Crisis Questions

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In this episode, fiction editors Leslie Watts and Valerie Francis analyze a scene from Lock and Key: the first book in The Essence Riven Trilogy by Emily Bowie. They discuss the crisis question, a moment in a scene when a question arises for the POV character. To keep the story moving, your scenes should turn, more specifically, it should become more or less likely that the protagonist will get what they want and need. When the turn happens within the scene, it’s a natural time for the protagonist or POV character to decide how to respond to the change. This week’s editorial mission will help you identify or add these questions and make them stronger to support your story.

Nov 15 2017

55mins

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Episode 119: Scene Value Shifts

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In this episode, Certified Story Grid Editors Leslie Watts and Jay Peters critique the beginning of “What Lives Beneath,” a short story by A.V. Herzberg. The author’s synopsis for the story suggests that the main genre could be Obsession Love Story or Horror. Leslie and Jay talk about how those genres can be translated into story values (in other words, the external change that happens from the beginning to the end of the story). Then they analyze the scene in the submission, including how the scene value changes from beginning to end. Then they discuss ways to strengthen the scene by bringing the value shift into closer alignment with the overall story. This week’s editorial mission challenges you to compare the value shifts in your scene to see how they relate to your global story.

Nov 06 2017

1hr 10mins

Play