Cover image of The Writership Podcast Editing Tips For Fiction Authors
(95)
Arts
Business
Books

The Writership Podcast Editing Tips For Fiction Authors

Updated 2 months ago

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

95 Ratings
Average Ratings
80
10
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

iTunes Ratings

95 Ratings
Average Ratings
80
10
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
Cover image of The Writership Podcast Editing Tips For Fiction Authors

The Writership Podcast Editing Tips For Fiction Authors

Latest release on Feb 08, 2019

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.

Rank #1: Episode 3 - Last Search: Mystery Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #2: Episode 109: Where to Begin Your Story?

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #3: Episode 52 - Hard Reboot, Dystopian YA Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

Alyssa & Leslie critique the prologue and opening of chapter one from JF Erickson’s Hard Reboot. They discuss worldbuilding, advanced dialogue punctuation, maintaining tension, and stage direction.

Mar 02 2016

36mins

Play

Rank #4: Episode 56 - Mystery at Blackstone’s Stables, Historical Mystery Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

Alyssa & Leslie critique the opening of Saralee Etter’s Mystery at Blackstone’s Stables, and discuss deft character descriptions, bridging tension, and setting.

Apr 01 2016

34mins

Play

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #6: 128. How to Take Your Story from Pretty Good to WOW!

Podcast cover
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

Rank #7: Episode 50 - Feather the Painter, Fantasy Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

Alyssa & Leslie critique the opening of Mary Pat Lynch’s Feather the Painter, a fantasy novel. They discuss repetitive sentence structure, tension, sensory detail, dialect, and getting to know setting through your character’s point of view. 

Feb 17 2016

38mins

Play

Rank #8: Episode 62 - Forged, a YA paranormal adventure

Podcast cover
Read more

In episode 62, Leslie and Alyssa critique the opening of Jennifer Hale and Holly Mora’s Forged, a YA paranormal adventure. They discuss beginning hooks, flashbacks, similes, repetitive structure, and echoes.

May 11 2016

34mins

Play

Rank #9: Episode 76: The Automatic Author: Literary Science Fiction Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #10: Episode 101: Check Your Narrative Distance

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #11: Episode 77: Snow Like Ashes: Literary Short Story Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #12: Episode 63 - Posted as Missing, an Action-Adventure Romance

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, Leslie and Alyssa critique the opening of Michael Walsh's Posted as Missing, an action-adventure romance. They discuss genre, traumatic events and how to include them in fiction, underwriting, strong verbs, echoes, and foreign languages. 

May 18 2016

44mins

Play

Rank #13: Episode 71: Daughter of the Flood: Magical Realism Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #14: Episode 67 - Hypnotic Destiny: YA Fantasy Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Rank #15: Episode 105: Do Your Scenes Work?

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, fiction editor Leslie Watts and guest editor Valerie Francis critique the prologue of Shadow Falls, a thriller novel by Maxwell Perkins. They discuss the elements of scenes that work and how you can check your own scenes in early drafts.

Jun 28 2017

55mins

Play

Rank #16: Episode 75: The Wolf and the Ravens: Historical Fiction Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of D.J. Umber's The Wolf and the Ravens, an as yet unpublished historical fiction novel. They discuss explaining character motivations, trusting your readers, and making the setting clear.

Aug 24 2016

36mins

Play

Rank #17: Episode 93: The Writer’s Internal Genre

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #18: Episode 116: The Five Commandments of Story with Shawn Coyne

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Rank #19: Episode 66 - Castor Revelations: Science Fiction/Fantasy Critique

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of Stephen Allan’s Kastori Revelations, a published science fiction/fantasy novel. They discuss story beginnings, indicating the passage of time, action, and military culture.

Jun 08 2016

37mins

Play

Rank #20: Episode 108: Narrative Drive—Compelling Your Reader to Turn the Page

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, fiction editors Leslie Watts and Anne Hawley critique the first chapter of Esperanza, a science fiction horror novel by Mike Ward. They discuss narrative drive. Different people use the term “narrative drive” to mean different things. What we discuss here is the amount of information the reader possesses relative to the character. The reader can have more, less, or the same information the characters in the scene have. In the opening scene of our submission today, the author gives the reader a key piece of information that the character doesn’t have, and it changes the way we experience the scene and the question that compels us to find out what happens next. 

Jul 28 2017

50mins

Play

Ep. 138 World Building

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Ep. 136 Resolutions

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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!

Podcast cover
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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

126. Second Person Point of View

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Episode 125: Putting Your Writing First with Mark McGuinness

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Episode 124: Your Character’s Internal Journey

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Episode 122: Do Your Scenes Contain Conflict?

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Episode 121: Structure for Character-Driven or Literary Stories

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Episode 120: Crisis Questions

Podcast cover
Read more

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

Play

Episode 119: Scene Value Shifts

Podcast cover
Read more

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

iTunes Ratings

95 Ratings
Average Ratings
80
10
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