Rank #1: Episode 52 - Hard Reboot, Dystopian YA Critique
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
Rank #2: Episode 124: Your Character’s Internal Journey
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
Rank #3: Episode 55 - Underneath - A Merfolk Tale, Science Fiction Critique
Leslie & Alyssa critique the opening of M.N. Arzu’s Underneath, and discuss foreshadowing, verb choice, repetitive sentence structure, and genre considerations.
Mar 23 2016
Rank #4: Episode 102: How to Choose Your Story's Point of View
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
Rank #5: Episode 56 - Mystery at Blackstone’s Stables, Historical Mystery Critique
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
Rank #6: Episode 42 - Untitled Thriller Critique
Alyssa & Leslie critique the opening pages of a thriller by AD Davies. They discuss the genre and maintaining tension, and get into some granular detail on verb tense and dialogue tags. Put your grammar hat on for this one!
Dec 23 2015
Rank #7: Episode 103: Narrative Identity and Why It Matters
In this episode, fiction editors Leslie and Clark critique “A Hero Least of All,” a literary short story by Tim LaFave. They discuss narrative identity and why it matters for your writing. Humans use story to make sense of their lives, and it’s important to understand the stories we tell about ourselves and the how this impacts our writing. This week’s editorial mission asks you to explore your story and see how you can use this insight for your writing journey and fiction.
May 25 2017
Rank #8: Episode 93: The Writer’s Internal Genre
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
Rank #9: Episode 71: Daughter of the Flood: Magical Realism Critique
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
Rank #10: Episode 77: Snow Like Ashes: Literary Short Story Critique
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
Rank #11: Episode 75: The Wolf and the Ravens: Historical Fiction Critique
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
Rank #12: Episode 44 - Society, Urban Fantasy/Thriller Critique (Explicit)
Alyssa & Leslie critique the first five pages of Kinda Ra Harashal’s Society, an urban fantasy/thriller novel. They discuss grounding the reader in a fantasy world, nailing your genre and audience, and different aspects of problematic dialogue.
Jan 06 2016
Rank #13: 128. How to Take Your Story from Pretty Good to WOW!
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.
Jun 15 2018
Rank #14: Episode 47 - The Hipster Who Leapt Through Time, SF/F Critique
Leslie & Alyssa critique the opening of Luke K’s The Hipster Who Leapt Through Time, a science fiction/fantasy novel by Luke Kondor. They mention echoes and strengthening verbs. They discuss how the author builds sympathy by getting in the moment, and they debate which tense might be the best choice for this piece.
Jan 27 2016
Rank #15: Episode 76: The Automatic Author: Literary Science Fiction Critique
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
Rank #16: Episode 43 - The Book of Fawla, Fantasy Critique
Leslie and Alyssa critique the first chapter of Edward Antrobus’s The Book of Fawla, a fantasy serial. They discuss telling detail for characterization, setting, and props, amping up your verbs, paying attention to diction, and how to take a story that’s working to the next level.
Dec 30 2015
Rank #17: Episode 106: Capture Your Character’s Essence
In this episode, fiction editor Leslie Watts and guest fiction editor Anne Hawley critique the opening pages of The Bad Shepherd, a crime story set in Los Angeles in the 1980s, by Dale M. Nelson. They discuss characters and how to make them relatable so your reader can connect with them. This week's editorial mission asks you to capture your character's essence in a sentence.
Jun 28 2017
Rank #18: Episode 66 - Castor Revelations: Science Fiction/Fantasy Critique
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
Rank #19: Episode 62 - Forged, a YA paranormal adventure
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
Rank #20: Episode 98: Storytelling vs. Telling a Story: Horror Critique
In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique “Vermillion Dusk & Crimson Dirt,” an as yet unpublished horror short story by Lane M.M. Whitens. They talk about storytelling vs. telling a story and framing stories. They also discuss -LY adverbs, and facts relevant to the story. Leslie and Clark are taking questions for the 100th episode of the podcast. If you have a burning question about editing or storytelling, please visit www.writership.com/ask.
Apr 19 2017