Rank #1: Episode 100: Answers to Your Questions about Writing and Editing
In this episode, fiction editors Leslie and Clark celebrate 100 episodes. They depart from the regular format to answer your questions about writing and editing. They discuss passive voice, pantsing vs. plotting, head hopping, how long your story should be, and how to write character thoughts. This week’s editorial mission is about finding your strengths and weaknesses.
May 03 2017
Rank #2: 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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of D.J. Umber's The Wolf and the Ravens, an as yet unpublished historical fiction novel.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 #3: Episode 3 - Last Search: Mystery Critique
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
Rank #4: Episode 91: The Snakes of Playa del Carmen: Young Adult Thriller Critique
In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the first chapter of The Snakes of Playa del Carmen, a young adult thriller novel by Penelope Aaron. They discuss backstory (including its purposes and methods of delivery), foreshadowing, dialogue sentences, where to begin your story, and Leslie’s birthday giveaway.
Jan 11 2017
Rank #5: Episode 86: Acolyte of Shadow: Fantasy Critique
In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the first chapter of Acolyte of Shadow, an as yet unpublished fantasy novel by Daniel Kellberg. They discuss dialogue, descriptive beats, pacing, and backstory.
Nov 23 2016
Rank #6: Episode 87: Ascendancy: Sword and Sorcery Critique
In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening of Ascendancy, a sword and sorcery novel by A. B. Corley. They discuss transitions between scenes, tweaking dialogue so that the characters are distinguishable, and diction in dialogue.
Dec 14 2016
Rank #7: 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In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the opening pages of Marcelo Mendes’s “The Automatic Author” an as yet unpublished literary science fiction short story.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 #8: Episode 94: Edge of the Future: Science Fiction Critique
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
Rank #9: Episode 5 - Think Tank: Middle Grade Fantasy Short Story Critique
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
Rank #10: 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 #11: 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
Rank #12: Episode 90: Kill Screen: Science Fiction Thriller Critique
In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the first chapter of Kill Screen, a published literary science fiction thriller by Benjamin Reeves. They discuss unreliable narrators and the ways characters are dishonest, methods of revealing facts to the reader, setting, and tension.
Jan 05 2017
Rank #13: 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 #14: Episode 64 - Michele Potter’s The Colonists - Historical Fiction
In this episode, Leslie welcomed Clark Chamberlain, the new co-host of the podcast. They critiqued the beginning of Michelle Porter’s The Colonists, an as yet unpublished historical fiction novel. They discussed internal dialogue, increasing character interaction, strong verbs, ellipses, and em dashes.
May 25 2016
Rank #15: Episode 116: The Five Commandments of Story with Shawn Coyne
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
Rank #16: Episode 78: Me and My Bacon: YA Critique
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
Rank #17: Episode 73: Feathers of the Phoenix: Historical Fantasy Critique
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
Rank #18: Episode 83: The Moorpark Horror: Middle Grade Horror Critique
In this episode, Leslie and Clark critique the first chapter of The Moorpark Horror, a middle grade horror novel, by Russell Gibbs. They discuss proactive protagonists, making transitions clear, and conflict.
Nov 02 2016
Rank #19: 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 #20: 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