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The Story Studio Podcast - Writing, Storytelling, and Marketing Advice for Writers & Business

Updated 4 days ago

Arts
Education
Books
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Stories turn songs into symphonies, events into memories, and lives into legends. In our crowded world, “knowing your story” cuts through the noise so you can make your mark — whether you want to sell more books, increase profits, or just make a difference. At Sterling & Stone, Story is our business. The Story Studio Podcast is where we explore ways we can all tell our stories better.

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Stories turn songs into symphonies, events into memories, and lives into legends. In our crowded world, “knowing your story” cuts through the noise so you can make your mark — whether you want to sell more books, increase profits, or just make a difference. At Sterling & Stone, Story is our business. The Story Studio Podcast is where we explore ways we can all tell our stories better.

iTunes Ratings

367 Ratings
Average Ratings
278
32
12
11
34

Down Hill

By Steve from St Michael - Aug 16 2019
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I appreciate the nuggets of wisdom that I’ve been able to get over the last several years of listening. But the podcast has lost its way and its value. Too much rambling and very little content. I used to be very interested in their upcoming projects even though it’s not my genre because they described the process and struggles. Now it’s just a drinking game where I take a shot every time one of the boys says “we can’t talk about that“ or “that thing with that name that’s not ready“. Nonetheless I wish them much success.

Dang! These recent reviews are harsh!

By TheWilcox - Apr 11 2019
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I reviewed the show a long time ago and tonight while listening I decided to look at the reviews. OMG! I can’t believe how rough they are. Those people don’t understand. I know you guys have grown and I appreciate the direction you’re moving in. Happy for you guys and wishing you much success

iTunes Ratings

367 Ratings
Average Ratings
278
32
12
11
34

Down Hill

By Steve from St Michael - Aug 16 2019
Read more
I appreciate the nuggets of wisdom that I’ve been able to get over the last several years of listening. But the podcast has lost its way and its value. Too much rambling and very little content. I used to be very interested in their upcoming projects even though it’s not my genre because they described the process and struggles. Now it’s just a drinking game where I take a shot every time one of the boys says “we can’t talk about that“ or “that thing with that name that’s not ready“. Nonetheless I wish them much success.

Dang! These recent reviews are harsh!

By TheWilcox - Apr 11 2019
Read more
I reviewed the show a long time ago and tonight while listening I decided to look at the reviews. OMG! I can’t believe how rough they are. Those people don’t understand. I know you guys have grown and I appreciate the direction you’re moving in. Happy for you guys and wishing you much success

Listen to:

Cover image of The Story Studio Podcast - Writing, Storytelling, and Marketing Advice for Writers & Business

The Story Studio Podcast - Writing, Storytelling, and Marketing Advice for Writers & Business

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

Stories turn songs into symphonies, events into memories, and lives into legends. In our crowded world, “knowing your story” cuts through the noise so you can make your mark — whether you want to sell more books, increase profits, or just make a difference. At Sterling & Stone, Story is our business. The Story Studio Podcast is where we explore ways we can all tell our stories better.

SSP087 Idea Generation with Neeve

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Ideas are spooky. Where do they even come from? And what happens if they disappear forever? These questions have plagued creatives for years and has created a culture of self-limitation among authors. Today, we have Neeve on the show to talk about her new Stone Tablet, Endless Ideas, and how you can overcome creative block and become an idea machine.

We Talk About:

Neeve and her new book with Sean, Endless Ideas (https://sterlingandstone.net/endless-ideas). 

Sean’s wife, Cindy, doing her first 10+ second handstand.

Johnny and Sean’s research trip to a legal cannabis farm.

Neeve listening to a podcast called Spooked (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/spooked).

Dave’s satisfaction with Mr. Robot’s new season.

Why processing is the magic of ideation.

Why Neeve starts with “no.”

A Tale of Two Authors and the spectrum of idea execution (https://sterlingandstone.net/twoauthors). 

Conquering writer’s block.

An example of Dave reshaping an idea.

Neeve’s idea grading system.

Oct 30 2019

58mins

Play

SSP046 On Mastery and 10000 Hours

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The “10,000 hour rule” has become a staple of the practicing artist. When applied with intention, the consistent daily effort of putting in your hours can produce results that appear to be magical to your audience. In today’s episode, we talk about how we’ve put in our time in the past, and what direction we’ll move in the future to continue our trajectory toward mastery.
We Talk About:
Why intentional and deliberate practice is the effort that matters.
Finding the balance between practice that forces us to grow and practice that is viable to our muse and market.
The gap between your taste and your ability.
How we differ in our approaches to solving story problems.
How emulating your idols can help you find your narrative voice.
With mastery comes trust in the process.


You’re invited to join us at the final Smarter Artist Summit on February 18th and 19th in Austin, TX. Authors and publishing experts from around the world will join us to teach you strategies that will outlast the “what’s working yesterday” tactics everyone else is talking about. Attendance is limited, so reserve your spot at smarterartistsummit.com now.

Dec 26 2018

43mins

Play

SSP008 Story Structure

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Whether the story you’re telling is about yourself, a novel you’re writing, or the journey of your business, understanding the way stories work is a sure-fire way to resonating with your audience. If you’ve been struggling to understand story structure and how to apply it to the story you’re attempting to tell, Johnny, Sean, and Dave will teach you:

  • Why story structure is not a formula.
  • The difference between beginning authors and experienced authors approach to structure.
  • The basic form of story structure.
  • The importance of causal relationships in stories.
  • How to tell the difference between plot driving reader interest and characters driving reader interest.
  • How story structure can occur out of order.
  • Why you need an “all is lost” moment.
  • 3-act vs. 4-act structure, and how to use each.
  • How the first and last act should mirror each other.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your business, 2018 could be your year. Our Insiders group, The Stone Table Mastermind, is open for registrations but only until March 31st. Learn more about the Stone Table at https://sterlingandstone.net/join-stone-table-mastermind/.

Mar 28 2018

48mins

Play

SSP049 Know Your Genre (Part 1)

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We’ve talked before about Genre Therapy and how we use it to help our writers identify the best genre of fiction to write. But we realized that we could do a bit better and help you guys out by sharing what questions authors must come to terms with in order to learn who they are as a writer and what they’re most suited to create. This is more than finding the correct genre. This is about finding your fiction superpowers.
We Talk About:
What is Genre Therapy?
Knowing what you’re good at.
Our strengths and weaknesses.
Controlling the “narrative camera.”
Identifying what you like.
What do you enjoy writing?
What reviews say about your writing.
What is my voice?
What is your preferred mood or atmosphere?
What story types and tropes we return to over and over.
How do you feel when writing your story?

Jan 30 2019

44mins

Play

SSP086 Who’s The Main Character?

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A few weeks ago, we had an interesting discussion in the company when we tried to identify a movie with a true dual-protagonist setup. We came up with one (maybe three) between several of us. Could such a setup be so rare? Who the main character or protagonist is in a story is not always straightforward, especially in today’s era of serialized everything. Today, we wanted to talk about the potential ambiguities of primary characters in modern fiction.

We Talk About:

Oct 23 2019

39mins

Play

SSP021 Developing a Story Premise

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A story’s premise is more than just a “what if” question. It’s the lifeblood of crafting a compelling plot, engaging character development, and an enthralling theme. At Sterling & Stone, Bonnie Johnston is our resident StoryJacket expert, and she’s agreed to do another show with us to help us explain what goes into creating a story premise and why it’s the key to keeping your ideas flowing.

We talk about:

How MCU’s Infinity War and Deadpool used the power of premise to create a cohesive movie.
How premise establishes the relationship between external vs. internal character arcs.
How you know when a premise is done.
Bridging the gap between premise and outline.
Using a collaborative process to hone a story’s premise.
Avoiding vs. subverting story archetypes and tropes.
Starting big and ending small.

Are you wondering what the ever-growing demand for superb storytelling skills means for your future? Check out our latest interview as Johnny and Sean dive deep into that question in “Storytelling Is the Future: How to Build On Your Self-Publishing Success.”
Download the interview from the info box or show notes in YouTube or head over to https://www.sterlingandstone.net/future.

Jun 27 2018

39mins

Play

SSP088 Steal This with Bonnie and Joel

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Out of the madness of our story studio emerged an idea that we think those of you who take part in NaNoWriMo will appreciate: a universal outline we’re calling the Steal This project. Already several of the authors in our studio are tackling the story with their own unique spin, and today we wanted to bring on the architect of the outline and an author executing the idea, Bonnie and Joel, to share with you how we approached creating a universally applicable outline and how you can use this idea in your own creative process.

We Talk About:

One-Click Cover (https://sterlingandstone.net/oneclick).

The Aristocrats Joke.

The purpose of the Steal This project.

How Bonnie approached the outline.

How Joel fleshed out the outline.

Other writers attempting the outline.

Finding the spark that ignites excitement in the writer.

How Joel honed his idea superpower.

Applying this idea to your writing right now.

Nov 06 2019

59mins

Play

SSP042 Adapting a Story for Film and TV pt. 2

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Several episodes ago, we talked about film and TV adaptation and how we’re approaching the process as we work to move into new formats of storytelling. Today, we continue the conversation by looking at adaptations you may be familiar with and discussing how they differ from their source material.
We Talk About:
Stephen King’s Adaptations.
Why the source material has to be re-imagined.
The Fat Vampire and Invasion series adaptation process.
Adaptation is a collaboration.
The Walking Dead’s adaptation.
The Haunting of Hill House’s adaptation.
How The Disaster Artist changed the story to make a better movie.


You’re invited to join us at the final Smarter Artist Summit on February 18th and 19th in Austin, TX. Authors and publishing experts from around the world will join us to teach you strategies that will outlast the “what’s working yesterday” tactics everyone else is talking about. Attendance is limited, so reserve your spot at smarterartistsummit.com now.

Nov 21 2018

33mins

Play

SSP025 Plotting a Story

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While we’ve always engaged in some level of story preproduction, Sterling and Stone has made plotting an integral part of our production cycle. We all differ in how much we plot ahead of time, but we’ve learned that plotting is an important part of our ability to tell a story that works every time. We want to share how you can get started doing the same thing.

We Talk About:

The plotting-pantsing continuum.
How Collective Inkwell has evolved their plotting process.
The right questions to ask when you start plotting your story.
The consequences of a scarcity mindset.
What plot is not.


Are you wondering what the ever-growing demand for superb storytelling skills means for your future? Check out our latest interview as Johnny and Sean dive deep into that question in “Storytelling Is the Future: How to Build On Your Self-Publishing Success.”
Download the interview from the info box or show notes in YouTube or head over to https://www.sterlingandstone.net/future.
 

Jul 25 2018

42mins

Play

SSP010 Why You Can't Always Be the Hero of Your Own Story

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A good piece of writing advice for a character is to understand that a character is the center of his own world. Often even your worst characters are doing what makes sense to them. We, as creatives and business owners, function similarly, operating with a myopic viewpoint within our own frame.
In order to get the most out of what you’re doing—in your business and in your stories—you need to understand that you’re not the end all, be all. There is a whole world outside of your personal viewpoint.
The biggest mistakes that we’ve made with Sterling & Stone (and this is a recurring theme) have been building blocks to a much better place. It’s hard to look in the mirror sometimes, but once you determine where you can improve, even the biggest mistakes can end up being boons to your creative journey.
There are two sides of this. You have to be willing to first hear and then apply. Not everyone is willing to do that. A lot of people will hear constructive criticism and take it only as criticism. The benefits are lost on them. They’ve just been given a tool, and instead of doing something with it, they go fallow.
There’s a growing balance at Sterling & Stone. As a culture, we want to improve continuously, and the two-step process of both listening and applying has really taken a big leap forward this year. We’re reinforcing this idea with each other, and we’re holding each other accountable. There are times when we see one of our team members holding something back, and we insist that they say what they think needs to be said. As soon as we can fix these issues, the sooner we can make the company better.
And that’s the key. When you’re in a collaborative relationship, you have to be open and honest. And this applies even if you’re a solopreneur. Odds are you’re working with someone else at some point to get your story or product into the world.
But remember that there are a lot of nuances to open communication. There are a number of different ways that you can start a dialogue, all of which can elicit different responses. It’s important to understand these things about your collaborators, but it’s even more important to understand your own triggers. That way you’ll be able to put the proper incentives in place to overcome the problem at hand.
For example, some people will choose a punishment or reward that they’ve heard someone else use or that they’ve read about in an article, but it isn’t right for them. There are a number of reasons why this can go wrong. Perhaps their work cycles are asynchronous to their optimal schedule, or the reward isn’t in alignment with their personality.
Just knowing the nuances along with the big picture matters a great deal. You’re an individual with specific ambitions and a different lifestyle. You can’t simply adopt someone else’s system of incentivizing structures and expect it to work for you without considering what you need to adjust to fit your situation.
Johnny and Sean used to operate as if they were the same person. We thought that since we had Dave as a contrast to our crazy ideas, it would function to balance the company’s goals in a healthy way. We also saw it as binary. If Dave doesn’t want to do the strange, crazy shit that we wanted to do, then it must be that Dave is one thing, and we were another.
In reality, it turns out that Dave is on one end, Sean is on the other, and Johnny is actually somewhere in the middle. Treating Johnny as a one-to-one match with Sean led us into some pitfalls along the way. We structured projects with the assumption that Johnny could function exactly like Sean, not realizing that he works better as more of a nose-to-the-grindstone, articulative type rather than a cheerleader.
When we did the Apprentice program, we had both Sean and Johnny take the lead on the exact same aspects of the classes, assuming that their superpowers were equivalent. If we could do it all again, we wouldn’t take such a watered-down approach. Instead, we’d break the program apart and place each of us where we make the most sense.
Another example is that we used to do mastermind hot seats where we put both Johnny and Sean in the same situation. Sean functions much better in this type of environment where Johnny works best when he can step back and think before responding. Once we realized this, we adjusted to make better use of our team.
Ask yourself: What you good at? What are your partners good at? Until you take the time to start identifying and optimizing for these superpowers, you won’t be able to put together the best collaborative team.
An example of where this applies to writers who work in isolation is social media. Some authors do social media brilliantly. They understand how to use it as a tool to build community and amplify their outreach to fans and new readers. We [Johnny and Sean] hate that stuff. And we see authors who are trying it, hating it and not doing a good job, but are afraid to let it go because they think it’s the “one and only way” to market.
It’s so easy to default to the “standard advice.” And that leads us to do things that we totally should not be doing.
One of Sean’s great failings for a very long time has been with focus. Especially early on, he’s been the golden-retriever-chasing-squirrels kind of creative. He’d jump from idea to idea, project to project because there’s something beautiful in a new, unrealized idea. As the company has matured, we’ve had to learn how to hack Sean’s squirrel-chasing so that it works in conjunction with the company’s goals, rather than distract from them.
We all have our blind spots, and sometimes a punch in the gut is the best thing a friend can do for us. It can be the lifeline we need to become our best selves.
To frame this, it’s important to rewind a bit.
Growing up, Dave’s best friend was Tod. Tod grew up in a home with a less-than-ideal family dynamic, and Dave had always been the one who had his shit together in the relationship; he was always the one who’d help Tod through all his issues. Tod was the very first person who ever believed in Dave—believed that he could accomplish his dreams and be a writer one day. Eventually, Tod left home to join the navy. He’d come back home to visit now and then, and it was just like old times.
One day in February 1996, the dynamic changed. Tod came home to visit, and he kept pushing Dave to leave Florida and come to Virginia with him. He believed that Dave was wasting his life away at home, and a change in setting would spur him to realize his dreams. Tod offered to help him move away and find a job, whatever it took for him to get his shit together.
But Dave rejected it. He saw Tod as a friend who’d gone on to do awesome things and was now looking down on him. It annoyed him, and the change in the dynamic of the friendship was uncomfortable. When Tod left, Dave didn’t talk to him for weeks because of how sour their last interaction had been. But he knew that eventually it would blow over, and they’d be best friends again.
Less than two months later, Dave received a phone call informing him that Tod had died in a car accident. It crushed him. He’s carried that with him, reliving the pain of it in many ways throughout his life. It fucked with his head in a way that has limited him from reaching his true potential. He’ll see a goal, but, before he can execute, fear takes hold, telling him that he can’t do the things he wants to do, that it’ll end in failure and misery.
During the ten years that Sean and Dave have worked together, Sean has watched Dave self-sabotage himself over and over. They’d come up with a strategy, only to have it fall apart because Dave can’t fully commit to his own success. Eventually, Sean had to sit down with him, face-to-face, and tell him, that he wasn’t living up to his potential, and if he didn’t make changes, all the things he feared would actually come true.
To Dave’s credit, he was able to take that and recognize that he stood at a crossroads. He remembered the last time he said goodbye to Tod, and how he had rejected his friend’s earnest attempt to toss him a lifeline, to pull him out of the water.
This is why you can’t always be the hero of your own story. If you’re unaware of your blind spots, and you believe that you’re making all the right moves, that your work ethic is perfect, and you’re leaning into your superpowers in all the right ways, but you’re missing a big piece of the picture, you’re only hurting yourself.
None of us are perfect. We all have something that we need to fix so that we can reach our individual goals. When we take an active role to make a change for the better, it ripples outward, making not only our own lives better but also the lives of everyone orbiting around us.
Are you wondering what the ever-growing demand for superb storytelling skills means for your future? Check out our latest interview as Johnny and Sean dive deep into that question in “Storytelling Is the Future: How to Build On Your Self-Publishing Success.”
Download the interview from the info box or show notes in YouTube or head over to https://www.sterlingandstone.net/future.

Apr 11 2018

45mins

Play

SSP054 Habit Hacking

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The most important part of achieving a goal is not at all sexy. It’s the process—the system you follow day in and day out that results in success. The best way to ensure that you stick to your system is by hacking your lifestyle and building habits around the systems you create. But hacking yourself is often uncomfortable. There needs to be a willingness to step out of your comfort zone if you want to improve. In today’s episode, we share a few ways you can tune your habits to reach your goal.

We Talk About:

The power of streaks (streaks app / strides app)
Awareness of when you should take action
Bundling activities
Establishing rewards
Dictation as a supplement rather than a replacement
The difference between procrastination and a tactical delay.
The magic of re-framing
Accountability

Mar 06 2019

40mins

Play

SSP053 The Art of the Pitch

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A year ago, we met Derek Frederickson & Fat Vampire got optioned. Since then, we’ve visited LA three times now and have made some serious steps into film & TV. While we still can’t fully disclose all the specifics of the progress we’ve made, we still want to share our journey so far.
We Talk About:

How we ended up in a position to pitch to Hollywood.
The art of the pitch.
Believing in abundance.
Film is a relationship business.
Why storytellers have more power than they think.

Feb 27 2019

46mins

Play

SSP012 What Makes a Story Sell

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Contrary to popular belief, there is no vault in Hollywood holding the secret that turns a story into a commercial success. In this episode, Johnny, Sean, and Dave share how a story can be crafted to appeal to a wider audience and reach beyond the established boundaries of genre. You’ll learn:

  • How a commercial story is defined.
  • Why a good commercial story understands dramatic tension.
  • How to use character development to retain your audience.
  • How emotion can allow you to float a story that is mostly very kinetic and action-centric.
  • Why some characters endure and why others do not.
  • The cross-section between commercial and “good.”
  • Why “classic” and “commercial” are not the same things.
  • How extraneous elements can push away your audience.
  • Why stories that lack a good hook are likely to suffer commercially.
  • How posters, loglines, and social proof quotes can help communicate your vision to a broad audience.


Are you wondering what the ever-growing demand for superb storytelling skills means for your future? Check out our latest interview as Johnny and Sean dive deep into that question in “Storytelling Is the Future: How to Build On Your Self-Publishing Success.”
Download the interview from the info box or show notes in YouTube or head over to https://www.sterlingandstone.net/future.

Apr 25 2018

43mins

Play

SSP063 Writing As Therapy

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We tell stories as our full-time job, and while we have a responsibility to the company and our family to produce words that sell, there are reasons for us to step away from writing for our readers to make room for writing that is just meant for our personal development.
Sean has a complicated relationship with his father, and it has caused a rift in his family for decades. He and his wife have only fought about one thing in their marriage and it’s his parents. Back then, Sean wasn’t prepared to be the man he is now. But one 25,000 word piece of story therapy changed all of that.
In today’s episode, we talk about how Sean used his power of story for self-exploration and cathartic release and how you can do the same.
We Talk About:
How Sean’s therapeutic writing has already paid off.
The Yabba-Dabba-Doo story.
Sean’s role as “the peacemaker.”
The importance of finishing the therapy.
How Dave uses his fiction as a cathartic experience.
Self-exploration and its creative benefits.
Dave’s switch to a growth mindset.

May 08 2019

1hr 2mins

Play

SSP020 The Foundations of Story

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Today we’re starting a new arc of podcasts that are all about story. And there’s no one better to do this with than our resident wizard: Bonnie. And, really, wizard might not be an apt enough descriptor. She has refined our StoryJacket process in a way that has changed the way Sterling and Stone tells stories forever.
In this episode, we give an intro to the entire arc and let you know what we’ll be covering. And let’s be honest: Sean can’t help but drop some nuggets for you guys. We’ll just call it a small warm-up of what the season will be.
This season’s arc will cover:

  • Premise
  • Character
  • Setting
  • Character Arc
  • Plotting


Are you wondering what the ever-growing demand for superb storytelling skills means for your future? Check out our latest interview as Johnny and Sean dive deep into that question in “Storytelling Is the Future: How to Build On Your Self-Publishing Success.”
Download the interview from the info box or show notes in YouTube or head over to https://www.sterlingandstone.net/future.

Jun 20 2018

45mins

Play

SSP033 Storytelling in Video Games

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Over the past forty years, the video game industry has grown in ways most of us couldn’t predict. Video games have shifted from the idled-away time of children to one of the largest entertainment industries in the world, appealing to all ages. In today’s podcast, we talk a bit about how interactive storytelling is changing the entertainment landscape, and why you might want to pay attention to what’s going on in the field.


You’re invited to join us at the final Smarter Artist Summit on February 18th and 19th in Austin, TX. Authors and publishing experts from around the world will join us to teach you strategies that will outlast the “what’s working yesterday” tactics everyone else is talking about. Attendance is limited, so reserve your spot at smarterartistsummit.com now.

Sep 19 2018

38mins

Play

SSP052 The Forgotten Gems

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There are more movies and TV shows then there have ever been, and it’s so easy to miss great content. Sometimes it’s because the timing was poor, or the world wasn’t ready for that particular story. Today, we wanted to give you a few suggestions that we think are gems that may have fallen through the cracks.

We Talk About:

Godless (https://www.netflix.com/title/80097141)
Nowhere Man (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112104/)
Kafka (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102181/)
Maria Full of Grace (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390221/)
The Fountain (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414993/)
House of Leaves (https://www.amazon.com/House-Leaves-Mark-Z-Danielewski/dp/0375703764)
Brick (https://www.netflix.com/title/70024088)
Wild Palms (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106175/)
Punch Drunk Love (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0272338/)

Feb 20 2019

36mins

Play

SSP068 Doing the Work with Jamie Davis

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One of our favorite and hardest working author friends is Jamie Davis. Throughout the time we’ve known him, he’s always held true to the work ethic of the 21st century storyteller: write, publish, repeat. And though it took time to make the career a full-time endeavor, Jamie is the model for anyone who’s unsure if their niche storytelling style will ever find an audience.
We Talk About:
Jamie found out he will be a grandfather.
Sean is excited for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood trailer.
Dave is excited about the Deadwood movie.
Dave explains why he thinks the end of GOT sucked.
Jamie’s origin story.
Jamie’s super-secret marketing strategy.
Planning and flexibility.
Jamie’s transition into a full-time author.
Jamie’s success in audiobooks.

All of our best writing and publishing advice in one, affordable book bundle: http://sterlingandstone.net/locker.
To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.

Jun 12 2019

56mins

Play

SSP024 Forging Character Arcs

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Now, more than ever, character arc is a foundational concept at Sterling and Stone. When Bonnie joined us, she took our story development process and transformed it with her deep understanding and care for a character’s progression through their story. Today, Bonnie joins us again to talk about character arcs.
We Talk About:
The difference between character and character arc.
The connection between backstory and character arc.
Character arcs of side characters.
How a character’s arc sets up the climax.
Pre-planning vs. Revising a character arc.
How a character arc can create reader empathy.
Using Scene-Sequel structures to develop the character arc.

Are you wondering what the ever-growing demand for superb storytelling skills means for your future? Check out our latest interview as Johnny and Sean dive deep into that question in “Storytelling Is the Future: How to Build On Your Self-Publishing Success.”
Download the interview from the info box or show notes in YouTube or head over to https://www.sterlingandstone.net/future.

Jul 18 2018

46mins

Play

SSP074 Story Research

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Almost literally, Sterling and Stone is a house built on research… or the lack thereof. In part, our collaboration started because of a research roadblock, a dare, and putting a Unicorn in a Western novel. And though we proudly retell that story when it’s useful, the reality of our day-to-day storytelling is different. We do a lot of research. The trick is chasing the right lead. In today’s podcast, we share how we approach the research portion of our pre-production and give a few hacks to help you avoid the Wikipedia research hole.
We Talk About:
Sean is reading and re-reading the Jim Collins catalog and enjoying it.
Dave is reading Lost Connections by Johann Hari (https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Connections-Uncovering-Depression-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B07583XJRW/).
Johnny is absolutely enjoying-without-any-hate-watching-what-so-ever Riverdale, Season 3 (https://www.netflix.com/title/80133311).
The distinction between “get to research” and “have to research.”
Using research for immersion and character.
Dave’s need for authenticity.
Directing the camera and trusting the reader’s imagination.
Acquiring new experiences.
The 80/20 rule for research and finding the few details that matter.
Johnny and Sean’s favorite hacks for side-stepping deep research.

You are the main character of your own story, so why not construct your story the way a writer does? The Story Solution will show you how! If you’re ready to take charge of your life the way a writer takes charge of their story, then pick up your copy today: https://sterlingandstone.net/storysolution
All of our best writing and publishing advice in one, affordable book bundle: http://sterlingandstone.net/locker.
To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.

Jul 24 2019

46mins

Play

SSP093 The Fiction Formula Launch Party

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Stop us if you’ve heard this one: we finally released the sequel to Write. Publish. Repeat. It’s called The Fiction Formula! Some of you are probably scratching your heads and thinking: “Wait, didn’t they already release a sequel called Iterate and Optimize?” Well, yes, and no. And in today’s podcast, we’ll explain why The Fiction Formula is a better sequel, worth of WPR’s legacy.

We Talk About:

Sean is watching The Kominsky Method (https://www.netflix.com/title/80201680). 

Dave finally starting watching The Handmaid’s Tale (and ads) (https://www.hulu.com/series/the-handmaids-tale-565d8976-9d26-4e63-866c-40f8a137ce5f). 

Johnny is watching Rick and Morty (https://www.hulu.com/series/rick-and-morty-d76d6361-3fbf-4842-8dd7-e05520557280). 

Why The Fiction Formula is the new sequel to Write. Publish. Repeat.

How our strategy has changed now that the market is maturing.

The growth of S&S preproduction.

The evolution of our launch and marketing strategy.

You can grab The Fiction Formula here: https://sterlingandstone.net/thefictionformula

Dec 11 2019

54mins

Play

SSP092 Our First Stories

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No matter how successful you are as a storyteller, you have to start somewhere. There’s always a story number one. Today, we talk about our very explorations into storytelling, what motivated us to get started, and what those experiences taught us at the time.

Dec 04 2019

36mins

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SSP091 Analyzing You Were Never Really Here (SPOILERS!)

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SPOILER ALERT!

Today, we’re discussing You Were Never Really Here directed by Lynne Ramsay, starring Joaquin Phoenix, and based on a novella by Jonathan Ames. We discuss the story’s premise, its ending, and our thoughts on the character arc and theme. So, if you haven’t watched it yet, go watch before you listen to this episode. It’ll make a lot more sense that way!

We Talk About:

Dave still loving Mr. Robot.

Sean starting a new project that he’s having fun with.

Joel enjoyed Paper Tiger by Bill Burr on Netflix.

Johnny going to Shit-faced Shakespear.

The premise of You Were Never Really Here.

Is this movie a Masterpiece?

What Johnny would have done differently.

The ending and PTSD.

The most emotionally impactful scenes.

Why the movie tanked and the state of cinema.

Nov 27 2019

59mins

Play

SSP090 Savannah Bananas

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Because of the Great Amazon Algorithm War, we often have to self-sensor ourselves, and not talk about the fiction projects we’re developing publically. It’s not because we’re precious with our ideas, but because it has a track record of tanking our conversion rates. But today we talk about something exciting in real-time with no risk of hurting our bottom line. Excited? We are too. Let’s talk about the Savannah Bananas.

We Talk About:

Sean is excited about their recent trip to LA.

Dave made an amazing headshot in Fortnight.

Johnny tells the story about how they met Jono.

What Savannah Bananas is.

Our experience with Imagine Entertainment.

Working on the pitch and script.

How the show becomes a leverage point for S&S.

Staying the course of a story-first studio.

Why we’re taking a backseat with Savannah Bananas.

Nov 20 2019

53mins

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SSP089 Analyzing Living With Yourself (SPOILERS!)

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SPOILER ALERT!

In today’s episode, we about the Netflix show Living With Yourself (https://www.netflix.com/title/80178724). We discuss the story’s premise, its ending, and our thoughts on the character arc and theme. So, if you haven’t watched Living With Yourself yet, go binge it before you listen to this episode. It’ll make a lot more sense that way!

Nov 13 2019

45mins

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SSP088 Steal This with Bonnie and Joel

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Out of the madness of our story studio emerged an idea that we think those of you who take part in NaNoWriMo will appreciate: a universal outline we’re calling the Steal This project. Already several of the authors in our studio are tackling the story with their own unique spin, and today we wanted to bring on the architect of the outline and an author executing the idea, Bonnie and Joel, to share with you how we approached creating a universally applicable outline and how you can use this idea in your own creative process.

We Talk About:

One-Click Cover (https://sterlingandstone.net/oneclick).

The Aristocrats Joke.

The purpose of the Steal This project.

How Bonnie approached the outline.

How Joel fleshed out the outline.

Other writers attempting the outline.

Finding the spark that ignites excitement in the writer.

How Joel honed his idea superpower.

Applying this idea to your writing right now.

Nov 06 2019

59mins

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SSP087 Idea Generation with Neeve

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Ideas are spooky. Where do they even come from? And what happens if they disappear forever? These questions have plagued creatives for years and has created a culture of self-limitation among authors. Today, we have Neeve on the show to talk about her new Stone Tablet, Endless Ideas, and how you can overcome creative block and become an idea machine.

We Talk About:

Neeve and her new book with Sean, Endless Ideas (https://sterlingandstone.net/endless-ideas). 

Sean’s wife, Cindy, doing her first 10+ second handstand.

Johnny and Sean’s research trip to a legal cannabis farm.

Neeve listening to a podcast called Spooked (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/spooked).

Dave’s satisfaction with Mr. Robot’s new season.

Why processing is the magic of ideation.

Why Neeve starts with “no.”

A Tale of Two Authors and the spectrum of idea execution (https://sterlingandstone.net/twoauthors). 

Conquering writer’s block.

An example of Dave reshaping an idea.

Neeve’s idea grading system.

Oct 30 2019

58mins

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SSP086 Who’s The Main Character?

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A few weeks ago, we had an interesting discussion in the company when we tried to identify a movie with a true dual-protagonist setup. We came up with one (maybe three) between several of us. Could such a setup be so rare? Who the main character or protagonist is in a story is not always straightforward, especially in today’s era of serialized everything. Today, we wanted to talk about the potential ambiguities of primary characters in modern fiction.

We Talk About:

Oct 23 2019

39mins

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SSP085 The Matrix Story Breakdown

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There’s one film that we (and most of you will too) agree is one of the most important to SciFi storytelling and the film industry: The Matrix. On today’s podcast, we break down why we think the film was so successful and why it still influences us to this day.

We Talk About:

Sean and Neeve release Endless Ideas (https://sterlingandstone.net/endless-ideas)

Our first experiences with The Matrix.

Why The Matrix worked.

What we think about the Matrix sequels and transmedia.

The Matrix’s effect on modern culture and filmmaking (then and now).

Oct 16 2019

34mins

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SSP084 The Author Hustle with Shaunta Grimes

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We’ve been around the indie publishing block a time or two and we’re not going to sugarcoat it. It’s hard. You’ll probably want to quit, and you might not see a real financial return for a few years, especially if you’re approaching publishing using the 20th-century model. You need a new blueprint, a new hustle. 

But don’t take it from us. 

Today, we invited Shaunta Grimes on the show. She’s a ninja at the author’s hustle with experience in both the traditional and indie publishing world and helps other authors through their journey from idea to completed novel.

We Talk About:

Shaunta’s origin story.

Using Medium.com as a jumping-off point.

What to blog about as a new fiction author.

Using Medium to jumpstart your career.

What fiction authors can blog about.

Ninja Writers: http://www.whatisaplot.com/novel-idea-subscription/

There is a storyteller in you. And it’s time you started listening. My name is Ninie Hammon and I’m 72 years old. I started writing my first book when I was 58. Too late? Nonsense. It’s time to stop thinking about who you were before and consider who you can be right now. It’s time to become a storyteller: https://sterlingandstone.net/mygeneration

In 15-Minute Dictation, Platt and Silver show you how to adjust your approach to dictation to leave behind frustrating starts and stops and finally be able to produce more books in less time: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/15-minute-dictation/

This is a book about how Dave understands darkness, its place in story, and how I make dark fiction that people enjoy reading. And, at its heart, this book isn’t just about the dark, but also the light. And in our darkest times, it’s more important than ever that we hold onto the light. But first, we must be willing to explore the darkness: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/into-the-darkness/

Join the list for LIVE SHOW Reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow

Join the mailing list for nonfiction book updates: http://sterlingandstone.net/stonetable

Oct 09 2019

44mins

Play

SSP083 Continuous Evolution

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Indie publishing changes fast. Even after a decade, there are weekly changes in the market, forcing you to pivot or crash into the next algorithmic wall. But there’s a line an intelligent pivot and trend-chasing. Balancing what’s worth pursuing and what’s worth letting go can be difficult without a clear compass to guide our actions. In today’s episode, we talk about our struggles with the sunk cost fallacy and one major change in the company we’ve recently made.

There is a storyteller in you. And it’s time you started listening. My name is Ninie Hammon and I’m 72 years old. I started writing my first book when I was 58. Too late? Nonsense. It’s time to stop thinking about who you were before and consider who you can be right now. It’s time to become a storyteller: https://sterlingandstone.net/mygeneration

In 15-Minute Dictation, Platt and Silver show you how to adjust your approach to dictation to leave behind frustrating starts and stops and finally be able to produce more books in less time: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/15-minute-dictation/

This is a book about how Dave understands darkness, its place in story, and how I make dark fiction that people enjoy reading. And, at its heart, this book isn’t just about the dark, but also the light. And in our darkest times, it’s more important than ever that we hold onto the light. But first, we must be willing to explore the darkness: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/into-the-darkness/

Join the list for LIVE SHOW Reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow

Join the mailing list for nonfiction book updates: http://sterlingandstone.net/stonetable

Oct 02 2019

41mins

Play

SSP082 Writing While Old(er) with Ninie

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We’ve heard dozens of different stories (lies, usually) that authors tell themselves as reasons they can’t start their writing journey. One of the most common is “I’m too old now.” We’ve heard it from friends, family, and even our own audience. So, in the interest of putting that lie to rest, we’ve invited one of Sterling and Stone’s own “old” authors on the show so she can give her advice to those of you who are still disqualifying yourself based on age.

We Talk About:

How Dave’s car tried to kill him.

Johnny’s something cool… which is Dave’s story.

Sean is happy about the return of I’m Sorry on Netflix (https://www.netflix.com/title/80171611).

Ninie’s book, Typin’ Bout My Generation (https://sterlingandstone.net/mygeneration).

Ninie’s origin story.

The generational gap.

The secret of eternal youth.

The real power of Ninie’s book.

Ninie’s Kitchen Table.

Passing down your stories to future generations.

In 15-Minute Dictation, Platt and Silver show you how to adjust your approach to dictation to leave behind frustrating starts and stops and finally be able to produce more books in less time: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/15-minute-dictation/

This is a book about how Dave understands darkness, its place in story, and how I make dark fiction that people enjoy reading. And, at its heart, this book isn’t just about the dark, but also the light. And in our darkest times, it’s more important than ever that we hold onto the light. But first, we must be willing to explore the darkness: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/into-the-darkness/

If you’ve ever wondered what sets the outstanding career authors apart from the wannabes, if you’ve ever been faced with doubts and fears, this is the book for you. Pick up your copy of The 10X Author today!: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/the-10x-author/

Join the list for LIVE SHOW Reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow

Join the mailing list for nonfiction book updates: https://sterlingandstone.net/stonetable

Sep 25 2019

56mins

Play

SSP081 Writing Routines

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Our creative routines cover the gamut in our studio, proving there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to how to be a productive storyteller. But there are general guidelines to becoming a productive and prolific storyteller, and today we wanted to talk about our routines so you can learn from our mistakes and successes.
We Talk About:
Worst. Show. Ever. is back!
Everything in Dave’s refrigerator is ruined.
Sean is finishing the hardest book he’s ever written today.
Sean’s routine & early creation time.
Dave’s routine & deadlines.
How our story meetings have evolved.
Johnny’s routine & constant optimization.
Breaking the procrastination loop.
Accountability.
Thomas Wolfe’s fail-safe method of productivity.
Learning to be honest with yourself.
The exceptions that prove the rule.
Resources:
https://www.rd.com/culture/daily-rituals-authors/
https://masoncurrey.com/daily-rituals

In 15-Minute Dictation, Platt and Silver show you how to adjust your approach to dictation to leave behind frustrating starts and stops and finally be able to produce more books in less time: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/15-minute-dictation/
This is a book about how Dave understands darkness, its place in story, and how I make dark fiction that people enjoy reading. And, at its heart, this book isn’t just about the dark, but also the light. And in our darkest times, it’s more important than ever that we hold onto the light. But first, we must be willing to explore the darkness: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/into-the-darkness/
If you’ve ever wondered what sets the outstanding career authors apart from the wannabes, if you’ve ever been faced with doubts and fears, this is the book for you. Pick up your copy of The 10X Author today!: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/the-10x-author/
Join the list for LIVE SHOW Reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow 
Join the mailing list for nonfiction book updates: http://sterlingandstone.net/stonetable

Sep 18 2019

1hr 1min

Play

SSP080 Joel F*cks the Details

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Joel was one of the first authors that Sterling and Stone brought into the fold after we decided to open up the studio to other authors outside of our trio, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Joel is a fantastic author and has recently written a short book for writers called Fuck the Details. We brought him on the show to talk about how his book can help you tell better stories.
We Talk About:
Joel found Edgar Winter’s White Trash vinyl record.
Dave avoided Hurricane Dorian.
Johnny is listening to the audiobook Everything is Fucked by Mark Manson.
Sean is reading and enjoying The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
Joel has book is coming out. It’s called Fuck The Details (https://www.sterlingandstone.net/fthedetails).
Why Joel wrote the book.
How voice matters in retaining the reader’s attention.
Detail as character.
Johnny seeing too many details in his own work.
Joel’s idea generation process.
Joel recorded the FTD audiobook.
Joel’s experience in the S&S story studio.

In 15-Minute Dictation, Platt and Silver show you how to adjust your approach to dictation to leave behind frustrating starts and stops and finally be able to produce more books in less time: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/15-minute-dictation/
This is a book about how Dave understands darkness, its place in story, and how I make dark fiction that people enjoy reading. And, at its heart, this book isn’t just about the dark, but also the light. And in our darkest times, it’s more important than ever that we hold onto the light. But first, we must be willing to explore the darkness: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/into-the-darkness/
If you’ve ever wondered what sets the outstanding career authors apart from the wannabes, if you’ve ever been faced with doubts and fears, this is the book for you. Pick up your copy of The 10X Author today!: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/the-10x-author/

To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.
Join the mailing list for nonfiction book updates: http://sterlingandstone.net/stonetable

Sep 11 2019

55mins

Play

SSP079 Celebrating Your Accomplishments

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In indie publishing, there’s a tendency to rapid churn. Once one book is out to the races, the next one immediately begins. This is a pace that Sterling and Stone isn’t immune to. And though a prolific output of fiction is a primary goal of our studio, it’s important for us to slow down and celebrate our victories. Today we talk about why acknowledging your accomplishments is healthy for your creative spirit.
We Talk About:
Johnny is recording the non-fiction audiobooks he’s writing.
Dave’s AC died and he’s been miserable. On top of that, Dave has a hurricane to endure.
Sean is enjoying Euphoria (https://www.hbo.com/euphoria).
Johnny is watching the Spike Lee MasterClass (https://www.masterclass.com/classes/spike-lee-teaches-filmmaking).
Dave’s reluctance to celebrate.
The importance of taking the time to celebrate.
The #dailyfuckyeah channel in our company Slack.
Johnny’s celebration habits.
Acknowledgment as a celebration.

In 15-Minute Dictation, Platt and Silver show you how to adjust your approach to dictation to leave behind frustrating starts and stops and finally be able to produce more books in less time: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/15-minute-dictation/
This is a book about how Dave understands darkness, its place in story, and how I make dark fiction that people enjoy reading. And, at its heart, this book isn’t just about the dark, but also the light. And in our darkest times, it’s more important than ever that we hold onto the light. But first, we must be willing to explore the darkness: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/into-the-darkness/
If you’ve ever wondered what sets the outstanding career authors apart from the wannabes, if you’ve ever been faced with doubts and fears, this is the book for you. Pick up your copy of The 10X Author today!: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/the-10x-author/
In How to Write Fast, Platt and Silver show you how to shift your approach to writing to dramatically increase your natural speed, while tapping into your inner storyteller and unleashing more of the stories you were born to tell: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/how-to-write-fast/
You are the main character of your own story, so why not construct your story the way a writer does? The Story Solution will show you how! If you’re ready to take charge of your life the way a writer takes charge of their story, then pick up your copy today: https://sterlingandstone.net/storysolution

To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.
 

Sep 04 2019

54mins

Play

SSP078 Planning and Thinking Ahead

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Scheduling can be a logistical nightmare, especially when planning for a creative endeavor. And it’s no different in our story studio. For years, we’ve struggled with creating a schedule that was forward-looking enough that we could say with any certainty what stories we might release even a year in the future. As the size and nature of our studio have changed, planning is becoming increasingly important, and in today’s episode, we’ll share the why and how of our approach to planning our upcoming days, weeks, and years.
We Talk About:
Dave started watching American Gods, and he’s enjoying it.
Johnny was inspired by Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
How we planned the next few years of our production schedule.
Our issues with scheduling over the years.
The value in “slowing down.”
Foreshadowing with your marketing.

This is a book about how Dave understands darkness, its place in story, and how I make dark fiction that people enjoy reading. And, at its heart, this book isn’t just about the dark, but also the light. And in our darkest times, it’s more important than ever that we hold onto the light. But first, we must be willing to explore the darkness: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/into-the-darkness/
If you’ve ever wondered what sets the outstanding career authors apart from the wannabes, if you’ve ever been faced with doubts and fears, this is the book for you. Pick up your copy of The 10X Author today!: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/the-10x-author/
In How to Write Fast, Platt and Silver show you how to shift your approach to writing to dramatically increase your natural speed, while tapping into your inner storyteller and unleashing more of the stories you were born to tell: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/how-to-write-fast/
You are the main character of your own story, so why not construct your story the way a writer does? The Story Solution will show you how! If you’re ready to take charge of your life the way a writer takes charge of their story, then pick up your copy today: https://sterlingandstone.net/storysolution
To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.

Aug 21 2019

35mins

Play

SSP077 The Stone Tablets and a Return to Non-Fiction

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We owe a lot of our growth to our community (that’s you!), and we’re eternally grateful for your support and enthusiasm. In return, we spent several years building The Smarter Artist brand, hoping that giving back as much as possible would strengthen the community as a whole. But we soon found that the way we were giving back was not only unsustainable but it was beginning to take away from our ability to share our experiences unpolluted by our non-fiction audience.
So we hit the reset button. At first, it was an indefinite reset. We didn’t know if we were ever going to write non-fiction again. But we’ve finally found a way to approach non-fiction in a way that works for us. In today’s episode, we talk about the first few titles we’ve released and how we’re hoping our unique author guides will bring something new to the table for our fellow storytellers.
We Talk About:
Johnny and his family went to see Toy Story 4 and enjoyed it.
Sean is enjoying Nathan for You.
Our roots in non-fiction.
How non-fiction fits into our creative pursuits.
Why Dave has resisted writing non-fiction for authors.
What drives Sean to write non-fiction.
What sold Johnny on the Stone Table line of non-fiction.
The forthcoming Stone Table Tablets.

If you’ve ever wondered what sets the outstanding career authors apart from the wannabes, if you’ve ever been faced with doubts and fears, this is the book for you. Pick up your copy of The 10X Author today!: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/the-10x-author/
In How to Write Fast, Platt and Silver show you how to shift your approach to writing to dramatically increase your natural speed, while tapping into your inner storyteller and unleashing more of the stories you were born to tell: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/how-to-write-fast/
You are the main character of your own story, so why not construct your story the way a writer does? The Story Solution will show you how! If you’re ready to take charge of your life the way a writer takes charge of their story, then pick up your copy today: https://sterlingandstone.net/storysolution
All of our best writing and publishing advice in one, affordable book bundle: http://sterlingandstone.net/locker.
To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.

Aug 14 2019

47mins

Play

SSP076 Join The Story with Austin from StoryShop

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*TRIGGER WARNING: This episode refers to recent mass shootings. If you’re still in mourning, you may want to skip this one.*
There’s a lot of pain and division in the world right now. After a tragic mass shooting, Austin from the StoryShop team realized that he had to do something to help heal our country. In today’s episode, we talk with him about his latest project with the StoryShop team called Join The Story and how you can get involved to help change the world with story. 31 Days, 31 Lives, 31 Stories. Together, we can help build empathy and heal our broken world.
We Talk About:
Dave is too altruistic for “finders keepers.”
The origin of Join The Story.
Using StoryShop to create empathy.
Sean’s experience with Join The Story.
StoryShop’s promotional opportunities for authors.
Submission rules and guidelines.
Why writing is a viable solution to bring us closer together.
Get involved: https://storyshop.io/jointhestory

If you’ve ever wondered what sets the outstanding career authors apart from the wannabes, if you’ve ever faced doubts and fears, this is the book for you. Pick up your copy of The 10X Author today!: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/the-10x-author/
In How to Write Fast, Platt and Silver show you how to shift your approach to writing to dramatically increase your natural speed, while tapping into your inner storyteller and unleashing more of the stories you were born to tell: https://sterlingandstone.net/book/how-to-write-fast/
You are the main character of your own story, so why not construct your story the way a writer does? The Story Solution will show you how! If you’re ready to take charge of your life the way a writer takes charge of their story, then pick up your copy today: https://sterlingandstone.net/storysolution
All of our best writing and publishing advice in one, affordable book bundle: http://sterlingandstone.net/locker.
To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.

Aug 07 2019

50mins

Play

SSP075 Story Inspiration

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“Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a question that every author gets asked at least once in their career. And the true answer is never satisfying to the untrained eye: “Ideas are all around you.” In today’s podcast, we talk about what inspires us to tell great stories and our process when actively looking for inspiration.
We Talk About:
Watching and reading stories for inspiration for your own work.
Inspiration vs. Execution.
Watching shows that lost their way and figuring out why.
What Johnny listens to when writing different stories.
What the guys look for in inspiration.

You are the main character of your own story, so why not construct your story the way a writer does? The Story Solution will show you how! If you’re ready to take charge of your life the way a writer takes charge of their story, then pick up your copy today: https://sterlingandstone.net/storysolution
All of our best writing and publishing advice in one, affordable book bundle: http://sterlingandstone.net/locker.
To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.

Jul 31 2019

31mins

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SSP074 Story Research

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Almost literally, Sterling and Stone is a house built on research… or the lack thereof. In part, our collaboration started because of a research roadblock, a dare, and putting a Unicorn in a Western novel. And though we proudly retell that story when it’s useful, the reality of our day-to-day storytelling is different. We do a lot of research. The trick is chasing the right lead. In today’s podcast, we share how we approach the research portion of our pre-production and give a few hacks to help you avoid the Wikipedia research hole.
We Talk About:
Sean is reading and re-reading the Jim Collins catalog and enjoying it.
Dave is reading Lost Connections by Johann Hari (https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Connections-Uncovering-Depression-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B07583XJRW/).
Johnny is absolutely enjoying-without-any-hate-watching-what-so-ever Riverdale, Season 3 (https://www.netflix.com/title/80133311).
The distinction between “get to research” and “have to research.”
Using research for immersion and character.
Dave’s need for authenticity.
Directing the camera and trusting the reader’s imagination.
Acquiring new experiences.
The 80/20 rule for research and finding the few details that matter.
Johnny and Sean’s favorite hacks for side-stepping deep research.

You are the main character of your own story, so why not construct your story the way a writer does? The Story Solution will show you how! If you’re ready to take charge of your life the way a writer takes charge of their story, then pick up your copy today: https://sterlingandstone.net/storysolution
All of our best writing and publishing advice in one, affordable book bundle: http://sterlingandstone.net/locker.
To get live show reminders: https://sterlingandstone.net/liveshow.

Jul 24 2019

46mins

Play