I’ve been loving my podcasts recently. In the past I’ve given a few shout-outs to K.M. Weiland’s ‘Helping writers become authors’ podcast and I love Writing Excuses too. But it was only after seeing a post on the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Facebook page that I ventured off to find some more.

Oh boy am I glad that I did!

I’ve now added to my library on my phone: –

  • Death of 1000 Cuts – Tim Clare
  • The Bestseller Experiment – Mark Stay & Mark Desvaux
  • The Hero’s Journey – Jeff Garvin & Dan Zarzana

I’m still ploughing my way through the many hundreds of episodes that these podcasts have between them but they’re all excellent.

The Hero’s Journey looks at the structure of stories as viewed by Joseph Campbell in his well known book, ‘The Hero with A Thousand Faces’. Campbell looked at stories dating back hundreds (maybe thousands) of years and drew conclusions on their structure. Jeff and Dan apply this to various movies looking for how the stories move and turn through the beats identified by Campbell. It’s a fab way to review structuring a story, especially as they analyse some well known movies such as Braveheart and The Shawshank Redemption, Harry Potter and Star Wars. Highly recommended.

‘Death of 1000 Cuts’ and ‘The Bestseller Experiment’ are very similar – at least I think so. They involve interviews with published authors on their road to success and writing processes, consideration of writing topics and line-by-line critiques of writing that listeners have submitted – One Page Punch-ups! It was these ‘punch-ups’ that initially attracted me. Their critiques are very much like ‘line editing’ and get down and dirty with what works and what doesn’t. They are a salutary lesson that every words counts and needs choosing carefully, especially on the first page!

I listen on the way to work, in the gym and if I’m doing stuff (DIY, etc) about the house. Podcasts are an amazing way to keep your writerly mind active and the creative juices flowing about your own work even when life and duty are trying hard to get in your way. Listen on the commute or wherever you can. There’s millions of fab tips you can pick up about structure, the writing process and how to keep going. They make you realise that we writers are all the same, published and unpublished. We have the same dreams and insecurities.

Subscribe and enjoy.



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