The Creative Writer's Toolbelt

The Creative Writers Toolbelt gives practical accessible advice and encouragement to Creative write ... more

Latest Episodes

178

July 01, 2022 00:48:37
Episode 178: Trust the process that gives you joy! With Jessie Kwak

Episode 178: Trust the process that gives you joy! With Jessie Kwak

My guest for this episode is the non-fiction and science fiction writer Jessie Kwak.  In this episode, we talk about the different writing processes that people use, how to choose the right one, and why some writers have found the pandemic such a difficult time. We discuss the importance of finding a writing process that brings us joy, how essential it is for us to know ourselves as writers, and when and how to hire the right professionals to help you with your writing. I had a great time talking to Jessie I hope you find the conversation useful to listen to, here it is.   ...

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177

June 03, 2022 00:46:15
Episode 177: The mind of the warrior. A conversation with Nick Narbutovskih of the US Air Force Special Operations Command

Episode 177: The mind of the warrior. A conversation with Nick Narbutovskih of the US Air Force Special Operations Command

Nick Narbutovskih grew up knowing that he wanted to be a pilot in the military, now Assistant Operations Officer Narbutovskih with Air Force Special Operations Command, and he now trains others who are going to be pilots in the US Air Force. On the day of our conversation, Nick was supposed to be able to talk to me from the comfort of his own home but the military being what it is he was required at the base that day so we conducted the conversation with Nick stepping out for a few minutes to his car, so I’m afraid the sound quality is a little off what I would normally hope to bring you. But this is a fascinating conversation, with some great insights for writers into the minds and characters of those in the military, there are some real gems here for anyone who wants to know how a military context would actually work, and how groups of soldiers, sailors, and airforce personnel think and behave with each other, both outside of and in combat situations.  In this conversation, we talk about how the habits and disciplines of the military have helped Nick with his writing, the character traits and behaviors of people in the military, both in and out of combat situations, and why the reason people stay in the military might be different from the reason they joined. I hope you find this conversation helpful, here it is. ...

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176

May 13, 2022 00:31:05
Episode 176: Making peace with the internet. Practical advice for your digital presence, with Jason Smith of Social Shapes

Episode 176: Making peace with the internet. Practical advice for your digital presence, with Jason Smith of Social Shapes

In this episode, my guest is the Digital Marketing expert Jason Smith. In this conversation, we talk about the essentials of setting up a web and managing social media accounts for your brand as a writer. We talk about the best platform to use to design a first website, the importance of design aesthetics, and what the author needs to use their website for. We also talk about social media, how to make it not scary, what the functions of social media engagement are, how to choose the right platforms, and what kind of content to put on it. This was a fascinating conversation, full of the kind of smart insights you need to get to grips with a website and social media as an author, I hope you enjoy it, here it is. If you are listening to this before September 2022 and you are a Christian author please join us for the British Christian Writers Conference, where you can hear Jason speaking and talk to him about your digital needs. We will be at Ridley Hall in Cambridge on Saturday 3rd September, join us for marketing tips, craft insights, and encouragement for you and your writing, just search for The British Christian Writing Conference online, or go to: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/storycraftpress/636912   ...

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175

April 21, 2022 00:36:36
Episode 175: A guest at the reader's table, with veteran publisher and literary agent Tony Collins

Episode 175: A guest at the reader's table, with veteran publisher and literary agent Tony Collins

My guest for this episode is someone who has spent nearly 50 years in publishing. Tony Collins has worked for a number of publishing houses, owned three magazines, published an astonishing 1,400 books, and is now a literary agent. In this conversation, we talk about the lessons he’s learned in his career. We talk about the most common error that writers make when with their work, how the author must remember they are a guest at the reader's table, and there are many other things for readers to do. We talk about the essential power of narrative, why we can’t write in the way Dickens did, the place for anecdote in non-fiction, finding the right publisher, engaging well with them, and why it's essential for your book to get the title and your hook right. Tony speaks with decades of experience and there are some wonderful, fundamental insights here, I hope you find the conversation useful, here it is.   ...

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174

April 03, 2022 00:55:28
Episode 174: Writing your novel is part of your heart - with Lynn Hightower

Episode 174: Writing your novel is part of your heart - with Lynn Hightower

Welcome to Ep 174, my guest for this episode is the writer and writing coach Lynn Hightower. Lynn writers thriller with a darkly paranormal twist.   In this conversation, we discuss why we do need to tell as well as show, especially in terms of plot, why we need to hear the character’s voice in our head rather than try to pick and mix their traits and characteristics. We also talk about why clarity in your prose is so important, what do you do to keep the reader hooked, and why every writer needs to try to limit the number of desks they own! I had a wide-ranging conversation with Lynn,  full of humour, insight, and craft advice – I hope you enjoy listening to it. ...

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173

March 26, 2022 00:48:15
Episode 173: Make your reader feel smart, with Jessica Brody

Episode 173: Make your reader feel smart, with Jessica Brody

Suppose you discovered that nearly all of the great stories written conform to a particular structure, a structure that would help to guide you in your writing and that, subconsciously at least, your readers are expecting to see in your work. This is the contention of my guest today, the writer and creative writing tutor, Jessica Brody. Jessica took the classic screenwriting text “Save the cat” and applied it to the process of writing a novel, producing the appropriately titled “Save the cat writes a novel”. In our conversation, Jessica and I explored the key beats in the 15 beat structure, why pacing is so important, how you create a problem, a want, and a need for your protagonist, and why it’s important to make your reader feel smart.  This was a fun and informative conversation I hope you enjoy listening to it, here it is. ...

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