The Creative Writer's Toolbelt

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

Latest Episodes

170

January 31, 2022 00:42:16
Episode 170: Be the hero of your own story, with Donna Lichaw

Episode 170: Be the hero of your own story, with Donna Lichaw

Those of you who have read the book that accompanies this podcast will know that, in my opinion, one of the best explanations and representations of the way story works comes from the executive coach, speaker, and author Donna Lichaw. Donna is not a creative writing professor, nor is she a best-selling fiction author. She comes from the world of tech, she knows about leadership development, product development, user experience, and how companies can create excellent products for their customers, and she knows how story is bound up with all of this. I’ve been meaning to talk to Donna for years now. I wish we’d had three hours to really unpack this stuff, but we had 40 minutes and so we made the most of that, and so in this episode, Donna talks to us about how classic story structure is still a powerful tool for understanding how humans communicate with each other and have done since the dawn of civilisation; we discuss how this concept applies to the art of showing and telling, and how the most important story for us to work out as writers is our own story, the most important story for each of us is the one in which we are the hero, and if we can understand that story, we can better unlock the power of all the other stories we want to tell. I had a great time talking to Donna, I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation, here it is. ...

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169

January 13, 2022 00:23:37
Episode 169: Creating stories that work: content and structure

Episode 169: Creating stories that work: content and structure

Welcome to episode 169 of the Creative Writer’s Toolbelt. In the next few episodes, I am going to be exploring the fundamentals of story structure. We’re going to look at different perspectives on story and story structure with the help of a number of guests and I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say and sharing those insights with you. By way of an introduction, in this episode I want to ask a deceptively simple question, and it’s this: what does a really good story look like? And I am going to try to answer this question by first exploring what I mean by the word “story” and then looking at what the content of a good story should be, and what structures we could use to present that story in the best possible way. ...

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168

December 23, 2021 00:44:29
Episode 168. Passion Focus and Discipline with Dave Chesson

Episode 168. Passion Focus and Discipline with Dave Chesson

Welcome to Ep 168 of the Creative Writer’s Toolbelt podcast. My guest for this episode is Dave Chesson. Dave is an author, entrepreneur and something of a famous name in the self-publishing scene. For many years he has been creating free courses and articles as well as applications that help writers to publish and promote their work, applications like publisher rocket and the newly arrived Atticus, which combines editing, sharing, and formatting functionality. I have been using Dave’s publishing tools for a number of years and I was particularly interested in finding out how Atticus might work and how it can help authors, and while we did talk about this Dave also had some wisdom for the attitude, disciplines, and focus that we need to succeed as writers, here’s our conversation. ...

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167

December 16, 2021 00:28:30
Episode 167. Building your authority as a writer, with Bryan Collins

Episode 167. Building your authority as a writer, with Bryan Collins

Welcome to episode 167 of the Creative Writer’s Toolbelt podcast. My guest for this episode is the writer, journalist and blogger Bryan Collins. Bryan has written for Forbes, the Huffington Post, and Fast Company. He has published 16 books on creativity, non-fiction, and being a productive writer. Bryan loves stories and is especially interested in how the power of story can be applied to non-fiction. In this episode, we talk about how telling a story is much more powerful than talking about features when it comes to persuading people to buy a product or a concept, we also talk about how you can build your authority as a writer, and the power of owning your own work and your own space online. We also talk about some of the tools that we writers can use to improve their productivity and help us present our work to the world. Bryan and I had a good chat that helped me to think about how and where I can use stories in my work, and what tools and services I can use to help me do this, I hope it’s useful for you, here it is. ...

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166

October 30, 2021 00:46:21
Episode 166 From Aristotle to Hollywood with Susan Isaacs

Episode 166 From Aristotle to Hollywood with Susan Isaacs

  Welcome to episode 166 of the creative writer’s toolbelt podcast. My guest for this episode is the actor and writer and Lutheran Susan Isaacs.  Susan has worked in TV, and got a Masters degree in screen writing. She moved to New York, and worked in comedy there before moving back to California to be close to her mother, who had dementia. She turned some of the most difficult times of her life into a one-woman stage show and that led to a publishing deal. She is now Professor of Screenwriting at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. In our conversation we talk about the fact that successful stories need a compelling character, who is relatable but also wounded, and who has a desire or goal. We discuss how story structure goes back to Aristotle, and has been worked out by great storytellers have worked with and worked out this structure since then, from Shakespeare to Tolkien, from St Augustine to Margaret Mitchell. We discuss the fact that great stories have an internal and an external journey for the main characters and how this works within the three-act structure, and how stories live in specificity. We talk about how script writing is the same as the novel but also different in terms of structure, we discuss active verbs, and reflect on how our stories are never going to be as horrible, or wonderful, as we think they are.  I learnt a lot from my conversation with Susan, I hope you find it an enjoyable and informative listen.                 ...

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165

October 17, 2021 01:01:42
Episode 165. Flightpath to publication with James Blatch

Episode 165. Flightpath to publication with James Blatch

Welcome to episode 165 of the Creative Writer’s Toolbelt My guest for this episode is the author, James Blatch. Some of you will know James as one half of the team who present the hugely popular Self Publishing Show with Mark Dawson.  James is a former radio and television journalist, he has worked for the BBFC, the British Board of Film Classification, so the organisation here in the UK the UK that decides what certificate a film gets. James’ family has a long relationship with the Royal Air Force, his father was a test pilot with the RAF and James has a passion for the planes, which he has carried over into the subject of his first novel, called The Final Flight, which is set on an RAF base in the 1960’s. In this episode we talk about respecting the material you are working with in your novel, the challenge of marketing your first book, and the importance of building an email list. I would also say, I am aware that not all of you listening to this want to self-publish your work, you want to get a traditional publishing contract and that’s a good aim to have, but I would suggest that all of the writing advice and a good part of the marketing advice you here in this episode and on the Creative Writer’s Toolbelt Podcast generally is useful and applicable to you. Even if you do get a traditional publishing contract, and congratulations if you do, you should still be thinking about how you can market your books and your brand, and in particular as it applies to this episode, how important it is for you to build your own ...

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