The Creative Writer's Toolbelt

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

Latest Episodes

May 12, 2016 00:12:12
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Episode 65 - The Magpie and the Compost Heap: Curiosity and Curation for your future projects

In episode 64 we looked at what we can do to build and enhance setting in a current project, and in this episode we look at some of the practices and habits we can adopt to help us invest as writers in future projects. We look at how, like the magpie, we need to be on the lookout for the 'shiny things' around us, the unusual the intriguing, the noteworthy. We also look at why it's good to put our research into the writer's equivalent of a compost heap where it can settle and mature into something truly useful for our writing. ...

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May 05, 2016 00:15:21
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Episode 64 - Research Respect and Reasoning: building the foundations of your story setting

Great stories require a lot of research, but there's more to it than just surfing the net for a few interesting details. In this episode we look at how to use our sources wisely and with due courtesy to those who help us. We know there's a lot of great stuff on the internet, but how do we use it wisely? And what about other forms of research, like the reference library? What about talking to people as individuals, and respecting the value they can give our work? And we shouldn't forget the thinking we need to do. What happens to our story when we reason out what might happen, do things still stack up? This episode examines all of these issues, and offer some practical ideas for making the best of the research you do for your work. ...

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April 28, 2016 00:35:25
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Episode 63 - Interview with Peter F Hamilton

This episode is a conversation with bestselling author Peter F Hamilton. In a career spanning nearly thirty years Peter has published seventeen books as well as numerous short stories. He is known for his epic science fiction trilogies including the Void series from his Commonwealth Universe, and the Night's Dawn series from the Confederation Universe. In this conversation Peter talks about the formative literary influences on his life as he was growing up, the preparation he does before writing a million word epic, and why creating the bad guy is such fun. He also talks about the importance of consistency in creating setting, and the enduring power of space and space travel to generate a sense of wonder. ...

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April 16, 2016 00:15:41
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Episode 62 - In at the deep end. How to immerse readers in your story

In the previous episode we explored the two essential qualities of setting through describing the need for setting to be credible and immersive. In this episode we focus on one of those qualities, the immersive setting, and we explore how to make the setting an immersive and compelling place for readers by taking the time to research and plan the backstory, creating a mood and style for the setting, and by presenting the setting with sparse, specific, and sensory language. ...

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April 07, 2016 00:13:08
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Episode 61 - Are you sitting comfortably? Why your setting must be Credible and Immersive

This podcast starts a new series on the subject of setting, and we begin by exploring why there are only two essential qualities needed for a setting to be effective; these are that a setting needs to be credible, and immersive. If you imagine your setting as a chair, it needs to be strong enough to support the reader, and comfortable enough to hold them for the whole story. This episode provides the practical techniques required to deliver both of these requirements. ...

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March 30, 2016 01:01:53
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Episode 60 'Writing the Other' with Nisi Shawl and Daniel José Older

How should we present characters from a range of different backgrounds in our work? How can we portray these characters with integrity and respect, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and ability? And how can we navigate this issue with confidence, especially if we come from a group that is perceived to be privileged? Most us will need to present characters in our work who are not like us in some which is socially determined as important. So for example differences in race, and gender, and sexual orientation are currently determined by society as important. Dealing with these differences is the critical cultural issue for writers today, and to help us tackle it, I've invited the writer and journalist Nisi Shawl (www.nisishawl.com), and the writer, composer and musician Daniel José Older (www.danieljoseolder.net), to join me on the Creative Writer's Toolbelt. This conversation is essential listening for anyone who is serious about dealing successfully with the challenge of 'writing the other'. ...

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