The Creative Writer's Toolbelt

The Creative Writers Toolbelt gives practical accessible advice and encouragement to Creative writers. Each episode explores an aspect of creative writing technique, with examples, allowing you to apply what you learn immediately to your writing. ...more

Latest Episodes

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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March 17, 2016 00:21:55
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Episode 59 - Character and characterisation: series wrapup

This episode is a summary of the issues we have covered in the last dozen or so installments of The Creative Writer's Toolbelt, from the critical components of character: developing the character essence, and goal, motivation, and passion - through the secondary components: defining the character arc, defining the interior life of the character, using character interaction to best effect, and defining a complementary set of characteristics and voice. ...

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March 03, 2016 00:18:25
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Episode 58 - Deep and narrow or broad and shallow? The essentials of Point of View

Point of view (PoV) is critical to your story. The authorial decision you make about PoV will set the tone and voice of your work, and influence the reader's perception of your protagonist. It's a decision that you need to make up front, and once you've made it you need to stick to it. It's essential that you know what the options are, what the benefits and disadvantages of each PoV are, and you understand which option is going to work best with your story. ...

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February 18, 2016 00:15:21
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Episode 57 - Outstanding performance in a supporting role - making your supporting characters excellent

It's no surprise that many of the principles that we use to develop our lead characters also apply to our supporting cast. The critical objectives with our supporting characters are the same, we need to create characters with a strong, believable essence, and clear goals and motivation, and then we need to deploy them effectively to support both the main characters and the story. We can do this by ensuring these characters have a strong backstory, even if they have just a walk on part, and we can draw on a range of sources including our imagination, caricature, and people we know in real life to build the composite character for our story. ...

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