The Creative Writer's Toolbelt

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

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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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164

October 01, 2021 00:41:02
Episode 164. A citizen of two worlds. Juggling writing and life with Sam Mills and Michael J. Harvey

Episode 164. A citizen of two worlds. Juggling writing and life with Sam Mills and Michael J. Harvey

The American writers Joyce Carol Oates famously said:  “The biggest obstacle for writers is distraction from other people."   And it’s substantially true. But those who say we should exclude these distracting people are offering a solution that is both naïve and selfish, and doesn’t really allow for the reality of our lives. In truth, it’s usually the people that we love who are the most distracting, and we choose to continue to love them and engage with them rather than cut ourselves off from them; our partner, our children, family members, close friends, maybe even vulnerable people to whom we have made some kind of commitment. We have to find a way of acknowledging our responsibilities to those who we have a commitment to, whilst still finding the time and energy to write, and to achieve this balance is an essential skill for the writers life. To help us explore this issue, and to offer practical steps to help us all with this tight rope act, I am joined by two writers, Sam Mills and Michael J Harvey. Sam Mills studied English Language and Literature at Oxford University, and worked as a journalist and publicist before giving it all up to write full time. She has published seven books, the latest of which is “The Fragments of My Father” which explores her personal story of becoming a carer to her father, who has schizophrenia. Michael J. Harvey is a fantasy novelist with degrees in History from the Universities of Leicester and Cambridge. He is a blogger, writer and traveller, and also a husband and father to two young children. Both of my guests have had to learn to create and manage time for their writing, ...

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163

September 17, 2021 00:56:29
Episode 163. Getting in touch with our own inner champion - with Cami Ostman

Episode 163. Getting in touch with our own inner champion - with Cami Ostman

So much of how we engage with our writing is bound up with the disciplines, good and bad, we apply to ourselves, and how we feel about ourselves as writers. In this episode I tackle these issues, together with the thorny subject of dealing with our own inner critic, with speaker writer and marathon runner, Cami Ostman. ...

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September 03, 2021 00:55:53
Episode 162. Keep the faith! With Sarah Moorhead

Episode 162. Keep the faith! With Sarah Moorhead

Yes! The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt is back after a hiatus of about 18 months and it’s a delight to talking to you again. If you haven't subscribed you can do so at: https://the-creative-writers-toolbelt.castos.com/ My guest for this first episode of the relaunched podcast is the author and teacher Sarah Moorhead. Sarah is every inch the the scouser that she sounds, she's funny and honest and determined, all qualities that I think we need to have in big quantities as writers. In our conversation we talk about keeping the faith in our stories and our voice, asking ourselves the question: who are you as a writer? And nurturing the determination to see a writing project through to the end. I had a great time talking to Sarah, I hope you will enjoy listening to our conversation, here it is. ...

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