S1E12 – Decompressing after a Zombie Apocalypse

In our final episode of Season 1, and following July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, we take a relaxed look at the ways writers can decompress after finishing a long project (or after an apocalypse – yes, we get distracted by talking about zombies). Sometimes, that’s as simple as playing a video game or going for a walk – and sometimes, when other stories are beckoning, you just can’t stop yourself from diving into more work.

We’d also like to thank our fantastic listeners for sticking with us through our first season. Everything about this has been a learning experience for us, but we’ve had a lot of fun as podcast hosts, and we hope you’ve enjoyed our chats and discussions.

We’ll be back with Season 2 in the early autumn. Stay tuned to our Twitter @wahpodcast, or subscribe, to be notified when that happens!

S1E11 – Long Projects and NaNoWriMo

In honour of July’s Camp NaNoWriMo, this episode is all about writing long projects. We cover the difficulties involved in working on a longer story, including everything from burn-out to forgetting your characters’ names, as well as the ways to combat these tricky parts. It’s important to remember, too, that although NaNoWriMo can be fraught with writerly trials, there’s a reason we do this. There’s a massive sense of accomplishment that only finishing a long project can bring, and regular writing can help propel you into new stories in the future.

Finally, we want to thank Regina for joining us on this episode. We love hearing new voices and new perspectives on the show, and we look forward to more guests joining us in the future!

 

S1E10 – Inspiration

For our tenth episode, we dive into the subject of inspiration. This is a big topic, but we chat about some of the ways you can find ideas for your fiction when you’re feeling stuck, or just want to get a new story off the ground. Our personal examples include finding inspiration in video games, films, and even natural landscapes. Also, watch out for our tangent in the middle, where we get sucked into discussing magic systems (we’ll be doing a full episode on the subject in the future, we promise)!

Thoughts? Comments? Want to let us know where you get your story ideas from? Send us an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com, or leave a comment on this post.

Note: we deliberately avoid discussing musical inspiration in this episode, because we’ll be doing a whole show on that in the future. Remember to subscribe, either via RSS or iTunes, to get a notification when that (and all our other episodes) happens!

Note, the second: we’re going to be chatting about Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man very soon, so if you haven’t read it, pick up a copy now to get the most out of our episode.

S1E9 – Writing Outside Your Experience

What do you do when you want to write about a subject you don’t know anything about? In this episode, the whole crew is present to tackle this thorny issue. We cover the basics of research where technical and location knowledge are needed, but also the trickier subject of ‘writing the other’.

Whilst writing outside your own personal experience is vital to bring any character to life, it’s far more difficult to accomplish if that character is of a different gender, sexual identity, ethnicity or culture than your own. We talk about ways to go about researching exactly that, as well as how to apply that research to your writing – and, crucially, things you need to be careful of.

This is a huge subject, and one we’re sure to come back to at a later date. If you’ve got any comments, questions, or aspects of this topic you’d like us to cover in future episodes, send us an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter @WAHpodcast.

Also mentioned in this episode, our next review will be the Discworld novel Reaper Man. As usual, there will be plenty of spoilers, so to get the most out of the episode, we suggest you read the book first!

S1E8 – Fifty Shades of Ghost Librarians

This episode, we come back to the Q&A format. There are questions, there are answers, and there are many, many tangents. Topics under discussion this week include juggling multiple writing projects, habits and rituals in our writing routines, the tools we use to write with, and genres we absolutely can’t stand (beware: rants ahead).

Once again, we had a lot of fun recording this episode, and whilst it slightly veers off-topic from time to time (maybe slightly is the wrong word…), we cover a whole load of writing subjects. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Got questions you’d like us to answer in future episodes (tangents just about guaranteed)? Send an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com, leave a comment on this post, or find us on Twitter @WAHpodcast. We’d love to hear from you!

A Moment of Silence for Orlando

In the wake of the Orlando shootings at the Pulse nightclub on June 12th 2016, we’ve recorded a short special episode to offer our condolences to all those involved. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy, both the victims and their families and friends. We also know that you, our listeners, might like to do something to help; a number of options are mentioned in this episode, and there are full links below.

We hope you’ll join us in this moment of silence. Thank you.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Collection for the Pulse Victims Fund.

American Red Cross.

Blood banks in Florida.

And for anyone interested in contacting government officials:

State governors’ contact details.

White House contact details.

S1E7 – Fury Road Review/Story Chat

It’s review time! In this episode, we finally get the whole crew together, for an in-depth discussion of Mad Max: Fury Road. We talk about everything from characterisation, world-building and language use, to pacing, themes and the role of women in action movies.

In case it isn’t obvious, this episode is full of spoilers, so if you haven’t watched Fury Road, we recommend seeing it first – and then, of course, coming back to listen to our discussion!

And yes, it’s official! Nienna and Raven are definitely not the same person – although we’re still a bit hazy on which is which…

S1E6 – Crossing Genres

In tonight’s episode, Chase, Nienna and Amy talk about genre, with a special emphasis on stories that don’t fit neatly into a single category. As well as covering topics such as the purpose of genre (is it only for readers, or useful for writers, too?), we discuss our favourite cross-genre works – including one or two books that have been so influential, they’ve spawned a whole new genre. Ultimately, though, we find it’s better to write what you want to write, regardless of genre constraints – more of that in the episode!

S1E5 – Deus Ex Heart

AKA Questions and Answers, Part 1, in which we get distracted by talking about Captain Planet.

In this episode, Chase, Raven and Amy break the usual podcast schedule for a more informal chat. We take the opportunity to ask one another questions about our writing processes, with topics ranging from the very first stories we remember writing, to favourite books, and trickier questions like why we write and what aspects of storytelling we think we do best.

This is a much more casual episode than any we’ve done so far, but we had a lot of fun recording it, and we hope you enjoy it just as much! If you’ve got any questions you’d like us to answer in a future episode of this type, send us an email at wahpodcast@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter.

S1E4 – Plot Basics

Every story needs a plot, so this week we talk about a few of the basic forms that can take. We start by covering the seven core conflicts a story can encompass (more details below), then discuss the essentials your plot needs to have. This could be as simple as that old adage ‘a beginning, a middle and an end’, but there are other factors to think about, too. Will your story follow a linear progression, for example, and what motivation drives your main character?

Finally, what happens when things go wrong? It’s easy to get bogged down when you’re deep in the middle of your story, whether you’ve lost the thread of your plot, or have mired yourself in too many of them. We talk about ensuring those extra sub-plots serve the rest of the story, and making changes when you’ve written yourself into a corner.

As ever, you can send your comments about this episode, or questions for future ones, to wahpodcast@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter @wahpodcast. Our individual accounts can all be found over at the About page.

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