Tom Occhipinti ( -- Creative Writing Podcast

Creative Writing Podcast -- Creative Writing Podcast


The Creative Writing Podcast at is designed to help writers of all levels. The focus is on characterization, narrative, plot development, dialogue, conflict, setting, literary archetypes, etc. Episodes are not centered around mindless, useless pep talks and recycled writing tips. Rather, the Podcast at offers in-depth analysis of what works and what doesn't, with explanations and original writing samples. Contact Tom at



Writing 009 -- Characters of Tragedy and Redemption

Jul 29, 2007


This episode looks at two different kinds of protagonists: the fallen and the redeemed. Each can evoke strong emotions in the reader and speak to the human condition. Properly handled, tragedies and redemption stories become very powerful character-driven pieces. If you listen to the podcast but have not yet subscribed for free, please consider doing so via iTunes or another aggregator. Visit for details.

Writing 008 -- Writing Historical Fiction: Part 2

Apr 17, 2007


We continue our discussion of how to write historical fiction. Toward that end, we examine what some established authors have done -- and we break the topic into three sections.

Quick Writing Tip 015 -- Writing Deus Ex Machina (Not!)

Mar 26, 2007


Learn about Deus Ex Machina -- its pros and cons and how it can hurt fiction.

Quick Writing Tip 014 -- Motives Beneath Motives

Mar 6, 2007


This episode doesn't just talk about what superficially motivates characters; it looks at the forces that need to stir at deeper levels.

Quick Writing Tip 013 -- Writing a Novel Prologue

Feb 5, 2007


Many authors are disparaged for using prologues to start their novels -- but is it such a bad practice after all?

Writing 007 -- Writing Historical Fiction

Jan 9, 2007


Whether you're writing Historical Fiction or utilizing history within your fiction, there are a handful of things you need to consider. This episode focuses on much of the theory, and we take a look at what writers of Historical Fiction have said about the genre. In the next episode, Writing 008, we will analyze what some of the more successful historical novels have done and experiment with some original passages.

Quick Writing Tip 012 -- Story, Narrative and What to Include

Dec 18, 2006


Trim down your writing; think about what you should include in your narrative and what should you leave out. Also, learn the difference between story and narrative.

Quick Writing Tip 011 -- Writing, Ideology and Activism

Nov 19, 2006


Many writers use their fiction as a form of activism. However, does it hurt the art form?

Quick Writing Tip 010 -- How People Read

Nov 5, 2006


Learn about the four ways to approach reading a book.

Quick Writing Tip 009 -- The Subtle Dimensions of External Conflict

Nov 3, 2006


Learn how external conflict can be written to underscore the turmoil brewing within the character's psyche.

Writing 006 -- Listener Letters (emphasis on approaching the novel)

Oct 29, 2006


It's time to respond to some of your questions and comments. All the same, I can't help myself: I address one or two of them so heavily that I hijack my own show and give it a bona-fide theme. Among other things, I talk about how I approach writing my novel -- and while it's not my intention to say, "Hey, do it MY way," the discussion might somehow be helpful.

Quick Writing Tip 008 -- How Writing is like Painting

Oct 26, 2006


Learn how writing is like painting a picture. However, this episode is not what you think; it has nothing to do with writing description. Give it a listen.

Quick Writing Tip 007 -- Be Consistent

Sep 25, 2006


Make your characters consistent. Learn how things can easily go wrong.

Quick Writing Tip 006 -- Sacrifice for the Greatest Good

Sep 17, 2006


Stop being so sentimental. If it serves your story, kill the characters you love.

Writing 005 -- Thoughts about Setting

Sep 13, 2006


This time out, I talk about how setting can establish tone, bolster theme and give psychological dimension to your story. Podcast Promo

Sep 11, 2006


Subscribe to the Podcast at

Quick Writing Tip 005 -- The Story or You?

Sep 9, 2006


Step outside of yourself -- Stop making all your fiction thinly-veiled autobiography.

Writing 004 -- The Shadow in the Hero

Sep 4, 2006


Ahh, yes. This is one of my favorite discussions when talking about writing. It goes well beyond the mundane, deeply into character and conflict analysis and into the psychological and archetypal. Without this useful dramatic device, your story can easily fall limp. You really need to check this one out as we will come back to the issue of the Shadow from time to time.

Quick Writing Tip 004 -- What's this Adverb Phobia all About?

Aug 31, 2006


Should we be afraid of adverbs? Sometimes, yes. Listen to this and learn why.

Quick Writing Tip 003 -- Likeable Characters

Aug 27, 2006


Okay, write that hateful character -- but make sure that he is loveable.

Quick Writing Tip 002 -- Write what you know?? Nonsense!

Aug 20, 2006


Stop writing what you KNOW and start using your imagination!

Quick Writing Tip 001 -- The Importance of Internal Conflict

Aug 18, 2006


Yes, internal conflict is the heart of characterization; but it's also at the heart of drama. Listen and learn.

Writing 003 -- How to Write Dialogue

Aug 15, 2006


Tom Occhipinti talks about how to write dialogue in fiction. He covers the basic rules and discusses whether or not they should be broken. Finally, he touches upon the issue of writing MEANINGFUL dialogue and along the way recounts a funny story from his college days. Or maybe Tom just has a cruel sense of humor. You decide.

Writing 002 -- How to Open your Story: Part Two

Jul 24, 2006


This is Part Two of a show that discusses the various ways you can open a story. Part One addressed opening a story with Narrative Description. Here in Part Two, Tom Occhipinti addresses opening a story with Action and Dialogue, respectively. It's an in-depth examination of the Do's and Don'ts, with a heck of a lot of analysis. Check it out.

Writing 002 -- How to Open your Story: Part One

May 30, 2006


If you have ever struggled over how to open your story, this show will help, as it looks at a few possible approaches. Even if you don't have an issue with this, the discussion and sample passage written and analyzed by Tom is fodder for thought. This episode is Part One.

Writing 001 -- Show Introduction and Preview

Apr 20, 2006


Our first show introduces you to the podcast creator and writer, Tom Occhipinti, and gives you a heads up on the direction that the podcast series will take.