The Creative Writing Podcast at AmericanWriters.com 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 AmericanWriters.com offers in-depth analysis of what works and what doesn't, with explanations and original writing samples. Contact Tom at AmericanWriters@gmail.com.
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 AmericanWriters.com 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.
AmericanWriters.com Podcast Promo
Sep 11, 2006
Subscribe to the Podcast at AmericanWriters.com.
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.