Baker’s haunted by the unfortunate photo session his grandmother made him do at age 12 (moussed, middle-parted haircut; paisley button-down; prominent zit). Tommy’s haunted by Mrs. Blythe’s third grade math class, where he was forced to display his difficulties with long-division over and over on the chalkboard. Jody? She doesn’t believe in ghosts. For writers, […]
The post The Hero’s Ghost! Mmwwaaaahahaha! | Season 6 Episode 2 appeared first on Fiction School.
A wise teacher once told us that the least funny thing you can do is explain a joke. So, we decided to make a whole show explaining humor writing, because we are not wise. Actually, this show is a lot of fun. You should listen. Hear the ol’ Fiction School talk about the incredibly hard and tedious […]
The post How To Write Funny Stuff: Irony, Mark Twain, and the Danger of Humor | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 7 appeared first on Fiction School.
**Hey! Quick! It’s the last day to enter the Fiction Open! Send ’em in now! Baker once had a writing teacher that said writing wasn’t a competition between writers. The only competition was the writer vs. the page. He obviously hadn’t heard of the epic Poets vs. Prosers basketball games, but more importantly, he was correct. […]
The post Applying Yourself: Entering Contests and Competitions | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 6 appeared first on Fiction School.
Every Friday afternoon, back in Tommy and Baker’s MFA days, there was a tradition. A tradition of slaughter, of domination. It was ugly, it was fun, it always proceeded to revelry at a local dive bar. It was the weekly MFA basketball game, where the Poets would team up against the Prosers.* The Poets had a […]
The post The Music of Prose: Why Fiction Writers Need To Be Poets, Too | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 5 appeared first on Fiction School.
Friends, we’re here to preach a little hard truth. Some people–famous writers, even–want you to think there are shortcuts. James Patterson has been using Facebook to advertise his $90 MasterClass called something dumb and inviting like “Learn to Write a Bestseller”. The class might teach you a lot, but it might also be a waste […]
The post The Anti-Masterclass: Learning to Write by Slogging Through the Mud and Taking No Shortcuts | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 4 appeared first...
This week, Tommy decided he needed a nap more than he needed to talk about story structure and outlines. He hates that stuff anyway, so, good choice, Tommy Z. He’s all about anarchy and chaos, and this week we’re getting organized. But the problem is, you can get too organized, too structured. You can read […]
The post How Fiction Writers Can Use Story Structure Without Getting Bogged Down, Downtrodden, or Duped. PLUS: ANNOUNCING OUR WRITING CONTEST! | Fiction School Podcast Season 5...
Like marathon runners, breakdancers, and zumba instructors, storytellers have to always be considering their pace. Go too fast, readers can’t keep up. Go too slow, readers get bored. But how do writers figure out the best pace, and how to ebb and flow with it? How can we use dialogue effectively and avoid the soap […]
The post Finding the Perfect Pace for Story: Dialogue, Story Time, Soap Operas, and DUN DUN DUNs | Fiction School Season 5 Episode 2 appeared first on Fiction School.
Hey, you. Yes. YOU. You should enter Fiction School’s first annual writing contest! It’s the 2016 FICTION OPEN! The winning story gets published in Razor Lit Mag (where Baker is the Editor, so you know it’s cool) and the author will be a special guest on an upcoming episode of Fiction School. There’s a small […]
The post Rust Never Sleeps: Getting Back to Writing After a Long Hiatus | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 1 appeared first on Fiction School.
Remember the Trapper Keeper? It was so badass, especially when you could poke a hole in a corner and blow it up like a balloon. I did that almost every day in fourth grade. Every fall in those salad days of elementary school, I’d get queasy walking into Wal-Mart to get my Trapper Keeper and fresh […]
The post The Back-To-School Special: Updates from the MFA Underground | Fiction School Podcast #46 appeared first on Fiction School.
Here are things that Tommy Zurhellen doesn’t believe in: Santa Claus. The Bermuda Triangle. The Ghost of Bear Bryant. And…prewriting. That’s right, ‘Schoolers. There’s no such thing as prewriting, and there’s no such thing as preheating your oven. Everything you do is actually writing, in one vague form or another, according to TZ. Which is […]
The post World Building and the Myth of Prewriting | Fiction School Podcast #45 appeared first on Fiction School.
Hey there–long time no see…er, hear. Yeah, the irreverent professors of Fiction School have been a bit erstwhile with our podcast of late. But we’ve got good reasons, y’all. We’re busy putting out books and getting famous and drinking margaritas on the beach like the rockstar authors we are. Yeah, totally. That. Really, we’re just […]
The post Getting Writing Done When You’re In a Life Jam | Fiction School Podcast #43 appeared first on Fiction School.
It’s hard to come up with an idea for a story or novel, and it’s hard to write it, and it’s hard to edit it. But what might be the hardest thing? Getting people to pay attention to your writing. This week, we’re talking about shameless self-promotion, and Tommy Zurhellen’s diabolical plan to Own The […]
The post Celebrate DRAGON DAY! Shameless Self-Promotion for Writers | Fiction School Podcast #42 appeared first on Fiction School.
Remember how, when you were a kid, you loved having a story read to you? You loved hearing a story out loud? There was just something about it, some soothing magic, that only a story told out loud can provide. But, hey, now that you’re all grown up, the world doesn’t have to be all […]
The post Audiobooks are Awesome, and How To Get Your Work Into Audio | Fiction School Podcast #41 appeared first on Fiction School.
We got a great question from Casey, a Fiction School listener who won a flash fiction contest (GO CASEY! Fiction School congratulates you on overcoming your listening of our podcast in order to win. We take no credit.). In the glory of his win, Casey had some dealings with an editor who wanted a few […]
The post Working With Editors, When To Listen and When To Ignore Them | Fiction School Podcast #40 appeared first on Fiction School.
One magical summer, two writers who’d been friends forever decided to raise a little hell. They piled boxes of books, some camping gear, a few changes of clothes, and a cooler full of sauerkraut and beer into the back of a Camry. They hit the open road, reading their fiction to anybody who’d listen. It […]
The post Reading Your Work to Strangers and Promoting Your Fiction | Fiction School Podcast #39 appeared first on Fiction School.
Tommy’s freaking out. He left a bouquet of flowers to surprise his girlfriend, but he’s worried that some wild giraffe or wolf or leprechaun is going to steal them or eat them or something. And somehow this relates to a good question from listener Christopher. Here is the traditional Google Voice butchering of the voicemail that […]
The post Plot vs. Character, Deepening Fiction with Subplot, and Giraffes | Fiction School Podcast #38 appeared first on Fiction School.
Writers all dream of that day when their book goes out into the world. Your first one is special, but it never gets old, either. This week on the show, we’re celebrating Jody’s latest book release, Bombshell (published with Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin), and we talk about being nervous about sharing your work, targeting specific […]
The post Announcing Jody’s New Book BOMBSHELL, Staying Nervous as a Writer and Releasing Your Work | Fiction School Podcast #37 appeared first on...
So, we took the summer off. We’re sorry. No, we’re not–it was GREAT–but it’s also great to be back. Thanks for your emails asking us if we were still alive, still friends, still podcasting. Yes, yes, and yes. To kick off Season Two as we go back to school, we talk about going back to […]
The post To MFA or Not? The Back-To-School Special | Fiction School Podcast #36 appeared first on Fiction School.
Sometimes there are just too many dishes in the sink to get that line of dialogue right. The TV is too loud to make that first sentence sing, you know? Real life. It gets in the way of Fictionland all too often. But what if you want to get away from real life and crank […]
The post How Writing Retreats Can Grow Your Career | Fiction School Podcast #35 appeared first on Fiction School.