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The Business of Writing Podcast is where the best creative minds of our time share how they’ve built thriving businesses around their writing skills. It’s time to kill the myth that writing doesn’t pay—on this show you’ll learn how to make words work for you. We’ll be going deep into the art and science of great writing, the business acumen you need to make your business thrive, and writers of all kinds will share hard-earned insights you won’t get anywhere else. So if you want to master the ...
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Episode 47Tips for Writing Books with Magical Elements Welcome to episode 47 of The WriterSpark Podcast, the podcast that ignites your creativity and fuels your passion for storytelling. I'm your host, Melissa Bourbon, and today I have an enchanting episode you won't want to miss. I am thrilled to be joined by the bestselling author Barbara Davis, …
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Episode 46 Story structure is at the heart of storytelling. Many writers use the Hero's Journey, the Three-Act Structure, the Snowflake Method, or Save the Cat, but there is another way to write a novel; Unlock your creativity with process writing and you'll harness amazing benefits. In this episode, Boo Trundle and I talk about process writing, it…
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Episode 45 Get a glimpse behind the publishing curtain from Shawn Reilly Simmons, co-founder of Level Best Books, a woman-owned and -operated boutique publisher. Whether you are a published or aspiring author, whether you are indie, traditional, or hybrid (published or not), learn from an expert in the industry. Learn more about Level Best Books ➤ …
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Episode 44 Every author has two jobs, one as an author, and the other as a marketer. It's a necessary part of the writing life if you are in it to earn money. Nicolette Lemmon is an industry expert with experience in marketing. This episode taps into marketing fundamentals to help writers succeed in this part of the writing process. Books and Other…
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Episode 43 We can all use a little MAGIC in our writing lives. In this case, I'm talking about the MAGIC from "Organisational Consultant and workplace mediator Sharon Darmody". In our conversation, we talked about how to apply her MAGIC framework to the writing life. Books and Other Resources Mentioned in this episode: * Work Your Magic* https://ww…
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Episode 42 In this episode, Melissa talks with Lynne Golodner, author of Woman of Valor and prolific creative nonfiction writer, about mining your life for stories. This is such a great topic and applicable to people who write (or want to write) memoirs, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Enjoy! Books and Other Resources Mentioned in this episode: W…
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Episode 41 In this episode, Melissa talks with Michael Griffo, who also writes at JD Griffo and Michael Falco. The topic is All About Agents: Do you need them? What to look for... But it ended up being so much more. Enjoy! Resources mentioned in this episode: Books and Other Resources Mentioned in this episode: Michael Griffo's Website: https://mic…
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Episode 40 Every writer needs an editor, but do you know why and what they do for you? Do you know what editors do and what different types of edits mean? Developmental. Substantive. Line. Copy. They each have their own purposes. As well as being an author, writing coach and instructor, and cover art designer, I am also a freelance editor. Today I'…
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Episode 39 Every writer gets stuck now and then. It's part of the journey. Getting stuck doesn't mean you need to stop, though, and it isn't just about pushing through. I have 8 strategies to help get you past 'Writer's Block' so you can move forward with your writing. (Read along on the WriterSpark blog) ✨ 📝 Get updates on business, creativity, an…
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Episode 38 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is HERE, and writers all over have jumped into this exciting challenge. Whether you're an aspiring novelist or a seasoned writer, National Novel Writing Month may be just the special (not-so-secret) sauce you need to get motivated. If you are taking this writing challenge, you're in for a whirlwin…
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Episode 37 George Cramer spent years as a PI and Police Officer (turned writer), and many hours interviewing (not interrogating!) victims, suspects, and witnesses during investigations. Join me for this interesting conversation with George where he shares anecdotes, techniques, and tips for fiction writers. ✨ 📝 Get updates on business, creativity, …
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Episode 36 Join me for a captivating podcast interview with Eryk Pruitt, the author of Something Bad Wrong, a gripping novel inspired by an unsolved true crime case from the 1970s in North Carolina. We talked about the fusion of fact and fiction in this great interview. Get ready for an insightful and intriguing conversation! 📖🕵️‍♂️ Learn more abou…
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Episode 35 Marjory McCown Final Cut Signed Copy Giveaway! If you’d like to enter for a chance to win, go HERE: https://forms.gle/8PkJnGUYtRqZQfu97 How do you use your real-life as an influence in your writing? Marjorie McCown did just that in her book, Final Cut. She was a costume designer in Hollywood for 30 years and she used experiences from her…
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Episode 34 If you've ever thought about writing a cozy mystery, this WriterSpark Podcast episode is for you! The mystery genre is huge, and cozy mysteries are a pretty special part of it. In this episode, I'm sharing 10 reasons to read and write cozy mysteries. What makes them so popular? Listen to find out! Learn more about how to write a cozy mys…
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Episode 33 Have you ever wondered what audiobook production and narration entails for an author? If you haven't, this episode of The WriterSpark Podcast is for you! Audiobooks can be a huge asset to an author's bottom line. There is a lot to learn, and that's what we're talking about in today with author and audiobook narrator Mary Castillo. She ha…
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Episode 32 Books. Movies. TV shows. Most of them are structured using at least some, if not all, of the elements of The Hero's Journey. That includes Extraordinary Attorney Woo, the Netflix original South Korean show. This is one of my favorite things to watch on television. It's smart, heartwarming, poignant, interesting, romantic, and I love it! …
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Episode 31 Whether you call it writer's block or simply getting stuck, the feeling of not being able to keep writing is very real. Certain strategies and tactics can help you get past the wall that sometimes appears and interferes with your forward progress. Today I'm in conversation with author Anne Louise Bannon, author of the Operation Quickline…
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Episode 30 Everyone has a story to tell. Robin Schepper turned her story and the search for her biological father into her book: Finding My Way, A Memoir of Family, Identity, & Political Ambition. In this episode, we talk about writing a memoir with tips and processes to tell your story. We talk about Robin's writing process, delving into the past,…
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Episode 29 In this craft topic episode, I'm talking about different ways to begin your book, scene, or chapter: 'In media res' or with a wide-lens view. Have you ever thought about the opening scenes of movies? If you pay attention, you will start to notice how they often begin with a sort of wide-angle view of the world in which the story takes pl…
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Episode 28 Seeing things from a new perspective can really give you a new way of seeing and internalizing things. That’s how I felt after reading Bill Birchard’s new book Writing for Impact: 8 Secrets from Science to Fire Up Your Readers’ Brain. This book really hit home for me on so many levels. There are a ton of craft books out there, but this o…
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Episode 27 Love it or hate it, revision is an essential part of the writing process. Today, I'm sharing my four steps for revising your manuscript like a boss! After 32 books, I've distilled how I revise into this process. Wherever you stand on the revision, I hope today's episode gives you something to add to your process. DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISOD…
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Episode 26 Figuring out how to introduce your protagonist (and sleuth) can be a real challenge. In today's episode, Melissa discusses this craft topic with author Zara Altair. DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE: The protagonist in the ordinary world Not getting hung up on the beginning Diving in with action A QUICK LOOK AT THE BOOK MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE…
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Episode 25 Here’s a great lesson. Whatever you do can be changed. Because things evolve and nothing is perfect the first time around. That’s what today’s episode is all about. We're talking about the importance of letting go of the idea of perfection and remembering that you can change, improve, revise, or enhance anything. On the flip-side, we als…
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Episode 24 Finances for authors. It’s not the most appealing topic for people who spend their time with words…but wherever you are on your writing path, it’s never too early to start thinking about how to tackle your financial life as an author. Managing your expenses, especially in relation to current and/or future profits--or even just knowing wh…
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Episode 23 Today's WriterSpark episode is about deep point of view and how to incorporate it into your fiction writing. Deep point of view is a concept that can be hard to explain and hard to understand. But you CAN master it if you use these four elements as you write your scenes: Emotion Thought Action Decision Today I'm showing you exactly how t…
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Episode 22 Who says you can't write from a woman's perspective if you're a man? Or from a man's perspective as a woman? Writing is about understanding people, and not just people who look and sound and live like you. Today's conversation is about just this: writing from a perspective that is different from your own, whether that means gender, race,…
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Episode 21 Publishing is a tough industry no matter what age you are. Author Martha Anne Toll's award-winning book, Three Muses, was published when she was 64 years old. Today I am in conversation with her to talk about what it means to publish your first book as an older person--because with age comes wisdom, experience, and perspective. I loved h…
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Episode 20 Making the shift from writing in one genre to another...or from genre fiction to a traditional fiction category...can be daunting. As writers, we sometimes feel as if we are going to be stuck in the genre in which we started. Or we may think we'll never want to make a change. In this episode, USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle and…
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Episode 19 As writers, creating diverse fictional worlds that reflect the world and communities we live in is so important. And it is a conversation we don't have nearly often enough. Cozy mystery author VM (Valerie) Burns and I talked about this (among other things) on this episode of the WriterSpark podcast. Valerie and I talked about the importa…
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Episode 18 Weather can be an Important Part of Fiction Writing and no one does it better than Katherine Ramsland. Katherine is one accomplished woman. She holds multiple graduate degrees and currently teaches forensic psychology at DeSales University in Pennsylvania, where she is also the Assistant Provost. Listen to this. Katherine has appeared as…
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Episode 17 As writers, we are always learning and filling our virtual toolboxes with new information. It's how we continue to grow as writers. In today's episode, I'm chatting with Leslie Budewitz, who also writes as Alicia Beckman. Rants and free writing to channel characters are two of Leslie's Go To methods of mining the depths of her characters…
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Episode 16 What are Turning Points in a Story? Are they necessary? What do they do? Let’s talk about it! Whether you are a plotter or a pantser, understanding certain components of storytelling will help you create a more engaging story, which keeps readers turning the pages. In today's episode we’re talking about one of these key components: Turni…
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Episode 15 Every writer plots, we just do it differently. Some of us are meticulous. Some...not so much. Personally, I land somewhere in the middle on the plotting spectrum. Which is why I was so curious about how plotting software like Plottr can help someone like me. In this episode, I talk with Troy Lambert, an education specialist with Plottr, …
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Episode 14 There is no shortage of plotting and planning methods when you're writing a book, but no matter where you are in your writing journey, you can learn new methods and who knows, maybe something will resonate. In this episode, I talk with historical mystery writer, Dianne Freeman, about her use of journalistic tools (who, what, when, where,…
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Episode 13 There are a lot of strategies for creating compelling characters in fiction. I have three tips for you to consider. These are, by no means, the only ways to help bring your characters alive. Part of it is about Stimulus; Response; and Result. Take a listen, and happy writing! Download the Cheat Sheet: Three Tips for Writing Great Charact…
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Episode 12Adding Myth and Lore to the Novels you Write Author Julia Buckley writes the Hungarian Tea Shop cozy mystery series. She embeds myth and lore to her stories through setting, character history, and memories. Why should writers think about how to do this? I believe it adds depth to a story and layers to characters. Take a listen to my chat …
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Episode 11What is a reluctant hero? The answer to that question is very simple. A reluctant hero is someone who does not set out to act heroically, but ends up doing so. They are often considered an "ordinary man (person)" who is a reluctant participant in a story. They don't want to be heroes, but they end up being heroes anyway. There are several…
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Episode 10 Have you looked at The Hero's Journey through the lens of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief? If not, you are in the right place because that is exactly what I do in this podcast. One of the best ways to really begin to internalize the steps and importance of The Hero's Journey in writing is to analyze books and movies that use the st…
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Episode 9 How to Research and Write Historical Mysteries Writing historical mystery books--or any novel, for that matter--is no easy feat. It takes time, research, a desire to learn about the era about which you are writing, And if you want to write a real showstopper, you have to fully immerse yourself. Heather Redmond Heather Redmond knows just h…
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Episode 8 Creating workable systems for writers is a clear and strategic way to elevate your writing career. As a creative, my brain doesn't naturally skew toward creating systems. Being an author is one thing, but elevating that writing career to a business that earns in the 6 figures is a different ballgame for most of us. Prolific USA Today best…
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Episode 7 WriterSpark: Tips and Tricks for Fiction Writers Podcast How writers in a writer's room write is different from fiction writers. But there are lots of lessons to be learned from those writer's rooms. Really, wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall in a Hollywood Writer's Room? I would! Reality Unfortunately, most of us don't get that ch…
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Episode 6 All authors were unpublished, aspiring authors at one point. All authors started at the beginning. They all have an origin story. How did they get their start? What was their path to publication? Inspiration These stories can be inspiring. Motivating. Whether it’s the Joker’s, Batman’s, or our own, they are all meaningful. WriterSpark Wri…
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Episode 5 How to Plot your Fiction Novel So how, exactly, do you plot a fiction novel? Bestselling author Libby Klein has some plotting 101 tips that are invaluable. Plotting Versus Pantsing Plotting versus pantsing is a popular topic. Everyone has their own process, and there is no one way to do things when it comes to writing. The most important …
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Episode 4 Do you know how to add humor to your writing? You don't have to be a side-splitting funny person to be able to add humor to your writing. You don't even need to be funny at all. So what do you need? You just need to understand the techniques needed to add humor to your writing and you'll be golden. Scott Sedita There are a lot of ways you…
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Episode 3 Outlining while Still Writing by the Seat of your Pants Outlining (or plotting) seems opposite of writing by the seat of your pants. In a lot of ways it is. But it doesn't have to be. See how they work together. In this episode, I'm talking with bestselling mystery and suspense author Daryl Wood Gerber about how these two methods of writi…
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Episode 2 How do you Write a Convincing Villain? The villain is just as important as the hero. In fact, in the WriterSpark Ready, Set, WRITE! course, I recommend starting with the villain to ensure complexity. In This Episode In this episode, Melissa chats with author Annette Dashofy about her tips to writing a compelling villain. Annette gives sev…
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Episode 1 Writing your Bliss Rather than Writing to the Market Writing your bliss rather than writing to the market may not be easy to do. It's tempting to want to write to the market. If you do that, however, you risk: being uninspired by your own plot boring readers because they will sense the lack of inspiration your writing lacking authenticity…
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In This Episode: After 100 amazing episodes, we are stepping away from The Business of Writing Podcast to focus on exciting new ventures and partnerships. In the final episode of this first chapter, Laura and Rachel reveal why they’re making this decision, what we’re doing next, the biggest lessons we’ve learned along the way, and how you can make …
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In This Episode: Adam Hunt is a TV Producer turned Copywriter who specializes in comedic copywriting. He says there’s an art to writing jokes that work for brands – and a science that makes sure the end result is on-brand, on-message and won’t get you cancelled. Adam brought together TV’s best comedy writers to form his White Label Comedy Hive-Mind…
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In This Episode: So many of our listeners want to market themselves and build great platforms, we want to highlight the kind of person who can really make it happen. So today we are interviewing Laura Valenti, who is the genius behind many of the systems here at the Business of Writing. We could not have made this show without her. Laura is a creat…
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