Category Archives: Revision

How To Write Funny Stuff: Irony, Mark Twain, and the Danger of Humor | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 7

How To Write Funny Stuff: Irony, Mark Twain, and the Danger of Humor | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 7

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… Continue Reading

The Music of Prose: Why Fiction Writers Need To Be Poets, Too | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 5

The Music of Prose: Why Fiction Writers Need To Be Poets, Too | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 5

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… Continue Reading

The Anti-Masterclass: Learning to Write by Slogging Through the Mud and Taking No Shortcuts | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

The Anti-Masterclass: Learning to Write by Slogging Through the Mud and Taking No Shortcuts | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

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… Continue Reading

How Fiction Writers Can Use Story Structure Without Getting Bogged Down, Downtrodden, or Duped. PLUS: ANNOUNCING OUR WRITING CONTEST! | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 3

How Fiction Writers Can Use Story Structure Without Getting Bogged Down, Downtrodden, or Duped. PLUS: ANNOUNCING OUR WRITING CONTEST! | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 3

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… Continue Reading

World Building and the Myth of Prewriting | Fiction School Podcast #45

World Building and the Myth of Prewriting | Fiction School Podcast #45

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… Continue Reading

Writing Faster, Being Prolific, and Increasing Your Writing Speed IF You Want To | Fiction School Podcast #34

Writing Faster, Being Prolific, and Increasing Your Writing Speed IF You Want To | Fiction School Podcast #34

Writing is a weird art form because it’s so solitary.  We sit in a nice artist’s garret, or steal away a moment at our cubicle, or toil in a slightly damp and purple-walled dungeon (like Baker’s basement office). And since we’re alone, writers don’t often talk about what actually happens in those writing sessions.  How fast are… Continue Reading

How To Keep Tension Rising, and Rising, and Rising in Your Book | Fiction School Podcast #28

How To Keep Tension Rising, and Rising, and Rising in Your Book | Fiction School Podcast #28

This week, we’re answering a voicemail from Bonnie J. Rough, who actually made a guest appearance on Episode 25. Her question was a great one that many writers (including us) struggle with: how do you make sure you keep the tension rising in the right way over the course of a book or long narrative?… Continue Reading

Writing Across Genres with special guest Deanna Raybourn | Fiction School Podcast #27

Writing Across Genres with special guest Deanna Raybourn | Fiction School Podcast #27

What do you do if you’re the kind of writer who likes to set books in the past, in interesting locations, but then your instincts tell you that the story has something mysterious happen there, too?  And also, yeah, your characters are kind of into each other as well, doing the chemistry thing while they’re… Continue Reading

Writing Sherlock Holmes, Researching Smarter, and Having a Career as a Writer with special guest Laurie R. King | Fiction School Podcast #26

Writing Sherlock Holmes, Researching Smarter, and Having a Career as a Writer with special guest Laurie R. King | Fiction School Podcast #26

You know how, when you ask some writers for advice, they’ll say something like “Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair,” and it’s so unhelpful it’s kind of infuriating? But then you ask other writers, and they give you actual advice that blows your mind? Changes your writing strategy? Gives… Continue Reading

How To Revise a Big Ol’ Book-Length Project: Advice From Over a Dozen Writers | Fiction School Podcast #25

How To Revise a Big Ol’ Book-Length Project: Advice From Over a Dozen Writers | Fiction School Podcast #25

Sometimes, you just can’t stop the good times from rollin’.  Like this week, many special things happened.  First, Tommy’s pleading and begging for all these weeks finally came into fruition.  It happened.   We. Got. A. Voicemail. It was a great question from a listener, Joseph, and we knew we wanted to do a show… Continue Reading