Category Archives: Voice

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

Finding the Perfect Pace for Story: Dialogue, Story Time, Soap Operas, and DUN DUN DUNs | Fiction School Season 5 Episode 2

Finding the Perfect Pace for Story: Dialogue, Story Time, Soap Operas, and DUN DUN DUNs | Fiction School Season 5 Episode 2

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… Continue Reading

Audiobooks are Awesome, and How To Get Your Work Into Audio | Fiction School Podcast #41

Audiobooks are Awesome, and How To Get Your Work Into Audio | Fiction School Podcast #41

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… Continue Reading

Reading Your Work to Strangers and Promoting Your Fiction | Fiction School Podcast #39

Reading Your Work to Strangers and Promoting Your Fiction | Fiction School Podcast #39

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… 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

The Quickie Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and Really Short Stories | Fiction School Podcast #29

The Quickie Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and Really Short Stories | Fiction School Podcast #29

This week, the epic struggle between Team Tommy and Team Jody reaches a new stratosphere, when Jody hangs up on the podcast.  That’s right. Girl couldn’t take it anymore, so she just slammed down the phone in true Hollywood style. But not really. It was micro-fiction, a fourteen-second play, to give a little intro to… Continue Reading

Writing Strategies with Point of View and Tense | Fiction School Podcast #22

Writing Strategies with Point of View and Tense | Fiction School Podcast #22

We got a great question from our contact page from a listener, Rich, so we decided to do a show on it.  Here’s Rich’s email to us: Hi All, Love the show; I download the (free!) podcasts from iTunes and I’m about halfway through. Have you considered doing a show on point of view and… Continue Reading

Writing Character-Driven Stories with Round Characters | Fiction School Podcast #15

Writing Character-Driven Stories with Round Characters | Fiction School Podcast #15

The local weirdo with the pet rat, the eccentric barista with the tattoo of an ironing board, the incompetent boss, the highfalutin poet.  Good characters are the stuff of life. But do we love character-driven stories?  Are readers willing to follow a highfalutin poet on his misadventures around, say, literary Detroit?  How do writers create… Continue Reading

Reading Like A Writer and Using Your Influences to Grow Your Writing Voice: The Thankfulness Show | Fiction School Podcast #13

Reading Like A Writer and Using Your Influences to Grow Your Writing Voice: The Thankfulness Show | Fiction School Podcast #13

This week, it being Thanksgiving and all, we’re feeling thankful. We’re thankful to be writers, thankful to have readers.  We’re thankful to have listeners to our podcast (Thanks!). And we are thankful for writers, especially the ones whose books made us want to write, authors who changed our lives and influenced the kind of stories… Continue Reading