Category Archives: Writing Tools

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

Rust Never Sleeps: Getting Back to Writing After a Long Hiatus | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 1

Rust Never Sleeps: Getting Back to Writing After a Long Hiatus | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 1

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… Continue Reading

The Back-To-School Special: Updates from the MFA Underground | Fiction School Podcast #46

The Back-To-School Special: Updates from the MFA Underground | Fiction School Podcast #46

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… Continue Reading

Getting Writing Done When You’re In a Life Jam | Fiction School Podcast #43

Getting Writing Done When You’re In a Life Jam | Fiction School Podcast #43

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… Continue Reading

Celebrate DRAGON DAY! Shameless Self-Promotion for Writers | Fiction School Podcast #42

Celebrate DRAGON DAY! Shameless Self-Promotion for Writers | Fiction School Podcast #42

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… 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

Announcing Jody’s New Book BOMBSHELL, Staying Nervous as a Writer and Releasing Your Work | Fiction School Podcast #37

Announcing Jody’s New Book BOMBSHELL, Staying Nervous as a Writer and Releasing Your Work | Fiction School Podcast #37

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… Continue Reading

To MFA or Not? The Back-To-School Special | Fiction School Podcast #36

To MFA or Not? The Back-To-School Special | Fiction School Podcast #36

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… Continue Reading