58 episodes

How do I write a book? How do I create compelling characters that readers will love? How do I build a believable world for my story? What does it even mean to write a story that works? Do you have any writing tips? These are just some of the big questions that developmental editor and book coach, Savannah Gilbo, digs into on the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast. Each week, Savannah shares actionable tools, tips, and strategies that will help you write, edit, and publish your book. So, whether you're brand new to writing, or a seasoned author looking to improve your craft, this podcast is for you!

Fiction Writing Made Easy Savannah Gilbo

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 38 Ratings

How do I write a book? How do I create compelling characters that readers will love? How do I build a believable world for my story? What does it even mean to write a story that works? Do you have any writing tips? These are just some of the big questions that developmental editor and book coach, Savannah Gilbo, digs into on the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast. Each week, Savannah shares actionable tools, tips, and strategies that will help you write, edit, and publish your book. So, whether you're brand new to writing, or a seasoned author looking to improve your craft, this podcast is for you!

    3 Tips for Writing a First Draft in 90 Days

    3 Tips for Writing a First Draft in 90 Days

    In this episode, I'm sharing three tips for writing a first draft in 90 days. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:

    [01:35] How one of my Notes to Novel students, Jennifer, wrote a draft in 90 days (after creating a flexible, yet very fleshed out scene-by-scene outline)
    [04:35] Tip #1: Block out the time and space on your calendar so that you'll actually have the time and space to write a first draft in 90 days.
    [05:25] Tip #2: Accept that your first draft will be messy, but don't let that stop you from making forward progress. Use things like "details TK" to keep moving forward.
    [07:00] Tip #3: Create a scene-by-scene outline for your story so that you have a roadmap to follow each time you sit down to write.
    [09:25] Final thoughts and episode recap

    Follow & Review in Apple Podcasts
    Are you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!
    If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!

    Links mentioned in this episode:
    Ep. 34 - How to Plan Your Writing Projects for the New YearFREE Masterclass: 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What To Do Instead). Click here to save your seat!Click here to register for the free masterclass > The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What to Do Instead). In this masterclass, we’re going to talk about the most common mistakes I see writers make so that you can avoid them and write your draft in the most efficient way possible.

    • 12 min
    How to Test Your Story Idea Before Writing

    How to Test Your Story Idea Before Writing

    In this episode, I'm sharing two of my favorite ways to test out a story idea before you start writing a single word. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:

    [01:50] The goal of these two exercises is to find out which foundational pieces of your story still need to be fleshed out. Better to find out now than halfway through a draft!
    [01:10] Exercise #1: Write a 1-2 sentence summary of your story. Try to capture the WHO, the WHAT, and the WHY of your global story.
    [04:45] If you don't know all the answers, look to your genre for clues! Your story's global genre will give you the framework for these summaries (and so much more).
    [06:00] If an idea does fall flat in this 1-2 sentence summary, this does NOT mean the story idea isn't good. It just means there's more work to do to flesh out the foundational elements required to write a full-length story.
    [06:30} Exercise #2: Write a 250-word (or less) summary of your story. Take your short summary and expand the WHO, the WHAT, and the WHY. Add details about your setting, too.
    [08:00] An example of a summary from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
    [11:20] Final thoughts and episode recap

    Follow & Review in Apple Podcasts
    Are you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!
    If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!

    Links mentioned in this episode:
    Ep. 2 - Understanding Genre: How to Write BetterIMDB.com the Internet Movie Data BaseFREE Masterclass: 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What To Do Instead). Click here to save your seat!Click here to register for the free masterclass > The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What to Do Instead). In this masterclass, we’re going to talk about the most common mistakes I see writers make so that you can avoid them and write your draft in the most efficient way possible.

    • 14 min
    Counting Down the Best Tips from FWME in 2021

    Counting Down the Best Tips from FWME in 2021

    In this episode, I'm doing my own little countdown of some of the best and most listened to clips from the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast episodes in 2021. Here's a preview of what you'll hear in the episode:

    [00:00] Tip #10: The more clear you are about your goals, the better chance of success you’ll have when it comes to accomplishing them. 
    [00:00] Tip #9: Knowing your story’s ideal reader can help you write, edit, publish, and market your book. 
    [00:00] Tip #8: Your point of view character needs to have a goal in each and every scene in your novel.
    [00:00] Tip #7: Your point of view character needs to face a tough choice in every single scene.
    [00:00] Tip #6: The theme of your story doesn’t have to be original!
    [00:00] Tip #5: Focusing on writing solid scenes (vs. chapters) will allow you to finish your draft in the most efficient way (and become a better writer).
    [00:00] Tip #4:  If you’re stuck between multiple story ideas, ask yourself which one will help you become a better writer and start there.
    [00:00] Tip #3: You need to understand your character’s backstory to give them meaningful conflict to face in the story present.
    [00:00] Tip #2: Understanding the ins and outs of your genre is the fastest way to write a story that works.
    [00:00] Tip #1: Focus on crafting a compelling story before you focus on writing beautiful words and sentences.

    Follow & Review in Apple Podcasts
    Are you following my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today so that you don't miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not following the show, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to follow this show in Apple Podcasts!
    If you're already a follower, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. These reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!

    Links mentioned in this episode:
    Ep. 8 - 7 Secrets to Success Every Writer Should KnowEp. 4 - How to Identify Your Story's Ideal ReaderEp. 43 - 10 Tips for Writing Better ScenesEp. 40 - How to Write a Well Structured SceneEp. 5 - How t Figure Out the Theme of Your StoryEp. 6 - 3 Reasons You Should Write in Scenes vs. ChaptersEp. 3 - How to Decide Which Story Idea to Write NextEp. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersEp. 2 - Understanding Genre: How to Write BetterClick here to register for the free masterclass > The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What to Do Instead). In this masterclass, we’re going to talk about the most common mistakes I see writers make so that you can avoid them and write your draft in the most efficient way possible.

    • 27 min
    5 Takeaways From Coaching Writers in 2021

    5 Takeaways From Coaching Writers in 2021

    In today’s episode, I'm sharing some of the lessons I learned from coaching writers this year. My hope is that these lessons will help you to keep moving forward with your work in the most efficient way possible. Here's a quick preview:

    [01:15] Lesson #1: Most writers have trouble with the emotional layers of their stories. We need to properly learn how to convey our character's emotional reactions in order to successfully evoke emotions in readers.
    [05:00] Lesson #2: It's not always going to be easier to write your second book than it was to write your first book. Even if you've "leveled up," you'll still need to go through the process of writing a messy first draft to discover your story. Think of it as practicing your craft.
    [07:50] Lesson #3: It's important to speak up about what you want, what you think, and what's important to you--even if you're working with someone like a traditional publisher.
    [10:45] Lesson #4: Most writers don't spend enough time developing their antagonist as they do their protagonist, and they should! Your antagonist provides the central conflict for your story, so they're just as important to flesh out and make three-dimensional.
    [13:10] Lesson #5: It's so important to get to "The End" of your first draft because then, and only then, will you be able to see your story as a whole. The way forward will be so much easier once you see the big picture.
    Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcasts
    Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!
    If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!

    Links mentioned in this episode:
    Notes to Novel: Learn how to confidently write the first draft of a story you feel proud of (without the crippling self-doubt, frustration, and overwhelm that stops most writers in their tracks). Click here to get on the waitlist!P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!
    Click here to register for the free masterclass > The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What to Do Instead). In this masterclass, we’re going to talk about the most common mistakes I see writers make so that you can avoid them and write your draft in the most efficient way possible.

    • 17 min
    3 Tips for Writing Unforgettable Secondary Characters

    3 Tips for Writing Unforgettable Secondary Characters

    In today's episode, I'll walk you through three tips for crafting unforgettable supporting characters.  Here's a preview of what's included:

    [01:15] Supporting characters are any characters that are not your protagonist or your antagonist. In general, each supporting character in your story will either support or thwart your protagonist as they try to achieve their goal.
    [03:10] Tip #1: Develop your supporting cast of characters just as fully as you would your protagonist and your antagonist.
    [05:15] Tip #2: Let your supporting characters represent an aspect of the overarching story.
    [07:15] Tip #3: Give your supporting cast of characters a hook to help them stand out.
    [11:30] Key points and episode recap.

    Links Mentioned in This Episode
    Ep. 2 - Understanding Genre: How to Write Better Stories (article)Ep. 10 - How to Create Memorable Characters Using Hooks (article)
    Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcasts

    Are you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!

    If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!

    P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!
    Click here to register for the free masterclass > The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What to Do Instead). In this masterclass, we’re going to talk about the most common mistakes I see writers make so that you can avoid them and write your draft in the most efficient way possible.

    • 13 min
    Save the Cat! The Ending Beats

    Save the Cat! The Ending Beats

    In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the beats that make up the end of a story, or the final section of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! (STC!) beat sheet so that you can efficiently outline (or write) your novel. Here's a preview of what's included:

    [01:45] A recap of the last three episodes (episodes #47, #48, and #49)/
    [03:15] The average novel is about 80k words, and this section (the end) is about 20k of them. If you write 1,500-word scenes, you're looking at about 14 scenes here.
    [03:40] Some of the beats are single scene beats while others are multi-scene beats. I will tell you which is which!
    [04:20] Beat #14 is the five part finale! And this beat is all about resolving all the problems that were raised in act one and act two. It's also about showing how much your protagonist has changed since page one.
    [05:45] Five Part Finale Part 1: Gathering the Team.
    [07:00] Five Part Finale Part 2: Executing the Plan.
    [08:35] Five Part Finale Part 3: High Tower Surprise.
    [10:15] Five Part Finale Part 4: Dig Deep Down.
    [12:15] Five Part Finale Part 5: Execution of the New Plan.
    [15:00] Beat #15 is the final image. And this is a single scene beat that shows how much your protagonist has changed since the opening image.
    [18:25] Key points and episode recap.

    Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcasts
    Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts!
    If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance!

    Links mentioned in this episode:
    Episode Freebie: Scene Planning Roadmap PDFEp. 47 - Save the Cat! The Beginning Beats (article)Ep. 48 - Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 1) (article)Ep. 49 - Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 2) (article)Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article)Book: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica BrodyBook: Save the Cat! by Blake SnyderClick here to register for the free masterclass > The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (+ What to Do Instead). In this masterclass, we’re going to talk about the most common mistakes I see writers make so that you can avoid them and write your draft in the most efficient way possible.

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

Mate77 ,

Great podcast on how to improve your fiction

If you need some advice on how to improve your fiction (and who doesn’t) then this podcast will offer you all the ideas and inspiration you need.

✌Good game ✌ ,

Very helpful podcast

I started listening to this today. It’s the podcast I’ve been looking for. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience in such an accessible and useful way!

anskrbwozbx ,

Love it!!

This podcast was recommended in a comment on reddit (r/writing) and I couldn’t be more glad! Only a few episodes in and what you say actually makes sense, and your speech is so clear. Love it!!

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