New York Times and internationally bestselling author Amie Kaufman answers one question each week about writing craft. Full of practical tips and an exercise each week, this is a show for writers, for readers who want a backstage look at how their favourite authors craft their stories, or for creative writing classrooms.
Writing Unreliable Narrators
Why do we write unreliable narrators? Loads of reasons: to create fantastic and unexpected twists when the truth is actually revealed, to keep the reader intrigued, to amp up the tension as the reader starts to question everything they read, and everything they thought they knew. That said, there’s a risk in writing an unreliable narrator—if you don’t do it well, the reader can end up completely disconnecting from them. Here are some tips to help you get it right.
How To Get That Draft Finished
It’s work to finish a book, no matter how many times you do it. But that said, the good news is that over time you do develop a toolbox you can turn to when the going gets tough. And I’m going to let you in on a secret: If you do finish your story, it will be better than 95% of stories ever written, because it will actually have an ending. So let’s talk about how to do it.
Falling Out of Love With Your Story
It happens to everyone. And if you’re like the rest of us, pretty soon you’ve lost perspective and you’re wondering if you should scrap the whole thing, or wander off to that other idea that seems perfect, all shiny and full of potential. Most of the time, this urge to elope with a different story idea is a perfectly normal part of the process. Here are four quick tips for falling back in love with your story.
Four Tips on Backstory Without Info Dumps
We don’t want the reader to have to wade through information about our characters or world and get bored—but we also know that backstory is one of the reasons the reader will care about our characters. It helps them understand the characters’ motivations, care about what’s at stake, and gasp at the significance of all the twists and turns and reveals. So, how do we share backstory without devolving into one giant info-dump? Here are four tips for doing just that.
Crafting Distinctive Character Voices
When we say “voice” we can mean the author’s voice – that is, the qualities to their writing that mean you always know who you’re reading. But another thing we can mean when we say “voice” is that same quality in the characters themselves. Nailing your characters’ voices is important for so many reasons. On a purely practical basis, it’s important that we know who’s speaking, but it goes well beyond that.
Writing Genuinely Evil Villains
Villains play so many different parts in making your story work. They help drive the plot forward, they reveal so much about your protagonist, and they raise the stakes over and over. Here are four tips for writing genuinely bad villains who’ll hook your reader.
“amie kaufman on writing” review
this is such a wonderful podcast! it’s been very insightful/interesting as both a reader and a writer. highly recommend it!
Love these small bites of writing advice.
Great listen when you only have ten minutes or so
I love this podcast. Amie’s advice is compelling and always makes me laugh (bonus!). I don’t have time to sit down and listen to lengthy podcast so this series is GREAT for when I have ten minutes to sit with a cup of tea and have a quick listen. Can’t wait for season 2.