Welcome to Amie Kaufman on Writing, a short podcast that answers one question each week about how writers do what they do. If you’re a writer, or you’re a reader interested in how your favourite authors craft their stories, then you’re in the right place.
Weaving Setting Into Your Story
This week we’re going to talk about how you convey it to your reader—because done well, your setting can contribute to the mood of your story, help shape the action, and guide the experience of the reader in ways they don’t even notice. We talked last week about avoiding White Room Syndrome—the feeling that your story could be set anywhere. Let’s talk now about how to weave in those details really well.
Four Ways To Visualize Your Setting
Your setting is essentially a character in your story, and has so much to tell us. The location in which your story is set should matter—it should be relevant that the story takes place here, rather than somewhere else, and it should influence the way the story unfolds. Setting is so important that I’ve dedicated the final two episodes of season one to it—this week we’re talking about visualizing your setting, and next week we’ll talk about weaving it into your writing. Let’s get into it.
How Do I Avoid Clichés?
The answer definitely isn’t to avoid familiar storylines completely—sometimes a path is well-trodden for a reason. Let's talk about the difference between a cliché (something we’ve seen over and over) and a trope (a familiar storyline or story element) and find out how tropes might actually serve you.
Where Should My Story Start?
There’s a lot to say about the start of stories, and we’ll get to more of it in future seasons. In this episode, I talk about the tip I use to locate the start of my stories - and, if that doesn’t magically solve my problem, the two questions I ask myself from there.
Who Is My Protagonist?
The protagonist—or the main character of your story, the star of the show—is often tricky. Let's dive into the two questions I ask myself about my protagonist that can be useful in figuring out who they should be if I’m starting, or later as a diagnostic tool.
How to Deal with Writer’s Block
This is something that happens to everyone—I don’t buy it when people say they never have writer’s block. They might call it by another name, but there’s no creative out there who doesn’t sometimes have a moment, or a day, or a week… or longer… when they either don’t know how to push forward with their story, or can’t seem to make themselves. So how to you get past writer's block? I have four suggestions for ways to tackle it.
Customer ReviewsSee All
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.
An Essential for Writers/Aspiring Writers! :)
Amie Kaufman is one of my favorite authors, but even if you aren’t familiar with her work, this is a podcast that all writers/aspiring writers should give a listen! Engaging and packed with no shortage of stellar advice. :)
Quick quality writing advice
As an aspiring author, I’ve listened to lots of writing podcasts, and this one is quality. I love how quick and to the point it is. A member of my writing group recommended it to me, and now I recommend it to you.