19 episodes

Hosted by James Thayer, the podcast is a practical, step-by-step manual on how to craft a novel. It presents a set of tools for large issues such as story development and scene construction (Kirkus Reviews said Thayer's novels are "superbly crafted') and it also examines techniques that will make your sentence-by-sentence writing shine. The New York Times Book Review has said Thayer's "writing is smooth and clear. it wastes no words, and it has a rhythm only confident stylists achieve.

Essential Guide to Writing a Novel James Thayer

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 40 Ratings

Hosted by James Thayer, the podcast is a practical, step-by-step manual on how to craft a novel. It presents a set of tools for large issues such as story development and scene construction (Kirkus Reviews said Thayer's novels are "superbly crafted') and it also examines techniques that will make your sentence-by-sentence writing shine. The New York Times Book Review has said Thayer's "writing is smooth and clear. it wastes no words, and it has a rhythm only confident stylists achieve.

    Episode 19 - More on modifiers, including the useless and the dangling. And clunky reach words.

    Episode 19 - More on modifiers, including the useless and the dangling. And clunky reach words.

    Many adjective and adverb s do nothing but pad a sentence, making the sentence rickety.  Here are some techniques on avoiding these useless or unintentionally funny modifiers.  Plus, some words are just too much.  We'll avoid these, too.

    • 25 min
    Episode 18 - Lots of things to avoid: the negative, cliches, and too many modifiers.

    Episode 18 - Lots of things to avoid: the negative, cliches, and too many modifiers.

    In this episode we focus on sentence-by-sentence writing.  How can we make our sentences vivid and powerful?   Some strong techniques are discussed, such as avoiding cliches like the plague.

    • 26 min
    Episode 17 - Keep it simple but not too simple, and metaphors.

    Episode 17 - Keep it simple but not too simple, and metaphors.

    Our writing should be a clear window to the story, and a technique is to, in Einstein's phrase, keep it simple but not too simple.  Here are some techniques for doing that, along with a discussion of metaphors and similes.

    • 25 min
    Episode 16: Theme, odd questions, more on conflict, and vivid writing.

    Episode 16: Theme, odd questions, more on conflict, and vivid writing.

    As writers, should we be concerned with a themes for our stories?   And a critical question: are writers allowed to be weird?  We'll also return to the need for early conflict in our stories, and then go on to discuss vivid writing.

    • 26 min
    Episode 15 - Techniques for writing about settings.

    Episode 15 - Techniques for writing about settings.

    Our setting -- the place and time of the scene -- anchor our characters the the ground.  Here are techniques for writing our settings to get the most from them, so that they play a strong role in the story.

    • 29 min
    Episode14: The fourth wall, the ending, and some bad writing.

    Episode14: The fourth wall, the ending, and some bad writing.

    Our topics this episode are how to avoid breaking the fourth wall, onomatopoeia (clunk, thud, kersplat), and techniques on ending the novel.  We'll also talk about some bad writing, really bad writing.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

Penguin209 ,

Extremely Helpfull

I’ve listened to other writing podcasts that only succeeded in confusing me and draining my creative energy. This podcast is easy to understand and I appreciate hearing examples of what is being discussed.

JLJLJLW ,

Great writing podcast!

Helpful information and fun to listen to!

Humanfactor-Cambridge ,

A great coach…

I greatly appreciate James Thayer's efforts in making us all better writers. James has a solid background in writing and teaching. He has published many books, which alone doesn't necessarily mean a person is a good teacher. But James is a good teacher. Through his series of Podcasts, he coaches new/old writers in the many foundational areas they need to pay attention to for writing well. These are the "Basics". They are crucial to supporting a good story and a good reader experience. Before I write my next book, I will listen again to his Podcasts as it encourages good writer hygiene.

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