53 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 • 465 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!

    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 Snyder

    • 21 min
    Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 2)

    Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 2)

    In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the beats that make up the second half of the middle 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:

    [01:55] A recap of last week's episode that focused on the first half of the middle beats in the STC! method. Click here to listen to episode #48 first!
    [03:05] The average novel is about 80k words, and this section (the middle, part two) is about 20k of them. If you write 1,500-word scenes, you're looking at about 14 scenes here.
    [03:45] Some of the beats are single scene beats while others are multi-scene beats. I will tell you which is which!
    [04:15] Beat #10 is the Bad Guys Close in beat, which is a multi-scene beat where the external and/or internal bad guys put pressure on your protagonist so that they're ultimately set up for change in the upcoming beats.
    [09:55 Beat #11 is the All is Lost beat, which is a single scene beat and the worst moment of the story so far for your protagonist where everything feels horrible.
    [24:25] Beat #12 is the Dark Night of the Soul beat which is a multi-scene beat where the protagonist evaluates, analyzes, and thinks about everything (especially whatever happened in the All is Lost moment) and has an epiphany regarding what to do next.
    [19:00] Beat #13 is the Break Into Three beat which is a single scene beat where the protagonist takes their first step or action to execute their new plan.
    [22:15] 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. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article)Book: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica BrodyBook: Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

    • 25 min
    Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 1)

    Save the Cat! The Middle Beats (Part 1)

    In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the beats that make up the first half of the middle 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:

    [01:55] A recap of last week's episode that focused on the beginning beats in the STC! method. Click here to listen to episode #47 first!
    [02:30] Act two is all about your character changing. In act one, the protagonist starts out one way, then they go on a journey in act two, and come out the other side in act three a new and improved person.
    [04:15] In act two, the protagonist needs to have agency over what they’re doing. They need to take active steps toward getting or accomplishing the thing they want (aka the thing they think will bring them happiness or fulfillment).
    [05:00] As we go through these beats, pay attention to how they put pressure on the protagonist until he or she changes.
    [05:25] The average novel is about 80k words, and this section (the middle, part one) is about 20k of them. If you write 1,500-word scenes, you're looking at about 14 scenes here.
    [06:25] Some of the beats are single scene beats while others are multi-scene beats. I will tell you which is which!
    [07:00] Beat #7 is the B-Story beat which is a single scene beat that introduces a new character (or characters depending on your story) who will ultimately help the hero learn the lesson of the story.
    [10:30] Beat #8 is the fun and games beat which is a multi-scene beat where we see the protagonist really sinking into their new world, and they’re either loving it or they’re hating it. 
    [18:30] Beat #9 is the midpoint beat which is a single scene beat that ups the stakes, and this is where the protagonist starts to shift from chasing their wants to letting go of the thing they want in order to figure out what they need. 
    [24:45] 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. 5 - 3 Ways to Figure Out the Theme of Your Story (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 Snyder

    • 28 min
    Save the Cat! The Beginning Beats

    Save the Cat! The Beginning Beats

    In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the beginning beats 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:

    [01:05] The STC! method highlights 15 “beats” or plot points that each has a specific purpose and serves a particular function within your global story.
    [02:25] The average novel is about 80k words, and this section is about 20k of them. If you write 1,500-word scenes, you're looking at about 14 scenes here.
    [03:15] Some of the beats are single scene beats while others are multi-scene beats.
    [03:55] Beat #1 is the opening image which is a single scene beat that shows a “before” snapshot of the protagonist’s life and the flawed world that he or she lives in. 
    [06:10] Beat #2 is the theme stated which is another single scene beat where someone hints at the theme or what the protagonist will learn by the end of the story.
    [08:15] Beat #3 is the setup which is a multi-scene beat where readers get to see what the protagonist’s life and world are like–flaws and all. It’s also where important supporting characters and the protagonist’s initial goal are introduced.
    [011:30] Beat #4 is the catalyst which is a single scene beat where a life-changing event happens to the protagonist and catapults him or her into a new world or a new way of thinking.
    [13:50] Beat #5 is the debate which is a multi-scene beat where the protagonist debates what he or she will do next. This will take up the second half of the beginning section of your story.
    [16:40] Beat #6 is the break into two which is a single scene beat that acts as the bridge between act one and act two. Here, the protagonist decides to accept the call to adventure and leave their comfort zone, or adopt a new way of thinking.
    [18:15] 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. 2 - How to Choose the Best Genre for Your Story (article)Ep. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters (article)Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured Scene (article)Ep. 5 - 3 Ways to Figure Out the Theme of Your Story (article)Book: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica BrodyBook: Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

    • 25 min
    The 6 Scenes Every Worldview Novel Needs

    The 6 Scenes Every Worldview Novel Needs

    In today's episode, we're going to talk about the key scenes that every worldview story needs to have in order to work and to satisfy fans of the genre. Here's a preview of what's included:

    [01:20] Worldview stories focus on a period of the main character’s life where he or she is transitioning from one significant state to another. These stories show how the external events of the plot affect a character in such a way that he or she must grow, change, and awaken to a new understanding of themselves, or the world around him or her.
    [02:30] Readers choose to read worldview novels because they are super relatable. Life doesn’t always give us what we want, right? We’ve all experienced some kind of “life problem” that has forced us to stop in our tracks and re-examine who we are and what we value in order to move forward.
    [03:45] Obligatory scenes are the key events, decisions, and discoveries that move a protagonist along their journey from point A to point B. They help us writers craft a story that works AND a story that will deliver a specific emotional experience.
    [05:40] Key scene #1: A scene in which the protagonist's worldview is challenged.
    [06:45] Key scene #2: A scene in which the protagonist commits to the wrong thing.
    [07:50] Key scene #3: A scene in which the protagonist sees the truth (either part or all of it) but chooses to ignore it.
    [09:00] Key scene #4: A scene in which the protagonist realizes they can't run from the truth anymore. They need to change if they want to move forward.
    [10:00] Key scene #5: A scene in which the protagonist embraces the truth.
    [11:00] Key scene #6: A scene in which the protagonist's loss of innocence is rewarded.
    [12:25] 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: Worldview Genre Key Scenes PDF Cheat SheetWorldview Obligatory Scenes: The 6 Scenes Every Worldview Novel Needs (article)Worldview Conventions: The 10 Things Every Worldview Novel Needs (article)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!

    • 15 min
    How to Deal With Imposter Syndrome

    How to Deal With Imposter Syndrome

    In today's episode, I'm sharing three strategies that will help you overcome imposter syndrome.  Here's a preview of what's included:

    [01:50] A quick story about what my two dogs, Forrest and Luna, taught me about overcoming imposter syndrome (and how you can, too).
     [04:35] An example of how a client I worked with suffered from imposter syndrome for twelve years before every querying agents with her story. Spoiler alert: she's now a published author whose book is with one of the big five publishers.
    [05:35] Imposter syndrome is defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist in spite of evident success. Imposters suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. Almost all writers experience these feelings of inadequacy at some point in the writing, editing, and publishing process.
    [06:35] Imposter syndrome shows up differently for everyone. For one person, it might look like paralysis or the inability to move forward. For another, it might look like writer's block or even throwing in the towel and quitting altogether.
    [07:15] Strategy #1 is to stop overthinking so that you can reconnect with your heart and show up as your true self. That way, you'll be better able to share your unique message with readers and connect with them on a deep level.
    [9:50] Strategy #2 is to take some kind of action, no matter how big or small. This will help you move out of your head and into your heart. Not only that, but it'll also help you get your story done and out into the world.
    [11:00] Strategy #3 is to stop chasing shiny objects. If you keep jumping from story idea to story idea, or from one outlining method to another, you're never going to get to the finish line. Instead, keep your head down, stay in your lane, and keep moving forward.
    [16:15] Key points and episode recap.

    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!

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
465 Ratings

465 Ratings

Pjensen86 ,

One of the very best writing podcasts—and the most practical.

If you’re writing fiction or seriously thinking about writing fiction and are looking for a podcast, I suggest you start here. Every episode is digestible, practical, and actionable. It’s excellent.

4282021 ,

Save the cat

I took lots of notes to get ready for my next novel. This was fantastic. I listened twice.

MTBReads ,

Excellent Resource

This podcast is my favourite resource for writing craft. The episodes are short enough to be easily digestible, but packed with immediately useful information and practical guidance. Savannah also provides blog posts for each episode for anyone who might want worksheets or other materials to supplement their listening.

Highly recommend for writers at any stage!

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