As with many things in life, writing is a pursuit that requires ongoing learning. One of my favourite ways to learn is by listening to podcasts. I love podcasts because somebody else takes the time to curate content and then really smart and successful people get together to discuss that content. Not only do I learn all kinds of neat tools of the trade, I also feel a kind on kinship with my favourite podcasters because every week I listen to their beautiful voices and get to enjoy their company. Sort of. In a remote kind of way.
Here are some of my favourite podcasts:
I have main-lined Writing Excuses ever since I discovered it. This wonderful show is short (normally around 20 minutes long), hosted by some extremely talented and successful writers, and bursting at the seams with some of the best advice and insight available on the topic. Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and Dan Wells have taught me a great deal of what I know about the craft. They also give a writing prompt at the end of each show. One such prompt led to the birth of The Colour of Tears, a short story I had published in SQ Magazine in the beginning of 2014. Thanks guys!
The Writing Show
Paula B stopped producing her wonderful podcast, The Writing Show, in 2012. I still go back and listen to episodes of her Slush Pile Workshop series because during this series she taught me more about crafting effective first chapters than anyone ever has (and probably ever will).
The Odyssey Podcasts are an offshoot of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. These are excerpts of lectures given by some seriously heavy hitters in the industry. Where else can you listen to John Joseph Adams talk about what he looks for in stories submitted to Lightspeed Magazine? Or get a lecture on plot structure from Elizabeth Bear? Nowhere. Listen to this podcast.
Of course, you can’t just listen to people talk about the craft of writing, it also helps to find podcasts that cover topics of interest to you. I love the Science and Nature podcasts, and have a good deal of BBC Radio podcasts on my phone. Having a deep well of general knowledge makes it easier to generate ideas, and you don’t sound like a complete idiot when you discuss a specific topic (history and science in particular).
Well, that’s it for today. I hope you find something you can use here.
Do you have any links to your favourite podcasts? Share them in the comments.
Do you have any Writer’s Toolbox Requests? You can share those in the comments too.
Until next time, happy writing.