A podcast that analyses stories to help you become a better writer
Author: Jed Herne
I'm an Australian architecture student, and my fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Scarlet Leaf Review, Flintlock and Down in the Dirt. I blogs at jedhernewriter.wordpress.com, and my writing advice has been published on The Better Novel Project, The Writing Cooperative and ProWritingAid.
My debut fantasy novella,Fires of the Dead, releases in 10 days on September 20th! It’ll be available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook forms. You can pre-order the ebook now for automatic delivery on Sep 20th.
I’m so stoked to share this book with the world :). Can’t wait to hear what you think!
In today’s episode, I read the opening chapter. Enjoy!
Wisp is a Pyromancer: a magician who draws energy from fires to make his own flames. He’s also a criminal, one job away from retirement. And it can’t come bloody soon enough.
Leading his misfit crew, Wisp ventures into a charred and barren forest to find a relic that could change the realm forever. But they aren’t the only ones on the hunt, and the forest isn’t as barren as it seems …
A jaded gang leader longing for retirement
A bloodthirsty magician with a lust for power
A brutish fighter who’s smarter than he looks
A young thief desperate to prove herself
A cowardly navigator with secrets that won’t stay buried
Together, they must survive fights, fires, and folk tales that prove disturbingly real – if they don’t kill each other first.
Fires of the Dead is a dark fantasy novella with a unique magic system, perfect for anyone wanting a fast-paced read.
To stay updated with the book launch (and my writing in general), you can join my free author email newsletter: https://jedherne.com/club/. When you sign up, you’ll get some bonus fantasy and sci-fi stories!
The Language of Dying is an elegiac, emotionally moving novella, about a woman whose father is dying. In today’s episode, I dive deep into analysing how the author crafted such a profound emotional experience. If you want your words to move your readers, this episode explains how.
A Canticle for Leibowitz is a 1959 post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel by Walter M. Miller Jr. It’s often described as one of the first post-apocalyptic stories. Without it, there would be no Book of Eli, The Stand, or most other post-apocalyptic tales.
Don’t just take my word for it. It won the 1961 Hugo Award – one of science fiction’s highest honours. Legendary scientist Carl Sagan described it as: “so tautly constructed, so rich in the accommodating details of an unfamiliar society that [it] sweep me along before I have even a chance to be critical”.
It’s a remarkable novel. I don’t have the space in one episode to fully analyse it, so today I’m focusing on just one thing: how it uses an unconventional structure to explore the theme and emotionally gut-punch readers. Enjoy!
Gabriel Bergmoser is a Melbourne based author and playwright. He’s written the Boone Shepard trilogy (I analysed book 3 in this episode of the podcast) along with multiple plays. His latest novel is The Hunted (aka Sunburnt Country in the UK), which comes out in mid-2020 from HarperCollins.
It was a pleasure to have Gabe back on the podcast to discuss his recent book & movie deals, along with other aspects of his life as a writer. Have a listen if you’re interested in:
– Gabe’s advice for being resilient and overcoming rejection;
– What it’s like to get a huge book deal with a major publisher (& an equally huge movie deal!);
– The biggest writing lesson he learnt from finishing the Boone Shepard trilogy;
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a gritty YA fantasy heist story. It’s got a racing plot, an interesting setting, and amazing characters. In this episode, I analyse the relationship between Kaz and Inej, using Mary Robinette Kowal’s 6 relationship axes
:Mind – Both people have similar levels of intelligence.
Money – Both people have similar attitudes about money. They don’t both have to have the same amount. This is about what money is for and how it’s handled.
Morals – Similar moral compasses of right and wrong.
Manners – Similar senses of what is polite. So it’s possible to have the same manners and wildly different morals.
Monogamy – Similar attitudes about the relationship. You know that guy that thinks you are BFFs and you think you’re just colleagues?
Marx Brothers – You both find the same things funny.
Arguably more intelligent, but this often gets in the way of him
connecting with people. High IQ, low EQ – apart from when he’s
sociopathically manipulating people
Not as cunning or clever as Kaz, but with better genuine people
“he is a young criminal prodigy, ready to do anything for the right
price” – Leigh Bardugo. Wants money for selfish reasons (so he can destroy a
gang leader who hurt him)
Also wants money, but for unselfish reasons (so she can destroy
Rock solid, mainly because of her religious convictions.
Manipulative; views manners as a tool to use to further his goals.
Seems relatively kind; uses manners in an unconsciously kind way,
because she’s a kind person.
Has feelings for Inej, but puts up walls to protect himself.
Also has feelings for Kaz, but won’t commit to anything while he
still maintains his walls.
They both find it funny to upset the privledged, the cruel, the
sadistic. In many ways, their mutual hatred of abusive authority figures binds
After Dale from The Reading Gorilla podcast sent in a listener request, who was I to ignore it? This is an episode about Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic, Ender’s Game. Specifically, I examine how he crafted such an amazing twist. Enjoy!
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What does it mean to craft epic fantasy? How is it different that other forms of fantasy? What are it’s unique strengths, and potential pitfalls? All those questions and more answered in today’s episode, which focuses on The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.