23 – The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams pt. 1 – Why Characters Don’t Matter

This absurdly funny sci-fi comedy is a fantastic example of how you don’t always need amazing characters to create an amazing story. Buckle up as we use Orson Scott Card’s MICE quotient to analyse what makes this novel work. And remember: don’t panic!

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***

Shownotes:

http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/Workshop-stuff/MICE-Quotient.htm

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22 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Finding your Perfect Prose

Fitzgerald’s classic chronicle of the Jazz age is often praised for its wonderful prose. In this episode, I examine what makes his prose so stylistically appealing – and we look at how you can write better prose. Keep beating on, boats against the current!

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***

Shownotes:

Get my free short story! A Clockwork Prison

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21 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Meaningful Endings and the Truth

21 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Meaningful Endings and the Truth.

Truth. It’s one of the most important aspects of story – especially of stories that are fantastical. In this episode, I explore how Gaiman created a truthful, meaningful, and emotional resonant ending to his Hugo and Newberry award-winning novel: The Graveyard Book. (Includes bonus singing from yours truly) Enjoy!

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***

Shownotes:

Get my free short story! A Clockwork Prison

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20 – Elantris by Brandon Sanderson – Avalanche Endings

If you want to learn how to write explosive, fast-paced, balastic endings, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson is an excellent novel to study – which is what I do in this episode! Enjoy!

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***

Shownotes:

Want to read my free short story? Get it here: A Clockwork Prison

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19 – Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy – The Art of Naming

In this episode, I look at how Derek uses names to craft compelling, fleshed-out, interesting characters. Enjoy!

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Shownotes:

Derek’s tactics for creating awesome characters (video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB5o1uAqodA

Superhero nation article on names: http://www.superheronation.com/2007/10/15/character-naming-superheroes-and-otherwise/

Random name generators:

https://www.behindthename.com/random/

https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/

18 – Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – Misfit Characters

Sometimes the key to compelling characters is to make them NOT fit neatly into your plot. That’s what Sanderson does in Warbreaker – a stand-alone fantasy book (that he also gives away for free on his website!).

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***

Shownotes:
Get Warbreaker for free from Brandon’s website: https://brandonsanderson.com/books/warbreaker/warbreaker/
Get my free short story! A Clockwork Prison

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17 – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Crafting Compelling Narrators

This historical World War II novel by Australian author Markus Zusak has compelling characters, an engaging plot, and wonderful writing. But it’s biggest strength is the narrator: the personification of Death. In this episode, I use The Book Thief to break down the key qualities of a compelling narrator. 

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Or click here to listen online

***

Shownotes:

Get my free short story! A Clockwork Prison

Want awesome short stories, bite-sized writing advice, and lists of the best books to improve your craft? Join my VIP email list!