The Writers' Apprentice
By Shane Preece
The Writers' ApprenticeAug 06, 2021
Episode 16: Night & Historic Notes
Ambiguous endings, keeping your promises, and appendices.
Our last episode.
Episode 15: Salvaging
Finding plot devices in surprising places. This week, we wonder how much research Atwood did around Stockholm Syndrome whilst writing Offred.
Episode 14: Night
We explore how Margaret Atwood created complicated motivations to show the cruelty of her dystopia - rather than using boring exposition.
How Did This Get Made? https://www.earwolf.com/show/how-did-this-get-made/
Episode 13: Jezebel’s
We edge into the world of non-fiction today, looking at the importance of getting your readers to trust your narrator - and the times when you want to tell them to not trust you.
My Dad Wrote A Porno https://www.mydadwroteaporno.com/
Episode 12: Night
How should you go about making you characters relatable? Let’s take a look at how The Handmaid’s Tale does it.
Episode 11: Soul Scrolls
We consider if I’ve been setting my expectations in a direction in a way The Handmaid’s Tale never decided it would reach, and the impact that had on my reading.
Writing Excuses https://writingexcuses.com/
Episode 10: Escape
We try a different perspective.
Episode 9: Birthday
This time around we try to figure out why Offred doesn't seem to be a very ... active protagonist.
Recommended podcast: The Game Master's Journey https://lexstarwalker.com/gamemastersjourney
Episode 8: Night
How to build a character? Turns out, it’s not personality, or even details, but something more plot defining. This time, we talk about desire.
Thousand Year Old Vampire: https://timhutchings.itch.io/tyov
Shut Up And Sit Down’s review: https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/games/thousand-year-old-vampire/
Check out the Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/writersapprentice
Episode 7: Household
How much description is too much? How do you decide when it’s time to give your reader a helping hand to visualise the scene?
Podcast recommendation: Unmade Podcast, with John Green. https://www.unmade.fm/episodes/episode83
Jump onto the Patreon and get the next episode immediately: https://www.patreon.com/writersapprentice
Episode 6: Nap
Why wit is important to your story, and how to make sure your reader understood your premise. (Or, if that’s even your job.) We also talk about the films of Bong Joon-Ho.
This weeks recommended podcast:
Namtao's Lost Terminal: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL95NP4bDITAln7fq-cCqzOFE15UvVthuL
Episode 5: Waiting Room
How much should you cut from your story to make a snappy book that keeps your reader interested? If the story isn’t moving a mile a minute, are you boring the them? Lets take a look at some rather boring Handmaid’s Tale chapters.
This week's podcast recommendation:
Adam Buxton's interview with Kazuo Ishiguro - https://www.adam-buxton.co.uk/podcasts/7-bfk9m-4l8kp-blcga-jwabs-blbb8-b9mjx-fj3gr-j4lyp-9jlhe-a4bhm-c67yy-szhgm-m8pcd-l376z-zjb32-wh9dr-za87b-c8l3j-byyhb-segba-hlsc6-5m648-aef2d-2n3wg-tpcha-fsb4a-stlxm-7hb5z-ekrdd-6hdmt-e2zpx
Episode 4: Night
Flashbacks. When do they work, and when are they distracting? As well as what we should consider when deciding which tense to write a story in.
Grab the next episode right now, over on Patreon.
Episode 3: Shopping
A trip to town today, where we look into the usefulness of naming things whilst building a world, and some other lessons from Dungeons and Dragons.
The recommended podcast this time is:
The Adventure Zone https://maximumfun.org/episodes/adventure-zone/ep-1-here-there-be-gerblins-chapter-one/
Episode 2: Night
We start off in earnest, settling in for the first Night. We figure out how leaning into your readers’ memory is an important part of setting the scene and realise that how you chapter your story might not be such a big deal.
There’s a Twitter account set up now, over here: https://twitter.com/WritersAppt
Anthropocene Reviewed, by John Green: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/anthropocene-reviewed
Get next week's episode right now, over on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/writersapprentice
In this week’s episode, we start by looking at the Introduction written by Margret Atwood in most modern copies of the book. We take a look at why spoilers might not be as bad as we think they are (though that doesn’t stop me being annoyed about it) and spend some time thinking about the usefulness of giving a reader the context they might need to better enjoy the story.
This is one of the first times I’ve done anything in an audio format and you’ll certainly be able to tell… Many lessons have been learnt whilst recording this, and I’m hoping they’ll be carried to the following episodes. I don’t think it’s enough to put anyone off though, so please do make yourself a cup of tea and take a break for fifteen minutes.
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text: https://www.harrypottersacredtext.com/series-1-sorcerers-stone
Support the pod over on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/writersapprentice