Writing on Caffeine
By Jonathan Franzone
Writing on CaffeineJan 05, 2023
What Makes a Good Antagonist?
In this episode we discuss what makes up a good antagonist. We also dive into some of our favorite (and least favorite) antagonists and why we love or hate them.
Merpeople Gene-splicing - A Live Plotting Episode
In this episode, Jonathan and Ragan (and Avery) attempt to plot a new novel live. We dive into world-building, character-building, motivations, magic-systems, and merpeople genocide. We thought it would be a fun exercise so that our listeners could experience the goofy things we talk about and also see what it's like to develop ideas for your stories.
Music and Writing
In this episode, Jonathan and Ragan discuss music and writing. First, we have to clear up exactly what that means, and then we embark on all the aspects: listening to music while writing or reading and writing music into your novel.
Let's Talk About Magic
In this episode, Jonathan and Ragan discuss magic systems. We talk (again) about Brandon Sanderson's laws of magic, and then we apply those laws to the magic found in various books, including The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Mistborn, and more.
In this episode, Jonathan and Ragan discuss book formats (i.e., hard cover, paperback, audio, ebook, etc.). They discuss the pros and cons of the various formats as well as what are their favorite formats. Finally, they talk about publishing prospects and things to think about in publishing their own novels.
Worldview and Writing
In this episode, Jonathan and Ragan discuss the impact of worldview on writing fiction. Is it possible to write without a worldview? Should we leverage our worldview to create more compelling stories?
What's Your Point? (of View)
In this episode, Jonathan and Ragan discuss point of view in writing fiction. There are generally four points of view: first person, second person, third person (limited), and third person (omniscient). We also read excerpts from some books demonstrating these various viewpoints.
Story Tropes We Love and Hate
A storytelling trope is a common plot device, theme, or character type that is used in a work of fiction. Trope comes from the Greek word "tropos," which means "a turn" or "a change." In storytelling, a trope is a recurring pattern or an established convention that has become a recognizable element of storytelling.
In this episode, we discuss our favorite and least favorite story tropes. Which story tropes are useful and compelling for a story? Which tropes drive us crazy and even cause Ragan to stop reading a book?
Interview with Author Austin Brown
On this episode, Jonathan and Ragan interview author Austin C. Brown. Austin lives in Pensacola, FL with his wife and three children. He has written a memoir about the adventures of a postal worker, several theological works, and literary fiction. We discuss how to get writing done, what are good sources of inspiration, and the differences between writing fiction and non-fiction. Ragan even blows Austin’s mind with her aphantasia.
Developing Believable Characters
In this episode, we discuss what is involved in developing believable characters. Who to write complex versus flat characters. How to develop a character over the course of your novel. Should you use character sheets and develop a backstory?
2023 New Year's Writing Resolutions
In this episode, we look at the 2023 New Year and make some resolutions about our writing. Basically, we are going to try to finish these novels! We also discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of what we read last year, and some options for reading this coming year.
In this episode, we talk about world-building. Writing fiction involves placing characters into a world. What does that world look like? Is it modern-day Earth? Is it Medieval Europe? Is it some alien planet that looks nothing like Earth? How do people dress? What religions are involved? These are some of the writing topics we dig into.
Writing Dialog and Why It's the Worst
In this episode, we discuss the intricacies of writing dialog, including some of the difficulties we have encountered in our own writing.
Plotters vs. Pantsers
In this episode, we discuss how authors plan and write books. Specifically, we talk about the difference between plotters and pantsers. Plotters are authors who plan out their novels and outline the details of the book to varying degrees of specificity. Pantsers just write. Sit down and write!
In this episode, we discuss writing accountability. One of the most difficult aspects of writing a book is the simple task of getting words on the page. Just write! In order to set ourselves up for success, we have attempted to put into place some accountability measures to make sure we accomplish our goal.
Why Write a Novel?
Welcome to the very first episode of the Writing on Caffeine podcast. My daughter (Ragan Franzone) and I (Jonathan Franzone) are a father and daughter who have decided to write our very first novel. In this podcast, we are inviting you to come along on this journey with us.
In this inaugural episode, we discuss why we are attempting to write a novel. What motivates us?