Skip to main content
A Novel Process

A Novel Process

By Scene
A Novel Process is a podcast about what it's really like to write a book, told in real-time. featuring various writers, every two weeks they'll make an episode about how it's going. The surprises, blocks, celebrations, and creative currents are all investigated in their own signature style.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Kirsteen and the Alpha & Beta Readers
In this episode, Kirsteen talks about the difference between alpha and beta readers, the impact of their feedback (or lack thereof) and how the editing process has changed with the rise of self-publishing authors.
15:32
June 27, 2022
May and Kirsteen Become Visible - ONE YEAR SPECIAL
In June 2021 May started a podcast about writing a book (which she thought would take about six months).  To celebrate her ongoing wrongness (and our anniversary) May and Kirsteen got together for a wide-ranging chat about how their writing processes have been going for the past year.  And in exciting news, if you’d like to watch the discussion (and not just listen to it) you can find the link here - https://youtu.be/4ugvSc1v7Dw 
28:52
June 20, 2022
May Fails to Fail Faster
And fails harder instead.  Sorry guys, this episode is a bummer.
14:22
June 13, 2022
Kirsteen and World Building
In this episode, Kirsteen goes back through her novel and lays down the context of her story.
22:59
June 06, 2022
May Writes Chapter 2
...or tries to anyway.  Actually what happens is that having tasted success with Chapter 1 May runs into a hard wall with Chapter 2, and struggles to recover.
24:42
May 30, 2022
Kirsteen and The Tavern Test
In this episode, Kirsteen talks about narrative perspectives, and a writing exercise she created to help her distinguish between different character voices.
15:42
May 24, 2022
May Writes Chapter 1
In this episode, May describes the first actual chapter of the actual book, which she has actually written.  We meet our new main character, Debbie, and see a flashback to her first visit to the local mine when she was just seven years old.  While she's there, she discovers a mysterious cave... To learn more about Queenstown and its bright red river of acid, click here: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/mar/25/where-the-river-runs-red-tasmania-guardian-documentary
17:35
May 16, 2022
Kisteen & The Research Tangent
In this episode, Kirsty talks about unusual research tangents, true crime as inspiration, and breaking ciphers
13:32
May 09, 2022
May Fails to Plan
In this episode, May talks about the beautiful, detailed, chapter-by-chapter plan that she would have created for the novel, if only her brain wasn't a writhing bed of snakes.
15:42
May 02, 2022
Kirsteen and the Protagonist's Arc
In this episode, Kirsteen deep dives into the main protagonist of her novel: Artemis. We find the narrative arc works quite well, but the character arc reveals our main character is just... too awesome.
14:54
April 25, 2022
May Makes Things Worse (on Purpose)
In this episode May tries to work out why the end of her book is dull.  Turns out she hasn't been applying extreme enough consequences to her characters for performing human sacrifices. The little scamps.
16:42
April 18, 2022
Kirsteen and the Prologue Problem
In this episode, Kirsteen discusses the pros and cons of prophecy, and the love/hate relationship she has with her book’s prologue.
13:04
April 04, 2022
May Chats with Kirsteen!
A monumental moment here, as we welcome a new writer to the podcast, Kirsteen McInnes!  In this episode May and Kirsteen chat about their different writing processes, sci-fi vs fantasy, gardeners vs architects, still working on your first draft vs having finished multiple drafts like a show-off (ahem). Going forward we're excited to announce that you'll be regularly hearing from Kirsteen here on the podcast, every second week. She'll discuss the trials and tribulations of late-stage novel writing: editing, re-writing, and preparing for publication.
19:44
March 28, 2022
May and the Imaginative Transubstantiation
In this episode, May discusses why researching mining regulations is way more fun (and more creatively fulfilling) than making stuff up.
23:19
March 18, 2022
May Explains a Rom-Com-Unity
In the first episode of 2022, May explains how to write a romance between two communities (and why it's way easier once you invent Alien Euthanasia).
20:09
March 01, 2022
May Gets Good Advice (and actually takes it)
It's the last episode of 2021!  In it, May twiddles the knobs and dials of the book's central moral quandry, attempting to make the problem that the protagonists are trying to solve exactly the right level of problem-y.    This twiddling requires skill, finesse, and the ability to actually listen to the good advice that multiple, intelligent people have given to May, multiple times.
25:03
December 13, 2021
May Gets Blocked
In this episode, May talks about writer's block, anxiety, and accidentally writing a book about terminal illness.
16:23
November 29, 2021
May Takes Stock
In this episode, May takes a long large look at the state of the novel and plans out the ways she wants to move forward.
19:42
November 16, 2021
May Takes Your Questions
In this mailbag episode May answers a bunch of listener questions on a wide range of topics, including autism, gender and Andy Weir.
17:13
November 02, 2021
May and Checkpoint 5
In this fifth checkpoint episode, we finally reach the end of the book! (In its current summary form anyway.) This episode includes is an alien invasion, a cliff-top gunfight, and an epilogue with a little bit of hope for the future.
31:55
October 18, 2021
May and Checkpoint 4
In this fourth checkpoint episode, we have arrived at Act III. Chekov's gun will be fired, fat ladies will sing (I can say that cos I love karaoke), and resolution with be reached (or will it...)
28:11
October 05, 2021
May and Checkpoint 3
In this third checkpoint episode, May takes us through the second half of Act II in the book's current narrative structure.  This section is sometimes called 'The Bad Guys Close In'.  May describes the bad guys in more detail, they do indeed close in, and shit gets real.
40:09
September 21, 2021
May and Checkpoint 2
In this second checkpoint episode, May takes us through the first half of Act II in the book's current narrative structure.  This is sometimes called the Fun and Games section. Is it fun?  Yes. Are there games? Metaphorically, sure. Weren't there only going to be two checkpoint episodes?  Why are we only halfway through Act II?  No further questions.
40:52
September 06, 2021
May and Checkpoint 1
In this episode May takes us through act one of what she hopes is the final narrative outline of the book. Maybe (probably) it will all change by the next episode, but hey, a girl can dream.
22:48
August 23, 2021
May is Not All That
In this episode, May thought she had finally found the perfect narrative structure for her novel which, interestingly, bore a striking resemblance to the narrative structure of seminal 90's teen classic 'She's All That'. Unfortunately, there's a problem.
15:55
August 09, 2021
May Takes a Road Trip
In this episode, May goes on a journey, searching for inspiration with a visit to some beautiful limestone caves.  But, as so often happens with journeys, the real inspiration came from the friend she made (listen to her rant about the book for four hours) along the way.
16:27
July 26, 2021
May Gets Lost in Language
In this episode, May attempts to talk about language while using language, which is a bit like trying to take a car apart while you’re driving it.
21:53
July 13, 2021
May and the Alien Nazis
In this episode, May word vomits some thoughts on how the living conditions of her aliens might end up influencing their philosophy and culture.  In the process, she accidentally invents salamander fascism.  Like you do.
19:17
July 12, 2021
May and the Problem with Problems
In this episode, May talks about why narratives need problems, why a good problem is hard to find, and why having heat as a problem is more problematic than most.
18:30
June 28, 2021
May Lays Out the Premise
In this episode, May outlines the premise of both her novel and the podcast about writing her novel, and explains why making both at the same time is not as vomit-inducingly self-aggrandizing as it first appears.
18:51
June 28, 2021