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Serving up a Story

Serving up a Story

By Carol Anne Shaw
Welcome to the Serving up a Story podcast, hosted by me, Carol Anne Shaw, the author of 7 books for young people. This is where I get up close and personal about the world of words. Because being a writer isn't all rainbows and royalty cheques; sometimes it sucks.

As well as talking about plot, point of view, and publishing, I'll also talk about the impact writing full-time can sometimes have on our mental and physical wellbeing.

This podcast isn't fancy, but it's honest. So, welcome to Serving up a Story --I hope you enjoy the weekly food for thought I am going to dish up for you.
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Tangofish Tuesday
Hi, and welcome to SERVING UP A STORY, where we talk about writing: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've been a little bit AWOL the past few days, and that's mainly due to getting my seventh novel, TANGOFISH, ready for release this coming Friday (February 25th/22). It's been a lot of fun but a lot of work, and I'm pleased Tango's story will soon be out in the wild. In this episode, I read you a snippet from TANGOFISH. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by, and if you're writing, I hope the words are flowing!
February 22, 2022
Fiction Friday - You'd Be Home Now
Hi, listeners! Welcome to my second "Fiction Friday" episode. Last week I read one of my short stories for you, and this Friday, I am sharing Chapter 1 of YA author Kathleen Glasgow's highly rated YOU'D BE HOME NOW. It's an exquisite book that deals with the subject of substance abuse, codependency, and healing. Like GIRL IN PIECES and HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE DARK, this third novel of Kathleen Glasgow's is going to hit the bestseller list for sure. In fact, I think it already has. So, thanks for listening and for being a part of the SERVING UP A STORY podcast. I'm glad you're here.
February 11, 2022
10 Sure-fire Ways to Nail Your First Draft
Okay, ALL writers would love to see their book up on the New York Times Bestseller List. And, why not? Why SHOULDN'T you and your book be up there alongside Colleen Hoover, Victoria Schwab, Mark Manson and James Clear? After all, they're mere mortals, too. But, they are mere mortals who know ... 'The Secrets."  No, I'm not talking about that Law of Attraction stuff (although that might be an exciting topic for the future because I have thoughts!); I'm talking about ten very easy-to-follow secrets to nailing your first draft. Because there's no chance of bestsellering it unless you've completed a first draft, right?  So, without further adieu, I share my TEN SURE-FIRE SECRETS FOR NAILING YOUR FIRST DRAFT with you. Here we go!
February 10, 2022
Fiction Friday - The Deer Trail
Welcome to "Fiction Friday," where I'll be reading a piece of short fiction each Friday, though not necessarily a story of mine. For the kick-off, though, I'm going to share with you something I wrote a few years back called THE DEER TRAIL. It's a story about the changing nature of friendship - a story about feeling trapped, about things unsaid, and the fear of change. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by and happy writing, friends.
February 05, 2022
How to Punch Your Reader Right in the Feels - Writing From the Heart
What's the secret to a compelling story? Badass characters? An impressive vocabulary? Flashbacks? First Person narrative? Nope. I mean, those things can be awesome, but if your story lacks an emotional punch, it's gonna be a "meh" kind of story. In this episode, we will talk about writing from your heart instead of your head. Sure, your head is a valuable thing, but ultimately, it's your heart that will bring your story to life.  So, pull up a chair and have a listen.  Thank you so much for stopping by!
February 03, 2022
How to Dress Like a Writer - Fashion Tips for Wordsmiths
Every "job" has a certain dress code, right? But, what about writers? Is there a right way to dress? Does it make a difference? What do you think? Do you have a writer's uniform? I'd love to know.
February 01, 2022
My Big Mac Attack - A Hard (Drive) Lesson
Have you ever "forgotten" to back up your writing? Have you ever lost an entire first draft into cyberspace? Blarg! The worst! In episode #6 of Serving up a Story, I share my not-so-great experience with exactly this thing. Sigh ... learn from my mistake, fellow writers. That is all.
January 31, 2022
Writer's Block. Real, or Imagined?
Have you ever experienced a bout of the dreaded WRITER'S BLOCK? Some people say no such thing exists; that a "real" writer ploughs through the hard times and produces whether they feel like it or not. I beg to differ! And here, I tell my story and explain how starting an Instagram account got me back in the game. (If you'd like to hang out over there, I'm at @writerontheisland) Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to hit FOLLOW to enjoy regular episodes about writing - the good, the bad, and the ugly!
January 29, 2022
Writers Who Walk
Writers who walk. Why are there so many of us who do it? Thoreau did it. Virginia Woolf did it. William Wordsworth did it. Maybe they were on to something because research says that walking fuels the creative process, much more so than sitting does. So, I've decided it's time to lace up the sneakers, fill up the water bottle, and hit the trails. I hope you'll join me!
January 27, 2022
Dear Social Media - It's Not You, It's Me
Have you ever wanted to break up with social media? Has Instagram stolen too many of your precious writing hours? Are you struggling to market and promote your work on too many social media platforms? And finally, if you are old (like me), do you miss the days BEFORE the Interwebz? The struggle is real, but I guess our eternal quest for balance is ALWAYS going to be something we strive for.
January 25, 2022
Excuse Me, Your Participle is Dangling!
Grammar. We love to hate it, but mastering it is an oh-so-necessary part of being a writer. In this episode, I share my grammatically-challenged entrance into the world of writing and publishing. It isn't pretty! The 11 books below helped me transform from a pitiful punctuation putz to a glorious grammar nerd: 1.  Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynn Truss (She makes grammar fun. No. Really. She does.) 2.  Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lay, by Richard Lederer and Richard Dowes (Both these guys are stellar wordsmiths.) 3.  Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg (A timeless classic, this is more of a “process” book, and Natalie has some excellent tips to share.) 4.  The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller, by John Truby (Another beloved classic. Truby offers a tried and true framework to help writers who produce work in all genres of the craft.) 5.  The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron. (You know Julia, right? Remember The Artist’s Way? Well, this read is just as lovely. It’s a little book about creativity in general and how we can make writing a natural part of our daily lives.) 6.  The Elements of Style Illustrated, by Strunk, White, and Kalman (Another vital resource that belongs on all writer’s top shelves. It’ll teach you to choose your words wisely, and the illustrations are gorgeous.) 7.  Painless Grammar, by Rebecca Elliott, Ph.D (Exactly what it claims to be: painless.) 8.  20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them, by Ronald B. Tobias (You’ve all heard that old saying, “It’s been done,” right? Yep. It has been. And Tobias claims there are only 20 master plots from which all stories spring. It’s fascinating and full of great tips.) 9.  The Chicago Manual of Style, by the University of Chicago Press (I hope I didn’t scare you when I mentioned this book earlier. It’s big. It’s heavy to digest, and it’s ALL ABOUT THE RULES.) 10.  On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King (Yep. Words of wisdom from the master himself. This book is GOLD; part writing advice, part memoir. You will read it over and over. You will.) 11.  Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need, by Jessica Brody (One of my all-time favourites — a book inspired by the age-old classic, Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need, by Blake Snyder. This book contains a helpful story-structure guide that will take you from your initial “ah-hah!” moment to the very last page of your novel. SO helpful.)
January 25, 2022
Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome. It's a thing! And one which almost every writer has experienced at some point in their career. Why do you suppose that is? Why do we find it so hard to call ourselves writers? Do we really need to receive a six-figure paycheque before we can comfortably refer to ourselves as such? What's with THAT? Let's face it; no one really cares what we call ourselves, but it isn't about them... it's about us and our self-sabotaging, limiting beliefs. Let's change that. Today.
January 24, 2022
Serving up a Story - Trailer
Plots, points of view, protagonists, and publishing. Sounds romantic, doesn't it! Hi, and welcome to the Serving up a Story podcast hosted by me, Carol Anne Shaw, the author of 7 books for young people. This is where I get up close and personal about the world of writing. Because being a writer isn't all rainbows and royalty cheques; sometimes it sucks.  So, in addition to talking about books, beta readers, and backstory, I'm also going to get real about the not-always-so-fabulous impact that writing full time can sometimes have on our mental and physical wellbeing. A warning: this podcast isn't fancy, but it's honest, and hopefully, you might even find it a bit funny. So, welcome to Serving up a Story --  I'm glad you're here, and I hope you enjoy the weekly food-for-thought I'll be dishing up for you!
January 23, 2022