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The Writers' Apprentice

The Writers' Apprentice

By Shane Preece
A podcast where we learn by reading the works of smart authors.
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Episode 16: Night & Historic Notes
Ambiguous endings, keeping your promises, and appendices. Our last episode.
August 27, 2021
Episode 15: Salvaging
Finding plot devices in surprising places. This week, we wonder how much research Atwood did around Stockholm Syndrome whilst writing Offred. Recommended podcast: Sideways
August 13, 2021
Episode 14: Night
We explore how Margaret Atwood created complicated motivations to show the cruelty of her dystopia - rather than using boring exposition. Recommended podcast: How Did This Get Made?
August 06, 2021
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. Recommended podcast: My Dad Wrote A Porno
July 31, 2021
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. Podcast recommendation: Limetown
July 23, 2021
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. Recommended podcast: Writing Excuses
July 16, 2021
Episode 10: Escape
We try a different perspective.
July 09, 2021
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
July 02, 2021
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. Recommended podcast: Thousand Year Old Vampire: Shut Up And Sit Down’s review: Check out the Patreon!
June 25, 2021
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. Jump onto the Patreon and get the next episode immediately:
June 18, 2021
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:
June 11, 2021
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 -
June 04, 2021
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.
May 28, 2021
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
May 21, 2021
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: Anthropocene Reviewed, by John Green: Get next week's episode right now, over on Patreon:
May 14, 2021
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. Recommended podcast: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text: Support the pod over on Patreon:
May 08, 2021