How To Write Funny Stuff: Irony, Mark Twain, and the Danger of Humor | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 7

How To Write Funny Stuff: Irony, Mark Twain, and the Danger of Humor | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 7

A wise teacher once told us that the least funny thing you can do is explain a joke. So, we decided to make a whole show explaining humor writing, because we are not wise. Actually, this show is a lot of fun. You should listen. Hear the ol’ Fiction School talk about the incredibly hard and tedious… Continue Reading

Applying Yourself: Entering Contests and Competitions | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 6

Applying Yourself: Entering Contests and Competitions | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 6

**Hey! Quick! It’s the last day to enter the Fiction Open! Send ’em in now! Baker once had a writing teacher that said writing wasn’t a competition between writers. The only competition was the writer vs. the page. He obviously hadn’t heard of the epic Poets vs. Prosers basketball games, but more importantly, he was correct.… Continue Reading

The Music of Prose: Why Fiction Writers Need To Be Poets, Too | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 5

The Music of Prose: Why Fiction Writers Need To Be Poets, Too | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 5

Every Friday afternoon, back in Tommy and Baker’s MFA days, there was a tradition. A tradition of slaughter, of domination. It was ugly, it was fun, it always proceeded to revelry at a local dive bar. It was the weekly MFA basketball game, where the Poets would team up against the Prosers.* The Poets had a… Continue Reading

The Anti-Masterclass: Learning to Write by Slogging Through the Mud and Taking No Shortcuts | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

The Anti-Masterclass: Learning to Write by Slogging Through the Mud and Taking No Shortcuts | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

Friends, we’re here to preach a little hard truth. Some people–famous writers, even–want you to think there are shortcuts. James Patterson has been using Facebook to advertise his $90 MasterClass called something dumb and inviting like “Learn to Write a Bestseller”. The class might teach you a lot, but it might also be a waste… Continue Reading

How Fiction Writers Can Use Story Structure Without Getting Bogged Down, Downtrodden, or Duped. PLUS: ANNOUNCING OUR WRITING CONTEST! | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 3

How Fiction Writers Can Use Story Structure Without Getting Bogged Down, Downtrodden, or Duped. PLUS: ANNOUNCING OUR WRITING CONTEST! | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 3

This week, Tommy decided he needed a nap more than he needed to talk about story structure and outlines. He hates that stuff anyway, so, good choice, Tommy Z. He’s all about anarchy and chaos, and this week we’re getting organized. But the problem is, you can get too organized, too structured. You can read… Continue Reading

Finding the Perfect Pace for Story: Dialogue, Story Time, Soap Operas, and DUN DUN DUNs | Fiction School Season 5 Episode 2

Finding the Perfect Pace for Story: Dialogue, Story Time, Soap Operas, and DUN DUN DUNs | Fiction School Season 5 Episode 2

Like marathon runners, breakdancers, and zumba instructors, storytellers have to always be considering their pace. Go too fast, readers can’t keep up. Go too slow, readers get bored. But how do writers figure out the best pace, and how to ebb and flow with it? How can we use dialogue effectively and avoid the soap… Continue Reading

Rust Never Sleeps: Getting Back to Writing After a Long Hiatus | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 1

Rust Never Sleeps: Getting Back to Writing After a Long Hiatus | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 1

Hey, you. Yes. YOU. You should enter Fiction School’s first annual writing contest! It’s the 2016 FICTION OPEN! The winning story gets published in Razor Lit Mag (where Baker is the Editor, so you know it’s cool) and the author will be a special guest on an upcoming episode of Fiction School. There’s a small… Continue Reading

The Back-To-School Special: Updates from the MFA Underground | Fiction School Podcast #46

The Back-To-School Special: Updates from the MFA Underground | Fiction School Podcast #46

Remember the Trapper Keeper? It was so badass, especially when you could poke a hole in a corner and blow it up like a balloon.  I did that almost every day in fourth grade. Every fall in those salad days of elementary school, I’d get queasy walking into Wal-Mart to get my Trapper Keeper and fresh… Continue Reading

World Building and the Myth of Prewriting | Fiction School Podcast #45

World Building and the Myth of Prewriting | Fiction School Podcast #45

Here are things that Tommy Zurhellen doesn’t believe in: Santa Claus. The Bermuda Triangle. The Ghost of Bear Bryant. And…prewriting. That’s right, ‘Schoolers.  There’s no such thing as prewriting, and there’s no such thing as preheating your oven.  Everything you do is actually writing, in one vague form or another, according to TZ. Which is… Continue Reading

The New Year’s Writing Resolutions Show, 2015 Edition | Fiction School Podcast #44

The New Year’s Writing Resolutions Show, 2015 Edition | Fiction School Podcast #44

So, uh, yeah.  It’s been a while.  We resolve to not let so many days pass between shows in 2015 (until Baker’s twins come.  Might miss a few around then.).  We’re sorry we’ve been away, and we missed y’all. Anyway, today on the show, we talk about the renewal we feel here in the new year… Continue Reading