Category Archives: Character Development

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

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

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

Plot vs. Character, Deepening Fiction with Subplot, and Giraffes | Fiction School Podcast #38

Plot vs. Character, Deepening Fiction with Subplot, and Giraffes | Fiction School Podcast #38

Tommy’s freaking out.  He left a  bouquet of flowers to surprise his girlfriend, but he’s worried that some wild giraffe or wolf or leprechaun is going to steal them or eat them or something. And somehow this relates to a good question from listener Christopher.  Here is the traditional Google Voice butchering of the voicemail that… Continue Reading

The Quickie Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and Really Short Stories | Fiction School Podcast #29

The Quickie Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and Really Short Stories | Fiction School Podcast #29

This week, the epic struggle between Team Tommy and Team Jody reaches a new stratosphere, when Jody hangs up on the podcast.  That’s right. Girl couldn’t take it anymore, so she just slammed down the phone in true Hollywood style. But not really. It was micro-fiction, a fourteen-second play, to give a little intro to… Continue Reading

How To Keep Tension Rising, and Rising, and Rising in Your Book | Fiction School Podcast #28

How To Keep Tension Rising, and Rising, and Rising in Your Book | Fiction School Podcast #28

This week, we’re answering a voicemail from Bonnie J. Rough, who actually made a guest appearance on Episode 25. Her question was a great one that many writers (including us) struggle with: how do you make sure you keep the tension rising in the right way over the course of a book or long narrative?… Continue Reading

Writing Across Genres with special guest Deanna Raybourn | Fiction School Podcast #27

Writing Across Genres with special guest Deanna Raybourn | Fiction School Podcast #27

What do you do if you’re the kind of writer who likes to set books in the past, in interesting locations, but then your instincts tell you that the story has something mysterious happen there, too?  And also, yeah, your characters are kind of into each other as well, doing the chemistry thing while they’re… Continue Reading

Writing Sherlock Holmes, Researching Smarter, and Having a Career as a Writer with special guest Laurie R. King | Fiction School Podcast #26

Writing Sherlock Holmes, Researching Smarter, and Having a Career as a Writer with special guest Laurie R. King | Fiction School Podcast #26

You know how, when you ask some writers for advice, they’ll say something like “Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair,” and it’s so unhelpful it’s kind of infuriating? But then you ask other writers, and they give you actual advice that blows your mind? Changes your writing strategy? Gives… Continue Reading

How To Revise a Big Ol’ Book-Length Project: Advice From Over a Dozen Writers | Fiction School Podcast #25

How To Revise a Big Ol’ Book-Length Project: Advice From Over a Dozen Writers | Fiction School Podcast #25

Sometimes, you just can’t stop the good times from rollin’.  Like this week, many special things happened.  First, Tommy’s pleading and begging for all these weeks finally came into fruition.  It happened.   We. Got. A. Voicemail. It was a great question from a listener, Joseph, and we knew we wanted to do a show… Continue Reading