Category Archives: Setting

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

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

The SPOOKY Secrets of Paranormal Writing | Fiction School Podcast #9

The SPOOKY Secrets of Paranormal Writing | Fiction School Podcast #9

Let us begin by saying: MMMWWAAAAAHAHAhahahahaha!!  Welcome to our Spooktacular Show! We all grow up loving a good ghost story.  Even as little kids, even when it’s scary, there’s something absolutely magnetic about the paranormal.  And we keep loving those stories our whole lives.  Something about supernatural stories of big, mysterious, other-worldy realms out there… Continue Reading

Writing From Real Life in Fiction and Memoir, with special guest Suzanne Morrison | Fiction School Podcast #8

Writing From Real Life in Fiction and Memoir, with special guest Suzanne Morrison | Fiction School Podcast #8

It’s weird being a writer.  Everything you do is research.  Everyone you meet could end up on a page you write.  Everything that happens to you might happen to a character someday. A perfect quip somebody whips out in an argument?  A 3 a.m. wakeup from an overly amorous cat?  That time you were trying… Continue Reading

Using Setting and Place to Power Your Writing | Fiction School Podcast #4

Using Setting and Place to Power Your Writing | Fiction School Podcast #4

When we get on the Google Hangout to tape this show on setting, Tommy appears in this ridiculously ornate, immaculate, stunning room, with frescoes on the ceiling and detailing in every tiny crevice, and (probably) this tiny man who runs around sweeping any speck of dust, and Tommy says “This is my classroom.” (He’s teaching… Continue Reading