Helping Writers Become Authors

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Helping Writers Become Authors provides writers help in summoning inspiration, crafting solid characters, outlining and structuring novels, and polishing prose. Learn how to write a book and edit it into a story agents will buy and readers will love. (Music intro by Kevin MacLeod.)

K.M. Weiland


    • Jun 27, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 12m AVG DURATION
    • 601 EPISODES

    Listeners of Helping Writers Become Authors that love the show mention: thank you k, km, weiland, best writing podcast, writing fiction, craft of writing, writing podcasts, creative writing, hone, writing advice, instructive, writing process, excellent writing, always helpful, novel, instrumental, helps keep, published, gets right, writers.



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    Latest episodes from Helping Writers Become Authors

    Ep. 594: 8 Ways to Avoid Cardboard Characters (and Plot Contrivances While You're At It)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 17:58

    If your story suffers from cardboard characters, it probably also suffers from plot contrivances. Good news: if you fix one, you fix both.

    Ep. 593: Understanding the New Normal World of a Story's Resolution

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 15:53

    In many ways, the New Normal World of a story's Resolution is what successfully completes the context of the entire story.

    Ep. 592: Understanding the Underworld of a Story's Third Act

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 15:12

    The Underworld of a Story's Third Act is symbolically important for creating powerful and realistic change with your characters and plot.

    Ep. 591: Understanding the Adventure World of a Story's Second Act

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 14:40

    Writers can use the metaphoric Adventure World of a story's Second Act to better understand this crucial part of story structure.

    Ep. 590: Understanding the Normal World of a Story's First Act

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 14:37

    Authors need to understand the four "worlds" represented within a story's structure, the first of which is the Normal World of the First Act.

    Ep. 589: Deepening Your Story's Theme With the Thematic Square

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 18:07

    If you want to deepen the complexity of your story's theme, one tool you can employ is Robert McKee's thematic square.

    Ep. 588: 6 Ways to Find Your Best Ideas Before You Start Writing

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 14:53

    Use these six ways to find your best ideas for writing your book, as you cultivate, channel, and honor your deeper inspiration.

    Ep. 587: The Role of the Antagonist in Story Structure, Pt. 2 of 2

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 15:25

    Examines the role of the antagonist in the second half of a story's structure--the Second Pinch Point through the Resolution.

    Ep. 586: The Role of the Antagonist in Story Structure, Pt. 1 of 2

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 22:14

    The major plot beats in a story are interwoven with the protagonist's journey. But what is the role of the antagonist in story structure?

    Ep. 585: Do You Have to Write Every Day? 10 Pros and Cons

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 18:38

    Should writers make it a habit to write every day? Here are five pros of writing every day, as well as five potential cons.

    Ep. 584: The 6 Challenges of Writing a Second Novel

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022 19:16

    Writing a second novel can often be surprisingly harder than the first one. Check out six challenges sophomore writers often face.

    Ep. 583: 14 Tips for Dealing With the Passage of Time in a Story

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2022 19:44

    Ask these important questions to make sure the passage of time in a story is strengthening rather than weakening its narrative power.

    Ep. 582: 6 Ways to Craft Spectacular Set-Piece Scenes

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 28, 2022 14:08

    Here are six important considerations to keep in mind when amping up your story's most important scenes--its set-piece scenes.

    Ep. 581: How to Know When You're a Successful Author?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2022 16:04

    The question of "how to know when you're a successful author?" offers some obvious answers--and yet the subject is far more complex.

    Ep. 580: Should You Take a Break From Writing? 5 Red Flags

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 28, 2022 20:58

    When should you take a break from writing? And once you've taken that step, what in heaven's name are you going to do with yourself?

    Ep. 579: 9 Ways to Approach Relationship Dynamics in Fiction

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 21, 2022 14:48

    Creating an amazing supporting cast that can offer important relationship dynamics in fiction will also help develop your protagonist.

    Episode #578: Archetypes and Story Structure: How They're Connected

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2022 25:06

    Learn how archetypes and story structure mirror each other in any individual book and can be used to further strengthen your story.

    Ep. 577: Making Story Structure Your Own

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 7, 2022 14:43

    Here are a five important questions you, as a writer of fiction, can ask yourself to help you in making story structure your own.

    Ep. 576: Conflict in Fiction: What It Really Is and Why It's Important to Plot

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 31, 2022 11:51

    There's nothing incorrect in using confrontation to create conflict in fiction. But to understand conflict as only confrontation is too narrow a definition.

    Ep. #575: The Writer's Inner Critic: 10 Ways to Tell if Yours Is Healthy

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 24, 2022 18:46

    Learn how to increase the health and effectiveness of the writer's inner critic while diminishing toxic effects.

    Ep. 574: A Writer's New Year Reflections: The 6 Gifts I Gave Myself in 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2022 19:15

    Here are this writer's New Year reflections, focusing on six "gifts" I gave myself and why I believe they were profoundly life-changing.

    Ep. 573: The Two Halves of the Climactic Moment

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 15:40

    The two halves of the Climactic Moment require the story's final sequence to offer two very specific beats: Sacrifice and Victory/Failure.

    Ep. 572: The Two Halves of the Third Plot Point

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 16:11

    The two halves of the Third Plot Point work together to create a scene arc that moves from the False Victory to the Low Moment.

    Ep. 571: The Two Halves of the Midpoint

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 16:11

    The halves of the Midpoint are unique in story structure in that they mark the dividing line between the two halves of the entire story arc.

    Ep. 570: The Two Halves of the First Plot Point

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 15:22

    The First Plot Point is often referred to as a threshold, a visual metaphor representing the native two-sidedness of all structural beats.

    Ep. 569: The Two Halves of the Inciting Event

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 17:51

    A series examining the two important "halves" in each of story structure's major beats, beginning with the Inciting Event in the First Act.

    Ep. #568: 6 Questions to Help You Avoid Repetitive Scenes

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 15:25

    Find out what defines repetitive scenes, as well as strategies for recognizing and avoiding them in your fiction.

    Ep. 567: Archetypal Antagonists for the Mage Arc: Evil and the Weakness of Humankind

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 15:59

    The archetypal antagonists for the Mage Arc often manifest subtly--not  in obvious "evil," but in an ordinary person's weakness.

    Ep. 566: Archetypal Antagonists for the Crone Arc: Death Blight and Tempter

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 14:21

    The archetypal antagonists for the Crone Arc are represented as a Death Blight and as the subtle Tempter who would lure her from the Truth.

    Ep. 565: Archetypal Antagonists for the King Arc: Cataclysm and Rebel

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 17:44

    The archetypal antagonists for the King Arc are the Cataclysm and the Rebel, both of which challenge the King to culminate his rule.

    Ep. 464: Archetypal Antagonists for the Queen Arc: Invader and Empty Throne

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 14:22

    Usually the archetypal antagonists for a Queen Arc are represented by the Invader in the outer conflict and the Empty Throne in the inner conflict.

    Ep. 563: Archetypal Antagonists for the Hero Arc: Dragon and Sick King

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 15:59

    The antagonists for the Hero Arc can be seen archetypally as both the Dragon and the Sick King.

    Ep. 562: Archetypal Antagonists for the Maiden Arc: Authority and Predator

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2021 16:52

    The antagonists for the Maiden Arc can be seen archetypally as both her Authority Figures and a frightening Predator.

    Ep. 560: The Main Reason Your Story's Premise Is Important

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 17:06

    How can you tell what your story's premise is telling readers? Here are four questions you can ask about your story's premise.

    Ep. 561: Archetypal Antagonists for Each of the Six Archetypal Character Arcs

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 15:53

    A series looking at the archetypal antagonists inherent within each of the six main archetypal "life arcs."

    Ep. 559: 3 Things to Know About the Ending of a Story

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 14:49

    The tremendous (but sometimes misunderstood) significance of the Climactic Moment in the ending of a story.

    Ep. 558: How the Antagonist Functions in Different Types of Character Arcs

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2021 19:39

    The role of the antagonist varies depending on the nature of the protagonist's character arc.

    Ep. 557: Should You Edit As You Go?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 15:07

    Should you edit as you go? The best choice has much to do with a writer's personality, strengths, weaknesses, and even lifestyle demands.

    Ep. 556: Why Everyone Should Write (Even if You Think You Stink)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 16:28

    The world needs us all to be writers and creators. It needs the next Pulitzer winner, and it needs the scribbled poem forgotten on a napkin in a cafe.

    Ep. 555: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 22: How to Use Archetypal Character Arcs in Your Stories

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2021 19:56

    How can you apply archetypal character arcs in a practical way to your own stories? Here are five considerations for choosing archetypes.

    Ep. 554: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 21: The Flat Archetype of the Mentor

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2021 15:38

    The final Flat archetype of the Mentor is one of the most significant within human storytelling.

    Ep. 553: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 20: The Flat Archetype of the Elder

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2021 18:50

    The Flat archetype of the Elder provides crucial guidance for enacting important change in surrounding characters.

    Ep. 552: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 19: The Flat Archetype of the Ruler

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2021 14:37

    The Flat archetype of the Ruler represents the potential period in a person's life in which he or she is in a position of leadership.

    Ep. 551: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 18: The Flat Archetype of the Parent

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2021 14:59

    We don't often think of the Flat archetype of the Parent with the same enthusiasm as we do the Hero. And yet they are intrinsically linked.

    Ep. 550: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 17: The Flat Archetype of the Lover

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2021 15:46

    A deeply nuanced archetype that evolves with us for most of our lives, the Flat archetype of the Lover is inherent and integral.

    Ep. 549: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 16: The Flat Archetype of the Child

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2021 15:16

    The archetype of the Child is necessarily an archetype of deep vulnerability and surprisingly powerful impact upon other characters.

    Ep. 548: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 15: Introduction to the 6 Flat Archetypes

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2021 15:43

    Flat archetypes are often seen teaching other characters some of the same lessons they just learned in their own previously completed arcs.

    Ep. 547: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 14: The Mage’s Shadow Archetypes

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2021 19:25

    Will the character triumph--or succumb in the end to the powerful temptations of either of the Mage's shadow archetypes, the Miser or the Sorcerer?

    Ep. 546: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 13: The Crone’s Shadow Archetypes

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2021 18:47

    If the character cannot powerfully transition into the final act of life, the risk is that of sliding into the Crone's shadow archetypes.

    Ep. 545: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 12: The King’s Shadow Archetypes

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2021 20:50

    Whether this powerful character brings life to the Kingdom depends on if he is in the grip of the King's shadow archetypes of Puppet and Tyrant.

    Ep. 544: Archetypal Character Arcs, Pt. 11: The Queen’s Shadow Archetypes

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2021 19:40

    The Queen’s shadows have the potential to block her possibility for a positively transformative archetypal character arc.

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