Tools for improving as a writer, Part 2

When writing fiction, one piece of advice you will often receive from critique partners or editors is to involve the senses more. Show us what your character is seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing and feeling, both physically and emotionally. This helps your reader connect on a deep level with your protagonist.

The same advice can be given to you as a writer. Use your senses to improve your craft by writing more, reading more and listening to others share their insights and experiences. (I don’t suggest eating books as a way to get better, FYI.)

Many podcasts provide tips for writers on a variety of topics, from craft tips to managing your time to advice on self-publishing. I have a 45-minute commute to and from work each day, and I frequently spend that time listening to podcasts on writing or poker. This is the second part of this blog.

Print Run Podcast

If you’re looking for a little humor (and I mean little–drum roll please) check out this weekly podcast from agents Laura Zatz (Hello, Laura!) and Erik Hane. They are based in Minneapolis and offer insights from an agent’s perspective on all things related to the business side of traditional publishing. It averages a 5.0 rating on ITunes and offers a humorous look at some of the more dastardly deeds in the world of publishing (e.g. Cockygate).


One of my favorites is the DYI MFA Radio podcast hosted by Gabriela Pereira. She doesn’t quite reach weekly status, but she provides at least two or three shows per month with interviews from industry experts who share their insights on publishing from all angles–editors at major houses, agents and authors.

Helping Writers Become Authors

K.M. Weiland is a blogger, author of fiction and non-fiction how-to books on writing and a writing coach. She writes a regular blog that she also records as a podcast. If you’re looking for concrete ideas for improving your prose, check her extensive site out and listen to her blog.

The Story Grid

This podcast is from Shawn Coyne, a longtime book editor who developed The Story Grid, a tool that helps writers analyze their stories for plot development, character development, etc. I’m not necessarily a big fan of his approach, but the podcast does provide a lot of useful information for writers.

Do you have a favorite writing podcast? Leave a comment below and let me know why you like it so I can check it out.

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