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Fiction Writing Made Easy

Fiction Writing Made Easy

How do I write a book? How do I create compelling characters that readers will love? How do I build a believable world for my story? What does it even mean to write a story that works? Do you have any writing tips? These are just some of the big questions that developmental editor and book coach, Savannah Gilbo, digs into on the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast. Each week, Savannah shares actionable tools, tips, and strategies that will help you write, edit, and publish your book. So, whether you're brand new to writing, or a seasoned author looking to improve your craft, this podcast is for you!

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#130: How to Craft Romantic Chemistry & Tension Between Characters

? Flat or boring characters who are underdeveloped are never going to light up a scene, no matter how many tricks you pull.? - Savannah Gilbo

If you?re writing romance, the chemistry and tension between your characters can make or break your story. Let?s explore how to create romantic chemistry between two characters in an authentic and compelling way to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:44] What is chemistry?

[03:01] The first thing we need to do when creating chemistry between two characters is to have fully fleshed-out characters with their own goals, motivations, and inner obstacles.

[03:42] Capitalize on opportunities for opposition and harmony between your characters.

[07:41] The 3 key ingredients of chemistry are vulnerability, desire, and resistance

[09:14] Examples from Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.

[17:51] Writing romantic tension between romantic and non-romantic characters

[22:56]  If you want to master crafting irresistible chemistry and tension, I highly recommend studying your favorite stories. This is the best way to improve your writing. You can ask yourself questions like:

What do I like about the chemistry and tension between these two characters?How did the author play on each character?s vulnerabilities within the relationship?What does each character like (or desire) about the other (physically, mentally, and emotionally)?How did the author create resistance between the characters? Why do the characters not want the relationship to move forward?What can I replicate in my own writing?

And if you need help getting started with your story, check out my FREE Story Starter Kit: 5 Questions To Ask Before You Start Writing. This fillable workbook will help you build out the foundational elements of your story: genre, character, setting, plot, and theme. Grab your free copy here!

Links mentioned in this episode:

5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersFourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2024-02-20
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#129: Overcoming The Fear Of Marketing With Alexa Bigwarfe

?Work on being a better writer and work on your craft and the other stuff will follow. As long as you have a great book, marketing comes a lot easier.? - Alexa Bigwarfe

In today?s brand-new episode, I?m sharing a conversation with Alexa Bigwarfe about how writers can overcome the fear of marketing their books and what you can do right now to kickstart your marketing efforts. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[3:55] Where should new writers market their books?

[05:14] Alexa advises on what to do if you're afraid of marketing your book.

[09:06] How soon should writers start thinking about marketing their books?

[14:16] After writing 14 non-fiction books, what is it like for Alexa to now be in the fiction world?

[22:22] Alexa shares her ideas for marketing the second book of her series.

[35:56] Alexa talks about the Women In Publishing Summit, a virtual conference for authors of all experience levels to learn and connect with others in the industry.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Women In Publishing Summit  Alexa's Instagram  

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2024-02-13
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#128: What Are Obligatory Scenes And Conventions?

?When a story doesn't include these key scenes and conventions of its genre, it's just not going to work.? - Savannah Gilbo

Want a framework for your entire story? Learn what readers expect from a story like yours, and then use these obligatory scenes and conventions as a framework to craft a story that works. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[03:47] What are obligatory scenes and conventions (and why are they important)?

[06:58] 3 steps to finding the obligatory scenes and conventions for your story's genre.

[10:31] Savannah breaks out most of the required scenes and conventions, which you can download by visiting the blog post for this episode.

[13:58] How to handle the obligatory scenes and conventions of your subplots vs. the main storyline.

[16:51] Final thoughts: If you don?t do the work to understand your genre, you?ll have a hard time getting your books into the hands of readers. And without readers, your story will never be experienced. That?s a terrible thought, right? To avoid this, know your genre and give your readers what they?re expecting in a new and exciting way. Give them the emotional experience they?re looking for, and you?ll earn loyal fans for life.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 2: Understanding Genre: How to Write Better StoriesEp. 95: How to Start Writing Your Sci-Fi or Fantasy NovelSTORY by Robert MckeeThe Story Grid by Shawn Coyne

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2024-02-06
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#127: First Chapter Analysis: The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

?It might seem strange to start a story with an ending, but all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.? - Abigail K. Perry

In this episode, we?re talking about The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom to see how and why it works. Join Abigail K. Perry and me as we break down this first chapter to see how it hooks our interest and pulls us into the story. Here's a preview of what's included:  

[02:40] Chapter summary: Abigail reads a summary of the first chapter and talks about how (and why) the author gives away the ending of the story upfront.

[15:52] Macro analysis: We talk through the 7 Key Questions as laid out by Paula Munier in her book, The Writer's Guide to Beginnings, and how the chapter serves as a compelling opening for a character-driven story.

[21:42] Abigail talks about how this story is a great example of a novel with a unique voice.

[45:46] Micro analysis: We talk through the structure of the scene using the 5 Commandment scene framework as laid out by Shawn Coyne at The Story Grid, including the use of ?postcard scenes??a term they borrowed from Donald Maass.

[58:30] Final thoughts: The first chapter is essential in driving the story forward so writers should ensure that they are delivering enough of the big picture to engage readers.

Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2024-01-30
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#126: Save The Cat! Troubleshooting Common Plot Problems With Jessica Brody

?Every time you write something hard, it changes you as a writer, and it makes you a better writer.? - Jessica Brody

Today I'm sharing a conversation with Jessica Brody where we talk about some of the most common mistakes writers make when outlining, writing, and editing their books using the ?Save the Cat? method. Here's a preview of what's included:

[02:30] Jessica introduces herself and shares her experience writing fiction using the Save The Cat! plotting method.

[04:00] Savannah asks Jessica about marrying the external plot of a story to the protagonist's internal arc. Savannah sees a lot of writers focus solely on the external plot events and not enough on character growth and development. Jessica shares her thoughts on how to make sure you're balancing both plot and character as you write.

[11:45] Savannah asks Jessica to talk about two important multi-scene beats?the Fun and Games beat and the Bad Guys Close In beat. Jessica shares her thoughts on breaking these longer beats down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

[18:00] Savannah asks Jessica about being too rigid with the Save The Cat! structure. Specifically, what happens if your beats don't line up with the percentages recommended? Jessica shares her thoughts.

[21:50] Jessica talks about how she had a hard time with the All Is Lost beat and the Dark Night Of The Soul beat until she figured out a very important distinction.

[30:40] Jessica talks about some things to consider in terms of your first 25-50 pages when it comes time to query agents.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Learn more about Jessica Brody on her website or connect with her on InstagramCheck out Jessica's craft books to go deeper into the STC! method?Save the Cat! Writes a Novel and Save the Cat! Writes a YA NovelJoin Jessica's membership, The Writing Mastery Academy, and get $20 off your annual membership using code 'FWME'

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2024-01-23
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#125: Novel Writing Pitfalls: Don't Make These 5 Mistakes

? The purpose of a first draft is not to come up with something that's perfect. Instead, the purpose is to explore your story and get it out of your head.? - Savannah Gilbo

Transform your writing as I reveal 5 all-too-common mistakes that plague writers. Learn the savvy strategies to sidestep these blunders and discover my top-notch tips for rectifying them if you've already fallen prey. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:20] Having gratitude for every mistake encountered and acknowledging that they served as valuable lessons. The repetition of these errors helped Savannah develop numerous solutions, contributing to her growth as a writer, editor, and book coach

[05:38] The essence of a story lies in how external events impact someone striving for a challenging goal and the subsequent transformation they undergo. The narrative's power lies in the underlying story, not just the eloquence of words. Without a compelling story, the manuscript lacks substance.

[11:07] Common worries and self-doubt faced by writers often revolve around questioning one's capability and self-worth. Shift to tackling these concerns by identifying the content genre of the story, offering a pathway to navigate and overcome these common anxieties in writing.

[17:53] Advice to choose one or two writing methods that resonate with writers and focus on them. Whether it's scene structure or character development, selecting a preferred approach like scene and sequel or goal-motivation-conflict is encouraged.

Links mentioned in this episode:

How to Outline Your Novel with Save the Cat!How to Write a Well-Structured SceneNotes to Novel

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2024-01-16
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#124: Student Spotlight: 5 Lessons Learned from Notes to Novel (Season 3)

?That's how much my writing's improved. But not just the writing, it's the ease. It's not a struggle when I sit down in front of the laptop to write. Everything just seems a lot easier.? - Morgan Schrock

In today's episode, I reached out to some of my Notes to Novels Season 3 students and asked them to share the number one thing they learned about writing a first draft. You're going to get to hear from real writers who are in the trenches, actively working on their novels and I think it'll be very fun for you to hear how they did it plus some of their biggest takeaways. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:26] Lindsay Sfara shares her experience where she initially faced challenges with an insufficiently detailed outline, leading to a lack of direction in her superhero fantasy novel.

She highlights her struggles and the transformative impact of the Notes to Novel course.

[07:56] Liya Gray has been working on a YA series since 2015, facing challenges and halting progress. She credits Savannah?s course for unlocking a new understanding of her story's structure, and realizing the difference between scenes and chapters.

[12:43] Ami Blackford talks about her insights into the Notes to Novel course and its impact on her writing journey. Amy, initially felt there were missing pieces in her eighth novel's outline but she highlights four significant takeaways from the course regarding theme, content genre vs. commercial genre, structured scenes, and fast first draft and magical edits.

[18:46] Tanja Fabsits shares her experience with her first novel, and a significant realization during the course was related to scene structure, but her favorite takeaway was the overall feeling of relaxing into the outlining process.

[20:56] Morgan Schrock, with a background in scientific writing for journals, decided to write a fiction novel. Her most significant realization was that the middle of her story felt boring, and she identified the problem as a lack of agency for her main character. The course's outlining technique proved to be a game-changer for her.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Lindsay Sfara  - InstagramLiya Grey - Website, Instagram, FacebookAmi Blackford - Website, Instagram, FacebookTanja Fabsits - BookMorgan Shrock - X, InstagramFree Workshop - The Confident Writer's Roadmap

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2024-01-09
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#123: How To Overcome The 5 Types Of Imposter Syndrome

?Try learning new skills and then putting what you learn into practice right away, because, at the end of the day, you can only really learn through doing anyway.? - Savannah Gilbo

Is imposter syndrome holding you back from writing a novel? Here are the EXACT action steps you can take right now to combat your feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and fear?and to overcome imposter syndrome for good. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[01:28] What exactly is imposter syndrome? How can you conquer it?

[06:18] How overindulgence in work can drain the creativity and enjoyment from crafting a novel and may even jeopardize your relationships.

[11:06] Overly independent writers tend to reject assistance or input from others, even when it is necessary, out of the fear of being perceived as incompetent.

[14:13] Writers who believe that continually reading more craft books, enrolling in additional training, or rewriting the opening chapter repeatedly, might eventually amass enough knowledge to create a flawless novel.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 122 - Counting Down The Best Tips From FWME In 2023The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Dr. Valerie YoungUnlock Your Story Challenge

All podcast episodes are available here.

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2024-01-02
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#122: Counting Down The Best Tips From FWME In 2023

?My point is that you have to do the work to make the mistakes and learn.? - Savannah Gilbo

The past year on Fiction Writing Made Easy has been a treasure trove of insights, expert advice, and creative hacks, all neatly bundled up in amazing podcast episodes and interviews.

Today, we dive into a delightful countdown, revisiting the very best tips that get into the heart of fiction writing, and uncovering the gems that made 2023 an inspiration for writers. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:00] Savannah?s favorite ways to brainstorm subplots and then layer them into your story in an organic way.

[13:34] The best technique to write quality fiction that readers will connect to.

[21:30] Being willing as writers to put things out there that aren?t perfect.

[35:09] As a writer, create your milestone list from one to ten.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Tip 10: Episode #98: How to Add Subplots to Your NovelTip 9: Episode #90: How to Choose the Best Point of View for Your StoryTip 8: Episode #109: 5 Common Scene Issues (And How to Fix Them)Tip 7: Episode #82: Show, Don't Tell: What This Advice Really MeansTip 6: Episode #79: 3 Things to Focus on if You're a Brand New WriterTip 5: Episode #88: Perfectionism vs. Procrastination: What?s REALLY Going On?Tip 4: Episode #96: 5 Worldbuilding Tips for Sci-Fi & Fantasy WritersTip 3: Episode #104:10 Tips for Writing Better DialogueTip 2: Episode #102: 3 Common Interiority Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)Tip 1: Episode #108: Why Your Capacity for Zero is Crucial as a Writer

All podcast episodes are available here.

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-12-26
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#121: 5 Takeaways From Coaching Writers in 2023

?The more work you do up front and the more you get your mindset right, the more likely your chances of success are.? - Savannah Gilbo

In this episode, I'm giving you a glimpse behind the scenes and sharing some of the key takeaways I learned from coaching writers this year. I hope that you'll be able to reap some of the benefits of these lessons so that you can move forward with your writing in the most efficient way possible.  Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:50] It's easier to make progress when surrounded by a community of like-minded writers.

[05:48] Before your query letter and submission materials, you should have a finished draft of your synopsis and get outside feedback from a developmental editor or beta readers.

[09:53] Why do more writers seem to be choosing self-publishing over traditional publishing?

[15:04] Savannah?s recommendation of starting a story at a different place and how perfectionism has also impacted almost every writer I worked with this year.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Episode #66: The Pros and Cons of Traditional PublishingFREE Story Starter KitJane Freedman's Hot Sheet NewsletterNotes to Novel Unlock Your Story


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-12-19
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#120: First Chapter Analysis: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

?I think that's really important at the end of every time that you write a scene. Ask yourself, how can I raise the stakes even more?? - Abigail K. Perry

I'm thrilled to have you join us today as we embark on a thrilling literary journey through the fantastical world of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yaros. In this episode, I'm joined by Abigail K. Perry and I encourage you to read this mesmerizing tale, peel it apart with us, and participate in our analysis of it. Here's a preview of what's included:  

[05:42] Chapter summary: The first chapter of Fourth Wing leaves readers hanging on the edge, both emotionally and figuratively, setting the stage for a tale brimming with intrigue, familial conflict, and the high stakes of a world defined by war and loyalty.

[11:53] Macro analysis: This novel aims to captivate readers with its combination of action, fantasy, and romance within the new adult framework. The novel features a skillful balance between internal character development and external conflicts, seeking approval from parents, creating a rich narrative that explores both the character's inner struggles and the broader context of a war-torn world filled with secrets and conspiracies.

[32:54] Micro analysis: Discussing differing views on the crisis and turning point, a debate about whether to consider the author?s writing as one scene or split it into multiple scenes, and understanding the protagonist?s goal and actions and decisions within it. Also, there is the effectiveness of putting a crisis on the page, illustrating the character's internal struggle and the stakes involved.

[53:08] Final thoughts: The balance between setup and resolution in scenes, emphasizing the need for purposeful content that propels the plot forward, and the careful construction of scenes, focusing on character development, plot progression, and the effective integration of stakes and conflicts.

Links mentioned in this episode:

"Fourth Wing" by Rebecca Yarros?The Writer?s Guide to Beginnings: How to Craft Story Openings That Sell? by Paula Munier

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-12-12
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#119: Student Spotlight: How Fern Bernstein Wrote A Dual Timeline Novel Based On The Edies of Grey Gardens

?It's the inciting incident, the turning point, the crisis moment, the climax, and the resolution, and each scene really needs to have that to move the story forward.? - Fern Bernstein

In today's episode, I?m sitting down for a conversation with Fern Bernstein to talk about her debut novel, Staunch: The Edie's of Grey Gardens.  Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:44] Savannah reads the back cover of Staunch: The Edie's of Grey Gardens to get context for today?s discussion.

[12:14] The history and unanswered questions around the Edie?s, how they inspired Fern?s book, and the character work and story structure Fern worked through with Savannah about these wonderful women of Grey Gardens, East Hampton, New York.

[21:11] Going through the outline, having consecutive drafts, and the balancing act of taking the reader through a particular emotional journey through two different timelines.

[32:37] How beta readers impacted Fern?s opinion of her writing and being open to feedback and constructive criticism as a writer.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Fern Bernstein's WebsiteFern Bernstein's Amazon PageFern Bernstein on InstagramFern Bernstein on FacebookGrey Gardens Podcast With Fern BernsteinMah Jongg Mondays PodcastFern Bernstein on XGrey Gardens (movie)The Spun Yarn

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-12-05
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#118: How To Find The Major Dramatic Question Of Your Story

?Every story has one main question that it raises in the beginning and answers by the end.? - Savannah Gilbo

In this latest podcast episode, we'll explore a fundamental element of storytelling: the Major Dramatic Question (MDQ). From the outset of your story, readers should be gripped by this central question. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:31] Savannah talks about why the major dramatic question (MDQ) of a story is a helpful question for writers and how you can find the MDQ of your story.

[04:27] What's going to help you write a story that's full of narrative drive (the thing that keeps readers turning the pages)?

[08:12] Once you know your story's Major Dramatic Question (MDQ), what do you do with it?

[09:44] How your story?s MDQ can help during the publishing process and can pique a potential reader's interest.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Episode #2: How to Choose the Best Genre for Your StoryThe Fourth Wing by Rebecca YarrosNotes to Novel CourseUgly Love by Colleen HooverYellow Face by R. F. Kuang




Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-11-28
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#117: Exploring the World of Beta and Sensitivity Reading with Julie Taylor from The Spun Yarn

?As I kid I was like, I would love to get paid to read.? - Julie Taylor

In today?s episode, I?m sitting down to chat with Julie Taylor, Chief Operating Officer at The Spun Yarn - a company that offers paid beta reading and sensitivity reading services to authors. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[06:15] How does The Spun Yarn create a perfect matching system between its authors and its beta readers?

[15:37] When would an author need this type of service? How is it different than working with an editor?

[31:14] The beta-readers-questioning-method and thinking process.

[47:28] Making changes throughout the years thanks to feedback given by both authors and beta readers.

Links mentioned in this episode:

The Spun Yarn websiteThe Spun Yarn on FacebookThe Spun Yarn on LinkedInThe Spun Yarn on X


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-11-21
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#116: First Chapter Analysis: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

?In every story, you want to have that internal change because, without internal change, there is no character change.? - Savannah Gilbo


In today?s episode, both Abigail K. Perry and I talk about the intriguing world of "Anxious People" by Frederick Backman. Buckle up, because this first chapter exploration is different from any other you've encountered before. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[05:08] Chapter summary: an unnamed narrator describes a plot involving idiots, bad decisions, and a hostage drama. The narrator outlines key events and this summary stands out because it reveals what appears to be the story's conclusion, offering a unique approach.


[16:14] Macro analysis: the challenge of categorizing this book within a specific content genre due to its unique blend of elements and how labeling it solely as a crime story might not align with the reader's expectations. 


[41:30] Micro analysis: highlighting the importance of identifying character motivations and understanding the events that propel the story forward, even in the absence of a traditional scene. 


[47:37] Final thoughts: the concept of turning points within the narrative structure and dissecting the crucial moments that force characters into dilemmas. 


Links mentioned in this episode:

"Anxious People" by Frederick Backman?Anxious People? on NetflixEpisode #113? First Chapter Analysis: The Magicians by Lev GrossmanHamilton The MusicalHarry Potter Book SeriesLit Match: Hosted by Abigail K. Perry



Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-11-14
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#115: Student Spotlight: How Anne Mortensen Went From Inspiration to Publication (& Indie Published Her Novels)

?I tried to ignore it, but when inspiration strikes, sometimes the inspiration keeps striking, and it just didn't want to go.? - Anne Mortensen

In today?s episode, I?m sitting down with Anne Mortensen to talk through what it was like to write, edit, and publish not one, but two of her books. You'll also get an exclusive look at her experience working alongside a developmental editor and book coach (that's me!) to bring her stories to life. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[02:05] Anne introduces herself, talks about her background, and lets us know what kind of books she writes.
[04:44] A quick highlight reel of Anne?s books and writing journey.
[08:34] Where the inspiration for her novel, The Arcadian Match came from.
[11:03] Working on getting to the essence of the book's characters.
[14:40] How much of the external plot changed from the first draft to after Anne met her character?
[18:21] While pressure testing the outline, does Anne remember having any moments where something clicked?
[22:09] What was it like for Anne to go back to her first book after working on her second book and hitting a roadblock?
[27:30] Is the coaching experience the best? If so, why?
[29:54] What was Anne?s relationship with feedback before coaching?
[32:20] What would Anne say to other writers who are afraid of the feedback of others?
[35:46] How long did it take to get a first draft done for ?Arcadian Match??
[37:21] Is Anne working on her third book now?
[40:24] How to deal with challenges and never give up?
[41:38] What are the things Anne sees that make the writers she works with successful and other writers not?
[43:21] Parting words of wisdom from Anne.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Head over to savannahgilbo.com for a full transcriptAnne Mortensen's websiteThe Arcadian Match (out June 2023)The Truth Effect (out October 2021)

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-11-07
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#114: 3 Common Dialogue Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

?Dialogue is a form of action. We can utilize what's happening around the dialogue to assist what's being said.? - Savannah Gilbo


Today, I'm thrilled to talk about the intricate art of dialogue with you once more. We're going to explore three common pitfalls that often lurk in dialogue and learning how to navigate these challenges can truly elevate your storytelling. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[02:34] Savannah explains the meaning of attributions and what to do when you doubt if something being said is clear to the reader.


[06:55] Reading a snippet from ?Mockingjay? by Suzanne Collins and why it is a great example of keeping attributions simple.


[11:27] Why asking rhetorical questions undermines the emotional potential of your scenes. 


[14:15] The value of not including too much backstory or too much information in your dialogue.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Episode #104: 10 Tips For Writing Better DialogueThe Hunger Games Series (Book 3): Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsThe Unmaking of June Farrow by Adrienne YoungDivine Rivals by Rebecca Ross




Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-10-31
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#113: First Chapter Analysis: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

?I feel that emotional connection, the emotional struggles here are going to be a big gameplay in how the story is executed.? - Abigail K. Perry

Magic has always fascinated us, hasn't it? The mere thought of a world where the impossible becomes possible, where spells are cast, and extraordinary adventures unfold, has captivated readers for generations. In the realm of adult fantasy novels, one name stands out ? Lev Grossman and his masterpiece, "The Magicians."

Today, both Abigail K. Perry, host of the LitMatch podcast, and I embark on a magical yet realistic journey as we unravel the intricacies of the first chapter. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[06:17] Abigail gives a summary of The Magicians by Lev Grossman

[21:51] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer?s Guide to Beginnings

[58:40] A micro analysis of the scene within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid

[01:20] Final thoughts on analyzing chapters and scenes

Links mentioned in this episode:

The Magicians by Lev GrossmanLitMatch podcast

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-10-24
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#112: 5 Questions Your Reader Shouldn't Have To Ask

You need to get readers asking questions to hook them into your story, but you don?t want them asking the wrong questions or being so confused that they stop reading altogether. In this episode, I share 5 questions your readers should never have to ask?here's a preview of what's included:

[01:58] Who is this person?
[03:35] Where is the scene taking place?
[04:50] Who else is in the scene?
[06:15] What's the point of this?
[07:55] Why should I care?
[10:25] Final thoughts and episode recap

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

Ep. 10 - How to Create Memorable Characters Using Hooks

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-10-17
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#111: Student Spotlight: From Messy First Draft to Publishing His Debut Novel With Edward J. Cembal

In today?s episode, I?m sitting down with Edward J. Cembal to talk through what it was like to write, edit, and publish his debut novel, The Monsters In Our Shadows. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[04:00] A quick introduction to Edward J. Cembal (including a timeline of his writing, editing, and publishing journey) as well as a summary of his debut dystopian novel, The Monsters In Our Shadows

[09:00] Edward describes what it?s like working with a book coach, an editor, and beta readers?including what it?s like receiving feedback from different sources

[22:00] What it?s like to dig deep and put your ?blood on the page? in terms of writing a protagonist who shares some of your own inner struggles?and how Edward feels now that he?s gone through that process

[28:00] Edward shares how his novel accidentally ended up in Hollywood?and how this totally uprooted his plans to self-publish (but why he self-published anyway)

Links mentioned in this episode:

Edward J. Cembal?s websiteEdward J. Cembal on InstagramThe Monsters In Our Shadows (out October 2023)Richard LJoenes (cover designer)Andrew Lowe (editor)Rachel Cone-Gorham (RxD Agency)Wango Films (Tim Doiron, James van der Woerd, April Mullen)Want to learn more about my Notes to Novel course? Click here to read all about it and join the waitlist. Doors are opening again soon!

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-10-04
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#110: Is A Writing Course Really Worth it For Beginners?

In today?s episode, I?m sharing my thoughts on writing courses?including 5 things that make a fiction writing course worth your time and money. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[02:15] A good writing course should provide you with more than just ?tactics and templates.? It should move you beyond just learning and get you into action.
[04:45] A good writing course should provide you with a community of like-minded writers who share similar goals and access to a mentor who can support you.
[08:05] A good writing course should feel like a ?HECK YES!? And if it doesn't, then it's probably a heck no?and that's okay! Trust your gut on this decision.
[09:15] My two cents re: the question, "Can you learn to write a book from all the free resources online and/or in craft books?" (Spoiler alert: YES, you can!)

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Interested in joining the Notes to Novel course next time doors open for enrollment? Click here to add your name to the waitlist!

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-09-26
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#109: 5 Common Scene Issues (And How to Fix Them)

In today?s episode, I?m sharing 5 of the most common ?scene level? issues to look for when editing your draft.  Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[02:44] Issue #1: The scene isn?t properly structured and it feels flat.

[03:59] Issue #2: The POV character doesn?t have enough agency.

[05:57] Issue #3: There?s too much extra stuff crowding the scene.

[07:50] Issue #4: There?s not enough interiority on the page.

[09:35] Issue #5: The POV is inconsistent (aka there's head hopping)

[11:22] Final thoughts and episode recap.

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

The 5-Day Unlock Your Story: A LIVE challenge designed to help you get your ideas out of your head and onto the page.Ep. 40 - How to Write a Well-Structured SceneEp. 43 - 10 Tips For Writing Better ScenesEp. 63 - Don?t Start A Scene Without These 3 ThingsEp. 74 - When Should You Write in Scene vs. Summary?Ep. 94 - How to Reveal Your Character?s Inner Life on the Page

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-09-20
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#108: Why Your Capacity For Zero is Crucial As A Writer

In today?s episode, I?m sharing one of my favorite mindset tips?and it all has to do with your ability (and willingness) to start from scratch. I call it strengthening your capacity for zero. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:25] Your capacity for zero describes how willing you are to start over if something you?re outlining or writing doesn?t work.
[04:45] What happened when I told one of the writers I work with that she had to start over after writing a 40,000-word first draft
[11:00] How to strengthen your capacity for zero (including some question prompts to get you started thinking about your current capacity for zero)
[12:25] Final thoughts and episode recap.

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 71 - Student Spotlight: How She Wrote a Novel in 6 Months (and Landed an Agent 10 Months Later) with Stefanie Medrek

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?



Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-09-14
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#107: Email List Building Essentials For Authors

In today?s episode, I?m sharing 3 steps to help you get started with list building. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[1:45] Having an email list is one of the best ways to build relationships with your readers over time. It?s what helps keep you top of mind the next time readers are looking for a new book to read, or a book to share with their friends and family.

[3:15] Step 1: Define your target audience of readers. These are the people who will buy your book, leave you positive reviews, and recommend it to all their friends. It?s who all your marketing efforts need to speak to!

[5:35] Step 2: Start generating leads for your list by offering a freebie (or lead magnet) in exchange for email addresses. You could offer things like sample chapters, book club questions, free ebooks, character interviews, and more.

[9:30] Step 3: Develop your content strategy so that you can stay in communication with your subscribers and build that ?know, like, and trust? factor before you write and sell your next book. Don?t overcomplicate this step!

[12:25] Final thoughts and episode recap.

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 106 - 5 Steps to Building Your Author Platform

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-09-05
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#106: 5 Steps to Building Your Author Platform

In today?s episode, I?m sharing 5 steps to building an author platform. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[00:59] Your author platform is the foundation for all your future book marketing efforts. You can start building it no matter where you?re at in the writing process!

[02:07] Step 1: Define your target audience of readers

[03:15] Step 2: Design your unique author brand

[06:10] Step 3: Create your author website

[07:49] Step 4: Setup your email list

[09:51] Step 5: Develop your communication strategy

[15:42] Final thoughts and episode recap.

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 4 - How to Identify Your Story?s Ideal Reader

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-08-29
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#105: First Chapter Analysis: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

In today?s episode, Abigail K. Perry and I take a deep dive into the first chapter of Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Here?s a preview of what we talk about:

[03:17] A very quick summary of the first two chapters

[06:30] Our analysis of the scene/s within the first two chapters using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid

[25:11] Final thoughts and episode recap

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!
 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.

FREE TRAINING: 5 Secrets to Help You Start and Finish Your Novel. Register here for instant access to the free video training!

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-08-22
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#104: 10 Tips For Writing Better Dialogue

In today?s episode, I?m sharing my top 10 tips for writing stronger, more impactful dialogue in your novel. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[02:00] Tip #1: Make sure your dialogue serves a purpose in the overarching story.
[03:00] Tip #2: Think of your dialogue as action vs. exposition (or active vs. passive).
[06:09] Tip #3: Get clear on each character?s goal and motivation within a scene.
[07:43] Tip #4: Make sure your dialogue is ripe with conflict and tension.
[10:02] Tip #5: Check that your dialogue sounds right for your genre and tone.
[11:15] Tip #6: Ensure each character has a unique and rich vocabulary.
[13:13] Tip #7: Curate your dialogue to show readers only what they need to see.
[14:30] Tip #8: Keep your dialogue short and to the point.
[16:16] Tip #9: Aim to have your dialogue do more than one thing?and include subtext.
[18:19] Tip #10: Use dialogue to help you control your story?s pacing.
[20:17] Final thoughts and episode recap.

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 92 - The 5 Functions of Dialogue in Your Story

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-08-15
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#103: Morality Genre Conventions

In today?s episode, I?m covering the conventions of the morality genre using the movie A Man Called Otto as an example. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[05:09] The protagonist starts the story at their worst (with a "wrong" moral compass)

[06:40] The antagonist pressures the protagonist to face their bad behavior/wrongdoing

[07:54] The protagonist is haunted by their past mistakes or selfish behavior

[09:09] A character who represents the consequences of the protagonist?s wrongdoing

[10:20] At least one mentor figure who helps the protagonist see right from wrong

[11:13] External conflict that pits the protagonist's goals against the needs of others

[12:53] A foil character who positively or negatively demonstrates different behavior

[14:24] The protagonist gets help from unexpected sources

[15:23] The setting must offer the protagonist opportunities to be selfish or altruistic

[16:49] The end of the story is often bittersweet

[18:04] Final thoughts and episode recap.

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 72 - The 6 Key Scenes Every Morality Story NeedsEpisode Freebie: Morality Genre Cheat Sheet

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-08-09
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#102: 3 Common Interiority Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

In today?s episode, I?m sharing the 3 most common interiority mistakes I see writers make, as well as how to fix them. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[03:20] Mistake 1: The ?too passive? protagonist. Your protagonist should always crave agency, even if they can't physically take action. 

[06:17] Mistake 2: The protagonist whose always present. Real people think about the past and future while making decisions. Your characters should too!

[09:12] Mistake 3: The protagonist knows what the author knows. It's important to separate the character's knowledge from the author's so the reader can properly immerse themselves in the story.

[13:00] Final thoughts and episode recap.

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersEp. 82 - Show, Don't Tell: What This Advice Really MeansEp. 94 - How to Reveal Your Character?s Inner Life on the Page

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-08-01
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#101: First Chapter Analysis: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

In today?s episode, Abigail K. Perry and I take a deep dive into the first chapter of Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. Here?s a preview of what we talk about:

[05:38] A very quick summary of the first chapter

[13:37] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer?s Guide to Beginnings


[43:08] A micro analysis of the scene within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid


[52:50] Final thoughts and episode recap

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts


"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 


Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.

FREE TRAINING: 5 Secrets to Help You Start and Finish Your Novel. Register here for instant access to the free video training!

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-07-25
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#100: A Week in the Life: 7 Days Behind the Scenes with Savannah (July 2023)

In today?s episode, I?m taking you behind the scenes with me throughout my entire week, and I?m going to share what I?m working on, what big projects I?m focused on right now, and basically, anything that happens during the week. 

I'm always curious as to how people set up their day and what they're working on, and how they choose what they're going to actually work on that week. So, I thought you might be curious to know what I do all day as an editor and book coach?what I focus on and how I navigate through many, many, many action items. So, that?s what this episode is all about. I hope you enjoy this peek behind the scenes!

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Click here to register for my FREE training all about the 5 Secrets to Help You Start and Finish Your Novel!Ep. 85 - Student Spotlight: How She Overcame Her Fear of the Blank Page (and Indie Published Her Novel) with Jennifer LauerEp. 91 - Student Spotlight: How She Went From First Draft to Landing Her Dream Agent with Jamie VaronWant to join our book club? Click here to learn more!

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-07-18
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#99: 5 Mindset Tips to Help You Unlock Your Writing Potential

In today?s episode, I?m sharing a round-up of mindset tips from some of my peers! Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[02:00] Rachel May of Golden May Editing shares a mindset tip about taking the pressure off of your writing practice by letting it be easy. You can learn more about Rachel, Golden May Editing, and her Story Magic podcast here!

[04:43] Georgina Green shares a mindset tip about using better language to talk to yourself about writing. She suggests operating from a growth mindset vs. a fixed one. You can learn more about George and her Calliope Writer?s Group here!

[08:55] Kenny MacKay shares a mindset tip about not letting your self-doubt and limiting beliefs get the best of you. He suggests facing them head-on so that you can start making progress. Learn more about Kenny and his Author Your Dream podcast here!

[12:00] Dani Abernathy shares a mindset tip that will help you infuse more of YOU in your writing so that you can make a bigger impact. Learn more about Dani here!

[16:10] Brooke Adams Law shares six ways to develop your persistence muscle so that you can stick with it and finish your book. Learn more about Brooke here!

[20:40] Final thoughts and episode recap



Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Interested in becoming a book coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program and to claim your $300 worth of bonuses before the offer expires on July 15th!FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-07-11
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#98: How to Add Subplots to Your Novel

In today?s episode, I?m sharing how to add subplots to your novel. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[1:50] Subplots are secondary storylines that receive less emphasis (and page time) than the main plot. The main purpose of any subplot in a novel is to enhance the main theme and conflict of the story.

[2:45] Subplots have three primary relationships to your main plot. They can contradict or complement your theme and/or complicate the central conflict of your story.

[06:05] Subplots typically come into play at the start of the second act (or at the start of the middle section of your story). However, subplots can also start and develop right alongside your primary plotline in act one (or in the begging section of your story).

[09:00] Examples from Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer?s Stone

[11:20] Final thoughts and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Interested in becoming a book coach? Click here to learn more about Author Accelerator's Book Coach Certification program and to claim your $300 worth of bonuses before July 15th!

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-07-04
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#97: First Chapter Analysis: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

In today?s episode, we?re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Join me and fellow developmental editor Abigail K. Perry as we talk through the first chapter of this popular fantasy novel. Here?s a preview of what we talk about:

[08:20] A very quick summary of the first chapter 

[21:00] A micro-analysis of the first chapter to see how many scenes are present within the opening chapter?as well as how and why the scenes work

[34:00] Our thoughts on how the opening chapter gives readers plenty of clues re: what this story is going to be about (and how it plays on the global stakes)

[47:00] Final thoughts and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Doors to my Notes to Novel course are officially OPEN! Click here to learn more and enroll before doors close on Wednesday, June 28th at 11:59 PST!Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!

Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-06-27
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#96: 5 Worldbuilding Tips for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers

In this episode, I?m sharing my top 5 worldbuilding tips for science fiction and fantasy writers, with examples from popular novels. Here's a preview of what's included in the episode:

[02:39] Tip #1?Go narrow and deep in your worldbuilding, not wide and shallow. Pick 2-3 worldbuilding categories to focus on, and only flesh out whatever's relevant to your plot and/or characters.

[05:43] Tip #2?Determine what kind of magic or technology will exist in your story world. Will your magic/tech be used to create and solve problems (hard magic/tech)? Or will it be a bit more nebulous (soft magic/tech)?

[09:20] Tip #3?Avoid generalizations when it comes to the people or creatures who populate your story world. Real people have their own unique worldviews, beliefs, fears, and dreams. So should your population!

[11:21] Tip #4?Your story world needs its own internal logic?for every cause, there?s an effect; for every action, there?s a reaction. Whatever you change in your world, consider the ramifications to build your internal logic.

[12:33] Tip #5?Use your target audience?s age range to help inform your story?s learning curve. In general, middle-grade stories will have a more shallow learning curve whereas adult stories will have a steeper one.

[14:56] Final thoughts and episode recap.

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Doors to my Notes to Novel course are officially OPEN! Click here to learn more and enroll before this enrollment period closes on Wednesday, June 28th at 11:59 PST!Ep. 95 - How to Start Writing Your Sci-Fi or Fantasy Novel

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-06-20
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#95: How to Start Writing Your Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

In today?s episode, I?m sharing my top five tips to help you get started with your science fiction or fantasy novel. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[00:00] Step 1: Decide what kind of fantasy or science fiction story you?re writing. Find both the commercial genre and content genre of your story.
[00:00] Step 2: Determine what your protagonist wants and needs. Look to your content genre for guidance, and then make your answer specific to your story idea
[00:00] Step 3: Figure out what kind of conflict your protagonist will face as they pursue their goal. Consider both the external and internal conflict.
[00:00] Step 4: Flesh out your story world. Where and when does your story take place? Focus on a few areas to go deep in?and don?t worry about figuring everything out!
[00:00] Step 5: Summarize the beginning, middle, and end of your story. Write a 1-2 sentence logline and a 2-3 paragraph synopsis that focuses on the primary storyline
[00:00] Final thoughts and episode recap

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 2 - How to Choose the Right Genre For Your StoryEp. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better CharactersEp. 14 - How to Handle Character Backstory in Your NovelWant to get on the waitlist for my Notes to Novel course? Click here to sign up?doors are opening up again very soon and there will be an early bird discount, but only if you?re on the waitlist! 

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-06-13
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#94: How to Reveal Your Character?s Inner Life on the Page

In today?s episode, we?re going to talk about writing interiority?aka how to reveal your character?s inner life on the page. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[03:20] What is interiority? Interiority is on-the-page access to a protagonist?s psyche as they process information in an interesting way.

[06:15] What is the primary purpose of interiority? Interiority helps readers connect with your characters by exposing their inner life (plus so much more!).

[08:20] An example of what interiority looks like from a real-life published novel (and two questions to help you determine if a passage is interiority or not).

[11:00] 10 questions to help you ground yourself in your point of view character?s perspective (and write better interiority in your scenes)

[14:20] Final thoughts and episode recap 


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 82 - Show, Don't Tell: What This Advice Really MeansEp. 7 - 5 Questions to Help You Write Better Characters

FREE RESOURCE: Need help getting started with your story? This workbook will help you flesh out the foundational elements of your story so you can start writing with confidence and ease. Get your free copy here ?

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-06-08
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#93: First Chapter Analysis: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

In today?s episode, we?re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of Legendborn by Tracey Deonn. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we talk through the first chapter of this popular YA fantasy novel. Here?s a preview of what we talk about:

[03:25] A very quick summary of the first chapter

[05:00] A microanalysis of the two scenes within the first chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid

[18:25] Our thoughts on prologues

[20:00] Final thoughts and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!

Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-05-30
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#92: The 5 Functions of Dialogue in Your Story

In today?s episode, we?re going to look at the five functions of dialogue in your story. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[03:50] Function #1: Dialogue can help you advance the plot

[05:50] Function #2: Dialogue can help you reveal character

[08:30] Function #3: Dialogue can help you establish context

[12:40] Function #4: Dialogue can help you set the tone and mood

[15:45] Function #5: Dialogue can help you reveal or hint at your theme

[17:40] Key points and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-05-23
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#91: Student Spotlight: How She Went From First Draft to Landing Her Dream Agent with Jamie Varon

In today?s episode, I?m sitting down with Jamie Varon to talk through her incredibly inspiring story of how she went from writing the first draft of her novel to landing her dream agent. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[04:15] A quick introduction to Jamie Varon (including a timeline of her writing, editing, and publishing journey) as well as a summary of her novel, Main Character Energy
[17:45] Jamie describes what it?s like working with her agent?including what it?s like receiving feedback and collaborating with her on changes to the manuscript
[30:00] Jamie talks about what it was like to hear some really tough feedback from her literary agent?and how this feedback led Jamie to seek representation elsewhere. Spoiler alert: she ended up landing her dream agent shortly after!
[59:30] What it?s like working with a screenwriter to turn her memoir/self-help book, Radically Content, into a movie (plus, our final thoughts on writing)

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Jamie Varon?s websiteJamie Varon on InstagramMain Character Energy by Jamie Varon (out September 2023)Radically Content by Jamie VaronRadically Content (The Journal) by Jamie VaronRoot Literary Agency


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-05-09
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#90: How to Choose the Best Point of View for Your Story

In today?s episode, I?m going to walk you through how to choose the best point of view and tense for your story. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:35] Point of view is the lens through which your story is told. It?s whose eyes the reader will experience your story through.

[01:56] In first person point of view, your protagonist is the narrator. They?re telling the story in their own words, from their own perspective, and filtering things through their own worldview and biases.

[04:50] In second person point of view, the writer makes the reader the protagonist in the story, speaking directly to ?you? as the story unfolds.

[06:03] In third person omniscient point of view, the story is told from a god-like, all knowing perspective, by a narrator who doesn?t have a role in the story.

[09:20] In third person limited point of view, the story is told from a distance following the perspective of one POV character per scene. It?s similar to first person POV, but told from a bit more of a distance.

[13:30] If you?re writing from multiple perspectives, make sure they?re connected in some way. They can be in a relationship together, have their fates tied together, or face a common form of conflict.

[16:39] Key points and episode recap.


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

FREE WORKBOOK: Grab my brand-new, multi-page Story Starter Kit that will walk you through five key questions to answer before you start writing. 


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-04-04
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#89: Student Spotlight: How She Used Short Stories to Hone Her Craft (and Publish Her Debut Novel) with Pauline Yates

In today's episode, I?m sitting down with Pauline Yates to talk through how she used short stories to hone her craft and publish her debut novel. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[03:05] An introduction to Pauline Yates and her story, Memories Don?t Lie.
[03:55] How she used short stories to hone her craft and practice submitting her work to publishers (and spoiler alert: she?s now published many of her short stories!)
[13:45] Pauline?s take on what it was like to work with me (and how there was one little thing I kept harping on?if you know me, you know it was scene structure)
[18:40] How she develops her characters and ?spends time? with them until she knows exactly what they?d do and how they?d behave in any given scenario
[24:55] The aspect of writing Pauline struggles with the most?and spoiler alert: it?s worldbuilding?plus, what?s she learned about worldbuilding during revisions
[37:25] A behind-the-scenes look at her experience querying over 30 agents before finally finding her dream publisher in her own (Australian) backyard
[50:25] Final words of wisdom and advice from Pauline

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Visit Pauline?s website herePauline?s debut novel, Memories Don?t Lie on AmazonRead Pauline?s short story, The Secret Keepers, in this edition of Metaphosis MagazineCheck out other books published by Black Hare PressWant to learn more about my Notes to Novel course? Click here to sign up for my FREE TRAINING: The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Writers Make (& What to Do Instead)

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-03-21
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#88: Perfectionism vs. Procrastination: What's REALLY Going On?

In today?s episode, I?m talking about how perfectionism is really just another form of procrastination. I also share some words of wisdom to help you get back on track and moving forward with your writing again. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[02:20] My two cents on how perfectionism and procrastination are linked and what to do if you find yourself stuck in a neverending loop of procrastination

[05:25] A recent story about how I did an imperfect presentation (and got called out on it)?and how this relates back to your own writing journey

[09:40] A mindset shift that will help you say goodbye to perfectionism and procrastination once and for all?trust me, you?re going to love this!

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too!

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode!

Grab your FREE Story Starter Kit here!Seth Godin?s video


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-03-14
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#87: First Chapter Analysis: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

In today?s episode, we?re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. Join me and fellow developmental editor, Abigail Perry, as we talk through the first chapter of this popular fantasy novel. Here?s a preview of what we talk about:

[03:45] A very quick summary of the first chapter

[16:45] A macro analysis of the first chapter using 7 key questions from Paula Munier's book The Writer?s Guide to Beginnings

[26:55] A micro analysis of the scene within the chapter using the "5 Commandments of Storytelling" from The Story Grid

[38:05] Final thoughts and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-02-28
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#86: A Week in the Life: 7 Days Behind the Scenes with Savannah (February 2023)

In today?s episode, I?m taking you behind-the-scenes with me throughout my entire week, and I?m going to share what I?m working on, what big projects I?m focused on right now, and basically, anything that happens during the week. 

I'm always curious as to how people set up their day and what they're working on and how they choose what they're going to actually work on that week. So, I thought you might be curious to know what I do all day as an editor and book coach?what I focus on and how I navigate through many, many, many action items. So, that?s what this episode is all about. I hope you enjoy this peek behind-the-scenes!


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Looking for more info about how to enroll in my Notes to Novel course? Sign up for my FREE masterclass, The 5 Mistakes Most Fiction Writers Make (and What To Do Instead) to learn more!Want to join our book club? Click here to learn more!


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-02-21
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#85: Student Spotlight: How She Overcame Her Fear of the Blank Page (and Indie Published Her Novel) with Jennifer Lauer

In today's episode, I?m sitting down with Jennifer Lauer to talk through how she overcame her fear of the blank page and indie published her debut novel. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[03:00] An introduction to Jennifer Lauer and her story, The Girl in the Zoo

[09:30] What the beginning of the writing process looked like for Jennifer?and when she finally realized that her fear of the blank page was preventing her from writing

[14:45] What happened when Jennifer finished the first draft of her book (and changed her genre from love to action)

[26:00] Jennifer?s experience entering a Twitter pitch contest?and how it gave her the courage to submit her pages for a critique on TSNOTYAW podcast

[30:35] Why Jennifer ultimately decided to indie publish her novel (even after getting a positive response from a few industry professionals)

[43:35] The 3 biggest lessons Jennifer learned from this experience (and the advice she?d give to her past self when embarking on this writing journey)

[47:00] Final words of wisdom and advice from Jennifer

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Links mentioned in this episode:

Visit Jennifer?s website or follow her on Instagram @jenniferleelauerJennifer?s debut novel, The Girl in the Zoo on AmazonJennifer?s fiction podcast The Strange Chronicles The Spun Yarn Beta Reader ServiceThe Shit No One Tells You About Writing PodcastDyna Kau (cover designer) and Barbie at Monocle EditingJoanna Penn?s websiteJane Friedman?s websiteWant to learn more about my Notes to Novel course? Click here to sign up for my FREE TRAINING: The 5 Little-Known Mistakes Most Writers Make (& What to Do Instead)


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-02-14
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#84: The 6 Scenes Every Status Story Needs

In today?s episode, I?m covering the key scenes that every status story needs. I?ve also included examples of how they show up in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. Here?s a preview of what?s included:

[01:40] Status stories center around the protagonist?s inner need for respect that manifests as a specific desire to achieve or accomplish something in the external world.

[02:40] Readers of status stories want to feel hopeful that the protagonist will succeed. They want to read about someone who works hard to improve their situation?and they want to feel a sense of triumph when that person succeeds.

[04:20] 1- The protagonist becomes aware of an opportunity to rise in position.

[05:07] 2- The protagonist commits to pursuing this new opportunity, leaving their comfort zone or current circumstances to go after it.

[05:55] 3- The protagonist sees the true nature of the antagonist and/or learns what the antagonist wants and why.

[07:00] 4- The protagonist reaches an all-is-lost moment where the antagonist or rival takes the lead and/or destroys the protagonist?s chance at getting what they want. 

[08:00] 5- The protagonist faces the antagonist, and either gets what they want or redefines their definition of success to get what they need.

[09:05] 6- The protagonist is rewarded externally, internally, or both.

[09:50] Key points and episode recap


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Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Episode Freebie: Status Genre Conventions PDF Cheat SheetClick here to take the Fiction Writing Made Easier quiz to get your personalized podcast playlist!

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-02-07
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Bonus: Ask Savannah (Listener Q&A)

In today's extra special bonus episode, I'm going to answer some questions from my listeners! Here's a quick overview of what we talk about in this episode:

[01:15] Ame says, ?Would you be able to talk more about the coming of age genre, specifically how to develop a good plot and the aim of the book??
[02:50] Emme says, ?I have a really compelling story idea, characters, and full outline that I'm really excited about, but I'm not confident in my writing and abilities to bring it to life. What should I do??
[05:25] Ben says, ?I have a story that fits both the thriller and the horror conventions. Is that possible or would I need to include the conventions for both or just try to pick the one that best fits??
[06:30] Chris says, ?I am completely new to writing fiction. How "rough" can I make my first draft? The sage advice seems to be that the first draft should trump all story construction and prose activities, but I am wondering how "good" does it need to be?"
[09:05] Shamsee says, ?Do you have any information (like the key scenes and conventions) on the fairy tale genre??

Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Click here to take the Fiction Writing Made Easier quiz to get your personalized podcast playlist!Ep. 1 - The #1 Myth That Holds Writers BackEp. 2 - How to Choose the Right Genre for Your StoryEp. 35 - 3 Reasons You're Not WritingEp. 39 - The #1 Reason So Many Novels Go UnfinishedEp. 45 - How to Say Goodbye to Imposter Syndrom


Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-02-02
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#83: What Kind Of Editor Do You Need For Your Book?

In today's episode, we?re going to talk through the different types of editors you might need to work with to get your book ready to publish. Here's a preview of what's included: 

[01:40] A developmental editor is someone who is concerned with the overall content and structure of your manuscript, and whether or not your story ?works.? They focus on things like character development, story structure, plot, genre, theme, and point of view.

[05:32] A line editor is someone who focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to readers. They help you make sure the voice and style of writing are consistent, too.

[06:40] A copy editor is someone who focuses on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They will address commonly confused words (for example, affect vs. effect) as well as ensure consistency with capitalization, hyphenation, and numerals. 

[07:45] A brief description of some other editing roles including acquisition editors, beta readers, and proofreaders (plus, when you might work with them).

[09:15] Some things to consider when searching for an editor to work with?including a list of questions you can ask to help you find the right editor for your book.

[11:55] Key points and episode recap.


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Click here to take the Fiction Writing Made Easier quiz to get your personalized podcast playlist!Ep. 73 - The Four Phases of Editing a Novel

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-01-31
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#82: Show, Don't Tell: What This Advice Really Means

In today?s episode, I?m sharing what the advice to ?show, don?t tell? really means (and spoiler alert: it?s probably not what you think!). We?ll also talk about how to reveal your character?s emotions on the page, too. Here?s a preview of what?s included: 

[01:20] In general, the advice to ?show, don?t tell? means that a writer should relate information to readers through sensory details and actions rather than exposition.

[03:39] But there?s more to it than that. To me, ?show, don?t tell,? means that you need to show your character?s emotional reaction to what?s happening in a scene?and there are three main ways to do this.

[03:56] Method #1: You can tell readers what your character is feeling.

[04:35] Method #2: You can show emotions via body language or physical tells.

[06:14] Method #3: You can show readers what your character is thinking in response to what?s happening in a scene.

[12:15] Final thoughts and episode recap.


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ? If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Ep. 2 - How to Choose the Right Genre for Your StoryWant to learn more about the Notes to Novel course? Click here to sign up for my FREE masterclass, The 5 Little Known Mistakes Most Writers Make (and What To Do Instead) for more info >>

Interested in becoming a certified book coach who specializes in memoirs? Click here to check out Author Accelerator's memoir certification course and save $500 if you sign up before the end of February!

Support the show

If you enjoyed this episode of the Fiction Writing Made Easy Podcast, please rate, review, and follow this show!

Follow me on Instagram @savannah.gilbo

2023-01-24
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