The Magic Words (Bonus Episode)

Cheryl reads the first chapter of The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults. The book is available as of September 6th, 2016. In this bonus episode, Cheryl reads the first chapter exclusively for Narrative Breakdown listeners. Like what you hear? Buy the book! Want to win a critique of your full […]

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Misunderstood Characters

Why a misunderstood character can be very useful. Featuring Cheryl Klein and Matt Bird! Check out Cheryl’s The Magic Words, and Matt Bird’s The Secrets of Story — the best creative writing books of the year. Yes, we’re a bit biased but it’s true! Mentioned in this episode: The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for […]

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Absurdist Fiction

Author David S. Atkinson discusses absurdist and weird fiction. Mentioned in the episode: David S. Atkinson’s website Not Quite So Stories Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories George Sanders H.P. Lovecraft Lewis Carroll’s  “Hunting of the Snark” Nikolai Gogol Franz Kafka Angie Tribeca Eugène Ionesco Etgar Keret Nathaniel Tower Aimee Bender Timothy Gager Treating a Sick […]

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Writerly Habits

Cheryl Klein shares her perspective on the habits of professional writers in a frank and illuminating conversation. You can now pre-order Cheryl’s new book, The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults Mentioned in the episode: Mac Freedom AntiSocial Waste No Time Francisco Stork Daniel José Older Written Kitten Laini Taylor   […]

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Writing a Gender Other Than Your Own

What should you consider when choosing the gender of your main character? Two exciting debut thriller authors, Alex Dolan and Gwendolyn Womack, join to discuss this topic and related issues. Gwendolyn Womack’s website The Memory Painter Alex Dolan’s website The Euthanist A Reunion of Ghosts (Alex’s recommendation) The Expats (Gwendolyn’s recommendation) The Accident (Gwendolyn’s recommendation) International […]

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Literary Agents

Literary agents! What do they do? Why do you need one? How do you get one?  And when can we do lunch?  Cheryl talks to Brianne Johnson of Writers House about these topics and announces her own new project. Links related to this episode: Writers House Brianne’s Publishers Marketplace Listing Another interview with Brianne Johnson Brianne’s […]

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When Stories Lie

Cheryl, James, and Matt Bird discuss unreliable narrators and deceptive points of view. Mentioned in this episode: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Atonement We Were Liars Fight Club Primal Fear The Sixth Sense Gone Girl Lee Child’s “A Simple Way to Create Suspense” Flowers for Algernon Millicent Min Girl Genius The Usual Suspects You, the […]

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Bonus Ep – Native American Lit Panel

In this bonus episode, authors Eric Gansworth and Joseph Bruchac and their editors, Cheryl Klein and Stacy Whitman, discuss the particular pleasures and challenges of writing, editing, and publishing Native American young adult literature. Relevant links: Eric Gansworth’s website Joseph Bruchac’s website Stacy Whitman’s website Cheryl Klein’s website Debbie Reese’s website (mentioned in the conversation) […]

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Query Letters

How should you compose your query letter when submitting a manuscript? Cheryl and author Katy Beebe discuss the do’s and dont’s. By the way… Thanks for listening. Sorry we’ve been away! We hope to be more consistent in the fall but could use your help. Our PayPal donation email is narrativebreakdown@gmail.com Any amounts are appreciated […]

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Middle Grade with Author-Editor Jill Santopolo

Cheryl talks to author and editor Jill Santopolo about middle grade fiction as well as the secrets to productivity. Referenced in the episode: Jill Santopolo website Sparkle Spa Series Alec Flint books Vermont College of Fine Arts Because of Winn-Dixie Books by Lisa Graff A Tangle of Knots Harriet the Spy Chasing the Milky Way […]

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