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 […]

Continue Reading →

0 Comments

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   […]

Continue Reading →

3 Comments

Intro to Playwriting

We talk to New York playwright Brenton Lengel about the art and business of writing for the theater. Mentioned in the episode: Brenton Lengel’s website Mariah McCarthy Playwright Marco Ramirez Miss Mayfield’s Fifth Grade Class Reunion State of Play Productions Incorporated Humana Festival (March and April every year) North to Main (Brenton’s Play) Univesrity of Kentucky theater […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

Radio Journalism

NPR reporter Ailsa Chang on the ins and outs of her job and how she constructs a radio story. Mentioned in the interview: Serial, the documentary podcast everyone’s talking about Ailsa’s story about Senator Landrieu, featuring the man by the oak tree A piece about Mitch McConnell Ailsa did before the 2014 midterm elections A […]

Continue Reading →

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

Using Meta-Data, Labels, Colors, Keywords, etc.

Scrivener expert Gwen Hernandez talks about using meta-data, labels, colors, keywords, and annotations to streamline projects and ease the re-writing process. To varying degrees, these techniques can be applied in other software, not just Scrivener. And for those not familiar with Scrivener, we provide a brief introduction to the application that has become one of […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

Copyright Issues for Writers

An introduction to copyright, libel, public domain, options, fair use and other related topics of importance to writers, featuring two Park Avenue lawyers from the firm of Satterlee, Stephens, Burke, and Burke – Mark Fowler and Mark Lerner. Referenced in the episode: Copyright Term and the Public Domain (the Cornell link) RightsofWriters.com – Mark Folwer’s […]

Continue Reading →

1 Comments

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 […]

Continue Reading →

1 Comments

History as Source Material

We talk about using history as the source material for your writing, looking at iconic history-inspired films, non-fiction films nominated for the 2014 Oscars, and helpful resources for finding out about true lives and events that might inspire you. Screenwriter Jason Ginsburg returns as co-host. Let us know what you think about the ethics of […]

Continue Reading →

1 Comments

Author Trent Reedy

Writing about a culture other than your own, balancing pace and tone, using a highlighted chapter list: these are some of the topics covered in our fascinating discussion with the versatile novelist Trent Reedy. Referenced in the episode: Trent Reedy’s Web site WORDS IN THE DUST DIVIDED WE FALL TRILOGY: BOOK 1 BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

Author Bill Konigsberg

Novelist Bill Konigsberg on identity, free-writing, creative flexibility and learning as you go. Referenced in the episode: OPENLY STRAIGHT OUT OF THE POCKET Piper Center for Creative Writing (at Arizona State) Bill Konigsberg’s Web site Ned Vizzini’s IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY Attention! Listeners of the Narrative Breakdown can now get a FREE audio […]

Continue Reading →

0 Comments

Storytelling in Front of a Live Audience

Storyteller Melanie Hamlett discusses the techniques of spoken word performance as well as her primary source material – an adventurous life fueled by insatiable curiosity. In the near future, look for her book SEX WITH CLOWNS. Referenced in the episode: Melanie’s Blog Links to some of Melanie’s stories Melanie’s story about a night with a […]

Continue Reading →

0 Comments

The Script of a Writer-Director

James talks to writer/director Laurie Collyer about how a script evolves through pre-production, production, and post-production. Her latest film, SUNLIGHT JR., starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon, is in theaters this week. We also discuss her 2006 release SHERRYBABY, starring Maggie Gyllenhaall and Danny Trejo. By the way, SUNLIGHT JR is also available on demand, […]

Continue Reading →

1 Comments

Dialogue Tags, Macro Editing, and More

We address listener-submitted topics, including ebooks, dialogue tags, and macro editing. This is our 25th (silver anniversary) episode. Thanks for listening! We mention Wool’s publishing deal. Click the link for more info. Direct Download Link for the episode More about this show, for new listeners: In The Narrative Breakdown, Cheryl Klein, James Monohan, and other […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

Beyond the Basics with E. Lockhart

How does an advanced writer think? Find out as we go beyond the basics of writing with Printz and National Book Award finalist E. Lockhart. We cover many topics, including the challenges of working within one’s own high concept structural choices. Links to what we reference, in order of mention, are listed here on NarrativeBreakdown.com: […]

Continue Reading →

4 Comments

Keeping a Journal

Do you keep a journal? What do you write in it and what role does it play in your creative work? We talk to author Corey Ann Haydu about her own epic diary and related side project, as well as her upcoming novel, OCD LOVE STORY. Direct Download Link for the episode More about this […]

Continue Reading →

6 Comments

Selling Your Writing

Chad Kultgen is back to discuss the ins and outs of selling novels and scripts. He also gives a great overview of the different ways to break into television writing. Chad has authored four novels and sold many TV shows and screenplays (including The Incredible Burt Wonderstone ). Check out his work on the interweb. […]

Continue Reading →

2 Comments

Revision Techniques 1

Cheryl Klein discusses some of her revision techniques, honed through years of editing award-winning work at Arthur Levine Books, including Harry Potter. This discussion will be useful to prose and script writers alike. We also reference Anita Nolan’s excellent essay on revision. For many more revision ideas, check out Cheryl’s book, Second Sight. As an […]

Continue Reading →

5 Comments

Novelist and Screenwriter Chad Kultgen

James talks to novelist and screenwriter Chad Kultgen – it’s a discussion that should prove fascinating to all writers – about his ideas, work habits, and success in several mediums. Chad has sold as many as twenty TV shows, written four novels, penned several screenplays, and ventured into graphic novels and videogames. Chad’s novels include […]

Continue Reading →

4 Comments