• Five New Podcasts That Inspire Me

    Photo Credit: Felix Meyer on Flickr
    I’ve always loved podcasts, but recently, I’ve discovered a few that really get my creative juices flowing. Now that I work from home, I listen to a lot of podcasts. I was thrilled to have discovered some that trigger my brain to get busy.

    For one reason or another, these are the podcasts that ignite my creative processes and end up inspiring my writing. As a result, they’re podcasts that I’m grateful for and podcasts that I feel like everyone should listen to. Regardless of your writing and creative pursuits, these podcasts should be of great use to anyone who needs a little inspiration from time to time–even if it comes from some unconventional places. Whether you’re into podcasts or not, I hope you’ll at least give these beauties a listen.

    Here are five new-to-me podcasts that have primed my writing pump.

    Limetown

    Oh my God. I don’t know why it took me so long to find this podcast. It’s my latest favorite. Basically, Limetown is a serial docudrama that follows a fictionalized disappearance of an entire town. There’s only one season out so far, but every second of it will leave you wanting more. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. If you love suspense, you should definitely check out this one.

    This American Life

    Disclaimer: I’ve been listening to this podcast since 2010. I also realize it’s not “new” by any stretch of the imagination. With that being said, it’s the podcast that got me started on podcasts, and it remains one of my favorites. The storytelling methods and the stories themselves are superb, and I’ve gotten story ideas from several different episodes. If you like hearing about people who may be living differently than you, download a few episodes of This American Life.

    Criminal

    I write thrillers, which means I also read a lot of thrillers. In fact, I’m a huge fan of thrillers of all shapes and sizes, including true crime dramas. Criminal hits my sweet spot. The episodes are short, stand-alone narratives that cover a single crime in a way that engages you until the conclusion. If you like true crime as much as I do, I can’t recommend this podcast enough.

    Note to Self

    I love technology. I love podcasts about technology. In Note to Self, each episode explores a different way that technology is impacting our lives. This podcast makes me want to write more science fiction. If you like fascinating stories about cool people and the future, you’re going to want to download this podcast right away.

    The Truth

    This is another great storytelling podcast I found only recently. Like Limetown, everything presented by the podcast is fictional. Rather than presenting a serialized story, however, The Truth offers several short radio dramas per episode—some spooky, some heartfelt—but all unforgettable. Some of them even remind me of the TV show Black Mirror. Definitely go ahead and give this one a listen.

    Of course, there are more podcasts I could recommend. I thought about including the few podcasts about writing that I listen to, but that doesn’t fit the nature of this post. Instead, I wanted to share with you some podcasts you might not have heard of that yield unexpected inspiration dividends.

    How do you feel about podcasts? What other shows should I be listening to?

    Tweet tweet:

    Listen up, creatives! @brianawrites has some podcasts recommendations for you. (Click to tweet)

  • Selections from Pixar’s 22 Rules for Storytelling

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    Note: This information comes from the following article. I cannot take credit for any of these rules.

    When I stumbled on Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling, I realized the company knows exactly what they’re doing. It’s clear to me now why Pixar is the leading contender when it comes to film and animation. Here are a few of my favorite points:

    #2: Keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

    #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard. Get yours working up front.

    #9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next. More often than not, the material that gets you unstuck appears.

    #15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

    #19: Coincidences that get characters into trouble are great. Coincidences that get them out of it is cheating.

    #22: Putting it on paper allows you to start fixing it. If a perfect idea stays in your head, you’ll never share it with anyone.

    These are just a few of the excellent tips Pixar offers about storytelling. Interested? Read them all. You just might learn something.

    What do you think? What is your favorite storytelling tip?