• Dreams to Dollars: Successful Crowdfunding for Authors

    In the modern era of Kickstarter and Backerkit, crowdfunding has become a viable option for self-published authors to access the funds needed to publish their work. Experienced crowdfunder Jason Brick joins Bonnie and Miranda to discuss why crowdfund, as well as lay out strategies for successful campaigns and pitfalls to avoid. From setting achievable goals and offering enticing rewards to underestimating costs and failing to deliver on promises, the discussion runs the gamut of the good and bad of crowdfunding.


    Are you considering crowdfunding to publish? If you have, what lessons have you learned? Let us know on our socials!


    Facebook: @writingheights, Instagram: @writingheights

    Links:

    Jason’s Facebook page

    Brandon Sanderson’s record-setting Kickstarter

    (Since this episode was recorded, Sanderon broke records yet again with another campaign on Backerkit)

    Most popular crowdfunding platforms:


    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Sound engineering by Luke Fischer

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S3E9 - 26m - May 14, 2024
  • Choose Your Own Adventures: Using Story Structure

    Plottr creator Cameron Sutter joins Bonnie and Miranda to discuss their favorite story structures and how to effectively use them. Whether you’re a planner or a pantser, understanding the elements of structure is crucial to crafting a compelling narrative. A solid grounding in a variety of structures can help you avoid plotholes, meet reader expectations, and deliver satisfying character arcs. Through intentional and flexible use of story structure, you can leave your readers both satisfied and surprised with how your story ends.


    What’s your favorite story structure? Let us know on our socials!


    Facebook: @writingheights, Instagram: @writingheights

    Links:

    P. Djèlí Clark’s Abeni’s Dream

    A few of the referenced story structures:


    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Sound engineering by Luke Fischer

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S3E8 - 20m - Apr 30, 2024
  • All Greek to Me: Alpha and Beta Readers

    Bonnie and Miranda delve into the roles of beta and alpha readers in the writing process. While alphas and betas perform somewhat different functions, establishing clear expectations with both is key to the early reading process. Ultimately, emotional reactions are some of the most useful feedback an alpha or beta can provide, and an author’s job is to reflect on the underlying issues behind the feedback to find a solution that is true to their original vision. Throughout the discussion, Bonnie and Miranda highlight strategies for providing feedback as an early reader and receiving it as an author. 


    Have you ever been an alpha or beta reader? If so, what are your best tips for being a good reader? Let us know on our socials!


    Facebook: @writingheights, Instagram: @writingheights

    Links:

    Mary Robinette Kowal’s infographic for critique


    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Sound engineering by Luke Fischer

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S1E7 - 18m - Apr 20, 2024
  • Sense-ability: Immersing Readers Via the Five Senses

    Sensory details are crucial to immersing readers in a story. In both fiction and narrative nonfiction, different senses establish the setting, evoke emotions, and deepen characterizations. In today’s episode, author Ritu Anand joins Bonnie and Miranda to explore how to balance the senses in your writing and how to choose which senses are emphasized in a given scene. And once again our hosts return to the concept of “double duty writing,” where sensory descriptions not only paint vivid pictures of the environment but also reveal insights into characters' emotions and perspectives. Listen now for tips and tricks for infusing more senses into your writing.


    What book have you read recently that did a good job of using all 5 senses? Let us know on our socials!


    Facebook: @writingheights, Instagram: @writingheights

    Links:

    Ritu's book Kara's Dreams

    Eldred Bird’s article “How to Show Emotion in Characters Who Hide Their Feelings

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Sound engineering by Luke Fischer

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    23m - Apr 2, 2024
  • Cultural Exchange

    The landscape of fiction in the United States has been morphing over the last twenty years, due in part to the translation and influence of TV shows, movies, books, and comics from other countries and cultures. Guest Katie Lewis along with hosts Bonnie and Miranda discuss their experiences reading translated works from other cultures and how it has shaped their writing and reading. Explore how manga, anime, and novels from Asia have become more popular and impacted genre writing in Western markets. Join the conversation on cultural exchange through translated media and how it has broadened and diversified perspectives in literature and entertainment.


    For more, join Katie as they teach a class for Writing Heights this March 30th at noon MDT. Register today to attend in person or via Zoom.


    What are some good translated works that you've read or experienced lately? Movies, TV shows, books, let us know on our socials so we can consume them with you!


    Note: Katie meant to reference the novel Tropic of Orange, not Tropic of Cancer


    Links:

    Manga

    Anime (also available as manga)

    Web novels

    Films

    Novels

    TV shows


    Facebook: @writingheights, Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com


    Sound engineering by Luke Fischer

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S3E5 - 26m - Mar 12, 2024
  • DNF: Bookish Pet Peeves

    Got any writing pet peeves? Miranda and Bonnie take advantage of the opportunity to rant about some things that have made them put books down (or throw them across the room), discussing the pitfalls of playing tricks on readers, being unnecessarily coy, and making characters behave inconsistently for the sake of the plot. They dissect common grievances such as forced relationships, miscommunication tropes, and soapboxing, urging writers to prioritize subtlety, consistency, and nuance in their storytelling. Through their candid conversation, they emphasize the importance of seeking diverse feedback to craft compelling narratives that resonate with readers.


    What are some of your book-related pet peeves? Let us know we’re not ranting into the void on our socials!


    Facebook: @writingheights, Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com


    Links:

    The book that made Bonnie take Goodreads reviewing seriously


    Sound engineering by Luke Fischer

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S3E4 - 22m - Feb 20, 2024
  • Point of Who? Writing for multiple POVs

    Hosts Bonnie and Miranda welcome guest Trina Burgermeister to discuss the intricacies of writing from multiple points of view (POVs). Trina shares insights from her own writing journey, highlighting the challenges and rewards of weaving together distinct character perspectives. The conversation delves into the decision-making process behind employing multiple POVs, emphasizing the importance of letting the story dictate the narrative structure. In this exploration of the nuances of character-driven storytelling, Bonnie, Miranda, and Trina discuss techniques for balancing POV characters, avoiding pitfalls such as tangents and head-hopping, and ensuring each character's voice remains unique.


    What is a multiple-POV novel you’ve enjoyed recently? How did it balance the characters? Let us know on our socials!


    Facebook: @writingheights, Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com


    Links:

    Alfred Hitchcock on Mastering Cinematic Tension

    Brandon Sanderson on the “Grand Skill”


    Sound engineering by Luke Fischer

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S3E3 - 27m - Feb 7, 2024
  • The Necessity of Reinvention

    Bonnie and Miranda talk with Tracy Hume about reinventing yourself to get your writing career off the ground. The trio explores the ever-evolving landscape of the writing industry, discussing platforms like webinars, conferences, and social media for staying informed. The conversation sheds light on the importance of saying yes to new opportunities and the significance of discarding what doesn't align with your goals. Tune in for a captivating conversation on reinventing yourself as a writer.


    Have you had to reinvent yourself in your writing career? What was your new path? Let us know at our social media links.


    Facebook: @writingheights, Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com


    Links:

    Freelance Writer’s Den

    Jane Friedman

    Allison K Williams

    Tools:

    Bookstack

    Rev.com

    Otter.ai

    Contently

    Substack


    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S3E2 - 23m - Jan 23, 2024
  • Anti-Resolutions

    Happy New Year, and welcome to Season 3 of The Writing Forge, listeners. Returning guest David E. Sharp joins Bonnie and Miranda to talk about anti-resolutions. Embrace your personal weaknesses for yourself and your characters this year to give your story a punch, to achieve some character development, and maybe see that your weakness can be a strength after all.

    What sort of anti-resolutions are you going to make this year? Let us know at our social links below!

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    Links:

    Linc Library in Greeley Colorado. Check out their amazing podcast studio!

    S3E1 - 20m - Jan 9, 2024
  • Lessons from The Lost City

    The end of 2023 is upon us! In their traditional end-of-year season finale, Miranda and Bonnie analyze the movie The Lost City. Comparing a fictional portrayal of an author with real-life writer experience provides plenty of fodder for discussion. Your hosts explore the movie’s unique take on romance, adventure, comedy, and action, highlighting the clever use of humor and the way the movie subverts genre tropes. The Lost City’s theme of not judging a book by its cover creates parallels to real-life judgments about genre fiction and the importance of embracing diverse storytelling. As we prepare for a new year, let us approach both fictional narratives and real-life experiences with an open mind and a willingness to embrace the unexpected.

    What writing-related movie should we discuss in next year’s season finale? Give us suggestions on our socials!

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    Links:

    Romancing the Stone

    Castle

    The Memoirs of an International Assassin

    S2E26 - 24m - Dec 19, 2023
  • Conflict, Choice, and Consequence

    In this episode, hosts Bonnie and Miranda welcome special guest Valerie Ihsan to discuss the critical elements of conflict, choice, and consequence in storytelling. The conversation delves into the importance of conflict in hooking readers, the significance of character flaws, and how conflict drives the overall story. Compelling conflicts are crucial for both fiction and memoir, as readers need to see believable challenges that stretch characters without making their journey impossible. The choices characters make in response to these conflicts help foster surprising and inevitable outcomes. And the consequences of these choices are integral to providing reader satisfaction and maintaining realism, regardless of genre. The three C's (conflict, choice, and consequence) can apply at various levels of storytelling, from the global structure to individual scenes. Listen today for valuable tips and perspectives to enhance your narrative craft.

    What are the best Conflict, Choice, and Consequences you have come across, either in others’ writing or your own? Share on our socials!

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    Links:

    Baby Boom

    S2E25 - 27m - Dec 5, 2023
  • Shaping Stories: The Role of Developmental Editing

    In this episode of the Writing Forge podcast, Kelly Lydick of Pure Carbon Publishing joins Bonnie and Miranda to delve into the world of editing. The trio unravels the distinctions between developmental and other kinds of editing, shedding light on the nuanced roles each plays in the writing process. They discuss the importance of finding the right editor, the benefits of a sample edit, and the collaborative dynamic between authors and editors. Whether you're navigating plot points in fiction or refining the scope of a nonfiction piece, this episode provides valuable insights into the crucial role of developmental editing in bringing your writing to life.

    How would you describe the logline of your current work in progress to a developmental editor? Let us know at our socials!

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    Links:

    Dan Wells’ preface to the 10th anniversary edition of Elantris

    S2E24 - 27m - Nov 21, 2023
  • Ink of the Night: Exploring the Subconscious Creative Process

    Hosts Bonnie and Miranda and guest Beth Bonness delve into the fascinating connection between dreams and poetry. Beth's unique perspective of rediscovering her passion for poetry after experiencing life-altering strokes sheds light on how dreams and the subconscious mind can influence the creative process. The discussion explores the randomness of dreaming, the emotional seeds found in vivid dreams, and the potential for inspiration that comes from tapping into your subconscious. Beth also shares her approach of writing in the morning before her to-do list wakes up, using warm-up prompts to access her creativity, and letting her thoughts percolate during sleep. This episode offers valuable insights for writers of all genres and encourages listeners to explore the connection between their dreams and their creative work. Join Bonnie, Miranda, and Beth as they unravel the mysteries of the creative subconscious.

    How often do you dream, and how often do you write about it? Have any interesting dreams lately? Share with us on our socials!

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker



    S2E23 - 25m - Nov 7, 2023
  • Harnessing AI for Social Media Magic

    Join hosts Bonnie and Miranda and guest Sonja Dewing, an award-winning author and CEO of the Women's Thriller Writers Association, as they delve into the world of AI and its applications in the realm of social media marketing. Amidst a discussion on the limitations and possibilities of AI, they explore how AI, particularly Chat GPT, can enhance your social media presence without replacing the human touch. They discuss the value of authentic and personalized content in today's digital landscape, the role of AI in content creation, and the fine balance between automation and human creativity.

    Tune in to discover the best practices for using AI in social media marketing, learn about the ethical considerations, and find out how Chat GPT can assist with your marketing plans.

    What do you think? Will you use ChatGPT for your marketing? Do you already? Let us know at our socials!

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S2E22 - 24m - Oct 24, 2023
  • Anthology Deep Dive

    Bonnie and Miranda use their experiences as anthology judges, editor, and author to share valuable insights and tips for writers looking to submit their work to anthologies. From uncovering niche opportunities to avoiding common mistakes to crafting standout submissions, they share invaluable tips and tricks to help you make your mark in the competitive world of anthologies. Whether you're new to anthologies or a seasoned writer, you'll find useful advice and guidance in this episode. Tune in to learn how to navigate the anthology landscape successfully!

    And check out Writing Heights’ newest anthology, Exception/All: An Anthology Exploring What It Means to Be Normal.

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S2E21 - 33m - Oct 10, 2023
  • The Community that Stays Together, Writes Together

    Uncover the keys to building and sustaining a thriving writing community in the Writing Forge’s very first live episode! Writing Heights Writers Association director Amy Rivers and Northern Colorado Writers founder Kerrie Flanagan join Bonnie and Miranda for an important conversation on the significance of connecting with our fellow writers. From feedback that refines your work to finding your unique tribe of supporters, explore how writing communities provide a place to celebrate victories and share struggles. Get inspired to step out of your comfort zone, embrace bravery, and foster connections that elevate your writing journey.

    Links:

    National Novel Writing Month


    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S2E20 - 35m - Sep 26, 2023
  • Where it All Began: Exploring Character Backstory

    Explore character backstory on this episode of The Writing Forge! YA author Traci L. Jones joins Bonnie and Miranda for a look at how backstory adds depth and authenticity to your characters. They share strategies for using dialogue to reveal character history organically, integrating flashbacks to enhance your plot, and avoiding excessive exposition. Discover how to maintain balance between moving the plot forward and sharing essential information, all while leaving your audience eager for more. Whether you're writing speculative fiction or realistic tales, you won't want to miss this enlightening discussion on making your story's past come to life.

    What’s your favorite character backstory? Share with us on our socials!

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S2E19 - 24m - Sep 12, 2023
  • From Headlines to Novels: Switching Genres

    Join Bonnie and Miranda for a thought-provoking episode on the art of switching genres in your writing career. Drawing from John Dedakis's experience pivoting from seasoned journalist to novelist, the conversation delves into the challenges and rewards of venturing into new creative territories. Learn how to leverage your strengths, adapt your skills, and incorporate your background into a fresh genre while staying true to your unique voice. Whether you're considering a leap or just curious, this episode offers guidance to navigate your genre transition.

    Anyone else out there make the switch from journalist to novelist? Or vice versa? Let us know how it went at our socials!

    Links:

    Writing Forge episode 2.12: Elements of Storytelling

    Writing Forge episode 2.9: Look Both Ways Before Crossing Genres


    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    S2E18 - 19m - Aug 29, 2023
  • Well Versed: Learning About Novels in Verse

    Poetry and story mix beautifully to make a novel in verse—an increasingly popular form of writing. Miranda and Bonnie learn more from Megan E. Freeman, author of middle-grade novel-in-verse Alone, about what makes a novel in verse, the freedom it can provide, its relatability across different demographics, and of course, tips and tricks for succeeding in the format. 

    Had you heard of a novel in verse before today? If so, what has been your favorite? We’d love to hear from you!

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    Links:

    Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover

    Verse novelist Jason Reynolds

    David Elliott’s Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

    Melanie Crowder’s Audacity

    Joy McCullough’s Blood Water Paint

    Nikki Grimes’ Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir

    S2E17 - 23m - Aug 15, 2023
  • Beyond the Villain: Writing Compelling Antagonists

    *cue evil laughter* While most of us love a good villain, antagonists can be so much more. Parents, best friends, even the protagonist themselves can make some of the most compelling antagonists. Kat Falls joins Bonnie and Miranda to discuss how to develop well-rounded, multidimensional antagonists. 

    And remember: Go too far—it's easier to pull back during revisions than it is to heat up a tepid antagonist. 

    Share your favorite villains and antagonists with us on our socials! 

    Facebook: @writingheights

    Instagram: @writingheights

    Join the Writing Heights community at writingheights.com

    Cover art by Maggie Walker

    Links: 

    For a breakdown of the real antagonist of the Dark Knight, listen to https://writingexcuses.com/writing-excuses-6-18-hollywood-formula/

    S2E16 - 22m - Aug 1, 2023
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