How NY Times Bestselling Memoirist Dani Shapiro Writes
Play • 42 min

#PodcastersForJustice

Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Dani Shapiro, chatted with me about the Groundhog's Day effect of the pandemic, the transition from fiction to memoir, and the hidden power of Family Secrets.

"There's no check the boxes kind of 'career development,' or anything like that, that exists in the creative life. People think that there is, and that they're not doing it right. And there's no right." — Dani Shapiro

Dani is the author of 10 books including the instant New York Times bestselling memoir, Inheritance, which was published in 2019. Her other books include the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History.

Inheritance won the 2019 National Jewish Book Award, was named one of Wired’s top Science books of 2019 and a best book of 2019 by Vanity Fair. It was also a book club pick for Now Read This, the PBS NewsHour’s book club with The New York Times.

“A meditation on what it means to live in a time when secrecy, anonymity, and mystery are vanishing.” — The New Yorker

Dani has taught at Columbia and New York University, is the co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy, and teaches writing workshops around the world.

In early 2019, Dani launched an original podcast, Family Secrets, in collaboration with iHeartMedia. An iTunes Top 10 podcast, the series features "...stories from guests who — like Dani — have uncovered life-altering and long-hidden secrets from their families’ past."

Stay tuned for a special offer from this week's sponsor Neuro.

NOTE: Our apologies for any audio issues with our podcast guest interview. We hope it doesn't distract from the important message of this episode. Thank you!

If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews. In this file Dani Shapiro and I discussed:
  • How to change the rhythm of your day to spark creativity
  • Her mentors and awakening to her writing voice
  • Learning to write in public (and find an agent the right way)
  • On throwing out hundreds of pages
  • The power of storytelling in the aftermath of family trauma
  • And much more!
Show Notes:
Fiction Writing Made Easy
Fiction Writing Made Easy
Savannah Gilbo
How to Write a Well-Structured Scene
*In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through how to write a well-structured scene. I'll also show you how this structure shows up in a scene from **Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone**. *Here's a preview of what's included: [02:50] A scene is a unit of story that takes place in more or less continuous space and time, features a specific cast of characters, is told from one point-of-view, and contains a value shift (or change) from beginning to end. [04:15] The first thing you need to know about writing a well-structured scene is that every scene needs to start with the point-of-view character’s goal. So, what does this person want to achieve or accomplish or learn in this scene? What are they trying to do? [05:00] Commandment number one is that there needs to be an inciting incident. And this is really just the first thing that gets in the way of your character accomplishing his or her goal. [05:35] Commandment number two is that there needs to be a turning point. A turning point is a moment where the conflict reaches its peak and the character can no longer go after their scene goal in the way they had originally planned. [06:40]  Commandment number three is that there needs to be a crisis moment or a moment where your character faces a decision about how to move forward. Will they do X or Y? [08:10]  Commandment number four is that there needs to be a climax or a moment where your character acts on their choice. Did they do X or Y? [08:45] Commandment number five is that there needs to be a resolution. So, how do they feel now that they’ve acted on their choice? How did their decision work out for them? [10:20] An example of a well-structured scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone including how these five commandments show up and help create a mini-arc of change. [13:55] Key points and episode recap. *Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcasts* Are you subscribed to my podcast? If not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode! Especially because I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. So, click here to subscribe to the show in Apple Podcasts! If you're already a subscriber, and if you enjoy the show, I would be really grateful if you left a review over on Apple Podcasts, too. Those reviews help other writers find my podcast and they’re also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the show is. Thanks in advance! *Links Mentioned in This Episode:* * Progressive Complications: How to Write Better Conflict (article) * Value Shifts: How to Determine if a Scene Works (article) * 3 Reasons You Should Write in Scenes vs. Chapters (article) * The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne (book) P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!
18 min
writing class radio
writing class radio
andrea askowitz and allison langer
How to Hit Your Editors in the Heart
This episode is about secrets, a mom/daughter relationship, and donor-conception, a subject that hit both Andrea and Allison in the heart. When Amanda Serenyi’s friend gets pregnant using donor sperm, Amanda freaks out because she herself was donor-conceived and her mother kept this a secret until she was 33.  When Amanda first submitted this essay, Allison loved it and Andrea was reluctant to publish it. You will hear why despite great writing and an interesting story, this story was almost rejected. Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). This episode of Writing Class Radio is produced by Matt Cundill of Sound Off Media, Andrea Askowitz, and Allison Langer. Mia Pennekamp is our media specialist. Theme music is by Amadians. Additional music is by Podington Bear. There’s more writing class on our website (www.writingclassradio.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/writingclassradio/), Instagram and Twitter (@wrtgclassradio). If you love the lessons you get on each episode, you can get them ALL in one place--our three-part video series--for $50. Click Video Classes on our website. If you want to be a part of the movement that helps people better understand each other through storytelling, follow us on Patreon. For $10/month Andrea will answer all your publishing questions. For $25/month you can join Allison’s First Draft weekly writers group, where you can write and share your work. Go to www.Patreon.com/writingclassradio.
37 min
The Fantastic History Of Food
The Fantastic History Of Food
Nick Charlie Key
23 - The Nazi's Exploding Chocolate Bar
Food inherently is meant to sustain life, but this has not always been the case, in fact, for as far back as history goes food has also been used as a vehicle, not for invigorating life, but for delivering death. In this episode, we’re looking at some of the most bizarre moments in which food was involved in assassination plots throughout history.  . In an extra special segment in today's episode, my friend Moxie LaBouche from the podcast Your Brain On Facts takes us through some of the more creative assassination attempts on the late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. ------------------- Please support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/foodhistorypod and get early access to episodes, bonus content and even free merch! Find transcripts and references on the website: www.foodhistorypodcast.com ------------------- Huge thanks also go to Kind Bar for sponsoring this episode. KIND is working hard to shift the food industry and empower their community and our listeners to make better, informed choices about their health. Kindness can be a transformative force for good and that is why we are teaming up with KIND and PODGO to bring our listeners between 10% and 15% off for military, teachers, students, first responders, doctors and nurses in a time where they have given so much to all of us. Go to www.podgo.co/kind Kind Bar, creating a kinder and healthier world - one act, one snack at a time -------------------
19 min
Savvy Painter Podcast with Antrese Wood
Savvy Painter Podcast with Antrese Wood
Conversations about the business of art, inside the artist studio, and plei
Bringing Art to Life: An Interview with Artist, Nicholas Wilton
Have you struggled with integrating the various aspects of your day to day into a workflow that respects your responsibilities AND your passion for art? How do you avoid burning out and feeling like you’ve wasted too much of your life? If you’ve ever wondered if there was a way to truly bring your art to all aspects of your life - you’ve come to the right place! Here to help me dive into this critical topic that burdens so many of us is my friend and fellow artist, Nicholas Wilton. Hailing from San Francisco, California, Nicholas studied art at the College of Creative Studies in Santa Barbara and then went on to receive his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Wilton’s paintings are seen in yearly gallery exhibitions, International Art Fairs, and are included in numerous private and corporate collections in both the United States and Europe. Nicholas is also the founder of Art2Life, an online platform that strives to build, empower, and inspire the creative community. I can’t wait for you to get to know my engaging and insightful friend as he helps us explore what it really means to bring our art to life - you don’t want to miss it! What is ART2LIFE? Thousands of artists listen to and believe this lie every day and they walk away from the passion and energy that set them on their creative path - what is the lie? You aren’t good enough. You’ll never make it. No one wants to buy your art. Only the supremely talented can make any money off of their art. Do any of these lines sound familiar? What if there was a way to silence those lies that swirl around and re-train your mindset? With his Art2Life program, Nicholas strives to build, empower, and inspire the creative community. Nicholas wants to flip the script and help us shift our focus away from competition to sharing. His program is all about finding what inspires and brings you joy, and making art that is more and more like yourself. The process of becoming yourself If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am passionate about empowering artists like you to fully realize your potential and chase after your dreams. It’s been so encouraging to meet and speak with artists like Nicholas who have dedicated their lives to their craft but to also helping others discover the joy of creative fulfillment. If you find yourself wondering if you’ll ever be able to talk about your art like Nicholas does - STOP! Remember, this isn’t about who you can be most like, it’s about discovering the real YOU. Give yourself patience and space to continue the process of discovery - we are all works in progress! Pay attention to your energy and mindset While it might sound silly, the truth is, the energy you bring to your studio matters. Maybe for you, it is all about that cup of coffee or maybe it’s about getting in an early morning run - the actions we take before we decide to sit down and create can have a huge impact on our artwork! As you continue to explore this critical topic with Nicholas, I encourage you to begin paying attention to what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how it is impacting your creative process - the result might surprise you! Outline of This Episode * [0:25] I introduce my guest, Nicholas Wilton. * [4:00] Nicholas talks about the moment when everything came crashing down. * [8:00] Setting intentions and turning over a new leaf. * [11:00] What is, “ART2LIFE?” * [15:00] Why the world needs YOUR art. * [20:30] The process of becoming yourself. * [28:45] Nicholas opens up about “getting stuck.” * [33:30] Pay attention to the energy you want to bring to the studio. * [37:00] How you can learn from Nicholas’ innovative approach. * [40:30] Closing thoughts. Resources Mentioned on this episode * www.nicholaswilton.com * www.art2life.com * Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain Connect With Antrese * On Facebook * On Pinterest * On Instagram * On Twitter
48 min
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