Story Nerd Episodes

October 31, 2023

Nanowrimo starts tomorrow and if you’re going to win, you’ve got to have a strategy. It’s no small task to write an entire draft of a novel in thirty days! Luckily, in this bonus episode Valerie is here with three proven strategies that to help you do just that. You don’t need to follow all

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October 18, 2023

It’s one thing to write a dramatic character, but what if you want to write a comedic one? Do the same storytelling principles apply, or not? And what about the setting? It’s yet another story set in New York so how did the writers distinguish it from the NYC we saw in FATAL ATTRACTION and

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October 4, 2023

Hooboy, this movie gets better with age. Why? Because when we watch it through the lens of 2023 it has much more depth and nuance. Glenn Close’s character (Alex) is supposed to be the villain, but is she really? If you want to create a multi-dimensional antagonist who drives the plot and raises the stakes,

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September 27, 2023

This is an episode you’re going to want to bookmark because Melanie is offering up oodles of info about how to create a fictional world your readers will love. Yes, District 9 is science fiction, but the principles apply to all genres and all world types; contemporary, realistic, historical, fantasy…you name it. And Valerie continues

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September 20, 2023

Because the novel is so funny and easy to read, and because the film is a romcom, it’s easy to dismiss Bridget Jones’s Diary as a simple story that Helen Fielding simply dashed off on a weekend. But nothing could be further from the truth. Even though it’s a lighthearted story, Bridget is still a

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September 18, 2023

Here’s an episode that will help you improve your line writing. Yes, Melanie is focusing on the poetic devices of metaphor, simile, and allegory, but they also apply to prose. So if you want to crank your writing up a notch, this one’s for you.

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September 6, 2023

It’s a brand new season and that means brand new topics. For the next ten weeks, Valerie will study character development and Melanie will study world-building. These massive topics go hand-in-hand because every protagonist is a product of his/her environment. This is a season you don’t want to miss!

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August 30, 2023

This might be one of Agatha Christie’s best known mysteries, but does it work for a modern audience? This week, Valerie and Melanie analyze Sir Kenneth Branagh’s version of Christie’s classic tale, and discuss just how far into a story the inciting incident can be. And don’t miss Melanie’s super sleuth skills in action as

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August 23, 2023

In this episode, Melanie’s study of subtext has revealed something odd (and slightly uncomfortable). It seems that, according to Skyfall at least, M stands for mother. But why should Judi Dench’s M be a maternal figure for James Bond? Valerie’s study of Act 2 uncovers a striking similarity to last week’s film: Back to the

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