Here’s the  nineteenth episode of the Writing Talk Podcast.

In this episode of the Writing Talk Podcast, we’re looking at whether you should go on an online writing course.

Plus this week’s writers’ toolbox tip. There’s also a quick review of my news.

Hope you enjoy listening.

NB: You can support the show by subscribing from the links above. Please also consider sharing the show with your writer friends.

Show Notes


Promotions on lots of my books. You can see more on my Amazon page:

Main topic

Online writing courses are often expensive and may not be useful for you. There’s no substitute for putting the work in.

Instead, look for an online community that suits you. Here are some places to try:

Chuck Wendig’s blog:

Self Publishing Podcast:

SFF Marketing Podcast:

Also, look for other Facebook groups, Goodreads groups, blogs, and podcasts.

If you’d like a Facebook group for this podcast, comment below and let me know.

Writers’ Toolbox

Spend time regularly reading like a writer, i.e. with a critical and analytical approach.

Keep a response journal and in it, keep a record under the following four headings for each session:

Likes, dislikes, puzzles, and patterns.

Likes – anything that you found particularly effective. Why was it effective? Focus down with forensic precision.

Dislikes – anything that didn’t work for you as a reader. Why was it ineffective? What could the writer have done to improve it?

Puzzles – anything that gives you pause for thought, e.g. those “Why did the writer do that?” moments.

Patterns – what themes emerge? Do they add to the readers’ experience? Are they easy to spot or do you have to work hard to pick them out?

After a while this approach becomes second nature and the journal isn’t necessary, but it can be a very useful resource and nice to go back to, so keep it going if you can.

That’s it for this week. I hope you found this episode useful, if you have, please share the podcast with your writer friends, e.g. you could post a link in any writing groups you’re a member of. Also, please consider supporting the podcast by subscribing. The show is on itunes, stitcher and youtube, or you can subscribe by other methods on the site at e.g. you can have new episodes emailed to you.

Thank you very much for listening and for all your support. Until next week, keep writing, keep tapping at the keys, keep scribbling, and above all, keep smiling.

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