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The Secrets Podcast by Michael A. Stackpole

The Secrets Podcast

by Michael A. Stackpole

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User Rating
  4.2  Stars Based on 11 ratings


The Secrets is a serious tool for writers. It addresses problems writers have and provides solutions as well as inspiration. Though the podcasts only cover a fraction of the material available in the print version of The Secrets, they cover issues critical to writers at all levels of expertise and career.

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Reviews & Ratings
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Great Podcast!
Reviewer Lambowolf
 November 16, 2006
Michael Stackpole's podcast is necessary for those that want a career in writing. Nuff Said!

Priceless Advice For Free!
Reviewer MarthaC
 August 05, 2006
The Secrets podcast inspired me to begin writing fiction again after a very long time. I am a professional trainer and training designer, and I think that Michael A. Stackpole’s approach to presenting theory, giving examples, and providing an opportunity to practice in his forums is excellent. His advice ranges from reminding us of the basics of good prose, to the mechanics of knitting together subplots, to dealing with the psychological demons that keep all of us from putting words on the page and moving forward. Through all of this, he is genuine, encouraging, and good humored.

I subscribe to upward of thirty podcasts, and this is the only one that I have not only kept every episode of, but have gone hunting on the internet for all the back-issues. I recommend it for anyone who wants to improve his or her writing, or like me, be inspired to start writing again.

A Huge Help
Reviewer JDeVincent
 August 01, 2006
The Secrets podcast is full of great stuff for beginners and seasoned authors alike. Michael A. Stackpole provides good, solid information and advice on all aspects of the writing process. He's published somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 novels and has hit the NY Times Best Seller List with several of them. If he says something works, I'm very inclined to believe him!

I find Stackpole's personality to be very open and laid back in his podcasts. No cocky attitudes or self-absorbed pontification. He's just a guy (albeit an incredibly successful guy) sincerely trying to help others learn and excel in the craft of writing.

The list of sources that I've found truly helpful as a writer is a short one. Michael A. Stackpole's The Secrets is firmly entrenched at the top of that list.

The best podcast in the universe...
Reviewer Jason T
 August 01, 2006
Here is the biggest secret to The Secrets: there are no secrets.

That's right. Mr. Stackpole will not give you the magic formula to become a minor diety in the world of writing fiction because there isn't one. Yes, I know this is a shocking revelation, but it had to be said. Sorry Michael, I couldn't keep your secret. I hope you can forgive me.

Instead, he gives practical and easy to comprehend advice on the craft and business of writing, all with a great presentation and a pinch or two of humor. I have found the podcast, along with a subscription to the newsletter of the same name, to be all I have needed to stop dreaming about writing, and actually start writing. Nothing has even come close to being as useful to me. Though his lessons are slightly bent toward speculative fiction, there isn't anything taught that couldn't be used in any other genre of fiction.

Highly recommended podcast.

The Secrets untangles the mystery of writing
Reviewer MarieS
 August 01, 2006
Good advice isn’t always what we want to hear but what we need to hear. And that’s just what Michael A. Stackpole’s podcast The Secrets delivers to writers. There’s something for writers of all levels and insights to a variety of problems writers face with unbelievably simple solutions that make a lot of sense. He makes us look at our own writing with a critical eye and every writer can use that. If only my English classes had been taught this way.

Above the writing advice, he covers aspects of the writing career and the pitfalls to avoid. His podcast, newsletter and forums combined give every writer the tools necessary to succeed. His willingness to address any writing issues in all three media guarantees there’s something for all writers. All that’s left is the hard work of applying the sound advice.

The secret is there is no short cut to getting our name on the spine of a book. If there were, we would all be bestseller authors. It takes a lot of work so the next best thing is knowing what works and what doesn’t. Those are the secrets Stackpole lets us in on.

I recommend The Secrets podcast to all writers because it’s simply foolish to ignore the advice of those before us who are successful.

More than just Secrets
Reviewer Kat Klaybourne
 August 01, 2006
The Secrets Podcast for Writers, written, hosted and produced by eight time New York Times Best Selling author Michael A. Stackpole is a must have for ALL writers.

Each podcast is packed full of pertinent information for wannabe writers and published authors alike. Stackpole steers his audience through the maze of writing fiction readers want to read!

While some of the information included in the Secrets may not be secrets, per se, it is invaluable advice for anyone writing for fun or profit. The author offers practical advice based on his experience and many years in the cut-throat field. The shows are upbeat, sprinkled with humor and inspire as well as educates.

Stackpole offers forums where subscribers to his Secrets podcasts and newsletters can gain the support and assistance of other listeners and from Stackpole himself. Series of simple exercises can be performed for the mere cost of downloading this exciting, free tool and using the free forums!

Instead of following the advice of wannabes, listeners gain the wisdom of one of the hottest scifi/fantasy writers alive who has not only topped the NYT list with several novels, but is also an award-winning novelist, award-winning editor, award-winning podcaster, award-winning game designer and award-winning screenwriter.

Five stars all the way. Stackpole wins again!

Reviewer J.E.
 February 17, 2006
The Secrets Podcast is billed as a "serious tool for writers." It is hosted by Michael Stackpole, who is a published sci-fi writer. I had pretty high expectations for this Podcast since Stackpole has a lot of writing experience. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with what I heard.

He doesn't impart any "secret" wisdom to listeners; instead, he talks about topics that I learned in my junior high school English classes. For example, in this last episode, he talked about the different kinds of conflict in literature, e.g. man vs. man, man vs. nature, etc. and why it is important to have conflict in book plots.

None of the information contained in this podcast was new or groundbreaking advice. It seems like a show intent on giving a refresher course on basic elements of literature rather than a show full of the "secrets" to successful writing.

I won't listen again.

Reviewer personalmedia
 February 17, 2006
I reviewed a special edition of The Secrets Podcast. The fifteen minute podcast covered part of a mini-series on the topic of setting up the first chapter of a novel. The host, Michael Stackpole, recommends purchasing his book to learn valuable lessons about putting together a solid first chapter.

Writing fiction is a subject I am very interested in. I found a few tips that were useful, but much of the information was knowledge I already had. This podcast may be useful to keep writers motivated in the solitary work of writing the Great American novel, but they probably aren’t going to find any new earth-shattering information.

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  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T006777