The Novel Analyst Podcast

39 EpisodesProduced by Jed HerneWebsite

I’m Jed Herne and each episode I analyse a story to help you become a better writer. My goal: use the books I love to improve my writing - and help you in the process! My own stories have been published or are forthcoming in The Arcanist, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Flintlock, and more. New episodes pu… read more

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32 - Gabriel Bergmoser Interview - lessons learnt from book deals, movie deals, and becoming a full-time writer

August 6th, 2019

1:01:58

Gabriel Bergmoser is a Melbourne based author and playwright.  He's written the Boone Shepard trilogy (I analysed book 3 in this episode of the …

[Announcement] I'm giving away 7 Joe Abercrombie novels for FREE!

August 5th, 2019

2:37

Enter the free contest to win 7 Joe Abercrombie fantasy novels: http://bit.ly/firstlawgiveaway (Contest ends on 12th August, 2019, so get in quick!)

Join my email newsletter to stay updated with my upcoming book …

31 - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - Using the Relationship Axes to Create Interesting Character Dynamics

July 23rd, 2019

15:18

 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a gritty YA fantasy heist story. It's got a racing plot, an interesting setting, and amazing characters. In this episode, I analyse the relationship between Kaz and Inej, using Mary …

30 - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Writing Twists

July 9th, 2019

15:02

After Dale from The Reading Gorilla podcast sent in a listener request, who was I to ignore it? This is an episode about Orson Scott Card's sci-fi classic, Ender's Game. Specifically, I examine how he crafted such an …

29 - The Way of Kings - Stormlight Archive book 1 - by Brandon Sanderson - Crafting Epic Fantasy

June 25th, 2019

17:28

What does it mean to craft epic fantasy? How is it different that other forms of fantasy? What are it's unique strengths, and potential pitfalls? All those questions and more answered in today's episode, which focuses …

Talk isn’t cheap - Quick Storytelling Tips 005

June 17th, 2019

1:11

Let me know what you think of these short bonus episodes by emailing jed.herne1@gmail.com.

Also, if you want free sci-fi and fantasy stories written by me, go to jedherne.com/club. It’ll let you join my brand new Reader …

28 - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling - Meaningful Supporting Characters

June 11th, 2019

17:39

Today’s episode is all about secondary characters. What constitutes a great secondary character? How can us writers create amazing side characters that improve the quality of our stories?

Show notes:

3 - Harry Potter …

… But really, I hated them - Quick Storytelling Tips 004

June 10th, 2019

1:32

Let me know what you think of these short bonus episodes by emailing jed.herne1@gmail.com.

Also, if you want free sci-fi and fantasy stories written by me, go to jedherne.com/club. It’ll let you join my brand new Reader …

Truth in writing - Quick Storytelling Tips 003

June 3rd, 2019

2:48

Let me know what you think of these short bonus episodes by emailing jed.herne1@gmail.com.

Also, if you want free sci-fi and fantasy stories written by me, go to jedherne.com/club. It’ll let you join my brand new Reader …

27 - Skulduggery Pleasant - Death Bringer by Derek Landy - The Gap

May 28th, 2019

16:41

27 - Skulduggery Pleasant - Death Bringer by Derek Landy - The Gap

Backstories matter, but they can be hard to execute. This episode deconstructs how …

Theme is not preaching - Quick Writing Tip 002

May 27th, 2019

3:14

Let me know what you think of these short bonus episodes by emailing jed.herne1@gmail.com.

Also, if you want free sci-fi and fantasy stories by yours …

Stay off the nose - Quick Writing Tip 001

May 20th, 2019

2:56

Starting a new series! In addition to your normal Novel Analyst episodes, for the next month I’ll be posting a Quick Writing Tip episode every Monday. Let me know what you think and if you want more of them, email

26 - Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J. K. Rowling - Ring Structure

May 14th, 2019

21:40

 26 - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling - Ring Structure 

I've wanted to do this for a long time, and it's finally here: an analysis of one of my top novels of all time ... In this episode, I …

25 - Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - The Art of Setting Descriptions

April 30th, 2019

34:19

25 - Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - The Art of Setting Descriptions. 

In this fantastic YA fantasy novel, the town of Ketterdam is a living, breathing, three-dimensional creation: as much a character as any of the …

24 - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams pt. 2 - How to Write Funny

April 23rd, 2019

21:26

24 - The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams pt. 2 - How to Write Funny. 

In the second part of my analysis of Hitchhikers I extract micro and macro techniques for creating comedy. (You don't need to have …

23 - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams pt. 1 - Why Characters Don't Matter

April 16th, 2019

15:29

23 - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams pt. 1 - Why Characters Don't Matter.

This absurdly funny sci-fi comedy is a fantastic example of how you don't always need amazing characters to create an …

22 - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Finding your Perfect Prose

April 2nd, 2019

27:39

22 - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Finding your Perfect Prose. 

Fitzgerald's classic chronicle of the Jazz age is often praised for its …

21 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Meaningful Endings and the Truth

March 19th, 2019

15:25

21 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Meaningful Endings and the Truth. 

Truth. It's one of the most important aspects of story - especially of …

20 - Elantris by Brandon Sanderson - Avalanche Endings

March 5th, 2019

18:29

20 - Elantris by Brandon Sanderson - Avalanche Endings. 

If you want to learn how to write explosive, fast-paced, balastic endings, Elantris is an excellent novel to study - which is what I do in this episode! Enjoy!

19 - Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy - The Art of Naming

February 19th, 2019

17:12

19 - Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy - The Art of Naming. 

In this episode, I look at how Derek uses names to craft compelling, fleshed-out, …

18 - Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson - Misfit Characters

February 4th, 2019

15:10

18 - Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson - Misfit Characters.

Sometimes the key to compelling characters is to make them NOT fit neatly into your plot. That's what Sanderson does in Warbreaker - a stand-alone fantasy book …

17 - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Crafting Compelling Narrators

January 21st, 2019

20:44

17 - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Crafting Compelling Narrators.

This historical World War II novel by Australian author Markus Zusak has …

16 - Boone Shepard - The Silhouette and the Sacrifice by Gabriel Bergmoser - Writing Awesome Endings

January 8th, 2019

17:19

16 - Boone Shepard - The Silhouette and the Sacrifice by Gabriel Bergmoser - Writing Awesome Endings.

I recently read the third and final book in Gabriel Bergmoser's Boone Shepard trilogy - and I loved the ending so …

15 - 2018 in review - Everything I Read, Favourite Books, and Top Writing Lessons

January 4th, 2019

37:57

15 - 2018 in review - Everything I Read, Favourite Books, and Top Writing Lessons.

With 2018 in the rear view mirror, I recap all 61 books I read last year, and extract key writing lessons I learnt from them. Enjoy this …

14 - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - 6 Steps to make the reader cry

December 25th, 2018

19:50

14 - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - 6 Steps to make the reader cry.

After reading this amazing book twice (my fave read of 2017!), I finally …

13 - The Martian by Andy Weir - Problem and Response Story Structure

December 11th, 2018

18:26

13 - The Martian by Andy Weir - Problem and Response Story Structure.

I've read this book multiple times and love it more with each re-read. In this …

12 - Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson - Controlling Pacing using Chapters

November 27th, 2018

15:25

12 - Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson - Controlling Pacing using Chapters.

This was the first Brandon Sanderson novel I read, and boy did it get me …

11 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling - Narrative Misdirection

November 13th, 2018

13:55

11 - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling - Narrative Misdirection.

This is one of my favourite books, and in today's episode I …

10 - Mistborn The Final Empire - by Brandon Sanderson - Mastering the Grand Skill of Worldbuilding

October 30th, 2018

23:25

10 - Mistborn The Final Empire - by Brandon Sanderson - Mastering the Grand Skill of Worldbuilding.

Sanderson is a master of creating compelling fantasy worlds. Mistborn is a perfect example - and it's one of the best …

9 - The Stars my Destination by Alfred Bester - Grounding the Future in the Past

October 16th, 2018

14:03

9 - The Stars my Destination by Alfred Bester - Grounding the Future in the Past. 

This golden age sci-fi novel has a lot to teach - oddly enough - …

8 - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Creating Empathy for the Hero

October 2nd, 2018

9:50

8 - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - Creating Empathy for the Hero. If you want readers to keep turning pages, empathy is crucial. In this episode, I examine how Cline uses goals to make readers care about Wade Watts. 

7 - The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie - Exploring Theme

September 18th, 2018

24:48

7 - The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie - Exploring Theme. 

This is one of the best books I've read this year, and what made it strong was Abercrombie's …

6 - Neuromancer by William Gibson - 6 Lessons for Writers

September 4th, 2018

10:45

Neuromancer was a 1984 genre-defining novel - and it still has a lot to teach writers today. Settle in as I pull 6 key lessons out of this …

5 - Gabriel Bergmoser Interview - Windmills, Boone Shepard, Movie Maintenance, and Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

September 1st, 2018

1:02:22

5 - Gabriel Bergmoser Interview - Windmills, Boone Shepard, Movie Maintenance, and Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. 

Today I'm changing things up from my normal analysis format by interviewing Gabe Bergmoser - one of my …

4 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein - Writing an Amazing Midpoint

August 21st, 2018

8:49

Done poorly, midpoints can bog down your story with annoying slowness. That's not the case in today's novel, which showcases one possible solution to …

3 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling - Creating Suspense Using Question Arcs

August 7th, 2018

15:17

Harry Potter is successful (amoung many other reasons) for Rowling's fantastic use of suspense and mystery. Today, I analyse how you can use question …

2 - The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie - Characterisation through Contradiction

August 7th, 2018

16:06

Joe Abercrombie writes some of the most realistic, fleshed-out, and interesting characters in modern fantasy. Today, I'll analyse what makes his characters so complex. 

Twitter: @JedHerne

Email: jed.herne1@gmail.com

1 - The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - Making Every Scene Interesting

August 7th, 2018

23:12

Pat Rothfuss' fantasy novel blew me away. In this episode, I analyse how he made every scene interesting - no mean feat given that this novel is over 600 pages long!

 

Twitter: @JedHerne

Email: jed.herne1@gmail.com

Show …

0 Novel Analyst Teaser

August 6th, 2018

2:07

Welcome to the Novel Analyst podcast! I’m Jed Herne and each episode I analyse a story to help you become a better writer. In this teaser, you'll learn about my writing journey and what I want to achieve with this …

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