405.771.0567 joshua@podcastguy.co

Today’s guests:

  • Bryan Orr
  • Corey Coates
  • Doc Kennedy
  • Jessica Abel
  • Dave Jackson
  • Erik K. Johnson
  • Rye Taylor
  • Daniel J. Lewis
  • Elsie Escobar
  • Geoff Woods

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This is a quote from Benjamin Franklin. It applies to many areas of life, and it applies to creating a narrative podcast as well.

audio book concept with headphones and booksMy name is Joshua Rivers, and I’m helping to guide you through this journey into narrative podcasting. So, we’ve learned what a narrative is and whether you should even try this. We’ve also climbed the mountain to get the 30,000 foot view of the narrative process.

Today we will be looking at creating a plan, and it’s best to start with the end so you know where you’re going. I asked Bryan Orr about this…

Bryan Orr: You waste more time…

As we speak to the others, we’ll see this thought of having a plan and knowing where you are going. It really does help a lot when piecing together the story arc.

Bryan Orr says that are basically two types of stories…

Bryan Orr: Some are content centric…

Bryan Orr: Writing intensive…

Bryan Orr: So when you start off with the timeline…

Corey Coates and Jessica Rhodes created what Bryan is calling a content centric podcast series with the first season of The Podcast Producers (which they are now in the middle of the second season).

Corey Coates: I think it always starts with the story arc…

I love the idea of breaking the ideas down into chapters. I see this in a couple ways. First of all, when creating a series, each episode can be viewed as a chapter of the story. Secondly, if you’re looking at a single episode, there will be several sections, or you could say chapters.

Try to logically lay things out so that similar things are grouped together and flow from one part to the next. In episodes 7 and 8 of this series, we’ll dive into more ideas of doing this while still enticing the listener to keep listening and how to flow from one to the next.

Jessica Rhodes: You need to know and have a good understanding of who your audience is…

We probably should have started here. Who is your listener? Who are you targeting?

Jessica Rhodes: …and also what story arc is…

Doc Kennedy: Everything scripted…

Doc Kennedy works in the film making industry as well as in the world of podcasting.

Doc Kennedy: I would set it up like…

One aspect of the podcast that needs to be thought about is the voices. We’ll get into actually picking and finding the right people in the next episode, but during the planning stage, you need to really consider how multiple voices can create a third dimension for the audio.

Doc Kennedy: If I could, I would definitely have multiple people…

Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting also agrees that writing things down to help jog the inspirational juices and to organize your thoughts.

Dave Jackson: For me, I wrote it down…

Dave Jackson: …and there was this whole skit

Rye Taylor: If you’re going to do a narrative…

This is Rye Taylor.

Rye Taylor: Once you take that step…

Rye Taylor: It’s hard to describe this…

Erik K. Johnson: So I think your first step…

This is Erik K. Johnson, Podcast Talent Coach.

Erik K. Johnson: I think the most difficult part…

Rye Taylor: You’ve got to decide…

Learning to focus the story on one main person is an effective way to bring perspective. It also gives you a boundary and direction or how to tell the story.

Rye Taylor: Once you get that…

Most of what we’ve talked about looks at telling stories that have either already happened or that we create. What about approaching something that is either currently happening or is still in the future. Daniel J. Lewis brings his perspective.

Daniel J. Lewis: Let’s take an example here…

Daniel mentions several things that we’ll cover more in future episodes, but it’s important to keep these things in mind during the planning stages. Have some sort of recorder ready and be prepared to capture anything that could be pertinent to the development of the story. Remember, if we’re capturing something as it happens, we don’t quite know how it will end, so we don’t necessarily know what parts will be needed or helpful to the narrative arc.

What do you think about having to earn the right to narrate? Does that even make sense to you? Elsie Escobar, who works at Libsyn, shares some perspective from her career in acting.

Elsie Escobar: In theatre, a lot of the time…

Elsie explained this further by sharing a story about a unique podcast.

Elsie Escobar: One of the newest ones I’ve heard…

Elsie Escobar: A lot of the time, what I’ve seen…

This is a great point to remember throughout the entire process. If you get an idea – WRITE IT DOWN before you forget. Create and schedule a buffer time to process these ideas.

Elsie Escobar: And I keep telling myself that too..

Elsie Escobar: You know, the way that we got our…

She goes on and explains several things that they had to do. Using different parts – or not using certain parts – of themselves to craft a story. The full clip can be found on the website at CreativeStudio.Academy/404, as well as another story she has. For now, though, she sums up the lesson she learned.

Elsie Escobar: That’s what I learned the most…

As she said earlier, there are a lot of podcasting and narrative “rules”, but sometimes creativity can be bred in going outside the rules a little. Going outside the normal, accepted structure can bring interest in a way that couldn’t be done before. You should definitely start with the established system, but then…