Using Podcasts for Inspiration

12 Oct

I am a podcast fiend. They help me get through the monotony that is my day job. But they have started to serve a much more important purpose other than just a mental escape to help me keep my sanity. To my surprise, podcasts have become wonderful inspirational tools for my writing.

First, I started to just browse around for podcasts that interested me. I am a huge fan of “We’re Alive”, a radio drama podcast about survivors of the “zombie” apocalypse. As I waited for new episodes of “We’re Alive”, I explored the realm of podcasts a little deeper. I am big into paranormal experiences, legends, etc, so I found a few podcasts about those subjects. These podcasts were like a match to a keg of gun powder. My mind exploded with ideas for my next novel. Though the podcasts don’t include all of the information I will need for the new plot lines, they provided a great springboard from where I can start my real research.

Podcasts are also useful in other ways. There are podcasts for everything. There are even podcasts about podcasts (shout out to “We’re Not Dead”). Even the most off the wall podcast has plenty to offer. There are some podcasts whose hosts make me cringe with embarrassment for them. They are obviously not cut out for radio. But that doesn’t mean they are boring. Far from it. The less polished the podcaster, the more I am able to “see” the personality of that person as they really are. I am talking about characters, people. I note their speaking patterns, the phrases they use over and over again but always in the wrong context, whether or not they have a slight wheeze to their voice, etc.

These subtle character traits help me develop dialogue that feels more true to life. Think of it as people-watching, only you don’t get those ugly glares back from the strangers you are staring at. And you wouldn’t believe what kind of personal information a perfect stranger will tell a microphone for millions to hear yet won’t tell a curious writer on the street.

I’m telling you, podcasts are a never-ending goldmine of plot and character ideas. Give it a shot and see for yourself. No need to thank me.

C. L. Parson

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One Response to “Using Podcasts for Inspiration”

  1. Kelly Vandever (@KellyVandever) October 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Never thought of pod casts in this way before! Quite cool! (I especially like the people watching without those uncomfortable glare!)

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