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Start With This

Night Vale Presents

401
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965
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Start With This

Start With This

Night Vale Presents

401
Followers
965
Plays
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About Us

The creators of Welcome to Night Vale Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink believe the only bad writing is not writing. Start With This is a podcast gone creativity playground designed to put your ideas in motion. Each episode centers around a writing topic. Then they give listeners two short assignments: something to consume and something to create. Make something—anything. Then make something else.

Latest Episodes

Exposition

What do you need to set the scene? CONSUME: "Anthropocene Reviewed" podcast by John Green CREATE: Write a 200 word story about a child. Give it a beginning, middle and an end. Something happened to this child. Maybe it was good. Maybe it was bad. But whatever it is clearly changes the child in the end of your story. Now write a 200-word story about that child as an adult. This adult is involved in a bank robbery. Maybe they’re the robber, or the cops, or a witness, or a get away driver, or a bank teller. Remember your first story when you write the second, but concentrate only on the bank robbery story. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

36 min4 d ago
Comments
Exposition

Perfection Is for Assholes

Perfection is a target, not a goal. CONSUME: “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson CREATE: Spend 58 minutes brainstorming and refining the title of your Perfect Work, the one you someday want to make. The title that you think will draw people in, maybe has a secret meaning or relates to the very core of the work. Now spend 2 minutes to come up with two more names. Make them as good as you can in two minutes. Share all three titles of your great masterpiece, but don’t indicate which one is the one you think is perfect. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

36 min2 w ago
Comments
Perfection Is for Assholes

Five Senses

We experience more than what we see. CONSUME: “How to Meet and Dance with Your Death” by Larissa Shmailo (http://larissashmailo.blogspot.com/2016/01/how-to-meet-and-dance-with-your-death.html) CREATE: Write 200-400 words about a meal. It can be eating the meal, preparing the meal, talking about the meal, cleaning up after the meal. Use each sense: taste, texture, smell, sound and sight. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in o...

38 minAUG 21
Comments
Five Senses

Writer's Voice

What do you sound like, as a writer? CONSUME: “Exercises in Style” by Raymond Queneau (excerpt: https://monoskop.org/images/4/49/Queneau_Raymond_Exercises_in_Style_pp_1-26.pdf) CREATE: Find a piece of writing you like. Sit with that work and think about what grabs you. Find the DNA of that work and what it is that you identify with. Now write a 200-400 story in the style of that piece of writing. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or sha...

37 minAUG 9
Comments
Writer's Voice

Present Tense

You write in the here and now. CONSUME: “Girls, at Play” by Celeste Ng https://blr.med.nyu.edu/content/archive/2010/fall/girlsatplay CREATE: Write a 200-400 word story about a chase. Your last line is a cliffhanger, a tease for the next part of this chase. Use only active voice and present tense. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

31 minJUL 24
Comments
Present Tense

Second Person

You are intrigued by second person narratives. CONSUME: GirlsArePretty.com CREATE: Write a 200-400 word story in Second Person POV that begins with “You knew it was a bad idea, but you did it anyway.” And ends with “You still have 20 more to go.” Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

28 minJUL 10
Comments
Second Person

Negative Space

What's there that's not there? CONSUME: “Dear Committee Members” by Julie Schumaker CREATE: Set a timer for 15 minutes. Create a character (a person, a place or a thing, really. Doesn’t have to be a human being.) And write a list of everything they do not have, everything they do not want, everything they are not, everything they cannot or will not do. Ignore story structure and just focus on the things that your central character is not. Keep writing until time is up. Save your story and come back to it later. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you...

27 minJUN 26
Comments
Negative Space

Narrative Structure

What is the shape of your narrative? CONSUME: “17776 Football” by Jon Bois https://www.sbnation.com/a/17776-football CREATE: Write a 100 word story with a beginning, middle and end. Write another 100 word story with completely different characters and completely different action. But take one character, place, or idea from the first story and incorporate it in here.Write one more 100 word story using an entirely different character and place and action. But bring that connective tissue from the first two stories into this one, something that connects all three together. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

30 minJUN 12
Comments
Narrative Structure

To Write in a Plague

How are you doing? CONSUME: The podcast Our Plague Year https://ourplagueyear.libsyn.com/ and the webcomic Valley Ghouls https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/valley-ghouls/list?title_no=330059&page=1 CREATE: Think of a true story from your past. One that does not seem to have anything to do with the present moment. Tell that story, in as little or as many words as you need. But do so while thinking about it through the lens of this moment in your life. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

27 minMAY 29
Comments
To Write in a Plague

Satire

How strong is your satire? CONSUME: Two podcasts: "A Very Fatal Murder" and "This Sounds Serious." Both podcasts are a riff on the true crime podcast format. Both use satire. Listen to the first episode of each of those shows, and think about what you learn from each satirical take on true crime. https://radiopublic.com/this-sounds-serious-Wk2kMx/s1!127a3 https://radiopublic.com/a-very-fatal-murder-G2wNv0/s1!44a4f#t=2 CREATE: Choose a person you generally disagree with. Now write a 200-400 word opinion column in that person's voice. Make their argument that thing you disagree with. Every word should support what you would never support, but the tone should clearly indicate the opposite. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

35 minMAY 15
Comments
Satire

Latest Episodes

Exposition

What do you need to set the scene? CONSUME: "Anthropocene Reviewed" podcast by John Green CREATE: Write a 200 word story about a child. Give it a beginning, middle and an end. Something happened to this child. Maybe it was good. Maybe it was bad. But whatever it is clearly changes the child in the end of your story. Now write a 200-word story about that child as an adult. This adult is involved in a bank robbery. Maybe they’re the robber, or the cops, or a witness, or a get away driver, or a bank teller. Remember your first story when you write the second, but concentrate only on the bank robbery story. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

36 min4 d ago
Comments
Exposition

Perfection Is for Assholes

Perfection is a target, not a goal. CONSUME: “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson CREATE: Spend 58 minutes brainstorming and refining the title of your Perfect Work, the one you someday want to make. The title that you think will draw people in, maybe has a secret meaning or relates to the very core of the work. Now spend 2 minutes to come up with two more names. Make them as good as you can in two minutes. Share all three titles of your great masterpiece, but don’t indicate which one is the one you think is perfect. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

36 min2 w ago
Comments
Perfection Is for Assholes

Five Senses

We experience more than what we see. CONSUME: “How to Meet and Dance with Your Death” by Larissa Shmailo (http://larissashmailo.blogspot.com/2016/01/how-to-meet-and-dance-with-your-death.html) CREATE: Write 200-400 words about a meal. It can be eating the meal, preparing the meal, talking about the meal, cleaning up after the meal. Use each sense: taste, texture, smell, sound and sight. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in o...

38 minAUG 21
Comments
Five Senses

Writer's Voice

What do you sound like, as a writer? CONSUME: “Exercises in Style” by Raymond Queneau (excerpt: https://monoskop.org/images/4/49/Queneau_Raymond_Exercises_in_Style_pp_1-26.pdf) CREATE: Find a piece of writing you like. Sit with that work and think about what grabs you. Find the DNA of that work and what it is that you identify with. Now write a 200-400 story in the style of that piece of writing. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or sha...

37 minAUG 9
Comments
Writer's Voice

Present Tense

You write in the here and now. CONSUME: “Girls, at Play” by Celeste Ng https://blr.med.nyu.edu/content/archive/2010/fall/girlsatplay CREATE: Write a 200-400 word story about a chase. Your last line is a cliffhanger, a tease for the next part of this chase. Use only active voice and present tense. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

31 minJUL 24
Comments
Present Tense

Second Person

You are intrigued by second person narratives. CONSUME: GirlsArePretty.com CREATE: Write a 200-400 word story in Second Person POV that begins with “You knew it was a bad idea, but you did it anyway.” And ends with “You still have 20 more to go.” Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

28 minJUL 10
Comments
Second Person

Negative Space

What's there that's not there? CONSUME: “Dear Committee Members” by Julie Schumaker CREATE: Set a timer for 15 minutes. Create a character (a person, a place or a thing, really. Doesn’t have to be a human being.) And write a list of everything they do not have, everything they do not want, everything they are not, everything they cannot or will not do. Ignore story structure and just focus on the things that your central character is not. Keep writing until time is up. Save your story and come back to it later. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you...

27 minJUN 26
Comments
Negative Space

Narrative Structure

What is the shape of your narrative? CONSUME: “17776 Football” by Jon Bois https://www.sbnation.com/a/17776-football CREATE: Write a 100 word story with a beginning, middle and end. Write another 100 word story with completely different characters and completely different action. But take one character, place, or idea from the first story and incorporate it in here.Write one more 100 word story using an entirely different character and place and action. But bring that connective tissue from the first two stories into this one, something that connects all three together. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

30 minJUN 12
Comments
Narrative Structure

To Write in a Plague

How are you doing? CONSUME: The podcast Our Plague Year https://ourplagueyear.libsyn.com/ and the webcomic Valley Ghouls https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/valley-ghouls/list?title_no=330059&page=1 CREATE: Think of a true story from your past. One that does not seem to have anything to do with the present moment. Tell that story, in as little or as many words as you need. But do so while thinking about it through the lens of this moment in your life. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

27 minMAY 29
Comments
To Write in a Plague

Satire

How strong is your satire? CONSUME: Two podcasts: "A Very Fatal Murder" and "This Sounds Serious." Both podcasts are a riff on the true crime podcast format. Both use satire. Listen to the first episode of each of those shows, and think about what you learn from each satirical take on true crime. https://radiopublic.com/this-sounds-serious-Wk2kMx/s1!127a3 https://radiopublic.com/a-very-fatal-murder-G2wNv0/s1!44a4f#t=2 CREATE: Choose a person you generally disagree with. Now write a 200-400 word opinion column in that person's voice. Make their argument that thing you disagree with. Every word should support what you would never support, but the tone should clearly indicate the opposite. Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo: https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththisFollow us on Facebook and Twitter. Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Jeffrey Cranor (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Theme written and performed by Joseph Fink. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community. Produced by Night Vale Presents. http://www.startwiththispodcast.comhttp://www.nightvalepresents.com

35 minMAY 15
Comments
Satire
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