The Story Studio Podcast - Writing, Storytelling, and Marketing Advice for Writers & Business show

The Story Studio Podcast - Writing, Storytelling, and Marketing Advice for Writers & Business

Summary: Stories turn songs into symphonies, events into memories, and lives into legends. In our crowded world, “knowing your story” cuts through the noise so you can make your mark — whether you want to sell more books, increase profits, or just make a difference. At Sterling & Stone, Story is our business. The Story Studio Podcast is where we explore ways we can all tell our stories better.

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  • Artist: Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright
  • Copyright: Copyright 2013 Sterling & Stone, LLC


 SSP027 Johnny Battles Creative Burnout | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:10

For a while now, Johnny has been feeling the malaise of low creative energy after the heavy demands on his time over the past few weeks. Now that he’s back to storytelling, he’s finding it hard to get back on the horse. In today’s episode, we talk about writer’s block, burnout, and how to recapture […]

 SSP026 The StoryJacket Process | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:22

We like to make up fun names for each step of our process at Sterling and Stone. Since we introduced the idea of StoryJackets, we’ve gotten many requests for us to talk more about what they are and how they work. That’s what this episode is all about. And because we couldn’t do the topic […]

 SSP025 Plotting a Story | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:04

While we’ve always engaged in some level of story preproduction, Sterling and Stone has made plotting an integral part of our production cycle. We all differ in how much we plot ahead of time, but we’ve learned that plotting is an important part of our ability to tell a story that works every time. We […]

 SSP024 Forging Character Arcs | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:00

Now, more than ever, character arc is a foundational concept at Sterling and Stone. When Bonnie joined us, she took our story development process and transformed it with her deep understanding and care for a character’s progression through their story. Today, Bonnie joins us again to talk about character arcs. We Talk About: The difference […]

 SSP023 Setting as Character | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:18

Setting is often a throwaway idea for a lot of storytellers. Stories sometimes set in a particular place because “why not?” There’s no rhyme or reason. The story just needs a setting. And for many stories that’s okay. But being purposeful about your setting can enrich your world. Today, we talk about our experiences with […]

 SSP022 Crafting Compelling Characters | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:46

Here at Sterling & Stone, character is king. Great characters stick with us long after we close the book or walk out of the movie theater, and great characters will keep your audience coming back for more. Today’s podcast is a 201 flash course on characters. We discuss the characters we love, awesome characters we’ve […]

 SSP021 Developing a Story Premise | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:42

A story’s premise is more than just a “what if” question. It’s the lifeblood of crafting a compelling plot, engaging character development, and an enthralling theme. At Sterling & Stone, Bonnie Johnston is our resident StoryJacket expert, and she’s agreed to do another show with us to help us explain what goes into creating a […]

 SSP020 The Foundations of Story | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:36

Today we’re starting a new arc of podcasts that are all about story. And there’s no one better to do this with than our resident wizard: Bonnie. And, really, wizard might not be an apt enough descriptor. She has refined our StoryJacket process in a way that has changed the way Sterling and Stone tells […]

 SSP019 What Our Future Holds | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:50

Now that we’ve caught you up on what Sterling and Stone is, we want to tell you what we’re becoming. We’re an ambitious company with a dream to make stories in multiple forms of media, and we’re funneling all of our resources into achieving our goals.   We talk about:   The opportunities that Twisted […]

 SSP018 StoryShop and Twisted Stone | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:26

Today we get to talk about StoryShop and our new venture: Twisted Stone. We're not afraid of working hard, but it's important that we also work smarter so that we can reach our long-term goals. Using “module thinking,” We're building systems and relationships that will take care of our present while also safeguarding our future. […]

 SSP017 Planning for the Long Haul | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:48

It took us years to find our footing at Sterling & Stone, and once we decided to go all in on our story studio vision, our trajectory solidified. But narrowing our focus still leaves us with many difficult decisions to make.   We talk about:   Making smart decisions about the long-term without hurting the […]

 SSP016 Getting Our Shit Together | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:28

It’s taken us forever, but we’re finally getting our shit together. We did so much so fast over the past few years, and last year it caught up to us. Creation often leaves a mess behind and, eventually, you have to clean it up.   We talk about:   The fuel you need most: momentum. […]

 SSP015 Focus Is Power | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:42

We'd gotten our hedgehog concept wrong for a while, but we want to perform our best for each other and for our audience. By establishing fences, we've really crystalized what Sterling & Stone stands for and our trajectory going forward. We’ll talk about: How we got the Hedgehog Concept wrong. Blinds in Manila. How we […]

 SSP014 What It Means to Be a Story Studio | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:56

Sterling & Stone as we know it has existed for about seven years, but we've been on this journey together for ten years. We all started within months of each other, giving us a collection of thirty years of experience between the three of us (Johnny, Sean, and Dave). This is the first episode in […]

 SSP013 Lessons Learned and a Small Pivot | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:48

Sterling and Stone has only been doing The Story Studio Podcast for twelve episodes, and they’ve already learned a lot about the best direction for the show. In this episode, Johnny, Sean, and Dave give an introduction to a few changes in direction that the podcast will take. Don’t worry! The Story Studio Podcast isn’t […]


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