Trouble With Writing Podcast

Welcome to Matt Gemmell's Trouble With Writing, a podcast with focused, hard-won techniques for solving all the problems you might encounter when planning, writing, and editing novels.

Trouble with Writing podcast cover art

Episodes are intentionally brief and to-the-point, and can be listened to in any order. You can find a list of episodes below, most recent first, and you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or using the feed.


An Introduction and a Pep Talk

What the Trouble With Writing is about, and why you can absolutely write a novel.

Apr 10th, 2023


Getting into a working mindset, and striving to be a writer every day.

Apr 11th, 2023


Inspiration is something that comes after you start work, not a prerequisite for it.

Apr 12th, 2023

Finding the Idea

Noticing story ideas is a skill you can learn, as is finding the emotional centre of a tale.

Apr 16th, 2023

Plotting vs Pantsing

A full plan, or no plan at all, can each be appropriate for different authors or works.

Apr 19th, 2023


The deep magic of writing consistently is to make the task very boring.

Apr 23rd, 2023


Always use the right tools for each stage of the creative process.

May 1st, 2023

Plot and Structure

Stories have a common and intuitive structure, and it's a useful tool for writing a novel.

May 8th, 2023

Prologues and Epilogues

There's no need to avoid prologues and epilogues, as long as you don't let them get in the way of the story.

May 15th, 2023


You should only start thinking about chapters after you've written the first draft of your book.

May 22nd, 2023


Details in fiction aren't about adding information, but rather creating the appearance of knowledge and truth.

May 29th, 2023


Stories should tell lies that are truer than real life allows.

Jun 5th, 2023


How to outline your story before starting, to make the writing process easier.

Jun 19th, 2023

The First Draft

The best way to approach your first draft, and guarantee you'll finish it.

Jul 17th, 2023


How to edit your manuscript, and why you'll need other pairs of eyes to help you.

Jul 24th, 2023

Themes and Subtext

The arty parts of writing don't need to be engineered up-front.

Jul 31st, 2023

Front and Back Matter

What to include before and after the story itself.

Aug 8th, 2023

Cover Design

How to meet the reader's expectations and give your book its best chance.

Aug 21st, 2023