“We wanted to develop our skills as writers and write outside our comfort zones, and, the show forces us to do that.”
We’re big fans of audio drama and fiction podcasts here at The Podcast Host. As listeners we’re always looking for new shows to subscribe to, and as podcasters we’re always looking to help fellow creators grow their audience.
Each week we’ll pick the brains of someone who runs an audio drama or fiction podcast. We’re going to ask them what their show is about, how they go about making it, and what other fiction podcasts they’re currently enjoying.
This week we’re talking to Daniel Willcocks, one of the creators of the fiction podcast series The Other Stories.
Give us a written trailer for your show. Why should we listen?
The Other Stories is a weekly short story podcast. A modern take on The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, or The Outer Limits. The show is led by our listeners, with a new theme voted for every four weeks.
Why did you decide to start the podcast?
In the beginning it was simply to write stories. We wanted to create short fiction. So, it seemed like the perfect thing to put out there for people to listen to on their commute into work, or on a short trip.
How did you come up with the idea?
The idea just came to us one day. We knew there were a fair few short fiction podcasts out in the world, but nothing that was bite-sized that mixed up themes every month. We wanted to develop our skills as writers and write outside our comfort zones, and, the show forces us to do that.
Can you give an insight into your process for writing the show?
My process is actually pretty simple. When I know what the next theme is going to be, I sit for five minutes and think of what all the possibilities could be. I consider what has been done before, and what sort of story I want to tell.
Most of the time I like to do something outside of the box of what the theme dictates. Then it’s just a case of putting fingers to the keyboard until the story is finished. The stories for each writer are then proofed and handed over to an appropriate narrator to bring to life.
What about recording the show?
We’re incredibly lucky to have a talented team behind us. We are all location-independent, which is a bit of a challenge. Out of a team of ten individuals, only a handful of us live within driving distance of each other. Narrators record their vocals and send everything over to our editor, and all our communication is online.
And producing the show?
Once our editor has sprayed his audio magic on the vocals, added music, and added SFX, he then compiles it and we schedule the episode for release.
The process can take anywhere from a day, to a couple weeks. It depends on the commitments of each person in the chain, so we have to try and prepare well in advance.
Could you tell us 3 other audio drama or fiction podcasts that you like?
I’m a big fan of ‘We’re Alive’, I think those guys are the cornerstone of fiction podcasts and made something special. ‘The No Sleep podcast’ guys are great too, and come out with some cracking stories. I’m also a huge fan of ‘Welcome to Nightvale’.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to create a podcast like yours?
Know why you’re doing it. When we began, it was for our own pleasure, and we were thrilled to get the reception that we did. But if we didn’t do it for passion, it certainly wouldn’t have gone as far as it has. Making money in the podcast realm is a tough nut to crack.
Finally, where can we find you on the web?
You can find everything we’re doing at www.hawkandcleaver.com. That includes The Other Stories podcast, as well as our novels, comics, and films.
To find more great shows like this, check out our other Fiction Podcast of the Week features.