Story Ideas: Mining for Podcast Gold

I *heart* you, podcasts!
I *heart* you, podcasts!

NaNoWriMo is coming, as you’ve probably heard, which means all of us writerly types are scrambling for ideas so that we don’t face the dreaded writer’s blockade once it turns to November.  One place I have always found inspiration for stories, characters, and plot points are podcasts.

Now, I know we are in an age where you can find a podcast about pretty much anything (here’s looking at you, podcast inception), but below I list a few of my ultimate favorite sources of inspiration.  Since my writing tends towards examinations of human behavior and relationships, many of these podcasts focus on exploring our own complex species.

  1. This American Life.  Classic tight reporting with a thematic focus each week. Covers everything from immigration to murder to holiday stories.  Not to be missed, and their archive is absolutely worth the dive down the rabbit hole.
  2. Fresh Air.  Terry Gross is a phenomenal interviewer. Listen to enough episodes in a row and you’ll feel like you’re at the most eclectic and delightful dinner party with its masterful hostess keeping the good conversation flowing.
  3. StoryCorps. It doesn’t get more approachable than this podcast.  Ordinary people sharing how the extraordinary touched their lives. It regularly makes me cry out of its sheer realness.
  4. On Being. Listen to our world’s top thinkers, artists, and activists share their thoughts on faith, spirituality, and human connection. The interview with John Lewis changed my view of the world, and my writing, in profound ways.