Out On The Wire

It’s time to get some ink on that page. We’re in the lab, testing our story hypotheses in the crucible of the writing process. We put things in order, break them down, build them with little blocks, iterate, signpost, and answer the question, “what does Buffy feel?” With the help of Ira Glass, Joe Richman,…

Read More
Out On The Wire

This is our transcript of Episode 6: Proof of Concept, adapted from our script. It’s about 90-95% correct. Please verify against the audio before quoting. Intro I’m Jessica Abel, and we’re going Out on the Wire. The show about making stories, step by step. Out on the Wire is a show about how to tell stories,…

Read More

Don’t be lucky. Be good. Manufacture your own luck with the right kind of preparation for an interview. We hear from Zoe Chace, Robert Smith, Ira Glass and Jenna Weiss-Berman on how to research, prepare, and execute an interview that will provide exactly what you need. Plus we talk to New Yorker staff writer Larissa…

Read More

This is the transcript of Episode 5: You’re not Lucky, You’re Just Good, adapted from our script. It’s about 90-95% correct. Please verify against the audio before quoting. show top Zoe: …We did this interview, and it was not going well. and out of nowhere the guy just shows up with what we wanted. Like, we didn’t…

Read More

This is our transcript of Episode 4: Bare Bones, adapted from our script. It’s about 90-95% correct. Please verify against the audio before quoting.        Opening: Ira Glass: a story in it’s purest form is one thing coming after the other after the other Chana Joffe-Walt: it comes very naturally to me to do that, this person…

Read More

This episode is a flight check: We’re making sure the underpinnings of our stories are tight and structured by utilizing the narrative arc, chronology, and framing. You’ll hear from Ira Glass, Chana Joffe-Walt, Sean Cole, and in a brand new interview, from Jonathan Mitchell of the radio-drama podcast The Truth. Jonathan explains his storytelling philosophy…

Read More

Today we dive deep into character, characters that let us walk in the shoes of someone else. But how can we create characters that feel genuine while also functioning to move the story? Glynn Washington, Joe Richman, Ira Glass, Jay Allison and more are here to help us figure out how to make characters that…

Read More

This transcript is adapted from our final script for the episode so while it may not be 100% accurate, it should be very close. If you want to quote from the podcast, please verify the actual text by listening. Glynn Washington got into radio almost by accident, when, on a whim, at midnight of the…

Read More

How can we know if an idea is a good one? This time on Out on the Wire, we investigate how to refine story ideas using the focus sentence and the X/Y story formula. Plus, Ira Glass recounts a reporting trip gone sideways and Jay Allison’s takedown of formulaic storytelling. This week to talked to:…

Read More

Out on the Wire is the show about making stories, step by step. Join cartoonist Jessica Abel as she breaks down the principles of storytelling and puts you on the path to crafting your own story—in prose, comics, audio, video—in any narrative art form, fiction or nonfiction. Featuring radio and podcasting star producers from This American Life, Radiolab, Planet Money, Snap Judgment, and many more. Listen, learn, and collaborate with us at jessicaabel.com/podcast to make something great.

Episode one is about ideas. We investigate how to find them and how to follow your taste with the help of Ira Glass, Alex Blumberg, Stephanie Foo, and more.

Read More