How To Write The Future

30. Where to Start with the How To Write The Future podcast

January 30, 2023 BETH BARANY Season 1 Episode 30
How To Write The Future
30. Where to Start with the How To Write The Future podcast
Show Notes Transcript

“When we vision what is possible and we put that into our fiction, we actually help make it happen in the world because our readers read them, feel it, and it can change their outlook. When your outlook changes, you can change how you operate in the world, how you behave, and how you think.”

In this episode, “Where to Start with the How To Write the Future podcast,” host Beth Barany, creativity coach, and science fiction and fantasy novelist, celebrates her 30th podcast episode by featuring listener favorites and which episodes to start with to enhance your world building and connect to the power of fiction.


17. Story Success Clinic with Hugh Tipping, Fantasy Novelist, on Deep Point of View:

19. News and Updates from the World of Futurists and Strategic Foresight Practitioners:

22. World Building and Mental Models:

24. 3 Common Problems in World Building for Novelists:

28. The Key to Creative Success: The 3-Legged Stool: Getting the Support You Need:

Shannon Borg’s “Metaphor Mindset” podcast:

Association of Professional Futurists:

4 best episodes to start with:

24. 3 Common Problems in World Building for Novelists

25. Fiction Writing Tips: Overwhelmed with World Building? Start here. 

26. National Science Fiction Day, plus Fiction Writing Tips: World Building Through Action 

27. Fiction Writing Tips: Number One Tip, Worldview, and Time Travel

  • SHOW NOTES by Kerry-Ann McDade


Contact Beth:


Episode 30 - Where to Start with How To Write the Future podcast

Are you looking for a way to dig into your world, building for your story? Then I recommend that you check out my World Building Workbook for Fiction Writers. Now available. It's at Just head on over there. Click, sign up. Put your name and email, and there you go. That workbook will be delivered to your inbox straight away.

Hey everyone, Beth. Barany here with How To Write The Future podcast.

What is How To Write The Future podcast?

This is a podcast that offers tips and support for science fiction and fantasy writers, and actually writers of all kinds who want to create positive, optimistic futures.

Because I believe when we vision what is possible and we put that into our fiction, we actually help make it happen in the world because our readers read them, feel it, and it can change their outlook. And when your outlook changes, you can change how you operate in the world, how you behave, and how you think. I am a science fiction and fantasy author and writing coach and consultant. I work with individuals and organizations to help bring stories to life.

My Corner of the Globe

​I'm coming to you from my corner of the globe in the San Francisco Bay area. Tiny buds are sprouting from the trees out there next to my patio. My cat Rocket is stalking the birds that fly a little too close to the ivy bush that lines our patio fence.

As I write this, I smelled the rich bitter smell of coffee. I hear the clang of coffee makers. And the hiss of espresso machines. Yes. As I write this script for this 30th episode. Of my podcast. I'm coming to you from a local cafe. A pop song. Warbles on the sound system. I hear. Oops. I did it again. Okay. I'm not a singer.

I hope I brought you into my world with sights and sounds and smells.

That is a tiny bit of the power of fiction.

To bring you into another world, another place, and another time.

You see, stories are a form of time travel.

From the time I was little, I loved traveling to different places and times and people. Through the stories I read, I could become another person. I could live a grand adventure. I could live a small adventure. I was learning, growing, expanding, both my knowledge and my understanding and my awareness of all kinds of things and people, and ideas.

Why I Started This Podcast

I started this podcast in the summer of 2022 to share with you ways that you can transport yourself and your readers to new places where the impossible can become possible, where life maybe could be better for everybody. And that you could create fiction that feels lived in that's real for you as the writer. And if you're not a writer, that you could experience as real for you as the reader.

Celebrating my 30th Episode and Introducing You to Its Highlights

With this podcast, my 30th, I'm celebrating this milestone of it being the 30th episode and I'm sharing with you favorites both mine and from listeners.

This episode can serve as an introduction also to anyone listening for the first time, to give you an overview of some of the top episodes.

All right, so let's dive in.

I want to start off with the most listened-to episode.

That was Episode 19: "News and Updates from the World of Futurists and strategic Foresight Practitioners."

That has been the most listened-to episodes so far. Thank you so much to the Institute for the Future for passing it around. I really appreciate that from that episode and the fact that people were passing it around, I was asked to write an article for the Association of Professional Futurists, which will be out in February of 2023 sometime, called "World Building Tips for Foresight Practitioners, How To Make Your scenarios Come alive." So stay tuned for that.

Beth's Favorite? Well...

Now, some of you might be wondering, "Hey Beth, what is your personal favorite so far?"

And I would have to say it's the one I'm working on next.

I am so future-oriented that if you were to ask me, like, what is my favorite story that I'm writing? Or in this case, what is my favorite podcast episode?

It's always the one I'm working on 'cause that's the one I'm most involved in. And also the one I'm thinking about the next few steps in.

So maybe as time goes by, I will have a very specific favorite. So stay tuned for that too.

So now I want to share with you some of other people's favorite episodes. I asked around in my community. And I got some lovely feedback. So thank you so much for that.

Kerry-Ann's Favorite Episode

I want to start off with Kerry-Ann, who is my production assistant and right-hand woman. And I asked her for her favorite episode.

And she told me it was number 24 called "Three Common Problems in world-building for Novelists."

She writes, "In this episode, You discuss writing your characters, worldview, and building their Storyworld, mentioning how we ourselves are born into cultures, religions, and countries with so much history attached to them, which in your words, quote, 'we did not design' Unquote. I find this to be very thought-provoking and made me look at writing my character's experiences differently, as I live in a country that has a lot of history attached to it."

Thank you so much, Kerry-Ann. Kerry-Ann is in Ireland. And the specific history of her region really hit home for her. So, thank you so much, Kerry-Ann. I loved hearing what was your favorite episode.

So next up we have Rodrigo.

Rodrigo's Favorites - There's Two!

Rodrigo Caetano:

Hello Beth. This is Rodrigo Caetano from Montreal. Bonjour de Montreal, and I'm here to tell you that I love your podcast. I simply love all episodes. It's really difficult to figure out one that is just the better. So I chose two, I think episode number 22. And Episode number 24 are simply great because they talk about world-building and they're such simple but so effective tips. I love them. Keep going. It's an amazing podcast and I hope I look forward to hearing more. À bientôt.

Thank you so much Rodrigo for your kind words. I really, really appreciate it.

Shannon Borg:

Next up, we have Shannon, Shannon Borg, who is a fellow creativity coach, a writer, an artist and runs her own wonderful podcast.

Hello, I'm Shannon, and Beth, you know who I am. I'm a writer. I'm an artist. I'm a coach and a podcaster, and my favorite episode is "The Three-Legged Stool of Creative Success: Getting The Support You Need."

I think you probably could have guessed that because Beth and I experienced all three of these together.

We met as peers in an online group. We've shared ideas from our teachers, and we've talked about ways and supported each other about ways to better help our clients and get feedback from our clients.

And it's really amazing, Beth, just to see how far the podcast has come, all the great ideas that you're talking about, not only about the future, ideas about the future, how to write fiction, how to write about the future, and think about the future, but also how to grow a writing practice, and how to grow a business and how to find support in all of this.

So I wish you all the best on your 30th episode, and here's to much more in the future of finding support from our teachers, from our peers, and from our clients, and other writers. So I really appreciate it. Take care.

Thank you so much, Shannon. Thank you so much for what your favorite episode was.

And thank you so much, Shannon, for being one of the biggest inspirations to start this podcast and for handing me the topic and the specific name: How To Write The Future.

T.A. Gaylord's Favorite

Next up, we have T.A. Gaylord who is a writer of YA dystopia set in a future California and is also one of my clients. And he told me that he likes Episode 17, which was my discussion with Hugh Tipping, another one of my clients, where we talked about deep point of view.

All of the episodes that I mentioned so far, their direct links are in the show notes.

My Recommendations to You

So now I'm going to end this episode with my recommendations to you.

If you are new to How To Write The Future podcast, which is offering tips for fiction writers and avid readers, and anyone who wants to be telling stories, well then I recommend that you start with episodes - four episodes in order, Episodes 24, 25, 26 and 27.

These all give you an overview of the principles that I offer up in world-building and that are also in my new goodie that I am announcing here, which is called the World Building Workbook for Fiction Writers, which is now available.

And you can sign up for that workbook at

Specifically, I start off with Episode 24, which are three common problems in world-building for novelists. And Kerry-Ann said this was her favorite episode.

And then I go to Episode 25 where I talk about what do you do if you're overwhelmed with world-building, and I recommend you start with Episode 25 if you want to dive right in. We address some of the common issues around overwhelm.

Then in Episode 26, I highlight how to incorporate world-building through your characters' actions. I also celebrated National Science Fiction Day.

And then finally in Episode 27, I'm sharing with you my number one world-building tip. I discuss worldview and a little bit about time travel.

And even if you are not writing science fiction or fantasy and you write stories set in the contemporary world, world-building is still highly highly important for you. Just as important as those of us who make up our worlds, whether fantasy or science fiction. And I do both.

Thank you so much, everyone for listening to my podcast. Your interest and feedback is so inspiring to me and helps me know that I'm helping you in some small way.

So write long and prosper.

Are you stuck and overwhelmed by world-building? Then check out my new World-building workbook for Fiction Writers. Head over to and sign up for yours today.