This Week’s Episode:
I’m at a dinner party in this cool, old house that belongs to one of my stepmom Sandy’s best friends. This castle-style home stands three stories tall and has winding staircases inside and trees surrounding it.
And I’m a fourth-grader surrounded by adults at this get-together. So despite this cool house, I eventually get bored. I’m still sitting in my chair trying to behave, though.
Just as we’re about to start on dessert, Denise (who lives there) notices my boredom. She takes a leftover dinner roll and chucks it out the window! We’re so high up that we never even hear it hit the ground.
I look at her in shock as she takes another roll and throws that out the window, too! I ask, “Denise, why do you do that?”
She responds, “Oh, to feed the dragons, of course.”
“You have pet dragons?” I ask.
“Yeah, three of them. And they love dinner rolls.”
Right then and there, I decided that Denise is one of the world’s coolest people and that I too want to have pet dragons.
This story has stuck with me ever since I was that 9-year-old because of the possibility. What if there were actually dragons or other magical creatures living among us?
That’s the premise of the Sam London Adventure books series written by my special guest today, Todd Gallicano. In this episode, he and I talk about how you have your own hero’s journey, effective ways to open and close your story, plot twist predictability, and overcoming writer’s block.
You’ll also get answers to questions like:
How can you use truth as a springboard for a fictional story? In what way are you on your own hero’s journey right now? Should you leave a story open-ended or resolve it for your audience? And what’s really responsible for writer’s block anyway?
What you will learn in this episode:
- Why the inner journey is so important in storytelling
- Why the precipitating or inciting incident is an essential element to open a story
- Why writing yourself into a corner might be the best thing to do for your story
Who is Todd?
Todd Gallicano is a book author, Hollywood screenwriter, and international speaker who graduated from New York University’s School of Film and Television. He began his film career with Italian-born producer Dino De Laurentiis. Since then, he’s sold screenplays to SKG, Netflix, and Dreamworks and had scripts developed with Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and other major production companies. In 2023, Heather Graham, Brandy Norwood, Jason Biggs, and Matt Cedeño will star in the film Best. Christmas. Ever. based on his screenplay.
Lovers of the Harry Potter books or Rick Riordan’s fictional works based on ancient Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology will appreciate Todd's Sam London series. His series has already garnered a reputation for encouraging readers to learn more about mythology and folklore, as well as visit and support national parks worldwide. Todd was a recent panelist at the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries and has spoken at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. His talks have touched on adapting books into films, games, and audio, and he’s introduced thousands of students to the universal storytelling components within ancient myth and modern fantasy.
You may have also seen Todd’s appearances on TV or his articles in major publications. Currently, he hosts the podcast The Creature Files where he invites expert guests and eyewitnesses to talk about creatures from mythology and folklore.
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JULIAN REEVESPEAKER, AUTHOR, FORMER MUSIC DIRECTOR OF HAMILTON
JUNA KOLLMEIERASTROPHYSICIST, TED SPEAKER
LTC (RET.) SCOTT MANNGREEN BERET, ENTREPRENEUR, STORYTELLER, TRAINER, COACH, AUTHOR