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  • Summary

  • Inspirational hacks to transform expand your imagination and your creative writing.

    Writer and podcaster Ross Sutherland offers you a suite of writing techniques to get your creative juices flowing. This series is packed with tips gleaned from literature's finest writers, but don't worry - Ross isn't about to ask you to write a dense novel or an academic text. Through a series of playful exercises he's encouraging you to have fun, to experiment, to play and to fall in love with the written word.

    A Novel production for Audible Originals.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 6 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2019 Audible, Ltd. (P)2019 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Ep. 1: Anyone Can Form a Band

    Jan 2 2020

    Ross encourages us to harness the power of aliases. We learn about Frances Pessoa, a writer with 75 pseudonyms, and we found an imaginary band and populate their world.

    The Exercise:

    1. Imagine a fictional band and pick a name for them
    2. Give your band a desirable quality you admire but don’t have
    3. Sketch out a brief profile of the band referring to their desirable quality
    4. Name your fictional band’s first single and first EP or album
    5. Come up with the track titles for the songs on your imaginary band’s first album
    6. Take one of the song titles and write the lyrics to that song
    7. The end result is a brand new piece of writing you can use to spark new ideas
    Show More Show Less
    34 mins
  • Ep. 2: Invisible People

    Jan 2 2020

    Ross heads out to do some serious people watching. We learn about the many ways the great authors observed the people around them and we try an exercise that uses strangers to spark our imagination.

    The Exercise:

    1. Find somewhere to sit - a public place with lots of people streaming past
    2. Start people watching and quickly scribble down as much as you can about what they’re wearing
    3. When they walk out of site just stop and pick another person
    4. Enjoy the feeling of just writing without needing to think about what to write
    5. You can use the little details you notice to form an army of potential characters to work into your creative writing
    Show More Show Less
    37 mins
  • Ep. 3: Playtime

    Jan 2 2020

    Ross teaches us to listen to words in a new way by forcing them into unusual formations. We discover a technique that automatically disrupts our writing, pushing us into exciting new territory.

    The Exercise:

    1. Grab a favourite book from your childhood
    2. Take the each word of the text, look each up in a dictionary or on dictionary.com
    3. Count seven words down in the dictionary
    4. Make a note of your new word and replace the original from the childhood book
    5. Don’t be afraid to break the rules - if the word seven words down doesn’t feel like a good fit, then scan the dictionary page for a more suitable word
    6. Doing this you’ll quickly end up with an all new, highly surreal story that contains echoes of the original
    7. The surreal sentences you’ll be left with are the perfect source material to spark fresh ideas
    Show More Show Less
    32 mins

What listeners say about The Burnt Notebook

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Physically painful background music

I really wanted to be able to love this, but no matter how I tinkered with the settings the background noises/music were sudden, sharp, jarring and incredibly distracting. Please, please remaster this without the odd music! I'm not exaggerating, it is physically painful to my ears. I couldn't listen past 4 minutes.
When I jumped ahead the background music wasn't as bad but was weird and wobbly and made me feel a bit woozy and odd. Maybe it is because I occasionally get migraines and it wouldn't do this to someone else, but I really thing a remastering should be considered.
I really want to love this!

20 people found this helpful

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music really?

why background music .Not necessary at all . did not want to continue to listen

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

too much background music

sorry, I can't listen to this audio book, the combination of background music and informative talking to too confusing, in a sensory overload manner

9 people found this helpful

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Too many weird noises and SFX!

I was really excited about this series as the concept was something that I feel very passionate about - creative writing and encouraging people to write. However, I couldn't cope with all the bizarre keyboard noises whilst he is talking. It was like having to listen to your child practising on the new keyboard they have just recieved whilst simultaneously having a conversation on the phone.

8 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Oh God How Annoying

This could be a good read, but for me the accompanying background music was SO annoying that I could not continue listening.

8 people found this helpful

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Struggled to finish

I struggled to finish this as all the sound effects and background music were really distracting and pointless.

8 people found this helpful

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Irritating music

I am so annoyed by the music that accompanied this audio book that I gave it the lowest rating possible. The content is interesting and the exercises described are fun, however, I just could not enjoy the recordings because of the music. I found it disturbing and irritating, it's the kind of tones that get under your skin and jarr on your nerves. Luckily, they are not constant and bits of it are okay. However if there is a version of this recording without the music I would happily download.

7 people found this helpful

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Great show, ruined by sound effects

The infuriating sound design ruins what is otherwise a truly engaging and insightful show about writing.
Ross has a kind and disarming manner about him and that is the only reason that I toughed it out through the whole series.

6 people found this helpful

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Not for those with sensory issues

I really wanted to listen to him speak but there's these high pitched chime noises, that I assume we're meant to be soothing, (along with other noises that felt like they were literally rattling my brain. Which is such a shame because I was genuinely intrigued in what was being said. I made it to episode 2 and couldn't handle it anymore. It might have just been me but those with issues like those on the spectrum go in carefully

4 people found this helpful

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Great writing ideas

Ross Sutherland offers meandering interesting literary journeys before offering fascinating useful exercises. Great listening.

2 people found this helpful

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  • HCrafter23
  • 31-08-20

What's with this music???

I'm interested in this topic and would like to listen to it, but the sound is so obnoxious! Some places music/sound effects are just districting, sometimes it is too loud to clearly hear the voice, and sometimes it is just completely irritating. It's like he thinks the music will make the narrative more interesting, but instead it makes it impossible for me to enjoy the narration and learn something. It's so jarring. Also his voice gets louder and quieter so it's a little hard to hear some parts. PLEASE fix the sound, I'd really like to give this product a try.

14 people found this helpful

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  • J G
  • 01-09-20

Couldn't even.

I would love to learn about expressive writing, but, I have a problem when the first sentence of the book description doesn't make sense. "Inspirational hacks to transform expand your imagination and your creative writing."

6 people found this helpful

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  • Val Boat
  • 01-09-20

It was Interesting

The music and sounds are weird. The first episode I was okay with, but the second episode all just became too much. All the extra noise and music is distracting. This would be good if they were less crazy with all the sound effects.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Billy Joe Jim Bob
  • 03-11-20

Ep 1 It took WAY too long to get to the exercise

For the start of the writing exercise overview- begin at the 15 min mark
For the start of the actual writing exercise - begin at the 19 min mark.

If you like to listen to him talk about lots of random things early on.....the first 15 minutes are very much that.

I don't want to take away from this author and artist cuz obviously he's super passionate about creative writing and i'm loving his creative ideas. My only advice would be for him to sort of "dial it in" a bit; to bring focus to his idea, 'cuz it seems these episodes are fairly long (~35min) for a basically, simple exercise. (we're all perpetual critics, aren't we though? ;)

3 people found this helpful

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  • Vivi
  • 09-09-20

I absolutely love it

I really love the subject, the music on the background and the subject the writer talks about.

I’m a surrealist painter, this movement started at the same time of Dadaism started. I am so happy I got to listen about this here.

I make my paintings from the “Jeux des mots” technique. It is very similar to the cut up technique .

I do not agree with the comments left by others but everybody has different point of view.
I believe you have to connect with the narrator and the narrators story. He has something great to offer.

Peace.
Victoria S.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anna G
  • 15-01-21

Kill the music!! Please!!

Why? It's so distracting! His narration is great on its own. The sound effects detract from his lesson...

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Sheron
  • 10-09-20

How do you Unfollow??

Thought this would be a good listen but the music is distracting and not easy to follow the exercises - or were they exercises? I couldn't figure it out. He has a wonderful accent. Wish this podcast would have worked for me. .....but how to unfollow????

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lady09
  • 03-03-21

Burnt Notebook Opus 1

I actually like the music and sound effects. But them I am a musician. I listened to it in background while I did my chores.
It sounded like a complete musical piece, complete with addition of voice as an instrument.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • DOM PERI
  • 15-09-20

Please

Pass me the drugs already so I can be on the same page. I guess we all can make a audible

1 person found this helpful

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  • Renae
  • 14-07-21

Lose the sounds

10 minutes of this and I can’t go on. The sound effects and weird techno music are so distracting and so much louder than they should be. If they were gone, I would give this podcast another chance.