A Podcast Critic Embraces Creation With Wil Williams


Hello and welcome to inside podcasting the show in which creators discuss their craft. I'm your Sky Pillsbury. Today I speak with will Williams you may know. Will from her work as a fiction podcast critic, but last year will decided to create a scripted audio drama of her own. She named the show Valence, and it's based on a trilogy of urban fantasy books. She wrote years earlier. But will decided to go one step further and create a companion podcast that documents the experience of making valence. It is called scoring magic, and it reveals the nitty-gritty behind script, writing casting, marketing, funding and a lot more. I asked will to be my guest on this show. Because I wanted to know what it's been like to create the kind of work she critiques and to document the experience have making the kind of work she critiques. All right, we drop into conversation now just after I've asked will what? It felt like to record herself telling her friends for the first time about her plans to make podcasts. It was terrifying. Turfing for a lot of reasons first off, it's always a terrifying to take a creative ambition and turn it from a daydream in something more real. I wanted to record myself I off because I knew that I wanted to make a documentary about making this fiction podcast. I've always loved arts documentaries, and it just felt natural, and like it would be a good resource for people. I also wanted to hold myself accountable. I am really good at talking myself out of creative endeavors, really really good at it so I was already terrified because they knew that. That this would make it something real. It would make it something that others could hold me accountable for. Did you have any misgivings about being a critic and making the thing that you critique like? How do I enter? The world is a career person after this like. Does it impact my job later? M I you know, do a gain or lose credibility from this. Do you know what I mean like? I would imagine that that all had to be rolling through your head. Oh, yeah, and it still does to this day. Tell us about that. There were a lot of decisions that were really hard about it I constantly way the two sides of it where on one hand I'm thinking. Does this make me to biased in different ways? Does this make it seem like all of my other work is just promotion for my own creative endeavors. How do I say this with shows that my actors are on and shows that my co writers could create things like that right? I feel like I have gained so much critical insight by actually creating in this space. That would have ultimately hindered my criticism i. have so much more empathy for the stresses that creators through I have so much more insight about directing and writing and formatting scripts, even and sound design in thinking about how your concept impacts your final creation I feel he was really necessary for me to make what I making not just for myself, but for how I write for others, yeah. It does come with some losses. A lot of people I work with know that if they are the main voice, actor or sound, designer or writer on something, I can critique that. are a minor role I. will critique that with disclosure, and that might mean that people read that review, and then say oh. This is too biased and don't listen to what they're making. But I'm very grateful that everyone I work with has been excited enough to work on this project that they have agreed to those terms and been very comfortable with that I'm so grateful for everyone I work with in many ways, but this is one of the biggest ones early on, if also reassuring that people would trust me in that way and. Be Okay with for going those reviews to work on this project that I care so much about so that's interesting. You told your actors and the people who worked on Valence. You told them up front because we're GONNA work together I'm not going to be able to review other shows that you're on at least in the sort of immediate future. Is that absolutely? Absolutely okay okay, there is an article in vulture by Sarah. holdren called I make plays I write criticism I am not my own enemy, and it really breaks down how to work in both of those worlds. There is this idea that all criticism needs to be objective in some way and holdren really breaks down like what does that even mean that's nothing. Yeah I I don't really believe in an objective review. Everything all the podcasts that I love are in some way informed by who I am as a person and I think that it's ridiculous to think there's anything such as objective, good or objective bad. All right is articles fantastic and really helped encourage me. So. What were the first things in making valence that you that you did? Was it starting the indeed go campaign? Oh, we did so much before the nego. In span of lake, maybe two months had the first half of the season scripted. We had auditions out. or guests are casting. Call out when we were listening to auditions will had done all of the on boarding paperwork that we needed to get to people. We were coming up with the Indie Gogo. It was a huge process that happened very very very

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