16.14: Poetic Language

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard

We might begin with description.

Or we might begin by deconstructing the act of describing.

Wait. No, not there.

Let’s jump in AFTER the deconstruction.

Let’s leap beyond a statement of topic, let’s hurdle clear of mundane declarations of the audio file’s length, and together plunge headlong into metaphor, the icy water perhaps calling to mind Archimedes, as we describe our episode (or any other thing) not in terms of its intrinsic attributes, but by taking account of what it has displaced into the spaces it doesn’t occupy.

How long does the displacement remain? How might one apply paint to the emptiness after the thing has left?

What color is silence that follows the end of the episode?

(An end which follows twenty minutes and thirty-three seconds in which the four of us discuss the kinds of words we imagine when we say “poetic language.”)

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Look at this sentence: “It’s a dark, grey winter’s day; there’s a lot of snow on the ground and a cold wind’s blowing.”

Distill this sentence until it feels like a poem to you. Introduce line breaks wherever you like; cut as much as you want until it feels like it’s singing to you.

Then, once you have a compact, dense poem, expand it outwards: can you keep it feeling like a poem while giving it more shape and length?

Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse

16.13: Day Brain vs. Night Brain

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard

Patterns in the way we’re speaking may betray which ‘brain’ we’re using; often bound by what’s familiar, sometimes loosed for free-er choosing.

Writing like the day-brain’s thinking
Singing while the night-brain’s winking
All the cadence going funky
(golden-mantled howler monkey)

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson. XKCD #1412, by Randall Munroe, was referenced during this episode. As was the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

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Night Brain exercise: take a piece of prose that is giving you trouble. Put yourself in a dark, quiet place. Listen to a recording of a poem (“Moon Fishing” may serve nicely.) Write automatically, unselfconsciously, for 5 minutes: think about it like singing on the page.

The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders

16.12 : Singing Versus Speaking

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard

Can you hear your writing sing, being intoned instead of read? With the dialogs as tunes whose tags say “sung” instead of “said?” When the rhythm of your prose echoes the rhythm of a song you’ll see perhaps you’ve been a poet all along.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson. Les Miserables was written by Victor Hugo, set to music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, and ruined here by Howard Tayler.

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Take a passage from your own work that isn’t quite working. Try to sing it: what happens when you do? Do you notice things about it that you don’t usually? Try to write it as a song — and then translate it back into prose.

Stargazer, by Dan Wells

16.11: What is Poetry?

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard

This is how we begin our master class
on poetry, with Amal El-Mohtar:
With not one question, but two.

  • What is poetry?
  • What is prose?

Yes, both questions are a trap.
Or maybe two traps.
But definitely a beginning.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Join a poem-a-day subscription service like poets.org/poem-a-day, or follow poetryisnotaluxury on Instagram

A Map to the Sun, by Sloane Leong

16.10: Paying it Forward, with Kevin J. Anderson

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard, with special guest Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson joins us to talk about how others have helped us in our careers, and how we might continue that tradition and help others.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

 

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Identify the people who have helped you, and how. Thank them.

VengeWar, by Kevin J. Anderson

16.9: Crossing The Revenue Streams

Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, and Howard

How many different ways can our writing earn money for us? What additional work, besides “just” writing, do we need to do in order to get that money? In this episode we discuss finding and managing multiple revenue streams, whether that means writing for new audiences, or monetizing existing writing in new ways.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

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Identify your revenue streams, and the activities you perform to make money flow from them. Now look at other places, especially different merchandising or distribution mediums, where you might be making money from the things you’ve created.

16.8: Smart Promotion

Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, and Howard

Let’s talk about how promote yourself and your work, and how to do it well. The tools we use for this continue to evolve, and in this discussion we’ll cover things that have worked, things that have stopped working, things we use now, and strategies we apply to not sink beneath the churning disruptions endemic to promoting books (or, really, anything else.)

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Liner Notes: Here is your invitation link for the  TypeCastRPG Discord.

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Look at authors who self-promote, and how they’re doing it.

Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
(currently available for pre-order, scheduled to release in May 2021)

16.7: To Series, or Not to Series

Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, Howard

Let’s look a the business considerations of whether that thing you’re writing is a standalone story, or part of a series. The factors are complex, and a single factor (like, say distribution channel) isn’t likely to make the decision clear cut.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson

 

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Examine your favorite series. What were the questions asked in each installment, and in which installment were those questions answered?

The Saxon Chronicles, by Bernard Cornwell