13.28: What Writers Get Wrong, with Wildstyle

At GenCon Indy 2017 we were joined by Wildstyle (@MrWildstyle on Twitter), who wears many hats, and many of the hats he wears are donned in service of producing hip-hop.

One of the most interesting revelations (especially for Howard, whose background in audio engineering predates MP3 technology by half a decade) was just how many hats there are. The role of producer in the hip-hop scene may include the roles of audio engineer, composer, and and even musician.

Liner Notes: For a deeper look at Wildstyle’s work, search Soundcloud for “Wildstyle DaProducer.” He’s been producing for a year since this episode was recorded.

 

Play

Watch the James Brown bio-pic, Get On Up, starring Chadwick Boseman. Listen to some hip-hop music.

Eastern Conference,” by Pope Adrian Blessed, Ares, and Wildstyle (link will autoplay at Soundcloud. Lyrics are flagged as [explicit])

13.27: Characters as Foils

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Amal, and Maurice

A foil is a character who serves as a contrast to another character. The foil might be a sidekick, an antagonist, a romantic interest, or really any other character who gets enough focus for the contrast to be useful.

In this episode we talk about foils, offering examples, and our approaches for writing foils in our own work.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson, neither of whom serves as a foil to the other.

Play

Add a foil to a Shakespearean soliloquy. Alternatively, remove the foil from a famous comedy routine.

Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight Before NASA, by Amy Shira Teitel, narrated by Laurence Bouvard

Also, “Girl Hours,” a poem by Sofia Samatar

13.26: Character Relationships

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

Our characters become far more interesting when they begin interacting with each other. These interactions—these relationships—are often how our stories get told. In this episode we explore ways in which we can fine tune relationships in service of our stories.

The tools include the Kowal Relationship Axes (Mind, Money, Morals, Manners, Monogamy, and The Marx Brothers) and the differences between personal and position power.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Apply the relationship axes to a pair of your characters.

The Calculating Stars, and The Fated Skyby Mary Robinette Kowal

13.25: Our Journey With Character

Your Hosts: Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard

Brandon wanted to ask us how our perspectives on character have changed since the very beginning of our writing. It’s a difficult question to answer, and a very soulful sort of thing to answer in front of other people. So Brandon went first while the rest of us racked our brains.

What are you going to learn from this episode? Well… you might learn a bit about each of us, but it’s also possible that you’ll learn something about your own writing, and find yourself able to navigate the next few steps on your journey with character.

Note: The apology strips Howard mentioned begin with this strip. They are part of a story that begins here.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Describe your journey with character to someone else.

My Lady Jane, by Brodie Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

13.24: What Writers Get Wrong, with Piper, Aliette, and Wesley, with special guest Ken Liu

Your Hosts: Piper Drake, Aliette de Bodard, and Wesley Chu, with special guest Ken Liu

Our hosts for this episode are experts in a great many different things. One thing that they have in common is that they’re all members of the Asian Disapora, and in this episode we’ll learn what kinds of things writers get wrong when writing Asian Diaspora elements, and how we as writers can learn to get those things right.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson

 

Play

Read China Men, by Maxine Hong Kingston

13.23: Internal Conflicts

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Amal, and Maurice

Internal conflicts, simply put, are problems your characters have with themselves. In this episode we address the ways in which writers can build stories and subplots around internal conflicts, and how we can tell when it’s not working.

Notes: the MICE quotient is Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event. Mary’s relationship axes are Role, Relationship, Status, and Competence.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Use the Role, Relationship, Status, and Competence axes to define one of your characters. Then determine how each of these creates conflict with the one following it in the list.

An Unkindness of Ghosts, by Rivers Solomon