15.39: Translation, with special guest Alex Shvartsman

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, and Lari, with guest Alex Shvartsman

Translation is fantastically complex. In this episode Lari and Alex help us navigate those complexities, both from the standpoint of the translator, and from the standpoint of the author seeking to have their work translated.

Credits: This episode was mastered by Alex Jackson

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Write a story in which the characters are in trouble because of a linguistic misunderstanding.

“The Green Hills of Dmitry Totzkiy,” by Eldar Safin, (English translation by Alex Shvartsman)

 

15.38: Depicting Religions That Are Not Your Own

Your Hosts: Piper, Dan, and Tempest, with special guest Nisi Shawl

Whether you’re writing about a real-world religion, or one you’ve created for your setting, there are numerous factors to be aware of. In this episode we discuss a few good and bad examples of depictions of religions, and the ways in which these examples can inform the way we approach our own projects.

Credits: this episode was recorded by Ross Smith, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Choose an aspect of culture that ties into religion (dealing with death, for instance), and explore how specific religious beliefs have influenced that culture.

15.37: Writing Under Deadlines

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

What’s it like to write under a deadline which has been set for your project by someone else? What strategies might help you bring the writing in under the deadline?  Can you train yourself to be ready for this?

Those are all good questions. Hopefully we won’t run out of time to come up with answers…

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

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Experiment with a “stay on target” time management tool, like the Forest focus app, or something similar.

Overly Sarcastic Productions (YouTube channel)

15.36: Collaboration, with Shannon and Dean Hale

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with special guests Shannon and Dean Hale

We’ve had several discussions about collaboration, and we’ve learned that the answer to “how do you collaborate with other authors” is different with each collaboration team we talk to.

Shannon and Dean Hale have written fifteen books together, and in this episode they talk to us about how they do it.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Joseph Meacham, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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“Picture-word” game, which you kind of need to listen to Dean describe.

Kind of a Big Deal, by Shannon Hale

15.35: Tools for Writing and Worldbuilding, with Erin Roberts

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Lari, and special guest Erin Roberts

We’ve received a number of questions about the ‘tools of the trade’ for organizing our work, especially with regard to worldbuilding. In this episode we talk about what we use, including some old-school analog tools like sticky notes and ballpoint pens.

Credits: this episode was recorded remotely, and mastered by Alex Jackson

 

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Using whichever tool you would like, examine your favorite worldbuilding elements, and determine what your influences are for them.

The Midnight Bargain, by C.L. Polk (currently available for pre-order)

15.34: Writing Deliberate Discomfort

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Lari, and Erin

How do you proceed when the story you want to write includes elements that make you personally uncomfortable?  In this episode we step out of our own comfort zones to examine this challenge, and to offer some strategies to you.

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

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Write a short story from the POV of a character with whom you disagree.

The Lamentation of Their Women,” by Kai Ashante Wilson

15.33: The Long, Dark Second Act of the Soul

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

Many Writing Excuses listeners have asked us how we muscle through writing second acts, those big, chonky “middles” of our stories. In this episode we attempt to provide answers.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson. The title of this episode is a nod to the second Dirk Gently novel from Douglas Adams.

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Take a favorite book, movie, or whatever: attempt to identify where the second act begins and ends. Then make a list of what you love about the second act. Now take that list, and map it onto your OWN second act, in order to build a second act that you love.

Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett

15.32: Short Story Markets

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, and Lari, with special guest Erin Roberts

Erin Roberts joins us for a discussion of short story markets—a topic which is very susceptible to “churn” because of the way short story markets come and go. We cover how to research and evaluate the various markets based on what you need from publication, and what you might reasonably expect from them.

Credits: This episode was recorded remotely during the Great Isolation, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

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Pick a couple of contemporary short fiction writers. Track their publication history, and get a feel for how their writing career has developed.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2019, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia