15.12: Writing the Other—Being an Ally

Your Hosts: Piper, Tempest, Dongwon, with special guest Erin Roberts

What can we do to be allies to members of marginalized groups? Many of us want to find ways to help others have safe, comfortable places within our communities, but worry about coming across the wrong way. In this episode, our hosts talk about how we can do this well as writers, as members of writing communities, and in society at large.

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

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Find the most recent story that you’ve consumed. Do two of the following: Leave a review, talk about it on social media, tell someone in person, or tell a bookseller or Librarian

Steel Crow Saga, by Paul Krueger

15.11: Digital is Different, with Cory Doctorow

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Piper, Howard, and special guest Cory Doctorow

“How do you break in?” is one of those questions we always get asked in some form or another, and it’s also one for which those of us who “broke in” more than a couple of years ago are increasingly unqualified to answer. The path “in” is always changing, and it seems to be changing faster as time goes on.

With the obligatory disclaimer out of the way, in this episode we’ll talk about how “digital” (read: “social media + everything else internet”) applies to building a career as a creative.

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

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Think about a pen name for yourself. Practice the signature.

Catfishing on the Catnet, by Naomi Kritzer

15.10: Evaluating Ideas

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

We’ve talked in the past about how ideas are cheap, and that it’s execution upon those ideas which is what really matters. In this episode we’ll talk about how we evaluate things over there on the side of the equation where things are cheap and plentiful. Because while we have no shortage of ideas, they vary quite a bit in their value to us.

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

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Keep a dream journal for a week. Put a notepad next to your bed, and write down everything you remember about your dreams as quickly as you can the moment you wake up. At the end of the week, peruse the journal for ideas.

TypecastRPG, a streamed role-playing game with Dan Wells, Charlie Holmberg, Brian McClellan, Mari Murdock, Ethan Sproat, and Howard Tayler

15.09: Choose Your Own Adventurous Publishing Path

Your Hosts: Dan, Dongwon, Piper, and Howard

“Should I go self-pub? Should I go traditional? Can I do both? How do I decide where my book fits?”

In this episode we’ll cover these, and many more questions as best we’re able.

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

Liner Notes:

¹ RWA membership is required for these forums. This episode was recorded in September of 2019

Play

Write the “choose your own adventurous publishing path” flow chart with decision points, and write a fun little fiction about your future career possibilities.

15.08: Q&A on a Ship

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

At WXR 19 we recorded live, and took audience questions aboard the ship. Here they are! (You’ll have to listen to the episode for the answers.)

  • What have you learned in the past year that has improved your craft?
  • When you’re having trouble, how do you know if it’s “I don’t feel like writing” or “there’s a problem with the manuscript?”
  • How far ahead do you plan your careers?
  • How do you tell when a fight/battle/showdown is going on for too long?
  • How do you continue to learn and improve on your craft?
  • How do you manage and prioritize your time when you’re working on multiple projects?
  • How do you feel about multiple first-person POVs in a single book?
  • What are the most important elements to include on the last page of your book?
  • What are some things we can do to strengthen our voice when writing in third person?
  • How do you decide who to have as alpha and beta readers?
  • In secondary world stories, how do you decide whether to call a horse a horse?
  • How much leeway will an editor or agent give a story when it’s not ready, but it shows promise?

Liner Notes: “Sometimes Writer’s Block is Really Depression”
Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Write three different first lines for your project.

Jade War, by Fonda Lee

15.07: Creating Chapters

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

How do you create chapters? What are the rules for carving your manuscript into numbered chunks? Is chaptering part of your outline, is it something you discover while you write, or is it something else entirely?

In this episode we talk about how we do it, and how we think about it while it’s being done.

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

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Takes something you’ve written, and put the chapter breaks in new places.

Docile, by K.M. Sparza (releases in March 2020)

15.06: Prose and Cons, with Patrick Rothfuss

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Howard, with special guest Patrick Rothfuss

How do you write beautiful prose? How do you set about telling a story with words that sing (and dance, and tell jokes) instead of just conveying information in word-sized chunks?

In this episode we talk about how we do it, and how writers might set out to do good word-do like the best good word-doers do.

Liner Notes: 
Gwendolyn Brooks—We Real Cool

 

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

Play

Go find some poetry, and then read it. Be sure to read it out loud, too.

15.05: Setting Goals for Your Career

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

What kind of career goal-setting do you do? We had a discussion in this vein with Dongwon a few weeks ago, but neither Brandon nor Victoria participated then, so it’s worth revisiting.

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

Play

Draw up your 1-, 5-, and 10-year lists of goals.

Ghost Station, by Dan Wells