Writing Excuses 7.30: Micocasting…Again!

Microcasting! Again!! Now with exclamation points!!! You’ll have to have a listen for our answers, but here are the questions:

  • How do you deal with bad reviews?
  • How do you apply Brandon’s magic system rules to science fiction?
  • Dan, will you do the marshmallow voice for us again?
  • How do you keep tension high without exhausting the reader?
  • You’ve made your manuscript as good as you know how to. Now you need to make it even better, based on feedback. What do you do?
  • Any tips on creating suspension of disbelief?
  • How do you deal with annoying fans?

“Oddly, no. Sometimes you guys are dull.” 5:22, Mary Robinette Kowal.

Mary’s Shmoozing 101 Link: Right here.


The story of the writer and her VERY ENTHUSIASTIC alien fan who is impossible to escape.

Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones, narrated by Jenny Sterlin

19 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 7.30: Micocasting…Again!”

  1. I would have thought that restraining orders would be useful against annoying fans.

    I try to do two things as a potentially annoying fan. 1) I keep it short, sweet, and light hearted 2) I buy your books, despite it being ridiculously easy to pirate them (and in the case of Howard, I wouldn’t even have to steal anything).

    And sorry Brandon for coercing you into poking my wife’s dragon-carrying belly at the Alloy signing in Huntington. Your magical touch was a success, though, and he turned out awesome (so far).

  2. That was much fun, thank you. (Also, I think Dan should do an entire podcast in the marshmallow voice.)

  3. I notice there have been a lot of Microcasts this season. Why is that?

    Also, when are you going to get to The Hero’s Journey (and fulfill a promise to the listeners)?

  4. Many thanks Team.

    Mary, I’ve a backlog of books to read, but I’ve just decided I need to read one of yours.
    I’m struggling with building convincing romantic progression – I’m guessing your works will help.

    Looking forward to next week.


  5. @The Stray

    Brandon talked a little about the Hero’s Journey in one of the online class lectures recently. It may tide you over until they do a WE on it. I think he did it from memory so it’s a little wonky, though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdXR9vHR04c&feature=plcp

    I recommend Christopher Vogler’s website (and especially his book) for a really good overview of the Journey, and how it applies to a variety of modern stories, for those unfamiliar with it.

  6. Great episode! Quotables galore! From Howard alone, AT LEAST two different quotes that I want to memorize (sell the annoying fan something; I am the sage others meet along their heroic journey). And a great writing prompt. Thanks for all you work!

  7. You guys have broken down the Christopher Nolan Batman movies before and why they were so good. I would LOVE it if you commented on what you thought of the third movie The Dark Knight Rises. That episode would be a real treat because I really respect your opinions on storytelling and I’d love to know what you all thought of it.

    Thanks for ALL the great episodes! I haven’t listened to a bad one yet and I continue to learn so much by listening. Thank you all so much for putting out this podcast!

  8. Great cast folks. Howard, a very nice look into your role into the larger hero’s story of the fan. Appreciate it.

  9. The “boiling of the frog” scenario that Howard mentioned is what I call “Going Down the Rabbit Hole” (which I have linked to before, feel free to ignore if you already read it) where you start with a plausible scenario and you work your way into the fantastical.

    The best example is Hogwart’s Express. As the characters travel from Muggle London to Hogwarts more fantastic elements are introduced. By the time the arrive at the castle, the characters (and by extension) the readers are fully immersed in the wizarding world.

    Further thoughts here:


  10. *cough* MiCOcasting?

    I don’t think you’ve done micocasting before…

    R got swallowed… Sorry, compulsiveness on my part. ^^;; Howard can cry and cry and cry about that.

  11. I am curious what is considered an “annoying fan?” You guys have talked about going to Cons and talking to authors, editors, etc. I myself have ended up talking to Con guests over lunch more than once. So when does it switch from interested and nice to talk to and becomes annoying?

    Also, what exactly is Mary’s version of the “social compact?”

  12. The nerd in me can’t help but point out that it was Jean Luc Picard’s brother whom he spent time with back home during that episode on TNG. Otherwise…valid point and example. :-)

  13. Thanks – I think these are my favorite ‘casts. I second the motion for Dan to do an entire podcast in Marshmallow Man Mode. And I applaud the choice for Book of the Week – that’s one of my favorite books.

  14. Here’s a review for Dan… which he won’t read…

    Book review haiku:
    I Am Not a Serial
    Killer by Dan Wells

    Obsessed with killers,
    teenage sociopath hunts
    the Clayton Killer.

    Disturbingly great,
    Horrifyingly awesome
    from start to finish!

  15. And one for Brandon…

    Book review haiku:
    Brandon Sanderson’s epic
    The Way of Kings

    Kaladin Stormblessed,
    windspren, giant crustaceans,
    and an assassin.

    Incredible book!
    5th time through, and still awesome!
    … Push through the prologues…

  16. You mentioned the podcast where you came up with the magic-system rules, but I don’t know how to go about finding it. Can someone give me a link please?

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