Writing Excuses 7.45: Microcasting

It’s microcasting time! This week we take a crack at the following listener questions:

  • What percentage of a rough draft makes it into print?
  • What are the pitfalls of jumping from novels to short fiction, and vice versa?
  • Do you need to start with short fiction first?
    • (This answer involves this link to Jim C. Hines.)
  • Should a novice writer fix glaring story problems during a draft, or wait until after?
  • Can a self-published author get picked up by a traditional publisher?
  • How do you get over the fear of writing something unoriginal?
    • (We break this question into two larger questions–we can do that, we use Author Math–and reference some previous episodes.)
    • (We should also point out the irony that yes, Howard is usually the one who writes these up, but on the one day we say it’s going to be Howard it’s actually Dan.)
  • Can I pay you to help me outline my story?

Write a story about a squid who’s trying to write a space opera which is not about squids in space.

Hellhole, by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert

8 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 7.45: Microcasting”

  1. I’m so glad my question (#’s 2 and 3) were brought up! I have heard many different things on this from sundry authors, so it was great to get some clarification. When I typed the question, I recall thinking Mary would probably give some great input since she’s done so many short stories according to her Wikipedia page. Lo and behold, she gave the first answer, and a good one. Thanks for responding, ‘casters. (And I must add, this writing retreat sounds incredible, I wish I could afford something that awesome.)

  2. Im glad, the question about short fiction to novels was asked, its something I have been having trouble with for so long! I still am, but its a matter of plotting, which I will overcome :)

  3. Great podcast as always.

    I was writing so well. Why does Halo 4 have to come out right when I started to hit my groove. The siren song is calling. I’m not strong enough. Brandon, how do you resist the Chief?

  4. @Master Chief: I had to give up video games period to get any writing done. Not sure how it is for other people, but video games (which I adore) are an abyssal black hole down which all free time seems to get sucked.

  5. @Master Chief: Not as much so as Jesse, but I’ve had to learn to cut back on video games when writing calls. Lucky for me I hate Halo as a franchise so it isn’t tempting me in the slightest, but other games have been sucking at my attention and threatening my NaNovel, despite how well the WC is so far. I know if I fall in that pit too far I’m not coming out intact with enough words written.

  6. @Master Chief & Others: Gaming is EVIL!!! Okay, not really but yes, I’ve had more time than I care to admit lost to gaming instead of writing. The trick is to make what you’re writing cooler than the game. Some self discipline and good time management help too.

    @J David & Adam: I too found the responses about switching between long and short fiction interesting. My niece had to pause her work on her novel to do a three page creative writing assignment for school. She was practically freaking out that her teacher was making her do something that could be no more than three pages. Several of us suggested that she use the narrowest margins possible, single space, and the tiniest font she could get away with. Her ideas just run too big.

  7. Dear My Favorite Writing Trio Ever –

    I should be doing homework. Why do you make your podcasts so gosh-darn enjoyable. Aah, it’s so frustratingly good! My question is how do I ask questions for a future Microcasting cast? Where do I go to ask these questions which you gather and present to the writing world?

    You’re terrific… all of you,


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