Writing Excuses 8.23: Microcasting

Microcasting! It’s what we’ve taken to calling a Q&A. Eric Patten joins us for this one. Here are the questions:

  • What’s your first step in the rewriting process?
  • How do you write Artificial Intelligences as characters?
  • Tactful promotion: how do you get nominated for a Hugo or Nebula?
  • How do you decide whether or not to take an offer from a publisher?
  • Do you use a writing notebook? How, and for what?
  • What methods do you use to test the “coolness” and/or viability of a story idea?
  • What genre or style do you read that is outside of the one(s) in which you write?

Two words: “Flying Caldecott.”

Red Storm Rising, by Tom Clancy, narrated by Michael Prichard

15 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 8.23: Microcasting”

  1. I was going to do the writing prompt here, again, but all I’m coming up with is erotica. Well I call it erotica, it’s pretty much just porn.

    So I’ll spare you all. This time. :-)

  2. Caldecott? as in the award? or is there some other meaning that I’m not aware of yet?

  3. for Iproducts there is a free microsoft word program that you can use to write notes down in. I actually do 90% of my writing on my ipod touch as I walk around or ride the train.

  4. I also have no idea what Caldecott is. And where is Mary’s blog post? I really want to read that.

  5. The Flying Caldecott:

    An almost impossible to achieve expression of athleticism through sex. i.e. the most difficult sex position ever attempted.

    The world building for this story was hilarious. Imagine a society where the most popular spectator sport is the art and act of sex. There’s an athletic division, an artistic division and other less popular leagues catering to all manner of perversion. The heavy weight division is of particular interest.

    The story revolves around the championship team in the athletic division losing in the gold medal round after failing to execute the Flying Caldecott. It tears their relationship apart. The reconciliation is only gained during a blind date exhibition some years later, where they are matched up in a round robin tourney and execute the only 10 point Flying Caldecott in the history of the sport…cue Michael Bolton. Roll credits.

    NOTE: I didn’t actually finish the story, the prewriting exercise was enough this time.

  6. Question for Brandon:

    I saw you at a conference last year (the League of Utah Writers Roundup) and you were carrying around (and scribbling madly in) what looked like a well-worn, very full composition notebook. Was that not a writing notebook?

    Fun podcast. Lots of food for thought, and thanks for the suggested non-genre reading.

  7. Well Caldecott me!
    I like the concept of sex and athletics, sounds like a type of Olympics …. which world are you writing about? Earth it sounds like to me…. maybe not the spectators but certainly the competition anybody been nightclubbing recently? Thank you for that concept, you have made me smile. Thanks jo

  8. I find it very odd that the Caldecott Medal for Children Picture Books shares a name with sexual athleticism. Something just wrong about that..

  9. Oh thanks Craig. I’m having a lot of fun with the prompts. Good creative exercise.

  10. “How do you decide whether or not to take an offer from a publisher?”

    Honestly, think the best option, especially for writers just starting out, is to self-publish. Besides all the reasons touted by Konrath, Coker, Eisler, Gaughran, Howey, Smith, Rusch, and others (more control, higher royalty rates, global distribution, lower costs, greater flexibility, etc), you have to take into account the risk that by going with a traditional publisher, your book rights might ultimately get punted around as an asset in a bankruptcy, or get swallowed up in a corporate merger. Mike Shatzkin did a blog post recently in which he predicted more big-time mergers in the future, such as the one that gave us Random Penguin, and then you have the recent debacle over Night Shade Books.

    When a publisher goes under, the author is often the one who gets paid last, if indeed he gets paid at all. It’s impossible to say which or how many publishers will bite the dust, but with the way things are trending, with the digital disruption and all of New York’s colossal missteps, I think we can expect to see several more publishers fold in the future.

  11. My personal favorite podcasts are the microcasting where we get a ton of listener questions answered. I enjoyed the answers to the question about whether to go small or large publisher when breaking out into a new career.
    It’s encouraging to hear that there’s no bad or wrong way as long as a writer is careful and uses a good agent to help guide that decision.
    Joe Vasicek, what’s your opinion about starting in self publishing and moving to a Big Publisher? Would you think it’s better to stick to one or use self publishing to build into a full time career where you migrate up through a small then a large publisher?
    I might be wrong, but what’s the reality about making a full time wage self published vs. a big New York publisher. What’s typical?
    I’m assuming here, but I’m guessing for the career minded individual that the small gains of a self published route would never add up like the bigger lump sum advances of a New York publisher.

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