Writing Excuses 8.35: Digging Yourself Out of Holes with Jeph Jacques

At the time this podcast airs, Jeph Jacques’ Permanence project on Kickstarter has just nine days left. Jeph joined us at GenCon Indy to talk discovery writing with Brandon, Mary, and Howard, and yes, we totally agreed to plug his rock-and-roll side-gig in exchange.

Jeph Jacques is best known for Questionable Content, and by way of disclosure, Brandon has been a QC fan for years. He’s a discovery writer, and he has written himself into more than one corner. We ask him how far ahead he works, how he develops an idea, and especially how he fixes things if his discovery writing has taken him someplace he needs to get back out of.

His first step is to admit that he is, in fact, stuck in a corner. One of his tricks is a tool any of you can use in any project, Oblique Strategies, in which a random phrase (drawn from a deck of cards, or generated for you on the web) challenges you to rethink the spot that your story is in.

Obviously there’s more to it than that, but this? This is not where you’ll find the transcript. Transcripts end up here.


Go back to whatever you wrote most recently and come up with a different solution for the scene, changing the emotional beat of the scene.

The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks, narrated by Peter Kenny

11 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 8.35: Digging Yourself Out of Holes with Jeph Jacques”

  1. So, with the contrast of comic preparation methods between Howard and Jeph (Howard’s being several weeks in advance; Jeph’s being done the night of), I must ask: Howard, how did you build up that buffer?

  2. Looks like this was the 2nd in the series, but from the reviews you don’t need to read the first to understand the second.

  3. Thrilled to learn the podcast team has won the Hugo! Congratulations!!!
    Thanks for all the time and effort everyone at Writing Excuses has put into the show for the past eight seasons. You’ve helped so many of us writers grow with all the craft tips, stories, observations, etc. Thank you!

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