11.52: Elemental Ensemble Q&A, With Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray joined us aboard Oasis of the Seas to answer our attendees questions about the Elemental Ensemble. Here are the questions:

  • Can you fit an ensemble into a short story?
  • What the minimum size for an ensemble? Is there a perfect length?
  • Can you put a traitor into an ensemble story?
  • How do I give my ensemble characters equal emotional weight if I only tell the story from a single POV?
  • How do you introduce your ensemble without infodumping?
  • If an ensemble is about falling in love with a group of friends, how does killing a character work?
  • How do you give every character a role in the climax without making it seem like the plot was cut to fit the team?

Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.


A Million Worlds With You, by Claudia Gray, narrated by Tavia Gilbert

3 thoughts on “11.52: Elemental Ensemble Q&A, With Claudia Gray”

  1. An entire year, without ever saying, “Elemental, my dear writer?” But, joined by Claudia Gray, the frolicking foursome gave us a Christmas present, wrapping up the season with a selection of questions about ensembles! Length, traitors, secrets of life, introducing ensembles and disguises for info dumps, even funerals get talked about before the climax! And then they reflected a little bit on the whole season of elemental genres, and what they learned talking about it.

    All available as a transcript, either in the archives or over here:


    Merry Christmas! See you next year!

  2. Thank you, Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard for putting in the effort to give us another season of Writing Excuses. Looking forward to Season 12!

    Was wondering why you all don’t do the popular movie critique anymore?

  3. Thank you for another amazing season !
    I often think of WX as my personal coach, with some episodes very close to actual coaching, like Newton’s laws of writing… in this sense, the 11th season, besides its obvious educational and how-to aspects, is very efficient to nourrish my inspiration. Whenever I’m in a tight spot, I listen to several episodes on how to write following an elemental genre or mixing them, and my ideas start to flow again… It’s helped me too to be more aware about what elemental stories I tended to affectionate and to be more coherent about how to develop them…
    You are awesome !
    Hello from France

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