Your Hosts: Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard
Our listeners submitted some great questions!
How do you fairly and even-handedly write a deeply compelling character you deeply dislike?
What’s the best way to discuss a character’s underlying motivations without expressly stating them in narrative or dialog?
How well should characters understand their own motivations?
How do you make non-violent characters interesting?
Can there be too much depth to a character?
How do you balance character depth across multiple attributes?
How do you make a character motivation seem deep when most people’s motivations are actually pretty shallow?
Do you create standard dossiers for your characters?
Does your story have to have a villain?
How do you know whether or not a character’s voice is working?
Do you track words or phrases that are unique to a particular character’s voice?
Liner Notes: Brandon mentioned Howard’s “Tyrannopotomus Rex” doodle as part of the writing prompt. Here it is, should you need visual reference.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:07 — 13.9MB)
Write a story about Howard’s “Tyrannopotumus Rex.” (Yes, it can be a story about how that’s not what a real tyrannopotomus rex looks like.)
Your Hosts: Dan, Mary, Aliette, and Howard, with special guest Emma Newman
Emma Newman, author, audio book narrator, and podcaster, joined us on the Baltic sea for WXR 2017, where, six days after a brilliant presentation on overcoming fear, she recorded a session with us on the same topic. The class was just that good.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and was mastered by Alex Jackson
Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:41 — 13.6MB)
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Amal, and Maurice
Character backstories: these are the tales that describe how the characters in your story became who they are by the time they arrive in the book. How much backstory needs to be written before you start in on the manuscript? How much needs to be in the manuscript itself? And how much backstory is too much?
Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:32 — 13.5MB)
Write a flashbacks scene that reveals a key bit of a character’s backstory. Then reveal the same bit of backstory in a scene where the character describes the events to someone else.
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard
What motivates us? What really motivates us? Why? (Note: our motivations are probably not in service of some overarching plot.) How can we use this information to believably motivate characters?
Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:00 — 13.1MB)
Take a character motivation and express it via free indirect speech. Now take something that has been expressed via free indirect speech and unpack it into the narrative.