14.20: Allegory in Fiction

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard

What is an allegory, anyway? This episode probably won’t settle that question, but we did manage a discussion on how to use our stories to teach things, or be stand-ins for things, and to do it in the ways that allegories and/or parables might.

We talk about some famous allegories, some things whose authors insisted were not allegorical, and the possible pitfalls of didacticism.

Credits: This episode was engineered by Dan Thompson and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Take a famous fable and retell it as an allegory.

14.19: Religion and Ritual

Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab

We often worldbuild religions and rituals for the stories we create. In this episode we discuss the decisions surrounding this, and our approaches for doing it well.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Attend a meeting of religious or worship service which is not yours.

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

14.18: Setting as Theme

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard

Theme is one of those high-falutin’ concepts we’re often reluctant to approach in a nuts-and-bolts sort of way. In this episode we’ll talk about how our themes can be communicated through elements of our settings, deepening reader engagement with the things we write.

We offer examples from our own work, and from things we’ve watched or read which have done this in ways that resonated well for us.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Rob Kimbro, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Pick a sensory thematic element, and make it recurring. Determine a reason for it to appear in each scene.

Babylon 5, by J. Michael Stracynski

Writing Excuses Conference and Retreat 2019 – Mystery Guest Announcement!

Hello Writing Excuses Folks!

The Writing Excuses Conference and Retreat 2019 is September 13 – September 22, which is FOUR MONTHS AWAY! We’d love for you to join us, and to sweeten the pot, AN ANNOUNCEMENT.

WXR MYSTERY INSTRUCTOR

We’re delighted to announce that Cory Doctorow is our Mystery Instructor this year!

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of RADICALIZED and WALKAWAY, science fiction for adults, a YA graphic novel called IN REAL LIFE, the nonfiction business book INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, and young adult novels like HOMELAND, PIRATE CINEMA and LITTLE BROTHER and novels for adults like RAPTURE OF THE NERDS and MAKERS. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University, a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.

We look forward to having him join us on our floating writing conference!

REGISTRATION AND NEW CABINS

There’s still time to register and we have been able to add more cabins! You know how excellent this conference is, so it’s no surprise to you that they have been going fast this year. Come join us again, and tell your friends, writers, family members, anyone who might enjoy a writing conference and retreat on a cruise ship (so, most people?). We have some exciting new things, like Costume Karaoke (optional!), punch cards for family members to attend some classes, and some surprises and would love to see you there!

Register here!

September will be here soon and cabins are running out quickly. Come learn from Mary Robinette, Dan, Howard, Brandon (on land) and many other excellent guests all on a CRUISE SHIP on the Caribbean!

Have any questions? Email us at writingexcusesevents@gmail.com.