15.08: Q&A on a Ship

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

At WXR 19 we recorded live, and took audience questions aboard the ship. Here they are! (You’ll have to listen to the episode for the answers.)

  • What have you learned in the past year that has improved your craft?
  • When you’re having trouble, how do you know if it’s “I don’t feel like writing” or “there’s a problem with the manuscript?”
  • How far ahead do you plan your careers?
  • How do you tell when a fight/battle/showdown is going on for too long?
  • How do you continue to learn and improve on your craft?
  • How do you manage and prioritize your time when you’re working on multiple projects?
  • How do you feel about multiple first-person POVs in a single book?
  • What are the most important elements to include on the last page of your book?
  • What are some things we can do to strengthen our voice when writing in third person?
  • How do you decide who to have as alpha and beta readers?
  • In secondary world stories, how do you decide whether to call a horse a horse?
  • How much leeway will an editor or agent give a story when it’s not ready, but it shows promise?

Liner Notes: “Sometimes Writer’s Block is Really Depression”
Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Write three different first lines for your project.

Jade War, by Fonda Lee

15.07: Creating Chapters

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

How do you create chapters? What are the rules for carving your manuscript into numbered chunks? Is chaptering part of your outline, is it something you discover while you write, or is it something else entirely?

In this episode we talk about how we do it, and how we think about it while it’s being done.

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

Play

Takes something you’ve written, and put the chapter breaks in new places.

Docile, by K.M. Sparza (releases in March 2020)

15.06: Prose and Cons, with Patrick Rothfuss

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Howard, with special guest Patrick Rothfuss

How do you write beautiful prose? How do you set about telling a story with words that sing (and dance, and tell jokes) instead of just conveying information in word-sized chunks?

In this episode we talk about how we do it, and how writers might set out to do good word-do like the best good word-doers do.

Liner Notes: 
Gwendolyn Brooks—We Real Cool

 

Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Go find some poetry, and then read it. Be sure to read it out loud, too.

15.05: Setting Goals for Your Career

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

What kind of career goal-setting do you do? We had a discussion in this vein with Dongwon a few weeks ago, but neither Brandon nor Victoria participated then, so it’s worth revisiting.

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

Play

Draw up your 1-, 5-, and 10-year lists of goals.

Ghost Station, by Dan Wells