15.25: Using the MICE Quotient for Conflict

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

The MICE quotient is a tool for categorizing story elements—Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event—and we’ve talked about it quite a bit in the past. When a listener asked how we might use the MICE quotient to create, inform, manage, and otherwise help us “do” conflict in our stories, we were excited to start recording, and a bit bewildered that we’d somehow not already done this episode.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Joseph Meacham, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Free write a character doing something. Identify the MICE elements. Pick one, and build additional conflict around it.

Escaping Exodus, by Nicky Drayden

2 thoughts on “15.25: Using the MICE Quotient for Conflict”

  1. Our cheerful foursome, Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard, took another look at how milieu, inquiry, character, and event (MICE) stories treat conflict. It’s not just bookends, it’s the conflict in the middle, too! Let’s get the princess? No, let’s jump down the garbage chute! And fire a blaster at a wall? And get crushed by a trash compactor! Oh, wait a minute, who killed Col. Mustard? How can we get the evidence? Oh, don’t forget, Han just wants money… Orphan farmboys? Can they become a king? Nah… I’m a jerk, but I’m trying? Or… I guess I’m going to have to be a parent now? And how do you handle it when pirates try to hijack your colony ship? Lots of bits and pieces, plenty of fun, and… MICE running wild! Read all about it in the transcript, available now in the archives.

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