16.38: Deep Dive into “Character”

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, C.L. PolkCharlotte Forfieh, and Mary Robinette Kowal

Our fourth M.I.C.E. Quotient episode explores the “Character” element, and how these angsty, navel-gazing voyages of self-examination can serve either as complete stories or as elements in other stories. Also, we talk about how to do this in ways that don’t result in readers complaining about “navel-gazing” or “angsty.”

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson


You’ve figured it out by now, right? Use the same fairy tale as last week (and the week before, and the week before that) and strip out every element that is not Character.

Popisho (US) This One Sky Day (UK), by Leone Ross

4 thoughts on “16.38: Deep Dive into “Character””

  1. This week, Dan, C.L., Charlotte, and Mary Robinette continued their exploration of the M. I. C. E. Quotient, diving into the depths of character. Self-doubt, angst, who am I? Am I a hero? Should I kick puppy this time? Their discussion of these internal conflicts and their externalization, along with much else, can be read in the transcript now available in the archives.

  2. Sandwiches are for a different kind of bear —
    The wonderful radio show Car Talk defined the term “driveway moments”, when you didn’t want to leave your car before the end of a show, so you sat in the driveway for 20 minutes with the engine running. I think someone needs to define “sidewalk moments” when you drive off the road because you’re laughing so hard.

    Aside from funny, I really appreciated how concisely and clearly you explained that an internal character storyline needs to be made externally visible, and framing by an external (probably event) component will do that.

  3. I couldn’t believe none of the other hosts laughed at the Mama Bear-porridge artist drama. Tough crowd.

    I’m really appreciating the MICE deep dives. I’ve listened to past episodes on MICE, but this is the first time I feel like I’m getting it, to a level where I could use this stuff in writing stories.

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