17.16: Miscellaneous Structures

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Peng Shepherd, and Howard Tayler

Thus far we’ve attempted to organize our discussion of sub-, micro-, and other alternative structures  with specific categories, but this domain is a lot larger than that. This final episode with our guest host Peng Shepherd has been titled “Miscellaneous Structures” because, y’know, sometimes the last bucket in your row of carefully, taxonomically-labeled buckets needs to be “miscellaneous.”

Liner Notes: Howard mentions “LTUE” during the episode. Hey, guess what! The next few episodes following this one were (will have been?) recorded at LTUE!

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


Take the project you’re working on (or just an outline of it) and try to reframe it using one of the micro- or sub-structures we’ve discussed during the last eight episodes. Consider how it changes your work. What aspects of the story does it heighten, and what does it diminish?

Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries (defaced edition), by Howard Tayler

3 thoughts on “17.16: Miscellaneous Structures”

  1. This week, the categorizers, Dan, Mary Robinette, Peng, and Howard, took a look at what else you might use as structures for your stories. Backward told stories? Vignettes? Structures for creation and structures for consumption? Excited 10-year-old boys? Lots of discussion that you can read about now in the transcript available in the archives.

  2. When I was writing my graphic novel, A Bit Haywire, I decided at some point during chapter two that the main character should have been wearing a backpack during a long scene. In the script I wrote, “He pulls this out of his backpack. By the way, he’s wearing a backpack.”

    It was then I learned that the artist, Courtney Huddleston, didn’t fully read the script before drawing, and had already drawn several scenes without a backpack. It took me a little while to decode his email: “I hate you and I hate your backpack.”

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