17.22: Establishing the Ensemble

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Zoraida CordovaKaela Rivera, and Howard Tayler

Every character in your ensemble needs to matter to the team, or they probably don’t belong in the ensemble. Zoraida Cordova leads us into this discussion of how we build our ensembles, how we introduce the characters, and how we ensure that all of them are important to the group.

Liner Notes: The article about Superman’s very first line of dialog is here.

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

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Pick an ensemble work that you like. Identify each member of the ensemble and why they are important, and what they bring to the story.

Ghost Station, by Dan Wells

17.21: Casting Your Story With Character Voice

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Zoraida CordovaKaela Rivera, and Howard Tayler

Every member of your ensemble has a reason to be there, but they also have their own voice. Zoraida Cordova joins us for a discussion of how we make our ensemble characters distinct from one another.

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

Play

First: have each of your ensemble characters describe themselves. Second: have each of your ensemble characters describe each of the others.

Shafter’s Shifters & the Chassis of Chance (advance reader copy), by Howard Tayler, via the $5 tier of the Schlock Mercenary Patreon

2022 Scholarship Winners

Winners of the 2022 Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat scholarships have been selected!

The application process was conducted in a compressed timeline this year, in which applicants prepared and sent us their submissions digitally, including writing samples, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay. Applications were carefully reviewed in a two-phase assessment with care taken to ensure reviews are conducted without potential conflicts of interest.

All of the applications were great and we appreciate the time and effort that went into them! After careful consideration, we have our scholarship winners:

The 2022 Out of Excuses Scholarship to Capitol Reef:

Peter Miksa Pribus

The 2022 Carl Brandon Scholarship to Capitol Reef:

Kyla Grant

The 2022 Out of Excuses Scholarships on Caribbean Cruise:

Kira Neu

John Mabey

The 2022 Carl Brandon Scholarship on Caribbean Cruise:

Sophia Babai

Alexander G. Grigg

Huge congratulations to our scholarship attendees and a massive thank you to all of the applicants. You are amazing and we wish you all the absolute best of luck in your writing endeavors.

17.20: Basics of Ensemble Characterization

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Zoraida Cordova, Kaela Rivera, and Howard Tayler

What’s the difference between an ensemble story, and a story the has a lot of characters in it? Zoraida Cordova joins us for this episode, kicking off an eight-episode mini-master-class about ensembles. In this episode we discuss what makes ensembles work, and how we distinguish the “pro-protagonist” from the “co-protagonist” as we create character arcs.

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

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Look at your pro-protagonist. Free-write a scene in which they’re applying for the job of being the protagonist in your story.

17.19: Working in a Collaborative Environment

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, and Megan Lloyd

Megan Lloyd returns to the podcast to talk us through the process of creating something in a collaborative environment, whether it’s a pair of authors working together, or a dozen people working to write, storyboard, and animate a television series.

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

Play

Find a buddy. Pull up a story idea of yours, and talk it over with your buddy to find out where you should go next.

Arcane, on Netflix

17.18: How to be Funny, with Jody Lynn Nye

Your Hosts: Dan Wells and Brandon Sanderson, with special guest Jody Lynn Nye

So, you’ve decided you want something to be funny. How do you go about making that happen? Jody Lynn Nye joined Dan and Brandon at LTUE, and pitched this topic to them. And yes, it’s much more than just “delivery, delivery, delivery.”

Liner Notes: “It’s always more funny when Howard’s not here.” —Brandon Sanderson at LTUE 2022 (posted here for posterity)

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

 

Play

Take a scene that you’ve written, and re-write it to be funny.

View from the Imperium, by Jody Lynn Nye