Category Archives: Career and Lifestyle

These episodes talk, at least in part, about how to manage your career as a writer, and how to keep writing.

16.26: Working With Teams

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, Cassandra Khaw, Dan Wells, James L. Sutter, and Howard Tayler

Our series of game writing episodes draws to a close with a discussion about working with teams. This last skill set, these ways in which you learn to excel at collaborative projects, is often far more important than any of your other skills.

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

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Spend some time brainstorming a game idea with a friend. Try to draw out and explore their best ideas, and encourage them to suggest changes to your own, to make sure you’re both contributing equally.

Heart: The City Beneath RPG, by Grant Howitt & Christopher Taylor

16.25: Breaking Into Game Writing

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, Cassandra Khaw, Dan Wells, James L. Sutter, and Howard Tayler

So, after all this talk about designing games and writing for games, it’s time to address the big question: how does one go about getting a game-design/game-writing job?

It’s a competitive field, and there are no easy answers, but we do have some hard answers for you. And some homework…

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

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Brainstorm something short you could make to showcase your skills—could even be the homework from a previous lesson—then make that thing and post it online for free.

Dread, because the mechanic is so simple and creates such perfect tension.

BONUS EPISODE! 2021 WXR Early-Bird Announcement

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dongwon, and Dan

What’s this bonus episode thing?

Well, for starters IT’S URGENT, because as of this writing you have just ten more days to get the promised pricing for WXR at sea in 2021.

What ELSE is it? Well, this bonus episode describes the difference between workshops, retreats, and master classes. If you’ve attended WXR in the past, this episode will highlight what’s different this time around.

 

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Research different opportunities for master classes and workshops.

The Sin in the Steel, by Ryan Van Loan

16.10: Paying it Forward, with Kevin J. Anderson

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard, with special guest Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson joins us to talk about how others have helped us in our careers, and how we might continue that tradition and help others.

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

 

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Identify the people who have helped you, and how. Thank them.

VengeWar, by Kevin J. Anderson

16.8: Smart Promotion

Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, and Howard

Let’s talk about how promote yourself and your work, and how to do it well. The tools we use for this continue to evolve, and in this discussion we’ll cover things that have worked, things that have stopped working, things we use now, and strategies we apply to not sink beneath the churning disruptions endemic to promoting books (or, really, anything else.)

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

Liner Notes: Here is your invitation link for the  TypeCastRPG Discord.

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Look at authors who self-promote, and how they’re doing it.

Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir
(currently available for pre-order, scheduled to release in May 2021)

16.7: To Series, or Not to Series

Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, Howard

Let’s look a the business considerations of whether that thing you’re writing is a standalone story, or part of a series. The factors are complex, and a single factor (like, say distribution channel) isn’t likely to make the decision clear cut.

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

 

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Examine your favorite series. What were the questions asked in each installment, and in which installment were those questions answered?

The Saxon Chronicles, by Bernard Cornwell

16.6: Building Your Brand

Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, and Howard

Branding, in marketing terms for writers, is the process of establishing a recognizable identity—a brand— for you and your works in the marketplace of readers, and people who buy things for readers. In this episode we talk about what our brands need to be doing for us, and how we go about getting them to do that.

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

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Find the elements of your brand from your friends, alpha readers, and beta readers.

16.5: Pros and Contracts

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

Here’s our deep dive into the subject of contracts in the publishing business. We can only go so deep during a fifteen-minute episode, so we ran about twice as long as usual. We discuss some of the things you should look for, things you should watch out for, and resources that can help you out.

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

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Homework! Check out the SFWA Model Contracts at the SFWA site. You might also have a look at Mary Robinette’s Patreon because she got permission to step all the way through one of her contracts with her patrons.

Middle Game, by Seanan McGuire