Category Archives: Guest

17.43: Bodies. Why? (Depicting Disability)

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette and Howard Tayler, with special guests Fran WildeC.L. Polk, and William Alexander

Whether or not you’re writing from your own experience, depicting disability in fiction is fraught. In this episode we’ll talk about some of the dos and don’ts in order to provide you with guidelines for disability depiction.

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

 

Play

Write a scene with two characters – one abled, one disabled. Write two versions, each from the POV of a different character.

Air, by Monica Roe

17.42: Eight Embodied Episodes About Disability

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette and Howard Tayler, with special guests Fran Wilde, C.L. Polk, and William Alexander

For the next eight episodes we’ll be talking about bodies, and how they don’t all work the same way, and how this can be applied to our writing.

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

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Identify an aspect of yourself which might be non-problematic in one society, yet very problematic in another.

INVISIBLE, a series of anthologies ed. Jim C. Hines and Mary Anne Mohanraj

17.41: Picture Books are Books Too, with Special Guest Seth Fishman

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, and Howard Tayler, with special guest Seth Fishman

Seth Fishman, author of seven picture books (as well as lots of longer-form stuff), joins us to talk about writing picture books, including some of the business and publication aspects.

No-Context Pull Quote: “Your art is so bad we’re going to hire someone to draw badly for you.”

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

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Explore the picture book area in your local bookstore. See how it’s laid out, and have a look at some classic picture books. Then write a 500-word SF/F picture book.

BAD DRAWER, by Seth Fishman (and friends), illustrated by Jessixa Bagley , Armand Baltazar, Anna Bond, Travis Foster), Jessica Hische, Tillie Walden, and Ethan Young, (with a pair of trees drawn by the author.)

17.40: Questions & Answers About Structure, with Special Guest Peng Shepherd

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, and Howard Tayler, with special guest Peng Shepherd

Peng Shepherd joined us aboard Liberty of the Seas for WXR 2022, and returned with us to the topic of story structures. In this episode we answer questions from our live audience. The questions include:

  1. How do you make sure you’ve got the right number of plot threads?
  2. How do you spread the structure of a given plot line across multiple books?
  3. How do you avoiding having subplots distract readers from the main plot?
  4. What are some strategies you can use to better align character goals with the overall problem of the story?
  5. Are there clear dos and don’ts with regard to story structure?
  6. How do you prepare or color-code bits for running a role-playing game? More broadly: what organizational tools do you use for story structure?

For the answers, you’ll have to give the episode a listen…

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

Play

Write a piece of fiction (or an outline) outside your usual length. See how that changes your structural choices.

The Spare Man, by Mary Robinette Kowal
(pre-order now! It releases on October 11th!)

17.39: Writing Bodies and Intimacy, with K.M. Szpara

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, Dongwon Song, Piper J. Drake,  & Howard Tayler, with special guest K. M. Szpara

CONTENT WARNING: this episode is about adult acts and adult bodies, and we won’t be using euphemisms. 

K.M. Szpara joined us at WXR 2022 for this discussion of writing bodies and intimacy, with a particular focus on which kinds of words to use for things.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr. before a live audience aboard Liberty of the Seas. It was mastered by Alex Jackson.

 

Play

Write a scene in which a character is undressing, either alone or with others.

First Become Ashes, by K.M. Szpara

17.37: Science and Fiction—It’s Not Just Science Fiction

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Cady Coleman

The fictional side of science and the scientific side of fiction are part of the discipline of science communication, often called SciComm. In this episode Cady Coleman joins us to talk about how science fiction fits into the field of SciComm, and how the stories we tell can affect the people who read them.

Credits: This episode was recorded before a live audience by Rob Kowal, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Find something you wish were real. Write a story in which it is.

For All Mankind (TV Series), on Apple TV

17.36: Space for Everyone

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Cady Coleman

Chemist, USAF Colonel, and NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman joins us to talk about actual travel to actual space, and how that’s a thing which is increasingly available to people who are not in the employ of government space agencies. Also, we discuss how the demographics of space travelers are changing, and how this is creating safer space travel for everyone.

Credits: This episode was recorded before a live audience by Rob Kowal, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Write about sending a “non-traditional astronaut” to space. Oh, and bringing them back. We’re astronaut-ing, not yeeting.

Mission Interplanetary, a podcast from Cady Colman and Andrew Maynard

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.

 

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

View from the Imperium, by Jody Lynn Nye