Season Archives

15.31: The Agent in the Room

Your Hosts: Dan, Dongwon, Piper, and Howard You had questions for agents, Dongwon has answers! How do you go about becoming an agent? How do an agent and author work together? At what point do agent and author talk about the “sticky stuff?” Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Make a list of the questions, especially the hard ones, you want to ask prospective agents.

15.29: Barbie Pre-Writing, with Janci Patterson and Megan Walker

Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, and Howard, with special guests Janci Patterson and Megan Walker Janci Patterson and Megan Walker joined us to talk about their pre-writing process, which involves role-playing in a room full of dioramas with Barbie dolls. As pre-writing processes go, this one was completely new to us, and we very quickly decided … Continue reading 15.29: Barbie Pre-Writing, with Janci Patterson and Megan Walker

Role-play, with toys, a scene from something you’ve written.

The Extra, by Janci Patterson, and Megan Walker
Godfire, by Cara Witter

15.28: Small Evils

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard Small evils? Yes, please! This episode isn’t about writing the big villainy of world domination, but about focusing on the more relatable villainy of small evils—the little crimes, the minor antagonisms—which can be the key to connecting the reader to the book. Liner Notes: The deadly nightshade incident Howard … Continue reading 15.28: Small Evils

Base a villain on yourself

The Kingdom of Liars, by Nick Martel

15.27: Alternate History, with Eric Flint

Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, and Howard, with special guest Eric Flint Eric Flint joined us at SpikeCon (host of the 2019 NASFIC) to talk about creating  alternate histories. His Ring of Fire book series is enormous in scope, and has many, many more people working on it than just Eric Flint. We get a bit … Continue reading 15.27: Alternate History, with Eric Flint

Plan your day so you know which bit to write first. Sit down and write something first.

15.26: Taking the Chance, with David Weber

Your Hosts: Brandon, Howard, and Dan with special guest David Weber David Weber joined us at NASFIC to talk about the importance of risking failure on any path (especially a writer’s path) to success–whether you’re risking rejection in the submission process, or the possibility that the book you write won’t be the amazing thing you’ve … Continue reading 15.26: Taking the Chance, with David Weber

Go home and roll up a character.

The Gordian Protocol, by David Weber and Jacob Holo

15.25: Using the MICE Quotient for Conflict

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The MICE quotient is a tool for categorizing story elements—Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event—and we’ve talked about it quite a bit in the past. When a listener asked how we might use the MICE quotient to create, inform, manage, and otherwise help us “do” conflict in our stories, … Continue reading 15.25: Using the MICE Quotient for Conflict

Free write a character doing something. Identify the MICE elements. Pick one, and build additional conflict around it.

Escaping Exodus, by Nicky Drayden

15.24: Keeping it Fresh, with Jim Butcher

Your Hosts: Brandon, Howard, and Dan, with special guest Jim Butcher Jim Butcher joined us at NASFIC for a discussion about how we can keep long-running serials engaging after numerous books. Credits: this episode was recorded before a live audience by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Something we didn’t know was intelligent has been intelligent all along.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass, by Jim Butcher