Season Archives

15.42: Writing The End

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard How do you decide what sort of event ends your story? How do you set the scale and the stakes for that event? And once you’ve made these decisions, how do you set about writing the best possible ending? Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and … Continue reading 15.42: Writing The End

Reversal of Fortune

15.41: Researching the FCK out of Things, with Cory Doctorow

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Piper, and Howard, with special guest Cory Doctorow In journalism, that three-character string in our episode title means “Fact Check.” Those three characters are a great way to drop a note to yourself, reminding you to get some answers later. In this episode Cory joins us to discuss when we drop … Continue reading 15.41: Researching the FCK out of Things, with Cory Doctorow

Use the Internet to pretend-visit a place.

The Future of Another Timeline, by Annalee Newitz

15.40: Researching for Writing the Other

Your Hosts: Piper, Dan, and Tempest, with special guests Nisi Shawl and Silvia Moreno-Garcia Writing stories which feature people who are not like you is, in a word, difficult. In another word? Fraught. But good writers do difficult things, and in this episode Nisi Shawl and Silvia Moreno-Garcia join us to discuss how research can … Continue reading 15.40: Researching for Writing the Other

Find news article or clipping from before 1980 as part of your research into something that interests you.

Gods of Jade and Shadow, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

15.39: Translation, with special guest Alex Shvartsman

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, and Lari, with guest Alex Shvartsman Translation is fantastically complex. In this episode Lari and Alex help us navigate those complexities, both from the standpoint of the translator, and from the standpoint of the author seeking to have their work translated. Credits: This episode was mastered by Alex Jackson

Write a story in which the characters are in trouble because of a linguistic misunderstanding.

“The Green Hills of Dmitry Totzkiy,” by Eldar Safin, (English translation by Alex Shvartsman)

 

15.38: Depicting Religions That Are Not Your Own

Your Hosts: Piper, Dan, and Tempest, with special guest Nisi Shawl Whether you’re writing about a real-world religion, or one you’ve created for your setting, there are numerous factors to be aware of. In this episode we discuss a few good and bad examples of depictions of religions, and the ways in which these examples … Continue reading 15.38: Depicting Religions That Are Not Your Own

Choose an aspect of culture that ties into religion (dealing with death, for instance), and explore how specific religious beliefs have influenced that culture.

15.37: Writing Under Deadlines

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard What’s it like to write under a deadline which has been set for your project by someone else? What strategies might help you bring the writing in under the deadline?  Can you train yourself to be ready for this? Those are all good questions. Hopefully we won’t run … Continue reading 15.37: Writing Under Deadlines

Experiment with a “stay on target” time management tool, like the Forest focus app, or something similar.

Overly Sarcastic Productions (YouTube channel)

15.35: Tools for Writing and Worldbuilding, with Erin Roberts

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Lari, and special guest Erin Roberts We’ve received a number of questions about the ‘tools of the trade’ for organizing our work, especially with regard to worldbuilding. In this episode we talk about what we use, including some old-school analog tools like sticky notes and ballpoint pens. Credits: this episode … Continue reading 15.35: Tools for Writing and Worldbuilding, with Erin Roberts

Using whichever tool you would like, examine your favorite worldbuilding elements, and determine what your influences are for them.

The Midnight Bargain, by C.L. Polk (currently available for pre-order)

15.34: Writing Deliberate Discomfort

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Lari, and Erin How do you proceed when the story you want to write includes elements that make you personally uncomfortable?  In this episode we step out of our own comfort zones to examine this challenge, and to offer some strategies to you. Credits: This episode was recorded remotely, and … Continue reading 15.34: Writing Deliberate Discomfort

Write a short story from the POV of a character with whom you disagree.

The Lamentation of Their Women,” by Kai Ashante Wilson