Season Archives

13.19: Backstories

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Amal, and Maurice Character backstories: these are the tales that describe how the characters in your story became who they are by the time they arrive in the book. How much backstory needs to be written before you start in on the manuscript? How much needs to be in the manuscript … Continue reading 13.19: Backstories

Write a flashbacks scene that reveals a key bit of a character’s backstory. Then reveal the same bit of backstory in a scene where the character describes the events to someone else.

Racing the Dark. by Alaya Dawn Johnson

13.18: Naturally Revealing Character Motivation

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard What motivates us? What really motivates us? Why? (Note: our motivations are probably not in service of some overarching plot.) How can we use this information to believably motivate characters? Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Take a character motivation and express it via free indirect speech. Now take something that has been expressed via free indirect speech and unpack it into the narrative.

The Ten Cent Plague, by David Hajdu, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki

13.17: What Writers Get Wrong, with Jamahl Crouch

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard, with Jamahl Crouch Jamahl Crouch (Illusmm1 on Instagram) joined us at the GenCon Indy Writers Symposium to talk about what writers get wrong about street art. Jamahl is many things, and one of those is “street artist.” We discuss the differences between graffiti and street art, where things like commissioned … Continue reading 13.17: What Writers Get Wrong, with Jamahl Crouch

Go watch The Get Down (available on Netflix)

Have a look at Jamal’s art on Instagram! Illusmm1

13.16: Avoiding Flat Characters

Your Hosts: Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard For our purposes, the term “flat character” refers to a character who lacks the depth required to maintain reader interest. In this episode we discuss how to avoid putting flat characters front-and-center in our writing, and how we go about fixing manuscripts that have flat character problems.

Take a flat character from media you’ve consumed and write a backstory to make them less flat.

Artemis, by Andy Weir

13.15: What Writers Get Wrong, with Mike Stop Continues

Recorded live at WXR 2017. Your Hosts: Dan, Mary, Aliette, and Howard, with special guest Mike Stop Continues Mike has multiple areas of expertise, but for this episode he’s talking to us specifically about the things that writers get wrong about being a gay man. Credits: This episode was recorded live by Bert Grimm, and … Continue reading 13.15: What Writers Get Wrong, with Mike Stop Continues

Change the sexual identity of a character in a scene of yours.

Underworld, by Mike Stop Continues