Season Archives

17.48: Bodies, Why? (Part III)

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler  Let’s talk about pain. It hurts, yes, but we all experience it, so writing about it can be a great point of connection between the writer and the reader. Also, writing about it can hurt. Liner Notes: We referenced  “No, I’m Fine,” by Howard Tayler, … Continue reading 17.48: Bodies, Why? (Part III)

This is a creative non-fiction assignment: write about the worst physical pain you’ve experienced. Use all your best prose tools, and explore as many senses as you can.

D.I.Y, by John Wiswell

17.46: Monstrous Awakening

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler  Okay, before we start, you have homework: Please take a few minutes to read this essay by Fran Wilde entitled “You Wake Up Monstrous.” That will give you context for our discussion, which is about how body horror and other monstrous-ness is a tool we … Continue reading 17.46: Monstrous Awakening

Rewrite a scene containing body horror or body humor so that the character with the  disability/deformity is neither the source of the horror nor the butt of the joke.

17.45: Bodies, Tech, and Character

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, C.L. Polk, Fran Wilde, and Howard Tayler  Let’s talk about technological body-modification! It’s a common element in science fiction, but it’s also an increasingly important part of the world we’re living in right now. Liner Notes: In this episode we referenced “Happenstance,” and Amy Purdy’s quickstep from Dancing With The Stars. … Continue reading 17.45: Bodies, Tech, and Character

In the context of your world, envision an augmentation that is both beautiful and useful.

A Rover’s Story, by Jasmine Warga

17.44: Bodies, Why? (Part II: Working Through Disability)

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Fran Wilde, C.L. Polk, and Howard Tayler Let’s talk for a bit about writing while disabled. This can mean anything from scheduling your craft around doctor’s appointments, to learning to operate on a limited budget as defined by your body. You might be asking “I’m not disabled, so how does this pertain … Continue reading 17.44: Bodies, Why? (Part II: Working Through Disability)

This is a process homework. Explore your writing space and schedule. Take stock of the tools you have in place to take care of your physical needs while you work—the lighting, your chair, how often you stretch, eat, and hydrate. Then make a list of what you think might be missing.

One for All, by Lillie Lainhoff

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 … Continue reading 17.42: Eight Embodied Episodes About Disability

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

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: How do you make … Continue reading 17.40: Questions & Answers About Structure, with Special Guest Peng Shepherd

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

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

First Become Ashes, by K.M. Szpara