Your Hosts: Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard
This week we’re joined by Valynne Maetani, who’ll be one of our hosts all year. We’re discussing protagonists who, per writer intent, do not engender audience sympathy.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:05 — 13.8MB)
Write a likable character, but write them in such a way that the reader does not want them to succeed.
Brian Keene joined Dan and Howard at the World Horror Convention to talk about writing crime fiction, including how he goes about getting readers to feel the things he wants them to feel to drive the story forward.
Liner Notes: The Horror Show with Brian Keene
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:57 — 13.7MB)
Experiment outside of your genre for 30 minutes of writing time each day for a week. Focus on the character. At the end of the week, take the character you’ve created and see if they can be fit into something else you’re working on.
Nancy Fulda joins us for a discussion of engaging characters. We begin by explaining how engaging characters don’t need to be sympathetic, but certainly can be, and then we head into why we find particular characters engaging. We also talk about how this plays into the villain problem, where the villain is more interesting than the hero is.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:34 — 12.7MB)
Put a character in a difficult situation, and then throw away your first three ideas for how they’re going to get out of that situation.
What is an Antihero? There are lots of definitions of this word, so Dan boils it down to just three: The Frodo, The Punisher, and The Talented Mister Ripley. And that third definition is the one Brandon believes to be the most correct, at least in the strict literary sense.
This was a difficult ‘cast for Howard because he’s familiar with Frodo and The Punisher, but has no experience with The Talented Mister Ripley beyond movie trailers. He gets by, though. He’s seen a lot of movie trailers.
Have a listen, and learn a lot.
Writing Prompt: Write a true, classically-defined antihero in such a way that Howard will enjoy it.
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