In our ongoing exploration of tension, the time has come to examine conflict. It can be shaped and delivered in numerous ways, but you have to know the core conflict before you can make anybody feel tense about it.
Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. It was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:31 — 14.4MB)
Write a conflict twice, changing the POV character’s underlying emotional needs. See how the scene changes.
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, by David Graeber & David Wengrow
Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, DongWon, and Howard
At WXR 19 we recorded live, and took audience questions aboard the ship. Here they are! (You’ll have to listen to the episode for the answers.)
- What have you learned in the past year that has improved your craft?
- When you’re having trouble, how do you know if it’s “I don’t feel like writing” or “there’s a problem with the manuscript?”
- How far ahead do you plan your careers?
- How do you tell when a fight/battle/showdown is going on for too long?
- How do you continue to learn and improve on your craft?
- How do you manage and prioritize your time when you’re working on multiple projects?
- How do you feel about multiple first-person POVs in a single book?
- What are the most important elements to include on the last page of your book?
- What are some things we can do to strengthen our voice when writing in third person?
- How do you decide who to have as alpha and beta readers?
- In secondary world stories, how do you decide whether to call a horse a horse?
- How much leeway will an editor or agent give a story when it’s not ready, but it shows promise?
Liner Notes: “Sometimes Writer’s Block is Really Depression”
Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 26:37 — 19.1MB)
Write three different first lines for your project.
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard
Where do you draw the line between what seems plausible, and what would be cool? If you pick “plausible,” how do you stay cool? If you pick “cool,” how do you avoid knocking the readers out of the story? And finally, how might we structure things so that when the time comes, we don’t need to choose one or the other, because we can have both?
Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and engineered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:59 — 14.5MB)
Take something super-cool, and make it sound realistic. Now take something very grounded and make it sound outlandishly incredible.