Your Hosts: Dan Wells, C.L. Polk, Charlotte Forfieh, and Mary Robinette Kowal
The next eight episodes are a deep dive into the M.I.C.E. Quotient, so we’ll begin with a definition. M.I.C.E. is an organizational tool which categorizes story elements as Milieu, Inquiry, Character, or Event. It helps authors know which elements are in play, and how to work with these elements effectively.
Obviously there’s a lot more to M.I.C.E. than that, and in this episode we’ll lay it out in a way that makes the subsequent seven M.I.C.E.-related episodes much easier to navigate.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 22:11 — 16.1MB)
Seriously… watch The Wizard of Oz, and take notes. Track the M.I.C.E. elements, and how they nest in the story at every scale.
Brian McClellan joined us to field questions about writing novels and series. Here are the questions:
- How do you write an ending that is open for sequels, but isn’t a cliffhanger?
- Is it a good idea to take a large novel, and release it instead as serial novellas?
- Can you debut with a series, or should you establish yourself with standalone novels first?
- How do you keep readers coming back for each new novel when there’s a long time between them?
- Should you have more than just one book done before querying agents?
- What do you do if your novel turns out to be too short to be a novel?
- Is it possible to write a series as a discovery writer?
- How do you foreshadow big things that are a long way out?
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:59 — 17.2MB)
Take two books or movies, suggested from friends. Those are parts 1 and 3 of a series. Now figure out how part 2 works.
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley
When we talk about “raising the stakes,” we mean making the outcomes of the events in a story increasingly important to the reader. In this episode we talk about the tools we use to raise the stakes in ways that are more sophisticated than just queuing up larger and larger explosions.
Credits: This episode was recorded in Chicago by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:15 — 13.9MB)
Try a few of the techniques discussed, especially by making the stakes more personal to a side character. And don’t do it by having anybody be dead.