Tag Archives: Outlining

15.42: Writing The End

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

How do you decide what sort of event ends your story? How do you set the scale and the stakes for that event? And once you’ve made these decisions, how do you set about writing the best possible ending?

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Reversal of Fortune

15.36: Collaboration, with Shannon and Dean Hale

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with special guests Shannon and Dean Hale

We’ve had several discussions about collaboration, and we’ve learned that the answer to “how do you collaborate with other authors” is different with each collaboration team we talk to.

Shannon and Dean Hale have written fifteen books together, and in this episode they talk to us about how they do it.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Joseph Meacham, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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“Picture-word” game, which you kind of need to listen to Dean describe.

Kind of a Big Deal, by Shannon Hale

15.29: Barbie Pre-Writing, with Janci Patterson and Megan Walker

Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, and Howard, with special guests Janci Patterson and Megan Walker

Janci Patterson and Megan Walker joined us to talk about their pre-writing process, which involves role-playing in a room full of dioramas with Barbie dolls.

As pre-writing processes go, this one was completely new to us, and we very quickly decided that we love it.

Credits: this episode was recorded live at NASFIC by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

 

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Role-play, with toys, a scene from something you’ve written.

The Extra, by Janci Patterson, and Megan Walker
Godfire, by Cara Witter

15.10: Evaluating Ideas

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

We’ve talked in the past about how ideas are cheap, and that it’s execution upon those ideas which is what really matters. In this episode we’ll talk about how we evaluate things over there on the side of the equation where things are cheap and plentiful. Because while we have no shortage of ideas, they vary quite a bit in their value to us.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Keep a dream journal for a week. Put a notepad next to your bed, and write down everything you remember about your dreams as quickly as you can the moment you wake up. At the end of the week, peruse the journal for ideas.

TypecastRPG, a streamed role-playing game with Dan Wells, Charlie Holmberg, Brian McClellan, Mari Murdock, Ethan Sproat, and Howard Tayler

15.07: Creating Chapters

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

How do you create chapters? What are the rules for carving your manuscript into numbered chunks? Is chaptering part of your outline, is it something you discover while you write, or is it something else entirely?

In this episode we talk about how we do it, and how we think about it while it’s being done.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Takes something you’ve written, and put the chapter breaks in new places.

Docile, by K.M. Sparza (releases in March 2020)

12.40: Structuring a Novel

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

What makes something a novel, rather than just a serialized collection of stuff that happens? How do we use structure to turn collections of stuff into something more cohesive? What tools do we use to outline, map, and/or plan our novel writing?

Reference Note: “Scene and sequel” comes to us from Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writerfirst published in 1965 (52 years ago.)

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Take a film or TV program, which you like, and which was NOT based on a book, and plot the novel that it would have been had it been a novel before being on screen.

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta

12.26: Q&A on Outlining and Discovery Writing

Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard

Our listeners had questions about outlining and discovery writing. Here are a few of the very best:

  • Do you outline scenes? How?
  • How do you know when to STOP outlining something?
  • How much do you have to know about your character and/or world before you start writing?
  • What do you to to diagnose and fix a structural problem with a discovery-written draft?
  • What do you do to ‘get into’ an outline that you’re struggling with.
  • Are each of your projects similar in terms of procedure?
  • What are some major indicators that a piece needs more structural work?

Soundbite moment: DAN: “I had to learn the difference between a story, and a bunch of stuff that happens.”

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered via great mastery by Alex Jackson

 

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Find another writer. You each write a quick outline for a story, print it, then cut your outline into strips. Now, trade piles of strips. Your missions? Re-assemble the other writer’s outline.

Contracted Defense, by Piper J. Drake

12.24: Creating Great Outlines

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley

How might you go about creating great outlines? There are many processes, and we cover several of them.

 

Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Take the list of events that you’re considering putting into your story. Create a list of scene types, and assign your events to these scenes.