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
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:46 — 14.3MB)
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.
Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard
What can discovery writers learn from outlining? What can outliners learn from discovery writing? Is there a balance between the two that can serve as a happy, productive place for writers? (summary of answers: lots, lots, and yes-but-not-all-writers.)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:57 — 13.1MB)
Write a backward story. Begin with the ending, and work your way backward into the story as you write your way forward with the words.
Nothing Left to Lose, by Dan Wells
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley
We’re speaking again, at least in part, to discovery writers. In this case, we’re talking about how to take a non-outlined work and apply a structure to it in revisions.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:23 — 14.7MB)
Identify the promises you made in the first 10% of your story. Color-code them. Now color code your chapters and/or scenes, mapping them to the promises made early on.
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard
This episode is for you discovery writers, especially those of you for whom our current season of structure seems to be locking you down, or pointing up methods which you just don’t like to use. We talk about how these methods, these structural principles, these mechanical advantages in the mental toolbox can be applied during the discovery writing process.
Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered on the north face of a dormant volcano by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:30 — 13.4MB)
Write a story in an hour and a half without outlining it. Pick a character, an object, and a genre. The character has problem with the object. Use a timer, and use the yes-but/no-and method as you go.
Hardcore History (podcast), with Dan Carlin (note: this podcast has a rolling paywall. The sooner you subscribe, the more you’ll have access to when you get around to listening.)
Ellen Kushner joins us for the last episode of Season 10. Per the title, folks, it’s time to be done.
What does “done” mean? How do you go about declaring a project “finished” when you know there are still things wrong with it? How do you clear your head, your work space, and your life for the next thing you need to do?
Out of Excuses: Per Brandon’s plug in the episode, registration is open for the 2016 Out of Excuses WritingWorkshop and Retreat!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:50 — 15.0MB)
Try something new. Brainstorm something new, something different from what you’ve written before.
And now for your questions about revision. Or rather, questions from the WXR attendees, who were aboard the Independence of the Seas with us (the answers to these questions are secreted away in the audio file…):
- During revision, when do you think it’s acceptable to throw the whole thing out?
- How do you fit the whole structure in your head?
- What do you find you most often need to add?
- What do you do when your revisions have made things worse?
- How do you avoid over-writing during the revision process?
- When revising, how many passes do you make, and what order are they in?
- Do you take the sounds of words into account when writing and revising?
This episode was engineered aboard The Independence of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered in a concrete bunker somewhere in the midwest by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:51 — 13.7MB)
Read your piece aloud. The whole thing. Yes, THE WHOLE THING. Take notes while you do so.
Blindsight, by Peter Watts, narrated by T. Ryder Smith
Wes Chu joins us again for a Q&A about this month’s topic: story structure! Here are the questions:
- Do you make a conscious decision about how to structure your story before you begin writing?
- Is it necessary to use multiple structures (three-act, Hollywood formula, etc) in order to ensure that your story works?
- What tools do you use to view your story’s structure?
- What do you think about cliffhangers?
- How do you come up with plot twists for your stories? (Answer: A blast from the past with Michael Stackpole! Season 1, Episode 19!)
- What structures should I use to add variety to my writing?
- Is there a specific amount of time you should spend on your introduction before getting to the inciting incident?
- What do you do when you’re halfway through with a story before you realize the structure is wrong?
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 22:07 — 15.2MB)
Make a list of all the awesome things you want your story to accomplish. Then put them in the order in which you want them to happen.
If you haven’t yet read “Parallel Perspectives,” from Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, we have a PDF for you to download and read before you start listening to this episode. It’s a 33mb file in a public DropBox folder.
Parallel Perspectives PDF for Writing Excuses listeners
Got the file? Done reading? Okay, let’s go…
This week is a Project in Depth episode focusing on a 13-page graphic story (“comic book”) found at the end of Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, and our focus this week will be story structure. It’s fun, because the process of structuring a bonus story begins much differently than most projects, and the structure was laid in support of a four-creator collaboration.
The creators? Howard Tayler, Brenda Hickey, Travis Walton, and Keliana Tayler.
(If you’d like your own hard-copy of Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, you can get it from Amazon.com or directly from the publisher.)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:23 — 14.0MB)
Next month we’re going to talk Beginnings: decide on the promises you want to make to your readers in your story. Then outline according to those promises.