Nalo Hopkinson joins us again, at sea, for our second Master Class installment on endings. We cover some of the reasons why an ending might not be working, and then talk about the sorts of diagnoses that will help you solve the problem. You’ll likely need to dig deep in your toolbox. Our episodes covering the MICE quotient, promises made to the readers, and the Hollywood formula may be worth reviewing in this process.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:54 — 15.1MB)
Consider the last paragraph of your work in progress. Compare it to your first paragraph. Identify possible resonances that you can mirror between the two.
This month’s Master Class episodes focus on pacing, and we’re dividing the concept of pacing into two parts: the first is the sense of progress within the story, and the second is the sense of the passage of time. In this episode we tackle that first bit, and discuss how we communicate progress to the readers.
We talk a bit about the concept of “promises made to the reader,” which we covered in more detail during episode 10.14. You may want to refer back to that at some point.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:57 — 13.0MB)
The Magnified Moment: write two pages in which someone gets out of bed, walks across the room, and opens the door.
Lots of people struggle with the middles of their books. One way to look at the middle is that it’s the point where you’re no longer working on that new project that has you excited, but haven’t yet gotten to the cool ending that has you excited.
We talk about why the middle is important, and how you can make it enjoyable not just for the reader, but for you.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:17 — 11.9MB)
Look at a scene you’re planning to write, and try writing it in one of the other available settings in your story in order to mix things up a bit.
April is all about beginnings, at least as far as Season 10’s syllabus is concerned. So let’s start!
The cool stuff you plan to put in your story will need other stuff to set it up, and that setting up means that other stuff needs to come first. But how far down does that rabbit hole go?
In this episode we talk about how you can determine which elements of your story should come first. We also define (finally!) the term “promises” in the way we use it when we say “promises made to the reader,” and then we talk about how to figure out what promises we’re making.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:45 — 12.2MB)
Homework: Start writing your story! Write 500 words, focusing on just one of the promises you’ve identified for your story. Then stop, and start writing another 500 words with a different promise. Aaaand then do it a third time.