Tag Archives: Romance

15.09: Choose Your Own Adventurous Publishing Path

Your Hosts: Dan, Dongwon, Piper, and Howard

“Should I go self-pub? Should I go traditional? Can I do both? How do I decide where my book fits?”

In this episode we’ll cover these, and many more questions as best we’re able.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Liner Notes:

¹ RWA membership is required for these forums. This episode was recorded in September of 2019

Play

Write the “choose your own adventurous publishing path” flow chart with decision points, and write a fun little fiction about your future career possibilities.

15.03: Self Publishing

Your Hosts: Howard, with special guests Victorine Lieske, Tamie Dearen, Bridget E. Baker, and Nandi Taylor

Howard leads this discussion with four guests who are doing well with self publishing. They share some numbers with us, and talk about their strategies for reaching their audience, and making the most of their market.

Liner Notes: Given, by Nandi Taylor, is available on January 21, (just two days from this episode’s air date)

Credits: This episode was recorded live at WXR by Bert Grimm, and was mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Start thinking about business: teach yourself which of the things you spend money on are tax deductible.

12.43: Serialized Storytelling

Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard

We’re talking about the extreme long-form serial story here, and how to keep things interesting without forcing the main characters into an absurdly high number of character-developing moments. Brandon leads by aiming the question at Howard, since Schlock Mercenary has been running now for seventeen years (it was only 16 at the time we recorded.) We also talk about how long romance serials avoid “sequelitis” by swapping out the love interests, and how the tools used here apply across multiple styles and genres.

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

Play

Create a “Beat Chart” identifying iconic moments, questions and answers, and new promises to readers, and then break these out into book-sized groups.

Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire

12.34: Fulfilling the Reader’s Fantasy, with Brian McClellan

Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard

Brian McClellan joins us for a discussion on fulfilling the promises we make to our readers—specifically the genre-specific promises made by the simple fact of where the book is shelved.

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

Play

Write your next story in a time period that you haven’t written before. Make up the facts if you want to.

11.51: Ensemble as a Sub-Genre, with Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas joins us to continue our discussion of the Elemental Ensemble, which is one of our favorite elemental tools. It’s not just for heists. It adds interest, emotion, and lots of plot possibilities to everything from sense of wonder to the hard-hitting issue.

Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Play

Look at some of the elemental genres we’ve already discussed. Brainstorm some story ideas, looking at  what happens to them when you mix those genres up with the ensemble element.

Heroine Complex, by Sarah Kuhn

11.39: Elemental Relationship Q&A, with Greg van Eekhout

Greg van Eekhout joined us at Phoenix Comic Con for a live-audience Q&A session about Elemental Relationship writing. Here are the questions:

  • What is your favorite way to establish relationships?
  • How do you recover when a relationship starts to feel forced?
  • How do you show a “best friend” relationship?
  • How do you decide the pacing of the romance?
  • Do you try to make the nature of character relationships clear, or do you leave it to subtext?
  • How do you go about writing transsexual relationships?
  • What are your favorite relationships to write?
  • How do I write the beginning of a relationship between characters the reader has not yet really met?
  • How do you transform love into hate, and vice-versa?
  • When writing a love triangle, how do you avoid telegraphing the final resolution?
  • Do you have recommendations for books that focus on familial friend relationships rather than romance?

Credits: this episode was recorded live at Phoenix Comic-Con by Jeff Cools, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Identify something about your location that would provide, in an alternate universe, a source of magic unavailable in other locations.

California Bones, by Greg VanEekhout

11.36: The Elemental Relationship

In elemental relationship stories the primary page-turning driver is the relationship between two or three characters ¹. In this episode we discuss ways in which we can write character relationships—parent/child, buddy-cop, romance, and more—to be compelling.

Credits: this episode was recorded by Jeff Cools, and mastered by Alex Jackson


¹We’re differentiating “Relationship” from “Ensemble” because in our elemental genre model the elemental ensemble story is quite a bit different from the elemental relationship.

Play

Grab a romantic comedy of some kind. Watch it, and take notes of the things that define their relationship, and how it progresses.

Writing Excuses 10.13: Where is My Story Going?

Any discussion of story structure must necessarily take a look at that big, long bit between the beginning and the end, that piece where almost everything actually happens. In this episode we talk about the middles of stories, and how formulaic structures will help you get them to do all of the things that you need for them to do, and this can be done without the story feeling formulaic.

We got things a bit out of order here — this was supposed to be the SECOND episode of March, rather than the fifth. When Brandon says “two weeks ago” he means “four weeks ago.” Sorry for the confusion.

Play

Your writing exercise: Take the reverse engineered outline from a month ago, and move a side plot to the main plot.

Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson, narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading