Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Zoraida Cordova, Kaela Rivera, and Howard Tayler
In this, our final “ensemble masterclass” episode, we discuss the nuts-and-bolts, the tips and tricks, the tools of the trade. In short, we talk very specifically about how we do it. Color-coded sticky notes, index cards, spreadsheets, and more…
Liner Notes: Howard’s guest story for Dave Kellet’s DRIVE compendium is now running online! It’s called “History and Haberdashery.“
Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:55 — 14.6MB)
Color-code your outline, and see if it’s helpful.
Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Lari, and special guest Erin Roberts
We’ve received a number of questions about the ‘tools of the trade’ for organizing our work, especially with regard to worldbuilding. In this episode we talk about what we use, including some old-school analog tools like sticky notes and ballpoint pens.
Credits: this episode was recorded remotely, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:33 — 15.6MB)
Using whichever tool you would like, examine your favorite worldbuilding elements, and determine what your influences are for them.
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.
Wesley Chu again joins Brandon, Mary, Howard, and a live audience at GenCon Indy, this time for a Q&A. The audience handed us the following questions:
- How do you write 1st-person POV from a gender other than your own?
- Do you have a set schedule for writing time?
- How do you boost your word count without padding, AND without adding characters?
- How can prose be used to convey emotion without stating character feelings outright?
Those are the questions. Listen to the episode for the answers!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:56 — 11.6MB)
Revoke your right to use “thought” verbs, then communicate thoughts, knowledge, and awareness in your POV character. The original challenge for this prompt came from this blog post by Chuck Palahniuk.