Your Hosts: Dan, DongWon, Piper, and Howard
You had questions for agents, Dongwon has answers!
- How do you go about becoming an agent?
- How do an agent and author work together?
- At what point do agent and author talk about the “sticky stuff?”
Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:59 — 14.5MB)
Make a list of the questions, especially the hard ones, you want to ask prospective agents.
Your Hosts: Brandon, Howard, and Dan with special guest David Weber
David Weber joined us at NASFIC to talk about the importance of risking failure on any path (especially a writer’s path) to success–whether you’re risking rejection in the submission process, or the possibility that the book you write won’t be the amazing thing you’ve been imagining.
If you’re currently feeling the need to be out of excuses, this episode might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Credits: This episode was recorded live at NASFIC by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:39 — 18.4MB)
Go home and roll up a character.
Your Hosts: Dan and Howard
Toni Weisskopf and Cat Rambo joined Dan and Howard to discuss what it is that editors “really want.”
Question To Help You Decide Whether Or Not To Send Your Editor Bad News: “Will this news get better if I wait?”
Credits: this episode was recorded at GenCon Indy 2016, and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:13 — 11.9MB)
Do something completely new. Write by hand, or outdoors. Also, listen to actual people talking, and write down what is being said.
Navah Wolfe, an editor at Saga Press, joined us to talk about the manuscripts she would really like to see. Ordinarily we don’t encourage people to write to the market, but Navah asked specifically for the opportunity to tell our listeners what she’s looking for. As it happens, tracking Navah’s wish list as you write is unlikely to send you haring after the latest trend—you’re far more likely to develop some new writing skills that will make your work more enjoyable, more fulfilling, and ultimately easier to sell.
Spoiler Warning: In three weeks we’ll be doing a Project in Depth on Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal. If you want to get the most out of that episode, you have three weeks to acquire and read the book.
Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:02 — 13.8MB)
Write two different “this meets that” pitches, once with a focus on the emotional heart, and once with a focus on set dressing.
Daniel José Older joins us for a Q&A on showing your work around. Here are the questions, which were submitted by attendees at the Out of Excuses workshop:
- What’s the best way to meet editors and agents at conventions?
- How do you write a good query letter?
- What do you mention as credentials in your query letter?
- You didn’t cover self publishing at all this month. Self publishing is legit, right?
- Can you submit the same work to more than one agent or editor at a time?
- Can you re-submit a revised work to an agent who previously rejected the piece?
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 22:50 — 15.7MB)
Write a query letter for a book that you love, but did not write. Then write a query letter for your own work.
Mystic, by Jason Denzel, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal
We’re at the end of our Season Ten Master Class, and if you’ve been diligent about the homework, you may very well have a finished manuscript in your hands. What do you do with it?
Daniel José Older joins us for a bit of reminiscence. We talk about some of our first submissions, and what we did right, wrong, and weirdly. We cover our criteria for selecting publishers to whom we’d like to send our stuff, and we include the shiny intangibles in that list.
This episode was engineered aboard The Independence of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered in an abandoned missile silo by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:19 — 14.0MB)
Research the market for that thing you’ve written. Find things that are similar to what you wrote, and read up on who published them. Find out who the editors were. Then make a list of places where you’d like to submit your work.
It’s our Q&A format, in which each answer is like its own, tiny little podcast, only without its own unique URL, intro, writing prompt, or any of the other trappings that would actually make it different from a Q&A session.
Right. So, it’s basically just a Q&A.
Listen to the podcast for the answers… Here are the questions:
- Are there biases against non-English writers submitting manuscripts in English?
- What is the most difficult thing Howard experienced when first creating Schlock Mercenary?
- Are you ever too old to try to get published?
- What are some pointers for keeping a milieu story focused on the setting?
- No, you can’t have a sample of our DNA. None of you.
- If you were to rewrite your early work, what would you change?
- How do you improve your proofreading and copy editing?
- How much time do you spend writing each day? Does it matter WHAT you write during that time?
- Do you add foreshadowing in the editing stage, or are you just that good?
- How do you improve your craft as a writer?
- I don’t have time to ask a question, I’m washing my dog.
- Do you have any writing exercises that you do regularly?
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:08 — 11.8MB)
Introduce a random element–dice, coin-tosses, the i ching–and write a story in which you (the writer) commit to letting the random element make the decisions.
Microcasting! It’s a Q&A, with each question serving as its own little micro-podcast. This week’s questions:
- Should you include your prologue as one of the three chapters you send in a submission packet?
- How do you get out of the spot where your protagonist has no motivation?
- What’s the best way to prove to a spouse that your writing is more than a hobby?
- How do you get back into a project after taking a break from it?
- Where do you start research for historical fiction?
- Let’s say you sold your first book. How do you tackle book 2 in a series?
- How do you go about writing an overarching setting, like Brandon’s “Cosmere?”
- What part about being a writer do you most enjoy, besides the actual writing?
Those are the questions. You’ll have to listen for the answers. Fortunately they’re not hidden or anything. We just come right out and say them.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:30 — 13.4MB)
Look around, identify an everyday object, and then create a post-apocalyptic setting in which that object is currency.
The Fall of the Kings, by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, narrated by Ellen Kushner, Nick Sullivan, Neil Gaiman, Simon Jones, Katherine Kellgren, Robert Fass, Richard Ferrone, and Tim Jerome