Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Zoraida Cordova, Kaela Rivera, and Howard Tayler
We’ve talked about making every member of the ensemble meaningful. In this episode we’re discussing who, in archetype terms, everybody is. How can archetypes help us get started, how can they help us set reader expectations, and what are the archetype-related pitfalls we need to avoid? And finally, is ‘archetype’ even the correct term here?
Liner Notes: Here’s the “Black Superheroes with Electrical Powers” article.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:14 — 14.8MB)
Identify the archetypes of each character in your work-in-progress. Change that archetype or give them a sub-archetype, to try to branch out and create rounder, unexpected characters.
Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Fonda Lee, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler
Here at the end of our 8-episode intensive series on Worldbuilding we discuss stepping away from the defaults, the clichés, and the tropes, and choosing every element deliberately. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the tropes. We’re just suggesting that they be included only after deciding we actually want them.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:45 — 13.8MB)
An essay question: What are your armored bears? What element of your work-in-progress makes you most excited about worldbuilding and why?
Black Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard
Tropes, archetypes, and even cliches are tools in our toolboxes. There’s no avoiding them, but there are definitely ways to use them incorrectly. In this episode we’ll talk about how we shake off our fear of using tropes through understanding how they work.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:29 — 14.1MB)
Set a timer for 30 minutes.
SET THAT TIMER.
With your life-jacket securely fastened, you may now go to tvtropes.com and follow a trope like “boy meets girl” down the rabbit hole. Follow links. Dive deeply. When the timer goes off, close the page immediately. If you need a palate-cleanser, try watching “You Just Don’t Get It, Do You?“
Recorded live in front of the Out of Excuses students, a crowd of savvy readers if ever there was one, we talk about how to effectively write for readers who are familiar with the genre or story structure in which we’re writing. It’s a tricky problem, since genre fiction is supported in large part by the very tropes that prove problematic. Sometimes the solution is trope subversion, but that brings its own problems.
Dave Farland’s Writing Workshops sponsored us for this episode! Both Brandon and Dan have studied under Dave, and we’re all happy to wholeheartedly recommend his workshops to you. If you can’t fly to his place, well, visit MyStoryDoctor.com and take the online course. The coupon code for your Writing Excuses discount is EXCUSES, but don’t think that means you actually HAVE any of those…
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:21 — 12.6MB)
Take a mentor character, and outline a way for that character to NOT be killed off in order for them to not be more effective than the hero.