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, Amal, Mary, and Maurice
If you live in the northern hemisphere, inland, perhaps above the 40th parallel, you are probably quite sure that there are four distinct seasons. There are, however, many, many people for whom “seasons” are things that happen to other people.
This is the conflict between your default and the rest of the world, and in this episode we’ll talk about confronting your default.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:17 — 12.6MB)
Think about a bird. What makes it a bird? Write down five simple characteristics which make birds birdy for you. Now research birds and find birds that don’t fit your template.
For November, our elemental genre is “Issue,” and we were joined by actor, writer, and comedian Desiree Burch. The Elemental Issue is similar to the Elemental Idea, but the type of idea being explored is a point of social conflict, like racism, teen pregnancy, or corporate greed. Authors writing Elemental Issue stories raise questions for the readers.
We talk about how to go about writing these without sounding preachy, and without writing polemics.
Soundbite Moment: “The more specific a work gets, the more broadly it relates to other people.” —Desiree Burch
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: 24:30 — )
Read a magazine, ads and all, that is outside your personal cultural context, or realm of interests
Shannon Hale joins us at LTUE for a live-audience session in which we explore gender biases, and extrapolate from there to our many other unconscious biases.
Our unconscious biases are not just the things that we consider to be “just the way things are,” or “common sense.” They’re the things we don’t even see, much less consider, and the obvious challenge for us as writers is to find those biases, and then to dig into them and really understand them. Our goal is to be able to write beyond them, and create literature that is both more believable, and more widely accessible.
Credits: This episode was recorded live at LTUE by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:31 — 14.2MB)
Take something you’ve written, and gender-swap it.