Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Fonda Lee, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler
The world of your book is most often shown to us through the eyes of the characters who live in that world. In this episode we discuss the fact that those characters have biases which will distort the reader’s perception of the world. Knowing this, we can use it to our advantage.
Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:12 — 12.7MB)
Take a favorite story and re-imagine it from a different POV (e.g. Harry Potter as told from the POV of the Minister of Magic.) What are the different worldbuilding needs?
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Amal, and Maurice
Narration is that stuff which tells your story, but isn’t dialog. It’s the voice of your narrator, and it might be multiple voices depending on how you’re handling point of view. In this episode we’ll talk about the things you can do to challenge yourself and level up your narration.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:40 — 14.9MB)
Write a scene from several points of view. Each of these characters are experiencing the same scene differently, and some of them are lying about it.
The Usual Suspects, by Maurice Broaddus
(NOTE: currently available for preorder. Between the time this episode was recorded and its air date the book’s publication date got pushed into May of 2019)
It’s time for our fourth “Project in Depth” episode, and now Dan Wells is on the spot. The Hollow City is Dan’s latest book, and while it’s not a new John Cleaver book, it’s still a supernatural thriller with a tight psychological focus.
Spoilers galore, of course. If you haven’t read The Hollow City yet, go read it before listening to this episode.
Dan’s New Twitter Handle: Per Howard’s suggestion, @JohnCleaver has been retired in favor of @TheDanWells.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:35 — 14.8MB)
Go find an interesting mental illness (quick, before Dan takes all the good ones.) Now write from the sufferer’s POV, but don’t tell us what’s actually wrong.
Bree Despain joins us for a discussion of writing the first-person viewpoint. We talk about “method writing” and get briefly creeped out by Dan. We discuss some key aspects of this particular POV, including the unreliable narrator, the over-the-shoulder vs. the memoir perspective, and the presence or absence of a framing story.
We cover a few pitfalls, including the clichéd “mirror scene,” and then offer advice to new writers who are looking for ways to get first person right the first time.
Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Beastly, by Alex Finn
Writing Prompt: The main character has a secret. Write from that character’s point of view, but keep the secret from the reader.
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This episode totally would have updated earlier if I’d only known sooner that it was ready to go. Jordo says he emailed me early this evening, but if he HAD then you’d have been listening to this by 8:00pm Sunday.
So… how much of that do you believe? Is the Narrator lying to you, or is he just wrong? Maybe he is lying to himself, and thinks he’s being honest with you.
Most importantly, though, how does any of this apply to your writing? Well, that’s what the podcast is for…
Writing Prompt: Have an event occur, and then provide five different character perspectives on the event… none of which are completely accurate.
Note: this episode updated a little late because I wanted an object lesson in the write-up, not because I was relaxing on the couch until 11:15pm. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (11.3MB)