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Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Mary Robinette, and Howard, with special guest Bruce D Richardson Bruce D Richardson, who is often credited as BDR, or BD Richardson, is a voice-over actor and audiobook narrator. He joins us for a discussion of reading out loud for an audience, including some mic techniques and best practices for recording. … Continue rea…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Piper, and Howard, with special guest Cory Doctorow In journalism, that three-character string in our episode title means “Fact Check.” Those three characters are a great way to drop a note to yourself, reminding you to get some answers later. In this episode Cory joins us to discuss when we drop … Continue reading 15.41…
 
Your Hosts: Piper, Dan, and Tempest, with special guests Nisi Shawl and Silvia Moreno-Garcia Writing stories which feature people who are not like you is, in a word, difficult. In another word? Fraught. But good writers do difficult things, and in this episode Nisi Shawl and Silvia Moreno-Garcia join us to discuss how research can … Continue readin…
 
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, and Lari, with guest Alex Shvartsman Translation is fantastically complex. In this episode Lari and Alex help us navigate those complexities, both from the standpoint of the translator, and from the standpoint of the author seeking to have their work translated. Credits: This episode was mastered by Alex Jackson…
 
Your Hosts: Piper, Dan, and Tempest, with special guest Nisi Shawl Whether you’re writing about a real-world religion, or one you’ve created for your setting, there are numerous factors to be aware of. In this episode we discuss a few good and bad examples of depictions of religions, and the ways in which these examples … Continue reading 15.38: De…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard What’s it like to write under a deadline which has been set for your project by someone else? What strategies might help you bring the writing in under the deadline? Can you train yourself to be ready for this? Those are all good questions. Hopefully we won’t run … Continue reading 15.37: Writing Under…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with special guests Shannon and Dean Hale We’ve had several discussions about collaboration, and we’ve learned that the answer to “how do you collaborate with other authors” is different with each collaboration team we talk to. Shannon and Dean Hale have written fifteen books together, and in this … Con…
 
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 … Co…
 
Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Lari, and Erin How do you proceed when the story you want to write includes elements that make you personally uncomfortable? In this episode we step out of our own comfort zones to examine this challenge, and to offer some strategies to you. Credits: This episode was recorded remotely, and … Continue reading 15.34: …
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard Many Writing Excuses listeners have asked us how we muscle through writing second acts, those big, chonky “middles” of our stories. In this episode we attempt to provide answers. Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson. The title of this episode is … Continue re…
 
Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, and Lari, with special guest Erin Roberts Erin Roberts joins us for a discussion of short story markets—a topic which is very susceptible to “churn” because of the way short story markets come and go. We cover how to research and evaluate the various markets based on what you need from … Continue reading 15.32: Shor…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, and Howard, with special guest Laurell K. Hamilton We’ve all heard the “write what you know” rule. Laurell K. Hamilton joined us to talk about how she got started by writing what she wanted to know. In this episode we discuss our various paths to learning the things that fascinate us, and … Continue reading 15.30: Write Wh…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, and Howard, with special guests Janci Patterson and Megan Walker Janci Patterson and Megan Walker joined us to talk about their pre-writing process, which involves role-playing in a room full of dioramas with Barbie dolls. As pre-writing processes go, this one was completely new to us, and we very quickly decided … Continu…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, and Howard, with special guest Eric Flint Eric Flint joined us at SpikeCon (host of the 2019 NASFIC) to talk about creating alternate histories. His Ring of Fire book series is enormous in scope, and has many, many more people working on it than just Eric Flint. We get a bit … Continue reading 15.27: Alternate History, wit…
 
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 … Continue re…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The MICE quotient is a tool for categorizing story elements—Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event—and we’ve talked about it quite a bit in the past. When a listener asked how we might use the MICE quotient to create, inform, manage, and otherwise help us “do” conflict in our stories, … Continue read…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Howard, and Dan, with special guest Jim Butcher Jim Butcher joined us at NASFIC for a discussion about how we can keep long-running serials engaging after numerous books. Credits: this episode was recorded before a live audience by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex JacksonBy Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with Shannon and Dean Hale Shannon and Dean Hale join us again, this time to discuss how to effectively and convincingly write for¹ children. Children have their own unique sets of expectations for the books they read (as do their parents), and in this episode we talk about … Continue reading 15.22 Writ…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with Shannon and Dean Hale Shannon and Dean Hale join us to discuss how to effectively and convincingly write about¹ children. We cover dialog tools, point-of-view elements, stakes, and character ‘quirks’ that can help signal to the reader that a character is a child. Credits: This episode was recorded …
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard In this episode we’ll be talking about the things we do to stay creative, productive, healthy, and happy. For the purposes of this discussion, “mental wellness” is not about coping with mental illness, it’s about self-care. Liner Notes: Here’s the gridded lifestyle tracker for the homework, lifted dire…
 
Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard “As you know, Bob…” is the trope-tastic line we use to refer to expository dialog which has no function beyond exposition. We get lots of listener questions about how to use dialog for exposition without making it feel like we’re using dialog for exposition. And as Bob already … Continue reading 15.19:…
 
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