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Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Daniel Wells discuss writing techniques in a fast-paced, 15-minute format.

Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Daniel Wells discuss writing techniques in a fast-paced, 15-minute format.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Daniel Wells discuss writing techniques in a fast-paced, 15-minute format.

Language:

English


Episodes

14.42: Alternate History

10/20/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard Alternate histories (and historical fantasies) are a staple of genre fiction. In this episode we talk about the worldbuilding process, the tools we use, and the pitfalls we try to avoid when constructing these kinds of stories. Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered … Continue reading 14.42: Alternate History →

Duration:00:20:47

14.41: History

10/13/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab Let’s make history! In this episode we talk about doing exactly that—creating real-feeling histories for secondary world settings. We discuss the resources we turn to, the pitfalls we try to avoid, and the places where we think the history has been done really well. Credits: This episode was … Continue reading 14.41: History →

Duration:00:17:47

14.40: Deep vs. Wide

10/6/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard How do you decide between digging one really deep, narrow well, and digging one really wide, shallow ocean? In this episode we talk about our desires to build worlds which appear both vanishingly wide and unplumbably deep, when we have time to do neither. Credits: This episode … Continue reading 14.40: Deep vs. Wide →

Duration:00:19:13

14.39: Positioning Your Book in the Marketplace

9/29/2019
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Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Dongwon “Positioning feels like the most important question in all of publishing.” — Dongwon Song In this episode we talk about how to ask and answer the question of positioning, which is “who is this book for?” Credits: This episode was recorded before a live audience aboard Liberty of … Continue reading 14.39: Positioning Your Book in the Marketplace →

Duration:00:18:52

14.38: Volunteer Opportunities for Writers, with Jared Quan

9/22/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard, with special guest Jared Quan Jared Quan serves as a volunteer on several non-profit boards, and joined us to talk about the opportunities that exist for writers. Administration, leadership, writing and editing, and teaching are just a few of the many kinds of roles available for volunteers. … Continue reading 14.38: Volunteer Opportunities for Writers, with Jared Quan →

Duration:00:20:11

14.37: Outlandish Impossibilities

9/15/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard Some science fiction and fantasy stories arise from a premise which, under even just rudimentary examination, appear utterly ridiculous. And some of these stories are hugely successful. In this episode we talk about how we manage our worldbuilding when the goal is less about building a world which … Continue reading 14.37: Outlandish Impossibilities →

Duration:00:22:56

14.36: Languages and Naming

9/8/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab How do we come up with names? How do we do it in ways that enhance our worldbuilding? What are the elements that give our invented naming schemes (even the zany ones with lots of syllables and apostrophes) verisimilitude? In this episode we talk about some of the … Continue reading 14.36: Languages and Naming →

Duration:00:19:35

14.35: What You Leave Out

9/1/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The advice commonly given to writers is to worldbuild an iceberg, but only to show the reader the tip. This is still too much work. Icebergs are big. In this episode we talk about worldbuilding the tip of the iceberg, and then worldbuilding as little as possible … Continue reading 14.35: What You Leave Out →

Duration:00:18:30

14.34: Author Branding

8/25/2019
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Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Dongwon Authors have brands whether they want to have them or not. It’s a simple principle of marketing, and the better we understand that principle, the better able we are to control how it affects our careers. In this episode we talk marketing, and freely use terms like “relationship … Continue reading 14.34: Author Branding →

Duration:00:23:20

14.33: Writing Imperfect Worlds

8/18/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard How do you write a setting in which the status quo is one with which you deeply disagree? How do you create a conflict of this sort without being overtly pedantic or preachy? In this episode we talk about creating engaging worlds while worldbuilding around—and yes, over—landmines. … Continue reading 14.33: Writing Imperfect Worlds →

Duration:00:20:36

Worldbuilding Gender Roles

8/11/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard Let’s talk about worldbuilding with gender roles. Most of us have grown up with a very strongly defined binary, that distinction need not be how we craft the worlds in which we set our stories. In this episode we discuss the resources we have to help us, … Continue reading Worldbuilding Gender Roles →

Duration:00:33:22

14.31: Cultural Setting as Conflict

8/6/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab In this episode we talk about how to put characters in conflict with their setting, and how to structure our work so that these conflicts arise organically rather than feeling mandated by plot. Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and master by Alex Jackson

Duration:00:19:17

14.30: Eating Your Way to Better Worldbuilding

7/28/2019
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Your Hosts: Piper, Dongwon, Amal, and Maurice We like food, and we like to talk about food. Our hosts this week talk about how this influences their fiction, (not to mention how incredibly complex [and interesting, and delicious] the subject is.) Credits: this episode was recorded by Howard Tayler, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Duration:00:25:21

14.29: Field Research

7/21/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard So, you’re going to go someplace and learn something you can’t learn in any other way. Maybe it’s location research for setting. Maybe you’re off to interview an expert. Whatever you’re planning, you need to be planning it well. In this episode we discuss the field research … Continue reading 14.29: Field Research →

Duration:00:19:11

14.28: Warfare and Weaponry

7/14/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab How do you write about warfare in your stories when you’ve never fought in a war? How do you describe brilliant tactics when you’re completely untrained in military movements? How can you portray the emotions of someone on a battlefield without having been on a battlefield yourself? In … Continue reading 14.28: Warfare and Weaponry →

Duration:00:18:41

14.27: Natural Setting as Conflict

7/7/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard In this episode we stories with the “Person-vs-Setting” structure. These are stories where nature fills the role of antagonist, and may also be what governs the pacing, and the delivery of key emotional beats. Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Duration:00:19:12

14.26: Lessons from Aristotle, with Rob Kimbro

6/30/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with special guest Rob Kimbro Rob Kimbro joins us this week to talk about Aristotle’s elements of tragedy, and how they might be applied to our writing. The six elements are (in Aristotle’s order of descending importance): plot, character, idea, dialog, music, and spectacle. We discuss this tool … Continue reading 14.26: Lessons from Aristotle, with Rob Kimbro →

Duration:00:17:02

14.25: Choosing Your Agent

6/23/2019
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Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Dongwon Guest-host Dongwon Song joined us at WXR 2018 as an instructor, and gave great advice regarding the business side of working as an author. In this episode he takes us through a conversation about choosing an agent. Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered … Continue reading 14.25: Choosing Your Agent →

Duration:00:22:04

14.24: Political Intrigue

6/16/2019
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard Political Intrigue stories are less about “politics” (as colloquially defined by pop culture) and more about mysteries. Per Mary Robinette, they’re often like heists of information. The word “politics” here is used in its purest sense: POWER. In this episode we talk about how we worldbuild for … Continue reading 14.24: Political Intrigue →

Duration:00:17:05

14.23: Governments Large and Small

6/9/2019
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Answering questions about the power structures you live within can help you with the worldbuilding of politics in the fiction you write.

Duration:00:18:53