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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

13.49: How to Finish

12/9/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Amal, and Maurice Last week we talked about character death. This week we talk about other, less fatal ways in which a character story can be finished, and how we, as writers, can tell when we’re done with a character arc. Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered … Continue reading 13.49: How to Finish →

Duration:00:19:23

13.48: Character Death and Plot Armor

12/2/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The characters we create are not all destined for long lives. Sure, some are, but a great many of them are on paths that will end in an abrupt fatality of one kind or another, and in this episode we’ll talk about how we choose which characters to … Continue reading 13.48: Character Death and Plot Armor →

Duration:00:20:15

13.47: Q&A on Fixing Characters

11/25/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard You had questions about fixing character problems. We had had answers! Here are the questions: How do you fix character voices when you find out that two of them are too similar? How can you tell if a character is, in fact, the problem? How do you maintain … Continue reading 13.47: Q&A on Fixing Characters →

Duration:00:18:42

13.46: The Unsexy Side of Space, with Bart Smith and Ben Hewett

11/18/2018
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Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with special guests Bart Smith and Ben Hewett When we talk about space travel we’re usually talking about rocket scientists and astronauts. In this episode we spoke with our guests Bart Smith and Ben Hewett, about the “unsexy” (read: possibly boring but don’t be deceived) side of the … Continue reading 13.46: The Unsexy Side of Space, with Bart Smith and Ben Hewett →

Duration:00:27:24

NaNoWriMo 2018 Bonus Episode, with Mercedes Lackey

11/15/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard, with special guest Mercedes Lackey NaNoWriMo 2018 is half-way over today. Are you stuck? Do you need to get unstuck? Mercedes Lackey joined us at GenCon Indy back in 2017 to talk about writer’s block, and how it’s very likely a symptom of something else. In this … Continue reading NaNoWriMo 2018 Bonus Episode, with Mercedes Lackey →

Duration:00:16:42

13.45: Next Level Narration

11/11/2018
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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 … Continue reading 13.45: Next Level Narration →

Duration:00:21:39

NaNoWriMo 2018 Mini-Episode 2

11/7/2018
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Your Mini-Episode Hosts: Amal El-Mohtar and Maurice Broaddus, with Special Asides from Mary Robinette Kowal We’re a week in to NaNoWriMo. If you’re scared of it, Amal is here to tell you that it’s okay to feel that way, Maurice is here with the encouraging words “consequence-free.”

Duration:00:02:35

13.44: Alien Characters

11/4/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard As writers of speculative fiction we are frequently tasked with writing a species or race of alien people. In this episode we talk about some of the tricks we use to create non-human characters in ways that make them both comprehensible and compelling, and the pitfalls we … Continue reading 13.44: Alien Characters →

Duration:00:18:34

NaNoWriMo 2018 Mini-Episode 1

10/31/2018
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Your Mini-Episode Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard Back in 2017 we recorded a bonus episode for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and then forgot to air it. Here, then, in the spirit of never throwing anything away, is a spot of motivation which is both timely AND one year late.

Duration:00:05:17

13.43: Characters Who Are Smarter Than You Are

10/28/2018
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Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Amal Many of us write characters who know more than we know, and/or who think faster than we do. Writing those characters is tricky. In this episode we talk about our own tricks, and the tricks we’ve seen others use. Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, … Continue reading 13.43: Characters Who Are Smarter Than You Are →

Duration:00:25:33

13.42: Writing Excuses Talks to an Astronaut, with Special Guest Kjell Lindgren

10/21/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard, with special space-guest Kjell Lindgren Kjell Lindgren, flight surgeon, Expedition 44/45, joined us for an episode that perhaps should have been called “we ask the space-man all of the things.” We asked him stuff that we wanted to know more about, and came away richer for the experience. If … Continue reading 13.42: Writing Excuses Talks to an Astronaut, with Special Guest Kjell Lindgren →

Duration:00:18:24

13.41: Fixing Character Problems, Part II

10/14/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Amal, Mary, and Maurice This is the second of our pair of episodes in which we talk about how we, your hosts, fix the problems we’ve identified with the characters in our work. Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Duration:00:22:36

13.40: Fixing Character Problems, Part I

10/7/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard This is the first of two episodes in which we’ll talk about how we, your hosts, fix the problems we’ve identified with the characters in our work. Credits: this episode was recorded by Dan Thompson and mastered by Alex Jackson

Duration:00:16:05

13.39: What Writers Get Wrong, With Wendy Tolliver

9/30/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard, with special guest Wendy Tolliver Wendy skis, and snowboards, and writes YA novels. She is also the parent of three, one of whom suffers from mental illness. She joined us to talk about how writers can do a better job of depicting it, and how to avoid the … Continue reading 13.39: What Writers Get Wrong, With Wendy Tolliver →

Duration:00:17:46

13.38: How to Find and Use Alpha Readers

9/23/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard We begin by making a useful distinction between alpha and beta reader: the alpha reader is an industry professional, while the beta reader is a stand-in for the eventual audience of readers. We then set about discussing how to find alpha readers, and how to employ them in … Continue reading 13.38: How to Find and Use Alpha Readers →

Duration:00:20:17

13.37: What Writers Get Wrong, with J.Y. Yang

9/16/2018
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Your Hosts: Dan, Mary, Aliette, and Howard with special guest J.Y. Yang J.Y. Yang is a Hugo-nominated short story writer from Singapore who identifies as non-binary. They joined us to talk about this non-binary identification, and how writers can do a better job of depicting it (beyond simply using non-gendered pronouns.) Credits: This episode was … Continue reading 13.37: What Writers Get Wrong, with J.Y. Yang →

Duration:00:20:05

13.36: Confronting the Default

9/9/2018
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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 … Continue reading 13.36: Confronting the Default →

Duration:00:18:17

13.35: Cliché vs. Archetype

9/2/2018
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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 … Continue reading 13.35: Cliché vs. Archetype →

Duration:00:20:29

13.34: Q&A on Character Arcs

8/26/2018
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Your Hosts: Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard You had questions. We came up with answers. The questions are below: How do you fulfill promises about character arcs without being cliché? How do you subvert character tropes without betraying the reader? Do you need to complete each character arc in a single story featuring multiple characters? … Continue reading 13.34: Q&A on Character Arcs →

Duration:00:19:16

13.b1: Bonus Episode — Elephants and Death, with Lawrence Schoen

8/22/2018
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Your Hosts: Howard and Dan, with special guest Lawrence Schoen Lawrence Schoen, clinical psychologist, cognitive hypnotist, small press publisher, Klingon language expert, and novelist, joined us at GenCon Indy for a bonus episode about elephants and death. Howard and Lawrence both write uplifted elephants into their stories, and their stories also feature death as a … Continue reading 13.b1: Bonus Episode — Elephants and Death, with Lawrence Schoen →

Duration:00:18:09