12.26: Q&A on Outlining and Discovery Writing

Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard

Our listeners had questions about outlining and discovery writing. Here are a few of the very best:

  • Do you outline scenes? How?
  • How do you know when to STOP outlining something?
  • How much do you have to know about your character and/or world before you start writing?
  • What do you to to diagnose and fix a structural problem with a discovery-written draft?
  • What do you do to ‘get into’ an outline that you’re struggling with.
  • Are each of your projects similar in terms of procedure?
  • What are some major indicators that a piece needs more structural work?

Soundbite moment: DAN: “I had to learn the difference between a story, and a bunch of stuff that happens.”

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered via great mastery by Alex Jackson

 

Play

Find another writer. You each write a quick outline for a story, print it, then cut your outline into strips. Now, trade piles of strips. Your missions? Re-assemble the other writer’s outline.

Contracted Defense, by Piper J. Drake

12.25: Hiring an Editor, with Callie Stoker

Your Hosts: Howard and Dan, with special guest Callie Stoker

Callie Stoker joined Howard and Dan at the World Horror convention to answer our questions about hiring an editor, which is part of the process by which self-published authors build the team of people who will make the manuscript far better than they can make it by themselves.

 

Credits: Mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Finish your story. Go back and remove 1000 words. Now go back AGAIN and remove ANOTHER 1000 words. Keep doing this until the story falls apart. Now edit it and ADD 1000 words.

Vicious, by V. E. Schwab, narrated by Noah Michael Levine

12.24: Creating Great Outlines

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley

How might you go about creating great outlines? There are many processes, and we cover several of them.

 

Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Take the list of events that you’re considering putting into your story. Create a list of scene types, and assign your events to these scenes.

12.23: Proposals, Pitches, and Queries

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

Let’s talk about selling your stuff. In this episode we discuss query letters, pitches, and proposals—the tools that you use to present your material to people who can pay you for it, and who will partner with you in the task of selling it to the general public.

Liner Notes: This episode pairs very nicely with episode 11.50, “Hand-Selling Your Book,” with Michael R. Underwood.

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered deep beneath a rugby pitch by Alex Jackson

Play

Write a pitch. Memorize it. Get other people to stamp your “I pitched my story to you” card. (link leads to a printable PDF)

Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein, narrated by Morven Christie and Lucie Gaskell

Additional Berths for WXR 2017 in the Baltic Sea!

We have more berths for the 2017 Out of Excuses Workshop and Retreat, this July 28-August 5! That’s just seven-and-a-half weeks away. If you’d like to join us in the Baltic Sea for WXR 2017, registration is open again.

There is a hitch, of course. We don’t yet know how much the rooms cost. On the registration page, select “I want to come but you’re sold out!” That option is at the top of the list on the registration page.

Registering for this means that our cruise liaison will find out the price and let you know. You can then decide if you want to book the spot. Note that these berths will not cost less than the spots that have already sold out. Also, these berths are limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

This process does lack the hassle-free convenience we prefer to offer, but it is the only opportunity we have for more of you to come along, and we’re happy to be able to extend it. We’d love to have you join us.

(If this is the first you’ve heard about the event, the full description is here.)

12.22: Hybrid Outlining and Discovery Writing

Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard

What can discovery writers learn from outlining? What can outliners learn from discovery writing? Is there a balance between the two that can serve as a happy, productive place for writers? (summary of answers: lots, lots, and yes-but-not-all-writers.)

 

Play

Write a backward story. Begin with the ending, and work your way backward into the story as you write your way forward with the words.

Nothing Left to Lose, by Dan Wells