12.42: Adapting Your Stories for Game Play, with Alan Bahr

Your Hosts: Mary, Dan, and Howard, with guest host Beth Meacham

Alan Bahr of Ragnarok Publications, joined us at  LTUE 2017 to talk about adapting a licensed property for a game, and preserving the feel of the work while doing so.

Credits: this episode was recorded live at LTUE 2017 by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered by Alex JacksonRecorded

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Write 3 rules of your game or world that are unbreakable. Now find narrative ways to circumvent those rules without actually breaking them.

Tiny Frontiers, from Gallant Knight Games and Alan Bahr

12.41: Raising the Stakes

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

When we talk about “raising the stakes,” we mean making the outcomes of the events in a story increasingly important to the reader. In this episode we talk about the tools we use to raise the stakes in ways that are more sophisticated than just queuing up larger and larger explosions.

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

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Try a few of the techniques discussed, especially by making the stakes more personal to a side character. And don’t do it by having anybody be dead.

12.40: Structuring a Novel

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

What makes something a novel, rather than just a serialized collection of stuff that happens? How do we use structure to turn collections of stuff into something more cohesive? What tools do we use to outline, map, and/or plan our novel writing?

Reference Note: “Scene and sequel” comes to us from Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writerfirst published in 1965 (52 years ago.)

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

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Take a film or TV program, which you like, and which was NOT based on a book, and plot the novel that it would have been had it been a novel before being on screen.

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta

12.39: Q&A on Short(er) Fiction

Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard

Our listeners sent us  some questions about writing shorter fiction. Here are the questions:

  • How do you market short stories today?
  • Has ebook self-publishing made novellas more viable?
  • How do you structure a short story?
  • How short is too short?
  • Is publishing sections of a novel a viable way to get traction for that novel?
  • What should I look for in the semi-pro market if professional publications have rejected my work?
  • What aspects are crucial in novels, but which don’t belong in short fiction.

 

Publication “reputation” references: Preditors and Editors, Absolute Write, Writer Beware

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

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Go buy a short story collection that has a variety of authors in it, and read it.

“Mind over Matter” by Howard Tayler (from Called to Battle, Volume 2  from Privateer Press.)

12.38: What Do Editors Really Want, with Toni Weisskopf and Cat Rambo

Your Hosts: Dan and Howard

Toni Weisskopf and Cat Rambo joined Dan and Howard to discuss what it is that editors “really want.”

Question To Help You Decide Whether Or Not To Send Your Editor Bad News: “Will this news get better if I wait?”

Credits: this episode was recorded at GenCon Indy 2016, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Do something completely new. Write by hand, or outdoors. Also, listen to actual people talking, and write down what is being said.

Through Fire, by Sarah Hoyt, and Neither Here Nor There, a collection from Cat Rambo

12.37: Subplots

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

What makes a plot a subplot? Must subplots and main plots be linked by something more binding than the actual binding of the book?

In this episode we answer these questions, and ask and answer plenty more.

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

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Consider the following four things – environment, characters, disruptions of status quo, and questions, and which one of these is driving your main plot. Now ask which of the remaining three can contain a disaster that drives a subplot. Write that bit.

Survivor edited by Mary Anne Mohanraj and JJ Pionke (coming soon from Lethe Press)