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.)

 

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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

12.21: Narrative Bumper Pool, with Bill Fawcett and Carrie Patel

Your Hosts: Howard and Dan, with special guests Bill Fawcett and Carrie Patel

Bill and Carrie both have extensive experience writing for games, and they joined us at GenCon Indy to talk about writing for an interactive story, like a tabletop RPG, or a video game.

Narrative Bumper Pool: This term comes to us from Tracy Hickman’s XDM: X-Treme Dungeon Mastery

Narrative Bumper Pool from X-TREME DUNGEON MASTERY, used with permission
Narrative Bumper Pool from X-TREME DUNGEON MASTERY, used with permission

 

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Look at a “great mistake” in history, and speculate about how that mistake could have been avoided, and how the world would be different had that mistake not been

The Buried Life, by Carrie Patel

12.20: Retrofitting Structure into a First Draft

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

We’re speaking again, at least in part, to discovery writers. In this case, we’re talking about how to take a non-outlined work and apply a structure to it in revisions.

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

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Identify the promises you made in the first 10% of your story. Color-code them. Now color code your chapters and/or scenes, mapping them to the promises made early on.

City of Miracles, by Robert Jackson Bennett

12.19: Structure on the Fly

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

This episode is for you discovery writers, especially those of you for whom our current season of structure seems to be locking you down, or pointing up methods which you just don’t like to use. We talk about how these methods, these structural principles, these mechanical advantages in the mental toolbox can be applied during the discovery writing process.

 

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered on the north face of a dormant volcano by Alex Jackson

 

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Write a story in an hour and a half without outlining it. Pick a character, an object, and a genre. The character has problem with the object. Use a timer, and use the yes-but/no-and method as you go.

Hardcore History (podcast), with Dan Carlin (note: this podcast has a rolling paywall. The sooner you subscribe, the more you’ll have access to when you get around to listening.)