Category Archives: Guest

11.Bonus-04: Fantasy Food, with Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch

Elizabeth Bear  and Scott Lynch joined Howard and Dan at GenCon Indy to talk about fantasy food, and how we engage our readers’ appetites with our fiction. We talk economics, logistics, sensory engagement, and we goof off quite a bit in the process. We might have been hungry at the time. There is good fun to be had here, and plenty of (pun intended) food for thought.

Credits: This episode was mastered by Alex Jackson, and was made possible by the generous support of the GenCon Indy Writer’s Symposium, and the Writing Excuses patrons at Patreon.

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Go out and cook something!

(Also, take a character of your own, who is beloved by you, and turn them into the antagonist in someone else’s story.)

Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear, narrated by Jennifer Grace

11.48: Elemental Issue Q&A, with DongWon Song

DongWon Song, literary agent with HMLA, joins us for a Q&A on the elemental genre of “Issue.” Here are the questions, which were submitted by the attendees at WXR ’16:

  • Can only certain people tackle certain issues in certain stories?
  • Science Fiction often explores issues by changing the context. Why does this work?
  • How would you handle an issue story in short fiction?
  • How do you make sure to research the issue enough without paralyzing yourself with the fear that you cannot do it justice?
  • How do you convincingly write a position with which you disagree without convincing your readers that you agree with it?
  • How do you write about a deeply personal issue without making it sound like a personal sob story?

Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

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Take an ensemble cast, and write each member’s position on a given issue.

Gift Child, by Janci Patterson

11.47: Issue as a Subgenre, with Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes joins us to tackle Elemental Issue, round two, in which we look at how to address it as a sub-element. He describes the thesis/antithesis approach, and we move then to logical frameworks, and how to avoid making our stories dogmatic.

 

Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

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In our first Elemental Issue episode we asked you to read a magazine. Your homework, then: Write a monologue from the POV of a member of that magazine’s target audience. Pair this with another subgenre. 

Twelve Days, by Steven Barnes

Revolutionary Writing, a course from Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due

11.46: Colonialism, with Steven Barnes, Tempest Bradford, DongWon Song, and Shveta Thakrar

Our listeners have been asking for an in-depth, “crunchy” episode on colonialism, and related issues like cultural appropriation, for a couple of years now. Our voices, however, are not the ones our listeners should be hearing on the subject. Finding the right voices has not been easy, but it has been worth it.

This episode runs for over 25 minutes. Steven Barnes, K. Tempest Bradford, DongWon Song, and Shveta Thakrar discuss colonialism with Mary Robinette Kowal.

Brandon, Dan, and Howard simply listened, and learned.

We encourage you to do the same.

Liner notes: Here’s the recommended reference reading — “Of Warrior Chiefs and Indian Princesses“, Stephanie A. Fryberg, Hazel Rose Markus, Daphna Oyserman, and Joseph M. Stone

Discussion Note: The topics of colonialism and cultural appropriation are controversial in some circles. Our discussion here focuses on how to thoughtfully and sensitively address these matters in our work. We’re taking it as a given, then, that this sensitivity is important. In order to best foster that discussion, and out of respect for our guests, comments are being moderated.

Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

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Take a character who is not yours, but who you know all about. Write a character sketch of them. Then change that character to be “the other” from you, and re-write the character sketch.

Everfair, by Nisi Shawl, narrated by Allyson Johnson

11.45: Elemental Issue, with Desiree Burch

For November, our elemental genre is “Issue,” and we were joined by actor, writer, and comedian Desiree Burch. The Elemental Issue is similar to the Elemental Idea, but the type of idea being explored is a point of social conflict, like racism, teen pregnancy, or corporate greed. Authors writing Elemental Issue stories raise questions for the readers.

We talk about how to go about writing these without sounding preachy, and without writing polemics.

Soundbite Moment: “The more specific a work gets, the more broadly it relates to other people.” —Desiree Burch

Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

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Read a magazine, ads and all, that is outside your personal cultural context, or realm of interests

Extreme Makeover, by Dan Wells, narrated by Brian Troxell

11.Bonus-03: Some Books Have Maps in the Front, with Maurice Broaddus, Mur Lafferty, and James Sutter

Three days late for the beginning of NaNoWriMo 2016, here’s a bonus episode about maps. Because nothing says “keep writing” like “hey, let’s draw a map now!”

Dan and Howard were joined by Maurice Broaddus, Mur Lafferty, and James L. Sutter, who wanted to talk about maps. As Napoleon Bonaparte is rumored to have said prior to invading Russia, “geography is destiny.” We talk port dwarves, rolling glaciers, star systems, and more.

Liner links:

Credits: This episode was mastered by Alex Jackson, and was made possible by the generous support of the GenCon Indy Writer’s Symposium, and the Writing Excuses patrons at Patreon.

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Take one big idea from each of two of your favorite books, and mash them up for something new.

The Voices of the Martyrs, by Maurice Broaddus (audiobook not yet available)