Season Archives

12.51: Constructed Languages, with Dirk Elszinga

Your Hosts: Howard, Mary, Dan, with guest host Beth Meacham Dirk Elszinga, an associate professor of linguistics, joined us live at LTUE to talk about constructed languages, and how we, as writers, might go about constructing them for our work. Liner Notes: The big stack of notes from Dirk required its own page. Below are links to specific tools … Continue reading 12.51: Constructed Languages, with Dirk Elszinga

Come up to with a non-combat, non-warfare metaphor to talk about a debate.

Always Coming Home by Ursula Le Guin

12.50: Form and Function

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley How does the shape of your physical medium change the art you’re making? What are the tools that affect our storytelling, and what are those effects? Credits: This episode was recorded in Chicago by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play “exquisite corpse.”
1) Write the first line of a story.
2) Hand it to someone else. Have them illustrate that line.
3) They hand their illustration (but not your first line) to a third person, who writes a line describing what’s happening in their picture.
4) Their line goes to another person who illustrates it…

Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson

12.49: Non-linear Narratives

We begin the final month of our year on structure with a discussion of non-linear structures. These include flashbacks, POVs that are out of chronological order,  and a host of other storytelling techniques.  

Watch fan edits of non-linear stories that put them in order. Also, put your outline on index cards, then shuffle them randomly.

The Butcher of Khardov, by Dan Wells

The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries (defaced edition), by Howard Tayler

Your Mama’s Adventures in Parenting, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Mulholland Homebrews Sinister Shop of Secret Pets, which will have been written by Brandon Sanderson

12.48: Q&A on Novels and Series, with Brian McClellan

Brian McClellan joined us to field questions about writing novels and series. Here are the questions: How do you write an ending that is open for sequels, but isn’t a cliffhanger? Is it a good idea to take a large novel, and release it instead as serial novellas? Can you debut with a series, or … Continue reading 12.48: Q&A on Novels and Series, with Brian McClellan

Take two books or movies, suggested from friends. Those are parts 1 and 3 of a series. Now figure out how part 2 works.

Hungry Ghosts, by Stephen Blackmoore

12.46: Reinventing Yourself

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley We discuss the idea of “reinventing yourself,” which can mean anything from “trying something new” to “completely re-branding yourself as a writer,” and how it’s a difficult thing to do without figuring out what it actually is that you’re currently doing. We talk about how we’ve done it, … Continue reading 12.46: Reinventing Yourself

Immerse yourself in a genre that is new to you. Short story anthologies in that genre, or award winning novels are a good place to start. Read those.

NOTE: The Lost Book of the White by Wesley Chu and Cassandra Claire has been retitled and rescheduled. You should (eventually) be looking for:

The Red Scrolls of Magicby Wesley Chu and Cassandra Clare, scheduled for release in March of 2019.