11.17: Elemental Adventure Q&A

You may still have questions about how to apply elemental adventure in your work. Hopefully your questions are similar to the ones we collected below, because these are the ones we answered:

  • What do readers like more: protagonists going through lots of different incidents and locations, or through a few that are similar to each other?
  • What lessons can we learn from adventure games?
  • How can we make action scenes that adventurous, but that are not fight scenes?
  • Are there tropes we should stay away from in adventure fiction?
  • Do you have suggestions for non-western styles of adventure fiction?
  • How do you safely skip the long, boring parts of a journey without missing out on necessary character development?

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson. 

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Writing Prompt: Make a list of cool set pieces that people could visit. Figure out how your characters' entry into these places will change the places, your characters, and the story.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson, narrated by Sanjiv Jhaveri

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11.16: Adventure as a Subgenre

Let’s be adventurous. Let’s move beyond simply being cooks, and strive to become chefs. In this episode we explore using the element of adventure as an ingredient in something that has far more than adventure going on in it. Why do we like adventure? What draws the reader forward?

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson. 

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Writing Prompt: Take your favorite piece of media that is NOT primarily an adventure, and look for the places where elemental adventure is used. Make note of where and why, and consider what the story would have been like without that element present.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: The Shootout Solution: Genrenauts Episode 1, by Michael R. Underwood, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal

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Writing Excuses made the Writer’s Digest “101 Best Websites” list

WDBestWebIconSubscribers to Writer’s Digest will find Writing Excuses mentioned in the May/June 2016 issue of Writer’s Digest. One of the features in that issue is “101 Best Websites for Writers.” We’re alongside one hundred other valuable online resources, and it’s no stretch to say that this list alone is worth the price of the issue, since it’s going to save you countless hours you’d rather spend writing.

We’re honored to be included here! Writer’s Digest pre-dates the self-publishing boom by about 90 years, and has proven itself to be pretty nimble, offering advice that applies in the current market, as well as the writerly stuff that applies pretty much anytime things get told with words.

11.15: The Environment, with L.E. Modessit, Jr.

L.E. Modesitt, Jr. joined us at LTUE for a world building discussion centered around the way the environment informs the story. We talk about lead in Roman plumbing, water lilies in Las Vegas sewers, and coal power in the British Empire, and how these examples can help us more effectively use the environments in our stories.

Liner Notes: We mentioned both Americapox, The Missing Plague, (a YouTube video) and the excellent book Guns, Germs, and Steel.

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Writing Prompt: Come up with a fantasy fuel that has extreme, but unintended consequences.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Solar Express, by L.E. Modesitt, Jr, narrated by Robert Fass

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11.14: The Element of Adventure

We’ll be looking at the element of adventure in April. Our exploration begins with a description and definition of this element, and how it is discreet from other elemental genres.

The easiest way to describe it is that the element of adventure evokes “I want to DO that,” but obviously there’s a lot more to it.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson. 

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Writing Prompt: Take an expository scene, and set it during something exciting. Give us an adventure while the exposition happens.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey, narrated by Jefferson Mays

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11.13: Elemental Idea Q&A

Shannon Hale joined us at LTUE 2016 to field questions about the Idea elemental genre. Here are the questions:

  • How do you keep an elemental idea story from feeling like you’re just waiting for the idea to “unlock.”
  • How do you tie your character motivations to the idea?
  • How do you know when you’ve satisfactorily explored the idea?
  • Are there elemental idea stories that you just need to give up on?
  • Is there such a thing as “idea clutter?”

Credits: This episode was recorded live by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson. 

Become a Patron: Writing Excuses is supported in part by our friends at Patreon. Become a patron, and get bonus content, plus early access to episodes!

 

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Writing Prompt: Pick your favorite idea from the brainstorming exercise, and then work your way forward, plotting out the consequences, and work your way backward, plotting the reasons.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale, narrated by Cynthia Bishop

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Cancel anytime, effective the next monthly billing cycle. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be charged. Check out the full terms and policies that apply to Audible membership.)