February 1st, 2011

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Writing Excuses Episode 26: Horror

Writing Excuses Episode 26: Horror

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/08/04/writing-excuses-episode-26-horror/

Key points: Horror is not just scary, it's horrifying. Main characters are usually less competent than they need to be. Start by making the reader identify with the character, then put them through terror. The protagonist's internal faults should at least balance the external horrors. An inescapable setting forces the confrontation. Horror: the more you know, the worse it looks. Horror is very personal, almost a private scale.
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Writing prompt:

Dan: We've been talking about a descent into madness. So the writing prompt is a descent into madness written from the first person point of view. You are going to descend into madness, your writing will become gibberish or something horrible will happen, and then Brandon will scream.

[That wasn't a scream, that was a squeak. More like a chair being dragged across the floor.]
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Writing Excuses Episode 27: World-Building Religion

Writing Excuses Episode 27: World-Building Religion

[Note: this is not about a religion building a world, this is about writers who are building a fictional world and the role of religion in that. Just in case anyone is having trouble parsing the title. Fictional World Building: Religion?]

Key points: what you believe informs your writing, but your story should turn around what your characters believe. Religion belongs in world building because it is a human motivation. Talking about religion may offend some people, but putting pen to paper also may offend some people. Do your world building around sources of conflict. How will you use it in your story?
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Writing prompt: develop a religion where people worship something that no one would ever worship in our world. And it can't be silly.
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Writing Excuses Episode 28: Webcomics

Writing Excuses Episode 28: Webcomics

http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/08/18/writing-excuses-episode-28-writing-for-comics-and-graphic-novels/

Live from WorldCon, with Phil and Kaja Foglio of Girl Genius (see http://www.girlgenius.net/ which takes you to http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/ )

Plug: It's adventure, romance, and MAD SCIENCE! Who could ask for anything more? [and Brandon adds: it's steampunk, too]
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Parting Words
  • making a living in web comics is like making bear soup. Step one, catch a live bear. steps two through 10 are just making soup. The hard part is to catch a bear. Stick with it, make your art -- write about what you are passionate about, be excited about it, know that you're going to get your face clawed off your head and don't back down.
ISeeYou2
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Writing Excuses Episode 29: Talking Publishing with Lou Anders

Writing Excuses Episode 29: Talking Publishing with Lou Anders

from http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/08/24/writing-excuses-episode-29-talking-publishing-with-lou-anders/

Another live from WorldCon podcast, with Dan and Howard slightly confused about who they are. But their guest is definitely Lou Anders, editorial director at Pyr books.

Key points: once the editor decides to acquire a book, they get permission from the Dark Masters, and then start being the advocate for the book in shepherding it through the publication process. The author at this point is mostly just waiting -- or hopefully writing the next book.
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Final words? do you encourage or discourage writers?
  • Both. Be brilliant -- it's not enough to just be good.
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Writing Excuses Episode 30: Talking Revision with Moshe Feder

Writing Excuses Episode 30: Talking Revision with Moshe Feder

from http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/09/02/writing-excuses-episode-30-talking-revision-with-moshe-feder/

Key points: different authors take different strokes. Editorial reading involves some details, but mostly a larger level. Editors help writers make manuscripts better.
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Howard's last word: Sturgeon's Law says that 90% of everything is crap, and the Internet has proved that he was an optimist.