February 16th, 2011

Me typing?
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode Eight: What Star Trek Did Right

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode Eight: What Star Trek Did Right

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/07/20/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-8-what-star-trek-did-right/

Key points: If you are going to twist a genre or bend expectations for a surprise, do it early. Character climaxes resonate with audiences. A cabbage head character, a Watson, a naive person can help readers learn. Use hooks to help readers identify the characters, but character development to help them identify with them. Characters in conflict with themselves can be fascinating. Paired arcs can cross and support each other. A prosaic setting can help non-science-fiction readers get oriented fast. Use the setting to provide subtle hints to the passage of time. Spock is not a rooster.
Collapse )
[Just the writing prompt]
[Howard] I don't want to give people a Star Trek writing prompt. No, that's good. Start with iconic Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Start with those iconic characters and then make them your own characters with their own justifications. Spock cannot be an elf... or a rooster. Now you're out of excuses. Go write.
ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode Nine: Attending Cons

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode Nine: Attending Cons

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/07/26/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-9-attending-conventions-part-i/

Key points: First of Two Parts! Conferences are for training, conventions are for fanning. Tradeshows/Expos are for industry, and media cons are exhibitions. For an aspiring writer, conventions provide inexpensive introductions and networking, while conferences provide intensive training at a cost. Details of what to do to make cons useful to you...next week.
Collapse )
[Dan] Wait, we need a writing prompt, don't we?
[Brandon] I don't know, it's a two-part episode.
[Jordan] Give them half of the writing prompt now.
[Brandon] Oh, half the writing prompt. OK, half your writing prompt...
[Howard] The protagonist has shown up at a convention and in his pocket he has a ...
[Dan] See you next week.
ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 10: Do's and Don'ts of Attending Cons

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 10: Do's and Don'ts of Attending Cons

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/08/02/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-10-the-dos-and-donts-of-attending-cons/

Key points: Don't be a booth barnacle. Beware of the fan moment! As an aspiring professional, present yourself as a professional. Know who you want to meet, and why, and respect their schedule. Have leading questions that are easy for them to answer, such as "Do you have a few minutes some time to talk?" "What panels are you on that you would recommend for an aspiring writer?" or "What are you working on now?" Don't ask "What are you looking for?" Don't be belligerent. Have a plan, and listen. Go to the publisher panels and listen. Don't carry a manuscript. Do carry a business card. Do plan to take notes. Do look for blogs. Do go to panels on writing. And mostly, quite sincerely, have fun.
Collapse )
[Brandon] I think we've gone long enough. Let's go ahead and finish our writing prompt. Dan? What does the person have in their pocket?
[Dan] What does he have in his pocket?
[Brandon] It's not the one ring, that's not allowed. And it's not allowed to be nothing, either.
[Dan] It's not the one ring? He has an entire universe in his pocket.
[Brandon] Um. And it's not peace-bonded.
[Laughter]
ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 11: Trimming

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 11: Trimming

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/08/08/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-11-trimming/

Key points: Trimming takes fat out so that you say what you need to say in the best possible way. Trimming improves the pace, makes writing snappy, and helps with clarity. Killing your darlings is not trimming. Trim repetition. Trim false starts. One strategy is section by section trimming -- 10% off each page or chapter, aka Jerry Pournelle's cut. Another approach is spot trimming, focusing on scenes, aka Dan and the Writing Group take a slice. Poetry teaches word usage. Trim adjectives, very, dialogue tags, navelgazing. Fix passive voice.
Collapse )
[Brandon] The writing prompt is you are going LARPing with Jerry Pournelle. If you have to look up LARP, go ahead. If you have to find out what Jerry Pournelle is like, go ahead and Google that. Write a story that involves you LARPing with Jerry Pournelle. Not Howard LARPing with Jerry Pournelle, because he has already appeared in too many of our writing prompts.
[Dan] Then cut it down to half size.
[Brandon] Jerry Pournelle or the story?
[Dan] Something in the story has to be cut in half.
[Howard] Do you have any idea how big a light year is?
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You are out of excuses, now go write.
ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 12: Subplots

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 12: Subplots

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/08/16/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-12-subplots/

Key points: Subplots are secondary plots. They can flesh out other characters, make the world feel more real, keep the tension high, and introduce elements as foreshadowing for the main plot. They can also provide quick accomplishments for a sense of progress. Be wary of subplots being more interesting than the main plot. How many subplots? It depends on your genre and skills, but don't overload the reader. Subplots feel real when they advance character, the main plot, or reveal setting.
Collapse )
[Dan] Here's our writing prompt. By odd happenstance, Brandon and I are wearing the same T-shirt today. Well, two different instances of a similar T-shirt.
[Howard -- choked laughter] Thank you.
[Dan] It is from an explosives company. We all know why we are both wearing the same T-shirt, but your prompt is to write a story about why we are wearing an explosives and blasting T-shirt.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Burp
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 5.24: Author's Responsibility to the Reader with Kevin J. Anderson

Writing Excuses 5.24: Author's Responsibility to the Reader with Kevin J. Anderson

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/02/13/writing-excuses-5-24-the-authors-responsibility-to-the-reader/

Key Points: It's all writing-related, but the core is words on paper. Treat it like a job, put in the time, and meet your deadlines. Be professional. Use the mathematics of productivity to be prolific. Set aside working time, and take it seriously. Readers, don't hound writers. Writers, get to work.
Collapse )
[Howard] Do we have a writing prompt?
[Brandon] Dan! Writing prompt us.
[Howard] Oh, dear.
[Dan] Writing prompt. Okay. You're going to write a story about a world in which writers are subject to the whims of their readers on a pleasure-pain system in real time. So as readers are reading your books and enjoying them, you are happy. If they start to dislike them or if they start to get impatient, then you experience physical pain.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.