November 8th, 2012

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Writing Excuses 7.45: Microcasting

Writing Excuses 7.45: Microcasting


Key Points:

1. Q: What percentage of the words you write in rough draft make it into print?
A: 95%. It depends -- most to 2/3s. 80% to 50%. 30 to 40%.
2. Q: Do you do editing by changing words and sentences here and there, or by rewriting whole chapters?
A: It depends. Do structure before wordsmithing.
3. Q: What are the pitfalls in going from novels to shorts or vice versa?
A: From short to novel -- writing too sparsely. From novel to short, trying to put too many characters and too much plot in. Also too many settings and locations. Write what you read.
4. Q: If you are in the middle of writing a novel and realize a major changes needs to be made to the beginning, do you fix it right away or wait until after finishing the first draft? What would you recommend a novice do?
A: No matter what, make a note about the extent of the change. Then, usually, go ahead and finish the draft. But follow the momentum! Do what works for you.
5. Q: Can a self-published novel be picked up by a literary agent or publishing house?
A: Yes, but don't count on it.
Q: Does a history of success help you get a contract?
A: Yes. Go listen to the Larry Correia podcast.
6. Q: How do you get over the fear of writing something unoriginal? How do you avoid being derivative?
A: Try writing something deliberately derivative, and see how much you add! Also, check out the managing your influences and originality casts.
7. Q: Have you ever thought about offering your services to help with plotting, for a fee?
A: No. You don't want to pay what we would charge. Note that a casual conversation at a conference may be had for free. Also, see the upcoming Writing Excuses retreat.

Note that the seven season indexes are available over here
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[Brandon] All right. We are out of time for this microcast session, although we will probably do another one in the near future. For now, your writing prompt... Let's see...
[Howard] Brandon is staring around the room, looking for some sort of visual cue.
[Mary] So your writing prompt is to write about a squid who is trying to write a space opera that does not involve squids in space.
[Brandon] [laughter]
[Howard] [whistle]
[Brandon] All right. This has been Writing Excuses.
[Dan] That's one of the biggest problems squids have [inaudible]
[Mary] It is. It is.
[Dan] They're a very ethnocentric species.
[Howard] The second problem is that when he decides to write about octopuses, it all ends up racist, and he's just not allowed to write about them.
[Brandon] All right. We're going to end now. GOODBYE!
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