December 10th, 2014

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Writing Excuses 9.51: Q & A At the Retreat

Writing Excuses 9.51: Q & A At the Retreat

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/12/07/writing-excuses-9-51-qa-at-the-retreat/

Q and A:
Q: In the trend of moral ambiguity [in fantasy], is there still a place for a story with a villian who is unquestionably evil and with a moral absolute there?
A: Yes. "Anything done well will be captivating."
Q: If you have a chance to publish a first book and it isn't representative of what you actually want to be writing, should you publish it?
A: Yes. If you are being paid, and depending on the contract.
Q: Is it possible to write an epic fantasy novel with only one POV?
A: Yes. You have to build it differently than a multiple POV book.
Q: Of all of the myriad talents of the literary agents you work with, what was the one thing that made you decide to stick with them?
A: She likes my work. Looks at long-term arc of my career. Critiques, makes money for me, and treated me like a superstar from day one.
Q: When you have limited time and are using it to research and outline, how do you avoid letting your writing skills atrophy?
A: Game review site. Short pieces. Learning to gear up when transitioning.
Q: What are some issues and concerns to be aware of when a short story writer begins writing a novel?
A: The amount of description -- put in the details and fill out the picture more. Also, the number of characters and plot arcs.
Q: How do you decide whether to scrap a character or adjust/tweak them?
A: Look at the character. Are they interesting, are you excited to be writing them, will writing it make you stretch?
Q: When you build a story, do you find it easier to put the foreshadowing elements in as plot points, or back on the first editing pass?
A: Both.
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[Brandon] All right. I want to ask a student to give us a writing prompt.
[Mary] And you didn't warn them.
[Dan] Oh, burn.
[Brandon] I know I didn't. Has anybody got a writing prompt for us?
[X] The favorite one I have is, "Everywhere Edward looked, everything was covered with ketchup."
[Laughter]
[Brandon] That's your first line.
[Dan] Nice.
[Brandon] You're out of excuses, now go write.
[Applause]
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