December 30th, 2015

Fireworks Delight
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 10.52: Moving On, with Ellen Kushner

Writing Excuses 10.52: Moving On, with Ellen Kushner


Key points: How do you let go and start a new story? Deadlines. Box up the old clutter, or just leave it in a pile in the corner, but insist that you are done with it. Outline what is coming in the old story, so you know it is still there. Write fan fiction and short stories in the old universe. How do you juggle multiple projects? Use mnemonic cues, such as music, to help switch. Make more notes when switching. Use a physical activity to switch mental gears. Use a timer and force yourself to jump right in. Watch out for the magic helicopter ride when you write The End.
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[Dan] All right. I actually was waiting for the end, because I'm going to give you your homework. I have essentially built my career on trying new things. I wrote fantasy books forever and then thought, "You know, I'm going to try a horror novel," and loved it. And got published in horror. I did third person forever and then I thought, "You know what, I'm going to try first-person this time." Just at every stage, and sometimes my editors get incredibly frustrated. Dan Wells, why did you send me this book when it's nothing at all like anything you've ever published before? Well, because I wanted to try something new. That's what you're going to do now. We want you to brainstorm new ideas. Go back to the beginning of the season, when we talk about how to get ideas and what to do with ideas, and really branch out. Push yourself. Work on something that is very new, either in a new genre or a new style or a new something. But brainstorm some ideas for a brand new project.

[Brandon] Now, if I might be so bold, I want to mention something to you. You have been listening to these podcasts, and we have been on a boat. Indeed, we are on the Writing Excuses cruise right now, and we are wrapping it up. But we are coming back next year. As you are listening to this podcast, we have actually opened up the opportunity for you to make reservations to come with us to the Caribbean next year. So if you have ever wanted to say go to dinner with Howard and make wisecracks about his pants...
[Brandon] Or if you've ever wanted to lay down at night, comfortable in the knowledge that Dan is somewhere trapped on the boat with a knife with you...
[Brandon] Then you can come on the cruise. If you want to see if you can write more words than me in one week, you can come on the cruise. Or if you'd like to go to a masquerade ball dressed up like a steampunker and meet Mary in her Regency dress... These are all things that happen on the Writing Excuses cruise. We will post in the liner notes how you can come and reserve yourself a cabin. Come along, hear from wonderful guest instructors, have breakout sessions, write books, eat great food, and maybe fall in the ocean.
[Mary] Don't fall in the ocean.
[Howard] Don't fall in the ocean.
[Mary] They stop the boat. It's not good.
[Brandon] You could fall in the ocean off the docks or on... I fell in the ocean several times.
[Ellen] Okay. Sure. You can see the world. You can even go to countries that you wouldn't fly to because suddenly the boat is there in the morning going, "Hello. Would you like to go to a new country, because it's just outside the window?"
[Brandon] So, do...
[Dan] I have to say, because you mentioned me and a knife... Everyone in the audience is laughing. Two nights ago at dinner, a knife plummeted out of the sky
[Dan] And hit my dining room table.
[Dan] So some rad things happen on this cruise.
[Mary] I mean the trigger wire that he had placed for it was very clever.
[Ellen] Oh, I thought it was the people on the deck above us.
[Mary] Nah.
[Brandon] As a final wrap-up, thank you audience. Thank you for listening to our Writing Excuses Masters Class, thank you for supporting us as a podcast all of these years, encouraging us and writing along with us, and becoming our colleagues as you finish stories. Thank you so much. Good job this year. Let's look forward to another great year. This has been Writing Excuses Season 10 Master Class. You're out of excuses. Now go write.