September 13th, 2016

  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 11.37: Casting Your Book, with Gama Martinez

Writing Excuses 11.37: Casting Your Book, with Gama Martinez


Key points: If you don't think about casting before writing, you become subject to your unconscious biases, making lazy casting choices and using things that you have already seen or done before. Make a list of the roles you think will be in your book, and where they lie on various axes. Then flip some of the axes and see how that affects your plot. Cast all your people, then switch their roles. See what this does to your story. Who will be in the most pain? Who will experience this in a way that let's you tell a new story? Once you know what the story will be about, write job interviews with different kinds of characters. Go through magazines and cut out pictures of people. Think about your characters existing on multiple axes!
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[Brandon] We are out of time. I want to thank our audience at Phoenix ComicCon.
[Brandon] Long-suffering audience, who at this point has done a lot of episodes with us. Mary, you have some… homework?
[Mary] I have homework. So in the liner notes, we're going to be giving you a link to a casting sheet. This is a grid that I said that I used. What I want you to do is I want you to go through… It'll come with instructions, I promise. I want you to go through and I want you to cast the next thing that you're working on or the thing that you have previously… That you already have in progress. Go through and fill it out. Look at the axes that your character exists on. Then flip it so that you make sure that your character has at least two axes in which they are not dominant. Then flip them so that they have two different things that they are not dominant in. When you look at this sheet, I'm also going to say that if you're doing secondary world fantasy, that this is a really good spot to start thinking about how your culture handles prejudice and which gender is dominant, and if it is in fact a binary culture, that you want to make sure… Feel free to tweak that worksheet. But this is the place that you need to start thinking about that, is before you start writing. So, that'll be… That's your homework. I want you to do that.
[Brandon] Gama, thank you so much for coming in and podcasting with us.
[Gama] Thank you for having me.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.