November 24th, 2016

Me typing?
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Writing Excuses 11.47: Issue As a Subgenre, with Steven Barnes

Writing Excuses 11.47: Issue As a Subgenre, with Steven Barnes


Key Points: One way to do issue as subgenre is as a subplot. Another way is to embody the thesis and antithesis in characters, and allow their ideas and actions to play out. You can frame those within almost any genre. Be aware of your philosophical, strategic, and tactical levels. Tactically, write the story, then find your theme. Be careful when you start with theme, because you must make the story entertaining. Beware of making a character the mouthpiece for the issue, and a one-trick pony so that every time they walk onstage, they say the same thing. Do your research, avoid just throwing in stereotypes. Understand what can go wrong with the issue, and avoid those landmines. Talk to the population affected by the issue, find out what their concerns are. Look for the mundane aspects, as well as the flashy big stuff. Start with the assumption that people are people.
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[Brandon] On that, I think we're going to end. That was perfect. Mary, you've got some homework for us regarding the magazine that people read two weeks ago?
[Mary] All right. So, two weeks ago I asked you to pick up a magazine that you had nev… In an area of… That you are not necessarily interested in, and read it cover to cover including the ads. What I want you to do now is I want you to write a monologue from the point of view of the target audience for that magazine. Someone who would pick that magazine up. I want you to write a monologue where they're dealing with an issue that they're concerned with. When you do this, see if you can pair it with a subgenre at the same time.
[Brandon] Thank you to our Writing Excuses cruise members and participants.
[Brandon] Thank you so much to Steven Barnes. This was an excellent episode.
[Steven] Pleasure.
[Brandon] We appreciate you. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.