mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
[personal profile] mbarker posting in [community profile] wetranscripts
Writing Excuses 12.38: What Do Editors Really Want, with Toni Weisskopf and Cat Rambo


Key Points:
Q: What do editors really want?
A: Chocolate and bourbon. To give you a contract for your bestseller and $50,000. The next XXX, but not the same. To buy a book that works. The writer to do the work!
Q: What are they looking for when working with the editor?
A: The ability to take direction, to achieve the author's vision. How do we bridge the gap between "Don't write to the market" and "Editors buy for the market?" The first audience is yourself. Readers, like dogs, can smell crap. Write what you are passionate about.
Q: When an editor finds a problem, what is the next step?
A: A challenge to the author. Editors suggest fixes, but good authors don't do that, they do it their own way, in their own voice.
Q: What are some common pitfalls or advice?
A: Be timely. Don't try to be perfect, just respond, and keep the communication going. Ask yourself, "Will this news get better if I wait?" Editors are not parents or bosses. Collaboration is the name of the game.
Q: Is there an exemplary or hilarious incident from the trenches?
A: Don't respond to a rejection slip with the news that your mother liked the story. Arguing with rejection letters is pointless.

Chocolate and bourbon, over and over... )

[Dan] So let's finish up. I'm very excited to hear our homework. Which is what I have written down as the Weisskopf possum theory.
[Toni] Oh, God. We don't have enough time for that.
[Toni] Telling the possum story would be at least 10 minutes.
[Dan] Oh, well, we can't do that. Can you give us like a 10 second version of it?
[Toni] Cat, go first.
[Cat] Here's my writing advice.
[Dan] Okay.
[Cat] Try something new this week. If you always write indoors, go right outdoors. If you always write by hand, try it on a typewriter. Just mix it up a little. See what happens.
[Dan] Awesome. That's great advice.
[Toni] All right. This has nothing to do with possums. But listen to dialogue. Sit down and write down, if you can, how people actually talk. This is not how you write dialogue, but it will help you writing dialogue.
[Dan] That's great advice.
[Howard] When she says listen to dialogue, listen to people speaking to each other. Not TV dialogue. Listen to people talking.
[Toni] Yes. Thank you.
[Dan] Aaron Sorkin…
[Toni] That's why you're the writer.
[Dan] One of my favorite bits of writing advice he gives is go sit in a coffee shop for an hour and just listen to people talking to each other.
[Toni] Yup.
[Dan] Awesome. Well, that is our show. Thank you very much, Cat and Toni, for being here. We are very excited.
[Cat, Tony] Thank you.
[Dan] Everyone else, you're out of excuses. Now go write.

Writing Excuses 12.37: Subplots

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:33 am
mbarker: (Me typing?)
[personal profile] mbarker posting in [community profile] wetranscripts
Writing Excuses 12.37: Subplots


Key points: Subplots usually carry less emotional weight. The subplot's inciting incident starts after the main plot inciting incident. Subplots often are related to the main plot in some way. Sometimes the real emotional resonance is in the subplots. But beware of subplots that lead the reader too far from the main plot. The main plot needs to move forward. Subplots should be in service to the larger story. Sometimes you can spin a subplot that isn't needed off into a separate short story. Subplots don't necessarily have to be related to the main plot, but they should intersect. So look for the intersections that are interesting, that complicate or change the story. How can a subplot change the character's plans? How can the subplot support the main plot? Using MACE, try to look for a subplot that is in a different category from your main plot, to get interesting intersections. If you can remove the entire subplot and it doesn't affect the story, then the subplot doesn't belong there. Although it may illuminate the character or world... Subplots let you pull solutions for problems from them. Beware of having it be too convenient! Do side characters need a subplot fo their own? Not necessarily, although it is one way to flesh out a character. But sometimes, you just let them achieve goals offstage.

A plot, B plot... Save the cat! )

[Brandon] All right. Well, let's go ahead and get some homework.
[Wesley] Okay. So, your homework for the week is, let's say that four major things will drive a story. They are environment, characters, disruption of the status quo, and questions. Take a piece, look at your main plot, and decide which of these main four things it is. Then ask which of the remaining three things can go wrong. Make one of them your subplot.
[Brandon] All right. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go right.

[Brandon] So, listeners. I used the word gypped in this podcast. It's a word I've been trying to eliminate from my vocabulary. We thought rather than just cutting it out, I would put this little thing on here. This is one of those words that wiggles its way into your dialogue which you don't realize it is deeply offensive to people. So I want to apologize to the Roma people who might be listening. I'm trying to get rid of it. If those who don't know, it actually means Gypsy ripping off, because Gypsies were seen as people who would rip you off. It is an offensive racial stereotype. So, I apologize for using that. I thank you guys for continuing to listen even through the mistakes that we occasionally make.

May 2017

7891011 1213

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 02:33 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios