mbarker: (BrainUnderRepair)
Writing Excuses 5.12: Time Travel!


Key Points: Treat your writing professionally. Learn your own process. Don't just wish, start! Shut up and start. Be wary of collaboration. Be true to yourself, write the books you care about. Try out different ways of writing (outlining, discovery writing, etc.) early. Try new things! Pay attention to what you love, and don't worry. You can make a living writing books.
Across the great time barrier... )
[Brandon] All right. Your writing prompt is to go forward in time and get next week's writing prompt and write a story based on it.
[Dan] Nice.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 34: Q&A at Dragons and Fairy Tales


Key Points:
Time management: what are you willing to give up? Set a goal and times. What is important to you?
Process to get published: Write. Submit. Research. Network.
Team dynamics: position the heads in different locations. Make characters distinctive: visual cues, dialogue cues, unique motivations, roles, jobs.
Super characters: what's important to them? What problems can't be solved by superpowers?
Transition from fan to original fiction: create your own problems and personalities for characters. Build on what you already know.
Reader interaction: it's all about community.
Large cast: kill some.
Stumbling blocks to creativity: poor physical condition. Lack of reading.
And here's the nitty-gritty! )
[Austin] OK. You walk out of a bookstore to a torrential rain and Howard attacks you with the power of thunder.
[Howard] And lightning?
[Brandon] Little did... we have to expand on that. Thunder is his pet cat.
[Howard] I get a kitty?
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses and we went way too long. You're out of excuses, go write. Thank you for another wonderful season.
mbarker: (Burp)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 28: Brainstorming the End and Working Backwards


Key points: Many writers start by figuring out the ending, then working towards it. Be careful about telegraphing the endings too much. You can always turn an too-obvious ending into an early reveal distraction.
Leaving out the middle... )
[Howard] Okay. Is there a character arc for our biker dude?
[Brandon] Yes. But I don't think we have enough time. Dan... um... oh, writing prompt... What is the character arc for our biker dude?
[Dan] Writing prompt. That is a great writing prompt.
[Brandon] We planned that all along, and was our twist ending.
[Dan] And we went back and foreshadowed it in the beginning of the podcast.
[Howard] 15 minutes long because you need to write about a motorcycle, and it's actually 18 minutes in.
[Brandon] All right. Well. There you go. This has been Writing Excuses. Next time, we promise not to throw any puppies at bulldozers.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 32: Collaboration


Key points: First, last, and in between: Don't. Collaboration means (a) famous author outlines, skilled sidekick fleshes out (b) alternating chapters (c) brainstorm and split writing/editing (d) come up with a shared world then write your own books. Don't collaborate to try to shore up a weak point -- learn how to do it! Collaboration is hard work. Consistency is a problem. How are you going to handle disagreements? Three rules for collaboration: #1, learn to do it yourself first; #2, Lay groundrules beforehand; #3, Decide on the process.
hiding the collies )
[Howard] I've got the writing prompt. I'm actually going to provide two writing prompts. Writing prompt number one is for all of those people out there who want to be collaborative writers and think it will solve their problems. On your own, write a story about two people collaborating in which things go horribly, horribly wrong. Writing prompt number two. This is for all of those writers who want to write comics and are saying, boy, I sure wish I could find somebody to draw this for me, because they are looking for collaboration. I'm going to tell you what I had to do, and you go do it. Write your comic, and then go draw it your own dang self.
[Brandon] Amen.
[Dan] Take that, listeners.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, and if you make any, Howard will beat you up.
[Howard] Now go write. And draw.
[Dan] Now.
mbarker: (Me typing?)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 22: Idea to Story


Key Points: To turn an idea into a story: Look for the points of conflict. Look for the boundaries -- what kind of story is this? Consider plot, setting, characters. What is the ending? How will you resolve the story? Look for characters who are in pain. Check old ideas that didn't get used yet. Brainstorm interesting ideas -- set pieces, events, twists, interesting stuff.
the nuts and bolts )
[Brandon] We're out of time. But let's go ahead and give you the writing prompt which is the same idea that we used at the beginning.
[Howard] Insects have in some way evolved defenses against all of the poisons that we use to kill them and many of the chemicals that would work to just kill anything because they have somehow developed magic.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (BrainUnderRepair)
I was looking at my lists of things to work on, and got to wondering. I keep lots of lists, but the key ones are my "To Do's" and "Scheduled Tasks." But maybe I should add a "Round Tuit" list . . .
mumbling )
There's lots of different ways to slice work into manageable chunks and start chewing on them. But sometimes you need to stop and think about what's falling off the edges. A round tuit, now, maybe that's the way to keep those longterm jobs inching along. I think I'll put that on my todos list for tomorrow :-)

May 2017

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