12.34: Fulfilling the Reader’s Fantasy, with Brian McClellan

Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard

Brian McClellan joins us for a discussion on fulfilling the promises we make to our readers—specifically the genre-specific promises made by the simple fact of where the book is shelved.

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Write your next story in a time period that you haven’t written before. Make up the facts if you want to.

12.33: How to be Brief, Yet Powerful

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Mary Anne, and Wesley

We’ve talked about some of the structural guidelines for short stories. In this episode we’ll discuss how to write in the short form while still putting down enough words to convey the story powerfully.

Credits: This episode was recorded in Chicago by Andrew Twiss, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Select 1 character, 1 object, and 1 genre. Write a 250 word short story.

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal

12.32: Structuring a Short Piece

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

We begin our exploration of short story structure with a re-cap of the MACE quotient (Milieu, Ask/Answer, Character, Event). Then we apply that tool to how we structure the pieces we write—specifically the short ones.

Liner Notes: Here’s “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal

And here’s a handy MICE quotient chart!

MICE

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Instructions:

  1. Pick one of the MACE elements (Milieu, Ask/Answer, Character, or Event)
  2. Describe, in three sentences, how your story’s primary plot will use that element.
  3. Pick a second element.
  4. Describe, in three sentences, how your story’s sub-plot will use that element.
  5. Nest these sentences, creating a six-sentence outline for your story.
  6. Nest the sentences in a different order, outlining your story with the sub-plot’s element now functioning as the primary plot

The 2017 Hugo nominees for Best Short Story:

¹ Available in the Hugo Voter packet

12.31: What Makes a Good Monster, with Courtney Alameda

Your Hosts: Howard, Mary, and Dan, with guest host Susan Chang

Courtney Alameda joined us at LTUE 2017 to talk monsters, and what makes the best ones so good. We discuss some of our favorites, and how the criteria we apply to them can be applied in the creation of monsters of our own.

Credits: this episode was recorded live at LTUE 2017 by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

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Create a uniquely American monster

Shutter, by Courtney Alameda

12.30: Tools for Writers

Your Hosts: Brandon, Piper, Dan, and Howard

We are often asked what software we use to get our work done. In this episode we answer that question in a bit of detail.

Liner Notes: Here’s a linked list of the tools referenced during this episode.

Credits: this episode was recorded in Cosmere House Studios by Dan Dan the Audioman Thompson, and mastered via great mastery by Alex Jackson

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Pick one of the tools from this list (one which you’re not using) and try it out.

Nexus, by Ramez Naam

12.29: “Oh Crap, the Cops are Here!” with Joe McKinney

Your Hosts: Howard and Dan, with Steve Diamond, and special guest Joe McKinney

We invited Steve Diamond, who has been a guest before, and who has some law enforcement background, to help us grill Joe McKinney, who has tons of that background, and who also happens to be a best-selling author.

This Week’s Liner Notes are extensive. Follow the link for a Google Doc, or click here for our local mirror of Lyn Worthen’s notes.

Credits: Mastered by Alex Jackson

 

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“Oh crap, the cops are here.”

The Savage Dead, by Joe McKinney