Bruce helps advance the question what the term “literary” means. Is it a commercial label? Is it a publishing market category for how to put similar books together in a bookstore? Class distinction or participation is one way to look, but so is technical accomplishment. In any case, learning to write seems a noble (and spiritual) way to squander your time as well as a social network, and Bruce has been amazing over a long and fruitful career as both a writer and educator. … Continue…Episode 92 – Interview with Bruce Holland Rogers
In this episode, Dave, Chaz, and John briefly discuss character development using the “Big Five” model of personality before haring off on a number of predictable tangents. Also in this episode: everything Dave knows about factor analysis and psychological modeling (tl;dr: psychology is squishy); what Chaz doesn’t know about “Aspects of the Novel:” by E.M. Forster (quite a bit, and seemingly proud of it); and John reminds Chaz to panic about being replaced by a computer. Also: MFAs are a dodgy proposition; the academic wing of the Tolkien industry; Freud sucks (Dave again); and how pantsing yourself into a corner is like failing to solve a Sudoku. Finally, a plea: “plotting” is fine, but can we please find an alternative to “pantsing”?! … Continue…Episode 91 – A Psychological Model for Character Building
People with quirks are called eccentric, unusual, strange, or even bizarre, but the truth is bigger. Quirky people play weird games, wear different clothes, have unusual hobbies, or say what they mean in company. Quirky people have less fear. Jeannie submits the theory that all good protagonists need to be a little quirky. The committee pokes at her theory with examples from books, television, and movies. … Continue…Episode 78 – What’s in a Quirk?
Does every hero need a sidekick? When they have one, what roles do they fill in a story? How can a sidekick help you tell your story more effectively? We explore our favorite sidekicks through time and how they effectively advance each story. … Continue…Episode 70 – Dude! – The Hero & Sidekick’s Excellent Journey
In which our committee sits down and talks about who our favorite story villains are and why. There’s some advice in writing villains, more admonitions on what to avoid, and how to romance your audience while horrifying them at once. … Continue…Episode 68 – Sympathy for the Devil
As we keep maintaining that there are many career paths open to the aspiring writer, we’re focusing today on technical writing for fun and profit. We interviewed Paul Gustafson of Expert Support to hear about his views on what makes a good technical writer. … Continue…Episode 50 – Tech Writing for Fun and Profit
Today we zoom into focusing on writing song lyrics and music. Our guest Jeff Brown is a singer and songwriter who talks about his writing process, how he got started writing his own music, and inspiration as well as methods. … Continue…Episode 47 – With a Song in my Heart
We welcome John Baltisberger – horror writer, poet, publisher, and all-around amazing guy. John made the leap of faith into being full-time involved in the writing biz, and has enjoyed success through thrilling, chilling stories, hard work, and a lot of diversification. … Continue…Episode 45 – Oh, the Horror!
In which the coffee club writers sit down and talk about Poetry. From romance to horror to comedy, and even mixed up therein, we look at all the forms and nature of poems we collectively love and memorize for no reason. … Continue…Episode 37 – A Rose by any other Poetry
When you’re world building for a story or novel, you need to figure out how magic works. The coffee shop writers chat about how to build something coherent, something that makes sense, and the pondering of magic that doesn’t get in the way of a story. Or how magic can become a story. And how red coffee is the best coffee. … Continue…Episode 36 – Systemic Magic