The Kickstarter is going strong for the Adventures in Oz 5e RPG, and Jeannie and Dave (both contributing writers) sit down with David Speakman and Aaron Cheung from Double Critical to talk about the mechanics of cranking out a major game module set in L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz. … Continue…Episode 107 – Adventures in Oz!
In which we explore TV and other Tropes in writing. A Trope can be defined as a cliche, but it can also be a leitmotif (in the musical sense) or standard devices used in serial dramas. We think it works for any writing, playing to the audience’s expectations of the narrative. … Continue…Episode 104 – Tropes and Perspectives
Jordan makes movies. He started acting in commercials and showing up for casting calls, then discovered that he really liked directing. The next step involved him needing scripts, so he started adapting short stories into scripts – then just writing his own. All perfectly logical, right? Making movies is fun! … Continue…Episode 101 – Short movies with Jordan Heron
What’s in your notebook? The WDC crew all keep a little notebook of some fashion – although there’s discussion over moleskine, spiral notebooks, electronic Notes. Having a notebook in hand or in easy reach can help keep those nifty ideas from flitting back out of your brain by trapping them in ink or electrons. And then there’s refining the idea… … Continue…Episode 99 – Notes and Notebooks
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