What do you do when a legend makes an appearance? If you are a writer and a fan of works of wonder, let’s just say...the Runelords...you might want to tune in and have a list of questions ready.
David Farland (author of the Runelords series and the award-winning novel On My Way to Paradise) joined us at Keystroke Medium with one of his proteges, Jacob Cooper (the Dyings Land Chronicle). Readers may recognize some other best selling authors who took lessons from Mr. Farland. The list is distinguished: Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), James Dasher (The Maze Runner), and Brandon Mull (Fablehaven).
The idea of this special episode of The Write Stuff at Keystroke Medium was to focus on revising and editing. We picked Jacob Cooper because he underwent a major revision of an already published work -- not something many people have the heart to attempt. We asked him to be on our special six month anniversary episode already knowing he brings entertainment and information every time.
To our surprise and delight (imagine us doing cartwheels and high-fiving, though maybe not at the same time) Jacob dropped this casual statement.
“Hey guys, I think I can get David Farland on the show.”
Speechless, then cartwheels.
Here is a question. Should science fiction and fantasy have a new genre name? David Farland makes a good argument for “Wonder Fiction.” The moment he began the discussion on this seemingly small distinction there was a wave of revelation that smacked me in the face. Other genres are named by emotion: mystery, thriller, romance and so on. The science fiction and fantasy genres are designated by adjectives (or an adjective phrase in the case of science fiction, but let’s not geek out on grammar here). No one is saying we should disregard the terms we know and love, it is just a thought provoking observation.
Which is a theme throughout this interview.
I don’t know how much David Farland charged Brandon Sanderson, Stephenie Meyer, James Dasher, and Brandon Mull for his mentoring services, but you can get some of it for free right here at The Write Stuff at Keystroke Medium.
Visit David Farland's website: http://davidfarland.com/
Visit Jacob Cooper's website: http://www.circleofreign.com/reign/
On today's show, Bestselling Canadian Author Hugh B. Long joins us to talk about unique cross-genre fiction.
Only by mastering exposition will the next superstar of fiction rise to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. Combined with narrative summary, this powerful tool can’t be beat.
Josh and Scott discuss some things they have learned about exposition and narrative summary, including the differences between the two.
In the book, Self-editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King, there is the important admonition to write using immediate scenes. Browne and King also discuss the fact that the much maligned technique of narrative summary is necessary in some cases. Josh and Scott agree, and expound meaningfully on the best way to use all three tools.
Does every writer love writing immediate scenes? The world might be a better place if they did, but either way, the craft of fiction is complex and nothing can be excluded so long as a good story is told.
Write a good story, that is the bottom line according to Josh and Scott! Now go forth and fight exposition wherever you find it!
Writing a novel is easy, right?
Maybe...yeah...not so much. Having the correct tools can really take the misery out of the process. With a good word processor -- or for total writing geeks, Scrivner -- means the difference between writing the next bestseller and getting lost in the details of a full length novel.
Josh and Scott discuss which tools work best for them, and convince Scott that changing between Scrivener, Word, and Google Docs three times a week is not a good idea. On the up side, this argument allows them to discuss the pros and cons of each.
Also on the agenda are Story Shop, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and Google Voice Typing. Photoshop gets an honorable mention for being the number one distraction tool for up and coming writers.
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Scott and Josh discuss some of the differences in main plot and subplot. How to effectively create a subplot that matters to the story. Whether or not to include main characters or secondary characters in the subplots. As an added bonus, Scott discovers one of the deadly pitfalls of “panster” or “organic” writing. For the first thirty years of his career, he was very much what George R. R. Martin called a gardener: he wrote with inspiration, imagination, and to the devil with those annoying outlines.
As Josh delves into the basics of plot, Scott realizes the danger of “just going for it.” Josh throws him a lifeline and the struggle for creative brilliance moves forward with the unstoppable power of a bestselling novel.
But wait that’s not all!
James A Bray, the executive producer of the Start Trek Anthology Fan Film Project joins us again to talk about plotting his fan film series.
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Visit our website: www.keystrokemedium.com for more information on this show and others and news on upcoming guests and events!
Josh and Scott discuss the pros and cons of story beats, how they incorporate them into their own writing and examples on how other authors use them. We touch briefly on plotting and pantsing as well.
And we have our first impromptu guest on the show, James A Bray, the executive producer of the Star Trek Anthology Film Fan Project.
In today’s episode Scott and Josh talk about some recent self-publishing trends, serials vs completed novels, building your email list and driving through Texas...which isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds...
Scott was lucky enough to attend the 2016 Smarter Artist Summit hosted by Sterling and Stone (the Self-publishing Podcast). The two day event is hard to describe, given the time constraints of a single show. There were several amazing presentations on writing and the art of entrepreneurism needed to be a working, i.e. paid, author. Mostly there were a lot of interesting people going out of their way to help each other.
Unfortunately, Scott internet connection was none too great at his hotel over the weekend, so the first half of the show his output volume is low. About halfway through the episode, his phone overheated and then by some lucky celestial magic, his computer started working again!
Despite these demon’s of technical mayhew and ruckus, we persevered and finished the show! Enjoy!
Characters can make or break a story and despite being surrounded by millions of them every day, they seem to be one of the hardest elements of fiction to write. Do it write and that character will pull your audience through thick and thin. Do it wrong and they will close the book faster than you can say, ”But wait, you’re almost to the good part!”
In this episode of The Write Stuff, Scott and Josh tackle what makes a character good, what makes them great, and what makes them bad. The talk about their favorite characters from books they’ve read, discuss troupes in genre fiction and share their thoughts on the characters they like to write.
Due to some technical difficulties this week, Scotts audio is a tad muted, but don’t fret, he can still be heard and even though he’s quiet, he makes some pretty loud points.
Thanks for stopping and hope you enjoy this episode of The Write Stuff!
Battle scenes should be as vast and complicated as possible, with special attention to each and every detail, no matter how inconsequential. Or not. There is a better way. Josh and Scott discuss battle scenes that are epic and intimate. Okay, that sounds weird, but it is what it is, right? Listen as two writers as stay on task with only a few digressions into Mistborn, Outlander, Tombstone, Jackie Chan, the Gunslinger, and tall buildings. Scott also explains one good reason to stop reading Fifty Shades of Grey.
Keeping scenes relevant is the topic of the day and the topic of the day will be keeping scenes relevant. Scenes should advance the story, develop characters, or contribute meaningfully to the setting (especially in fantasy or science fiction stories). But most of all, every scene has a job to do. Josh and Scott talk about books and movies, breaking down some of the elements needed in a scene. There is also coffee.
The Write Stuff
Two authors, having fun talking about reading, writing and everything in between.
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