Tag Archives: writing advice

48 – Romance

Daystar and Alexander discuss romance in fiction, particularly in finding meaningful romantic conflicts as either the major plot, or as a subplot in a broader story.

Co-hosted by Alexander Wales

With thanks to Tim Yarbrough for the Intro/Outro music, G.A.T.O Must Be Respected

Links

Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton

Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal, is Alex’s post-credits recommendation, a romantic fantasy story set in Regency England. You can head over to Audible to help support the show and pick up a free copy!

Timestamps

7:21 Body Language and Chemistry

14:00 Source of Romantic conflict

21:43 Troubled vs Doomed

30:20 Extreme Romantic Contexts

36:29 Compatibility

43:06 Conflict from Change

50:38 New and Ongoing Conflicts

 

47 – Timeskips

Daystar and Alexander discuss the value and pitfalls of using time skips, long and short.

Co-hosted by Alexander Wales

With thanks to Tim Yarbrough for the Intro/Outro music, G.A.T.O Must Be Respected

Links

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller Jr.

Newton’s Cannon by J. Gregory Keys

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Seveneves by Neil Stephenson

Timestamps

1:13 The Two Axes

11:51 Rules for Timeskips

25:27 Relationships

42:13 Extremely Long Timeskips

46 – Story Research

Daystar and Alexander discuss the common necessities of research for writing fiction.

Co-hosted by Alexander Wales

With thanks to Tim Yarbrough for the Intro/Outro music, G.A.T.O Must Be Respected

Links

Vulgar, language generator useful for consistency in made up languages: https://www.vulgarlang.com/

Google Translate, for real languages: https://translate.google.com/

Etymology Online, for word origins: https://www.etymonline.com/

Google N-gram viewer, for historical usage patterns: https://books.google.com/ngrams

WolframAlpha, for math and physics: https://www.wolframalpha.com/

Wikipedia, orders of magnitude for physics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Orders_of_magnitude

Timestamps

0:30 A Stable of Experts

12:49 Inspirational Research

19:15 Spot Research

45 – Writing as a Skill (Guest: Kuiper)

Daystar and Alexander are joined by professional game writer Kuiper to discuss writing as a skill, or rather a set of skills, and the ways people can improve them.

Kuiper’s various work can be found on his site.

Co-hosted by Alexander Wales

With thanks to Tim Yarbrough for the Intro/Outro music, G.A.T.O Must Be Respected

Links

Brandon Sanderson lecture on description and and viewpoint.

Timestamps

1:19 Writing as a skill

21:03 What improves writing?

24:20 Don’t grow attached to your ideas

32:45 Skilling up one at a time

45:36 Sticking with or abandoning

50:25 Other ways to improve writing.

44 – Worldbuilding II (Guest: Erratic Errata)

Guest writer Erratic Errata joins Daystar and Alexander to discuss more aspects of world building, particularly in his serial A Practical Guide to Evil.

Co-hosted by Alexander Wales

With thanks to Tim Yarbrough for the Intro/Outro music, G.A.T.O Must Be Respected

Links

A Practical Guide to Evil by Erratic Errata

Stronghold Builders Guidebook

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge (Book 1: A Fire Upon the Deep)

A Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Book 1: The Name of the Wind)

Anita Blake by Laurell K. Hamilton

Timestamps

1:36 Planet of Hats

12:01 Societal Axioms

20:02 Reconstructing Tropes

26:24 Playing with Narrative

35:38 Worldbuilding Differences

44:10 Free Will and Deities

50:10 Video game inspiration

55:47 A Practical Guide to Evil Q&A

41 – Worldbuilding: Second Order Effects

Daystar and Alexander discuss worldbuilding, and why considering second-order effects is so important to making it rational, and can help in finding or fleshing out good plots.

Co-hosted by Alexander Wales

With thanks to Tim Yarbrough for the Intro/Outro music, G.A.T.O Must Be Respected

Links

Asterisk War Sucks

Timestamps

2:50 Battle School concept

6:46 Inadequate Equilibria As Story Elements

22:55 Shadows of the Limelight

28:22 Consequence of the Consequence

37:20 Aesop Exacerbation

41:14 Confronting Civilizational Inadequacy

Alexander’s Book Recommendation

My recommendation for this week is The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson, starting with “The Way of Kings.” Sanderson is a rather prolific author, and this is his epic fantasy series, with thick, doorstopper books, dozens of viewpoint characters, and a larger scale than he’s worked on before.

I feel like worldbuilding, and specifically, second-order worldbuilding, has always been one of Sanderson’s strong points. The world of Roshar is dominated by immense, rock-hurling storms that move from east to west, which has all sorts of interesting first order effects, like the best places to build cities being in the lee of a mountain or cliff, and architecture being suited specifically to defend against heavy winds from one side. The second order effects are in trade, travel, the organization of civilizations, and the prominence of cities. Because the highstorms grow weaker as they move across Roshar, the vegetation and plantlife is affected, and the civilizations that live within them are adapted to different conditions.

If you want to give it a listen instead of a read, you can go to Audible and get a free book credit when you start a trial, and by using that link you can help support the show!

40 – Review: The Prestige


Daystar and Alexander review the movie The Prestige, and explore what made it such a well constructed, perhaps even rational, work of fiction.

Co-hosted by Alexander Wales

With thanks to Tim Yarbrough for the Intro/Outro music, G.A.T.O Must Be Respected

Links

The Prestige

Primer

Timestamps

2:24 Summary + Was it Rational?

16:30 Foreshadowing

21:34 Clashing Ideologies

25:22 Noticing Confusion

30:25 Magic and Storytelling

45:40 Repeat Viewings