ISBW #383: Point of View // Beth Cato Interview

I discuss the power of point of view and how it makes us sympathize with characters, what the different words (protagonist, antagonist) means, and reference a bunch of books and movies. Then I talk to Beth Cato.

AND GUESS WHAT? You can WIN Beth Cato’s books! All you have to do is email me and I’ll do a random drawing on the next ISBW, but I’d really appreciate it if you spread the word on social media too.

I reference a lot of books this episode, links below! (affiliate)

The fine print:
Theme music by John Anealio.

Creative Commons License
I Should Be Writing #382 by Mur Lafferty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Ditch Diggers #46: Post Hugo report // Writer Expectations

  • Hugo losers Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s Tobias Funke Memorial Sobbing Shower.
  • Matt and Mur discuss how it feels to lose a Hugo Award, what it means to be a Hugo loser, and Mur recaps the events of the post-Hugo ceremony Loser’s Party (which Matt did not attend because he wasn’t at WorldCon).
  • Matt recaps the events of his not being at WorldCon, which dove-tails into Mur praising Mary Robinette Kowal (and rightly so).
  • Third Annual Ditch Diggers Live recap.
  • Mur talks about the unexpected problems that arose on the launch day of her new I SHOULD BE WRITING book, how she as a professional author dealt with them, and the status of the book now (with bonus discussion and explanation of meta data!).
  • Matt talks about professional expectations (e.g. winning a Hugo Award right before your agent takes your new book to market) and how to manage disappointment and adjust to changing events as a freelance creator.
  • Twitter Q&A! Including several topics on which the Ditch Diggers vow to do extended episodes, including what to include on your author/freelance creator website, managing multiple drafts and story notes, and sensitivity readers.
  • If the Ditch Diggers Patreon reaches $3k a month, Matt and Mur will take the show weekly! So, give us more money!
  • A final “thank you” to everyone who supported us for the Hugo Award and got us so far this year, and everyone who continues to listen to and support the show!

Affiliate links to our books!

ISBW #382: Back to basics

I’m back from WorldCon and I’m back to basics. We talk about the rules of writing and why they’re there.

  • Why shouldn’t I use adverbs? (And the follow-up, if I strip all the adverbs does it automatically make my book better?)
  • What’s character agency?
  • Isn’t following the Hero’s Journey and genre rules like “romances must have an HEA (happily ever after)” stifling and creating “paint by numbers” books?
  • And more!

Here are some Worldcon photos, because.

LOSERS ARE AWESOME! Micaela Tobin, William Hutson, Daveed Diggs, and me (taken by Jonathan Snipes, third member of clipping.)

George RR Martin has officially made me a loser!

I am a badass, my husband Jim is just dandy, thanks very much. We make a good team. <3

Me, Ursula Vernon, and Kameron Hurley, and we are SO READY TO LOSE THAT HUGO. (Ursula failed at losing.)

Me and Alasdair Stuart (he’s pretending to be Matt Wallace. I’m scowling cause he told me to.)

I reference a lot of books this episode, links below! (affiliate)

The fine print:
Theme music by John Anealio.

Creative Commons License
I Should Be Writing #382 by Mur Lafferty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ditch Diggers #45: LIVE from WorldCon!

A very tired Mur lands in Finland and is greeted by giant Morgan Freeman! Photo- Natalie Metzger

A very tired and disheveled Mur lands in Finland and is greeted by giant Morgan Freeman! Photo- Natalie Metzger

Ditch Diggers comes to you LIVE from Morgan Freeman’s International Airport (no, seriously, see photo!), a.k.a. WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finland!

    • Mur’s special Ditch Diggers Live! guest co-host Alasdair Stuart is not Matt Wallace, and yet he has to be Matt Wallace. But no, for real, Matt can’t be in Helsinki so Alasdair and his adorably proper British accent are doing their best to sub in for him.
    • Mur introduces The Hugo Games! It’s like the Hunger Games, but with/for Hugo Awards!
    • Mur introduces willing tributes, super agent (because she’s Mur’s agent) Jennifer Udden, who represents multiple Hugo nominees, and Hugo nominated editor Navah Wolfe!
    • Lacking a third combatant, Hugo Best Short Story finalist (spoiler- winner!) Amal El-Mohtar volunteers as tribute!
    • The Hugo Games tributes choose their weapons (spoiler alert: Navah picks a throwing axe).

THE HUGO GAMES, WORLDCON 2017: (Back L-R) Jonathan Snipes, William Hutson, Alasdair Stuart, Jennifer Udden, Daveed Diggs, Navah Wolfe, Mur Lafferty. (Front) Amal El-Mohtar.

  • At some point the members of groundbreaking Hugo Award nominated hip hop group clipping. (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes) join the panel, which is amazing!
  • In the course of preparing for Hugo combat (Amal’s longterm survival strategy is writing a novel), our tributes discuss topics including new authors breaking in and pseudonyms, transitioning from creating works independently to working with executives, and dealing with assholes in the industry and beyond.
  • We unfortunately run out of time before the blood sports can begin, but Mur promises the blood sports will happen tomorrow (they don’t).

Affiliate links to our books!

ISBW #381: Awards and Feedback

We talk awards and feedback and I wonder what happened at WorldCon. We will find out when I record again!

ONE WEEK till I Should Be Writing comes out! Get your preorder now!

Affiliate Links:

I Should Be Writing is out in two weeks!

I Should Be Writing coverIt’s hard to believe, but my book based on the show, I Should Be Writing, will be out in two short weeks! You can preorder through most any seller, and preordering is a happy, happy thing for authors to have. If you want to wait till you hold it in your hands, that’s awesome too, because hey, sales are cool.

It has a lot of content from the shows, but it also has writing prompts and comments from your angel and devil shoulder citizens, or as I like to call them, the muse and the bully. I hope you check it out!

Bookburners Season Three!

I know I’m a few weeks late, but Bookburners Season Three is out at Serial Box! If you’re a fan of the first two seasons, the wait is over and you can start to read (or listen) to our highest-stake season yet! You won’t know who to trust and who to count on, and you really won’t believe what we have in store.

You can read the news at the Barnes and Noble Blog, and learn more about subscribing at Serial Box.

If you’re not a Bookburners listener/reader, then you can start with Season One in book form!

Ditch Diggers is on August hiatus

Matt and I are taking a break, with so much travel and moving this month. We will be back in September, and you’ll have the Worldcon episode to tide you over before then. See you in a month!

Where is Mur at WorldCon?

I haven’t posted my schedule yet! Yikes!

Anyway, next week (!!!) I will be at WorldCon in Helsinki, Finland, and doing panels and signings (ok, signing singluar, I aint GRRM after all) and a LIVE Ditch Diggers and game shows and the Hugo Ceremonies, where I am totally prepared to lose and just have a good time.

Since I’m nominated and it’s my first Hugo nomination, I am bowing out of the official liveblogging of the Hugos this year, but I’ll be back next year! Cheryl and Kevin will be there doing their usual awesome job.

Here’s my schedule. Come say hi!

(My GOD I hate wordpress. I tried very hard to make this look good and then WordPress said, “Mmm, nah, you want it this way instead.” I give up. Here’s the schedule, haphazard large text and all)

Signing: Mur Lafferty

Thursday 12:00 – 13:00, Signing area (Messukeskus)

Ditch Diggers
Thursday 17:00 – 18:00, 101 a & b (Messukeskus)

A live recording of the Hugo Finalist Fancast, Ditch Diggers. Host Mur Lafferty and special guest host Alasdair Stuart will have games and interviews designed to navigate the tricky business of publishing.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue
Thursday 21:00 – 22:00, 102 (Messukeskus)

The classic British radio gameshow – basically an excuse for 4 panelists and the host to play childish games for an hour.

Sports in Fiction and How to Write Them
Friday 11:00 – 12:00, 204 (Messukeskus)

Sports appear in one form or another in quite a lot of many genre stories. There are fictional sports from Quidditch to Pyramid, as well as non-fictional sports such as football (Unseen Academicals) or baseball (Summer Country). The panelists talk about how to make sports appealing, especially when read from the pages of a book.

Hugo Ceremony
Friday 19:30 – 22:30, Hall 1

You may or may not see me. There’s no guarantee I will be on stage.

On the Care and Feeding of Secondary Characters
Saturday 18:00 – 19:00, 205 (Messukeskus)

Your protagonists are fully fleshed out and fully realized but your other characters could use some work. How do you bring life to the rest of the people in your story without taking the spotlight from your main characters?

ISBW #380: Coming up for air/ Every book is your first

I recover from the latest depression cloud and enter into pre-vacation frenzy. This one is late, and the next one will be two weeks from this one. (August 14)

Ditch Diggers will be on hiatus for most of August, as I’m traveling and Matt is moving, and we’re both super frantic busy.

But here I recover from my latest short depressive period, and talk about why writing my new book is hard. Every book is your first, according to Gene Wolfe and Neil Gaiman.

If you’re going to WorldCon, let me know! And come to the live Ditch Diggers show on Thursday!

And HEY preorder my book cause it’s awesome!

Affiliate Links: