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!

Ditch Diggers #44: Gavia Baker-Whitelaw and Freelance Ditches

How to dig freelance ditches

And what are freelance ditches anyway?
Digging Freelance Ditches: Sniper with doberman

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s Pop Culture Popcorn Boutique, and Mur actually lets Matt do the intros.
  • The Ditch Diggers welcome special guest co-host, staff writer for The Daily Dot and pop culture analyst extraordinaire, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw!
  • Everyone immediately agrees that Gavia’s mom would make the best agent ever, and that would also be her pro-wrestling gimmick.
  • Gavia talks about being a full-time writer for The Daily Dot and her areas of expertise.
  • Matt asks Gavia what makes a good cultural criticism writer, and Gavia does her best to answer such a broad question.
  • Gavia talks about how livejournal fanfiction led to her current career, how she selects topics to cover, and the life of a piece at The Daily Dot.
  • Gavia talks about her side project The Rec Center and being steeped in fandom as a writer.
  • The validity of liquids in sandwiches, and the validity of fanfiction as a writing medium.
  • Twitter Q&A, including how a book, movie, etc. gets the attention of a market like The Daily Dot.

Links of interest:

Note: Mur will be appearing at WorldCon in Helsinki in a few weeks and doing a LIVE Ditch Diggers with writer and publisher Alasdair Stuart standing in for Matt (with Matt’s approval, naturally. We’re not staging a coup to replace Matt even though Al does have a better accent.) See my program here!


Affiliate links to our books!

ISBW #379: Those Down Days

The bad thing about being on a regular recording schedule again is I have to podcast even when I don’t feel like it. So sometimes it’s just about the mental health. This is a short, low energy podcast, but I’m really fine, trust me. Just had a bad start to the week with migraine and super low energy. I’m doing much better now, but figured I should post this because I try to be honest with the look inside a writer’s life, and sometimes there are days like this.

Mentioned: The War of Art.


Affiliate Links:

Ditch Diggers #43: Care and Feeding of your Author

We are together again talking about care and feeding of the author inside you! Sadly, with technical difficulties.

Care and Feeding Show Notes

  • Fuck hemingway. And a pierMatt and Mur come to you live, actually in-person (well, the two of them are, anyway) from Morgan Freeman’s Outside OBGYN Clinic.
  • Matt’s fictional uterus and a brief history of why we’re talking about it on this episode.
  • Actually, Matt and Mur are at their yearly retreat in the backwoods of Ohio with friends and family, several of whom are in the audience during the recording of this episode.
  • Matt and Mur introduce the topic of this episode, “the care and feeding of your author” (a topic suggested by Matt’s fiancée, Nikki).
  • How writers and the writing industry/community emphasize doing the work over taking care of yourself, physically.
  • Mur talks about how we romanticize the Hemingway-esque and Poe-esque stereotypes of the alcohol-soaked, depressed author and why that is obviously wrong and harmful.
  • Self-care, how alcohol and writing don’t mix, and Matt’s unabashed love for Mott’s for Tots apple juice and how it can replace the former habit.
  • Mur and Matt talk about smoking and drug abuse, citing writers like Joe Ezsterhaus and Stephen King as examples of how both invariably go disastrously wrong when you mix them with your career.
  • The episode is cut abruptly short, and Mur explains why (and offers apologies, although we did the best we could).

Affiliate links to our books!

ISBW #378: Preparations

One day late, nearly back on schedule!

I’ve decided I need some simple lists to help me when I travel and record, and figure those kinds of lists might help with writing, too.

Next week, Ditch Diggers!


Affiliate Links:

ISBW #377: Brain Weasels

I know I know I know I always say these supportive things but sometimes it’s hard to listen to myself. Recently – without realizing it! – I’ve been suffering from “first draft must be perfect” syndrome, and had to step back and actually look at myself and what I was doing.

First drafts don’t have to be perfect. Write it 100x on the board.

bart-simpson-writes-first-drafts

Created at http://www.addletters.com/bart-simpson-generator.htm#.WUgG2tgzpQM


Affiliate Links:

Ditch Diggers #42: The Freelancer’s Rebuttal Guide

Foxes fight, quote from show, rebuttal guideIt’s time for some role playing and rebuttal action as Matt and Mur bring you some FINE acting shit.

Rebuttal Guide Show Notes

  • Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s Debate Club practice room, and Mur remembers to say the show’s tagline for once.
  • The Ditch Diggers try to decide whether this episode takes place two weeks or five minutes after the last episode.
  • Matt asks Mur what she’s been up to, and the answer somehow involves John Without Garfield (edit- it’s actually Garfield Minus Garfield.)
  • Mur talks about being in the oft recurring “proposal period” of a writer’s career, sending pitches out for multiple projects including novels and interactive media, hating outlining, and learning new skills.
  • Matt talks about finally finishing his first (anti) epic fantasy novel, working on the final Sin du Jour novella, reaching the end of his current book contract, and what comes next (including a middle grade novel).
  • Mur unintentionally segues into the topic of today’s show, which is The Freelance Writer’s Rebuttal Guide, a Matt Wallace Technology (Mur makes fun of Matt for this last part, and rightfully so).
  • Matt and Mur role-play The Freelance Writer’s Rebuttal Guide, with Mur’s snarky and insightful annotations throughout.
  • Matt encourages freelancers to submit new scenarios to the Guide, which is different from emailing Ditch Diggers questions (Mur explains).
  • Email questions! Topics include freelance writers and social media, publishing rights, and how to best keep track of pending submissions.

Other links of note:

Garfield Minus Garfield, October 2016

Garfield Minus Garfield, a particularly creepy one.

As always, Matt and Mur shill their books, GREEDY PIGS and RENCOR and SIX WAKES respectively, and remind Hugo voting listeners Ditch Diggers is up for best fancast, so vote for us!


Affiliate links to our books!