ISBW #362: Glossary of writing terms and Helen Lowe Interview

What do all those words I’m always saying mean? I go over several terms we discuss in publishing. I loved this idea, so if you have other ideas for terms you’d like discussed in more detail, let me know!

Then I talk to Helen Lowe, author of Daughter of Blood.


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ISBW #361: Feedback | Elizabeth Bonesteel Interview

Covering feedback this time, including the importance of race in a story, ideas during depression, and more! Then we talk to Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the excellent SF novel The Cold Between.


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Ditch Diggers #25: The Absolute Guide to Failure 2, Electric Boogaloo

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s doll hospital, and spend way too much time talking about doll hospitals in general and Morgan’s doll hospital in particular.
  • The Ditch Diggers bring you up-to-date on their professional lives. Mur starts over. Matt needs to write faster.
  • Mur experiments with delayed segues.
  • Neither Matt nor Mur have touched best-selling authors in inappropriate ways, they swear.
  • The Ditch Diggers’ Guide to Absolute Failure returns!
  • Matt and Mur read Guide contributions from listeners, including a former literary agent intern.
  • Matt doesn’t know how to use “shutes” properly, and a certain percentage of the food you eat is bugs and plastic.
  • Mur on “negging” in author interactions, and her new best friend.
  • Writing is easy, and the internet doesn’t really exist.
  • The second installment of The DD Guide to Absolute Failure concludes.
  • Email/Twitter questions and answers!
  • Guide to Literary Agents 2016: http://amzn.com/1599639408

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(Aside- dammit, Six Wakes has a cover, and it’s awesome, and Amazon hasn’t put it on the site yet…)

ISBW #360: Level up! Plus Dan Koboldt Interview

I’ve leveled up as a writer, and I interview Dan Koboldt, author of The Rogue Retrieval. We also talk about the online writing workshops, OWW and Critters.


Ditch Diggers #24: TV Writing with Margaret Dunlap

We welcome Emmy-winning writer Margaret Dunlap, writer for The Middleman, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, and the serial Bookburners.

Show notes!

  • Coming to you live from Morgan Freeman’s tornado shelter with special guest co-host Margaret Dunlap!
  • Margaret is the bomb at calculus, yet cannot derivate a function to save her life (or anyone else’s).
  • On the tradition of passing the Campbell Award winner’s tiara which is actually a diadem.
  • Margaret talks about breaking into television writing, and how useless it is to ask the question, “How do you break into TV writing?”
  • On being a TV writers assistant, “freelance” scripts, and the power of getting coffee.
  • Hollywood as a cronyism town vs. a nepotism town (and why that’s a good thing for new writers).
  • Celebrating small victories, and how sushi, beer, and ice cream are scaleable.
  • TV writing vs. webseries writing
  • Margaret is adapting Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books for television with John Rogers’ Kung Fu Monkey Productions! (And the glacial pace of writing projects.)
  • Mur and Margaret talk about Bookburners, and the structure of TV writing meeting fiction books.
  • Q&A with Twitter.
  • Obligatory shilling of Matt’s books and the fact Ditch Diggers is STILL eligible for Best Fancast in the Hugo Awards.
  • Margaret’s website: http://www.margaretdunlap.com/
  • Margaret’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/spyscribe
  • Bookburners: https://www.serialbox.com/serials/555d1163ada6e26d95b9e785
  • Producteev Task Management Software: https://www.producteev.com/

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ISBW #358 – Periscope test

And I talk about writing rules. Do you REALLY have to write every day? Avoid adverbs? Is it do or do not, there is no middle ground?

I recorded this live on Periscope. It’s short, but I’ll be back soon with MOAR.

(Good lord has it been two months? Shame. SHAME. But then I was supposed to have a tea party with Failure, and accept it happens, so I’m accepting this failure and then moving on. I should probably do an episode on the tea with failure.)

Ditch Diggers #23: Organizamouional Prbklems

NOTE- Apologies, I accidentally put this in the ISBW feed. It’s fixed.

We talk organizing and distractions. It’s unorganized and distracted, just so you know.

  • Mur and Matt discuss Morgan Freeman’s obsession with Franklin Mint Collector’s Plates featuring older, fatter Elvis.
  • Mur restates the premise of the podcast, old school, as if it were an early episode.\
  • Matt and Mur talk about their current editing schedules.
  • Mur attempts to use the above to smoothly segue into the show’s topic, but Matt derails the conversation after an off-hand comment about his hair.
  • Matt and Mur finally reach the topic of the episode, organization for professional writers.
  • Mur talks about prioritizing.
  • Matt talks about being your own assistant.
  • Social media as a distraction and a tool, and the appropriate amount of time to spend on it to prevent the former and enable the latter.
  • Apps that help you focus on writing, including real ones like Forest and ones that don’t exist like Matt’s hostage bunny app.
  • Simple alternatives to app solutions, like shutting off your WiFi, and Post-it notes.
  • Matt and Mur debut a new segment, the Writer’s Torment Corner, and talk about World Fantasy Con’s woeful lack of harassment/accessibility policies.
  • Email and Twitter questions.
  • Matt and Mur remind everyone Ditch Diggers is an awards eligible podcast and it is podcast season.
  • Apps mentioned in this episode…
    Forest: http://www.forestapp.cc/
    Write or Die: http://writeordie.com/

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Ditch Diggers #22: The Guide to Absolute Failure

  • Matt and Mur discuss whether or not Morgan Freeman’s five-story igloo is technically an igloo.
  • It’s Matt’s fault there will be no live Ditch Diggers at ConFusion.
  • Matt and Mur remember David Hartwell.
  • The Ditch Diggers Guide to Absolute Failure.
  • Chapter One: Cons, in which the bathroom becomes a central focus.
  • Chapter Two: Submissions, or how your query letter should be a statement of personal revenge and entitlement.
  • Chapter Three: Manuscripts, a.k.a. the poorly utilized glory of Comic Sans.
  • Chapter Four: Money, and how exposure is the currency of the future.
  • No time for questions this week because Mur has physical therapy for her ankle.
  • Matt shills his book LUSTLOCKED dropping Tuesday, January 26th. [PST THAT’S TOMORROW]
  • He also reminds everyone Ditch Diggers is awards eligible and it’s nominating season.

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Ditch Diggers #21: End of Year Review

Matt and I look at our careers, what happened this year, and what will happen next year.

  • Morgan Freeman’s private plane was crippled after landing on an armadillo and Mur and Matt discuss the potential of armadillos both as next-gen super soldiers and the basis for a SyFy movie about next-gen super soldier armadillos.
  • Podcasters recording and releasing episodes out of order (Matt is *very* insistent Mur think fourth-dimensionally like in Back to the Future III).
  • On the end of the year (but NOT the end of the world).
  • Mur and Matt review the year they’ve had as pro writers.
  • Matt on a “building/set-up” year for his career (Mur disagrees with this assessment), making book deals, signing with a new agent and manager, and returning to fiction publishing as a way to reignite his film and television writing.
  • Mur on her own “building” year for her career (Matt also disagrees with this assessment), submitting/pitching proposals, losing some confidence, her new deal with Orbit, and Bookburners, and building her backbone up.
  • Matt makes a case for Mur’s year as a “RE-building” year, dragon-ing up, and rebounding.
  • Mur recaps the exciting Bookburners project for which she’s writing.
  • Mur on working with the right agent.
  • Matt and Mur talk about their concrete business plans for their pro writing careers over the next year, including their plans for Ditch Diggers.
  • Awards Eligibility: Ditch Diggers is eligible for potentially two Hugos! Figure out which one and vote for it if you’re able! [EDIT- Twitter talk is leaning toward Fancast] Also, Nebulas and any other award you think Ditch Diggers should win!
  • The final Q&A of the year!

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