Episode 1.18: Self-editing

October 1st, 2016

The bane of iGor's existence, self-editing, is none the less an important weapon in the writer's arsenal. For the continued co-operation of mini- *ahem* beta-readers, it is vital that writers are always respectful others' time and the best way to do that is to only send out the best thing that you can. This takes the form of various stages from the nitty-gritty sentence level stuff to the full-on story-level high vantage-point view. The Mad Writers weave through the inverse triangle of self-editing in an effort to make sense of things.

Notable notes

Recommended reading

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=141 Tim's recommendation: Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer
q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=055 Jay's recommendation: Swordspoint (Riverside) by Ellen Kushner
q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=076 Nina's recommendation: The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

Please support Mad Writers Union by reviewing it on iTunes or Stitcher! You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or via RSS.

Intro and outro music comes from “Cephalopod” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Episode 1.17: Moderation with Steven H Silver

September 15th, 2016

There comes in every writer's path to world domination a time for panel moderation. Our intrepid Mad Writers are fair newbies themselves in the big, bad world of conventions and none of them have ever moderated a panel, so they decided to call in some expert assistance in the form of Steven H. Silver. Currently the Events Director at SFWA, Steven has also been an author, editor, Chicon 2000 programs director, and a Jeopardy contestant. The Mad Writers grill Steven on the various aspects of being a good panelist and a good moderator.

Notable notes

  • Use the microphone
  • Sharing is caring
  • Prepare
  • Do not get on a panel to say "I don't know why I'm on this panel"
  • Seriously, be kind
  • "The Art of the Con"

You can find Steven online at: SF News and his website.

Recommended reading

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=045 Steven's recommendation: Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=038 Tim's recommendation: Player Piano: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=075 Jay's recommendation: Downbelow Station (Alliance-Union Universe) by C.J. Cherry
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=075 Nina's recommendation: Once Broken Faith: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire         

Please support Mad Writers Union by reviewing it on iTunes or Stitcher! You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or via RSS.Intro and outro music comes from “Cephalopod” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Episode 1.16: Networking

September 1st, 2016

During Worldcon, the mad writers grabbed master networker K.M. Szpara to join them for a little chat. They start with the basics of networking, with Kelly providing the Mad Writers with specific conversation starters. He emphasizes the power of listening. Thanks to their live studio audience they also discuss more fraught topics such as alcohol consumption during events. Receive instruction in how to leave a conversation you've been edged out of. Because of the live situation, this episode is Not Safe For Work, as the customary bleeps could not find their way into the temporary Volcano Waterfall lair.PLEASE NOTE! The sound quality on this episode is, unfortunately, poor. iGor did his best to improve it but he will need to be whipped for his performance.

Recommended Reading

MCcover-fullsize.jpg Tim's recommendation: Making Conversations by Theresa Neilsen Hayden
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=006 Jay's recommendation: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Ghainani
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=076 Nina's recommendation: Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=161 Kelly's recommendation: The Usual Path to Publication: 27 Stories About 27 Ways In edited by Shannon PagePlease support Mad Writers Union by reviewing it on iTunes or Stitcher! You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or via RSS.Intro and outro music comes from “Cephalopod” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Episode 1.15: Considering Self-care

August 15th, 2016

One of the essential parts of a creative life is making sure that you can keep on creating new things. As MidAmericon II is fast approaching, our intrepid introverts talk about self-care. They touch on both acute situations as well as going the long slog that can sometimes get exhausting. This is a resource-heavy episode with a huge list of links to various things the Mad Writers have found helpful.

Notable Notes

Recommended Reading

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=014 Tim's recommendation: Something Rotten (Thursday Next Novels) by Jasper Fforde
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=015 Jay's recommendation: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=076 Nina's recommendation: Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War) by John Scalzi

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Episode 1.14: Alphas and Betas

August 1st, 2016

Jay's writing relies heavily on both alpha and beta readers. In this episode, she explains in detail her method of getting a book from an idea to finished draft. Her approach is very reliant on a communal form of storytelling. While they're talking, Nina realizes that Jay has been her alpha for a while already. Lots and lots of giggling ensues. Also actual organized comparisons of various methods of using alpha and beta readers, including one by one of our favorite authors, Mary Robinette Kowal.

Notable notes

Recommended reading

Tim's recommendation: Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold Tim's recommendation: Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Adventure) by Lois McMaster Bujold
 Jay's recommendation: The Daughter Star by Susan Jane Bigelow Jay's recommendation: The Daughter Star (Grayline Sisters Book 1) by Susan Jane Bigelow
 q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=031 Nina's recommendation: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy) by N.K. JemisinCome say hi to us at MidAmericonII!

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Episode 1.13: Flash Fiction

July 15th, 2016

Tim is having problems with his Flash Fiction eating too many doughnuts and expanding into short story territory. The Mad Writers get together and try to figure out how to get his stories to stay within a reasonable range for Flash Fiction. They talk about the shape of a story vs Vignette, control of user perception, arranging implications instead of statements, getting rid of filler words and making words pull their weight. Many of the things they talk about are applicable to other forms of fiction but things that are especially important when writing Flash Fiction. Join them as Tim tries to figure out the magical world of Flash Fiction.

Notable Notes

Recommended Reading

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=006 Tim's recommendation: The Everything Box: A Novel (Another Coop Heist) by Richard Kadrey
 
q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=159 Jay's recommendation: The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All: Stories by Laird Barron
 
q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=006 Nina's recommendation: Night Watch: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett

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Episode 1.12: Goals Check-In

July 1st, 2016

Back in January we announced our goals to the world. None of us would have any kind of idea of just how much things would shift during transit. And so, having reached the halfway point of the year, we thought we would have a look at how the work on our goals is progressing and just how much has changed.As with the original goal setting, we've had varying levels of success with our goals thus far and things have happened that we never expected to happen this, including moving house, quitting jobs, hospitalization of a loved one as well as editorial interest in projects that didn't even exist at the start of the year. Jay went back to see what they all said they'd do this year and is now holding some feet to the fire.

Recommended reading

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=037 Tim's recommendation: The Collected Stories (FSG Classics) by Grace Paley
 
q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=B01 Jay's recommendation: The Escapement of Blackledge: a novella by Mary Robinette Kowal
 
q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=076 Nina's recommendation: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Please support Mad Writers Union by reviewing it on iTunes or Stitcher! You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or via RSS.

Intro and outro music comes from “Cephalopod” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Episode 1.11: Community Building

June 20th, 2016

03_3456x5184The Mad Writers keep referring to building your community and this week they are putting their money where their mouth is. They are joined by Crystal Huff who has been involved in ALL THE CONS. She also fights the kyriarchy professionally through giving workshops and for example consulting companies on creating a welcoming environment as well as dealing with Impostor Syndrome. The panelists cover how to deal with horrible situations, how to get new people without losing all of the old ones and how to make sure the community doesn't die because the people who started it are tired. The entire episode is full of amazing content, you may want to have a notepad handy!

Notable Notes

Crystal Huff is the Executive Director of Inclusion Through Innovation and former Executive Director of The Ada Initiative. She has a long history of professional and volunteer efforts in technology and geek culture, with a particular commitment to anti-harassment and impostor syndrome work. Crystal runs science fiction conventions in her spare time, most notably the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki, Finland. She speaks fluent English, rusty American Sign Language, and beginner Finnish cussing.Crystal can be found online at crystalhuff.com and on Twitter as @arisiacrystal and @CrystalMHuff

Recommended Reading

q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=148 Crystal's recommendation: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
  q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=140 Tim's recommendation: Air Vol. 1: Letters from Lost Countries by G. Willow Wilson and M.K.Perker
  q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=145 Jay's recommendation: The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design
  q?_encoding=UTF8&MarketPlace=US&ASIN=080 Nina's recommendation: Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Please support Mad Writers Union by reviewing it on iTunes or Stitcher! You can subscribe to this show on iTunes or via RSS.

Intro and outro music comes from “Cephalopod” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Episode 1.10: Story Length

June 1st, 2016

Story length can be confusing to some writers and none more so than Nina. The Mad Writers help Nina figure out what is going wrong and why her short stories keep accidentally turning into novels and novellas. They work through the Hugo definitions of the various story lengths as well as working through the things that make stories longer as you write.

Notable Notes

Recommended Reading

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0765377837&Format= Tim's recommendation: Updraft (Bone Universe) by Fran Wilde

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0765324733&Format= Jay's recommendation: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=1630230111&Format= Nina's recommendation: Archangel (The Chronicles of Ubastis) by Marguerite Reed

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Episode 1.9: Reward Systems

May 16th, 2016

Every writer sometimes needs help with motivation. Inspired by Elizabeth Bear's recent article, the Mad Writers discuss ways writers can reward themselves on a job well done. Especially because the lag times for writers tend to be long, in traditional publishing more so. The volcano lair is filled with speculation over how to create suitable rewards for various situations to keep the motivation up.

Notable Notes

Recommended Reading

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=1607014564&Format= Tim's recommendation: Word Puppets by Mary Robinette Kowal

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=1477817387&Format= Jay's recommendation: Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0985798963&Format= Nina's recommendation: Velveteen vs. The Multiverse by Seanan McGuire

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