Speculative destruction, one episode at a time.

Episode 1.15: Considering Self-care

Posted by on Aug 15, 2016 in | 2 comments

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

Tim’s recommendation: Something Rotten (Thursday Next Novels) by Jasper Fforde

Jay’s recommendation: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Nina’s recommendation: Zoe’s Tale (Old Man’s War) by John Scalzi



 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 1.14: Alphas and Betas

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in | 0 comments

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

Nina’s recommendation: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy) by N.K. Jemisin



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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

Come say hi to us at MidAmericonII!

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Episode 1.13: Flash Fiction

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in | 0 comments

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

Tim’s recommendation: The Everything Box: A Novel (Another Coop Heist) by Richard Kadrey

Jay’s recommendation: The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All: Stories by Laird Barron

Nina’s recommendation: Night Watch: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett



 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 1.12: Goals Check-In

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in | 0 comments

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

Tim’s recommendation: The Collected Stories (FSG Classics) by Grace Paley

Jay’s recommendation: The Escapement of Blackledge: a novella by Mary Robinette Kowal

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

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in | 0 comments

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

Crystal’s recommendation: The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

Tim’s recommendation: Air Vol. 1: Letters from Lost Countries by G. Willow Wilson and M.K.Perker

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

Posted by on May 30, 2016 in | 0 comments

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

Tim’s recommendation: Updraft (Bone Universe) by Fran Wilde

Jay’s recommendation: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock

Nina’s recommendation: Archangel (The Chronicles of Ubastis) by Marguerite Reed

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Episode 1.9: Reward Systems

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in | 0 comments

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

Tim’s recommendation: Word Puppets by Mary Robinette Kowal

Nina’s recommendation: Velveteen vs. The Multiverse by Seanan McGuire

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