Episode 20 - The Story Grid
Works in Progress
[00:00:50] Eric wrote a couple hundred words on Faith, Love, and Rust, but otherwise has not been working on much.
Mike followed Eric and wrote nothing.
John wrote 1050 words on the Hobo story. He's just shy of 7000 words. He had bits and pieces in various places and has been trying to consolidate it all in Penflip.
What's happening online
On Maps in Fantasy Novels
[00:03:59] On Maps in Fantasy Novels discusses the map included at the release of N.K. Jemisin's novel The Fifth Season was released. This was a good example of example content on an author's website, but considering Jeminsin is a critic of fantasy maps, it was a surprise she posted one.
The Bigass Things I Hate In Fantasy Maps is a post listing some of the critiques of maps included in fantasy literature.
Maps have become both a cliché and a kind of spoiler within the epic fantasy genre. The maps in most fantasy novels feature only locations that will become important over the course of the series so by looking at the map, any savvy reader can pretty much figure out where the story is going. If the map shows five cities, and the characters are going off on a quest, often they hit all five cities.
Some other offensive map tropes:
At least one of everything Map (mountain, desert, volcano)
God made it fantasy map: Straight hole in forest, parallel rivers, square mountains.
Place names sound really made up Map
The conveniently paper shaped continent fantasy map
[00:07:19] The winners of the 2015 Hugo Awards have been announced. In episode 1 we talked about the Sad Puppies / Rabid Puppies trying to influence the nominations for this year's Hugo awards. They did block vote to get some nominations on the short list, but the rest of the Worldcon votes prevented any of the Sad Puppy nominations from getting the prize, choosing "No Award" for those categories instead. The Sad Puppies are claiming that was their goal all along.
Edit in green ink
[00:09:07] Edit in green ink. Black is too hard to read, blue is too bland, and red is too harsh.
A Vet Reviews the Hurt Locker
[00:10:35] A Marine and Iraq Veteran reviews The Hurt Locker… (This Won’t be Pretty). In Episode 18 we discussed writing military science fiction. Eric found an article that reviews the film The Hurt Locker. This marine who served in Iraq points out a number of inconsistencies and why it's a bad movie.
John is reading Wired for War by P.W. Singer.
John tweeted that he was having crazy, drone dreams, and P.W. Singer reached out to me on Twitter and told me about his fiction book Ghost Fleet.
Mike picked up Abomination by Gary Whitta. Gary has written a lot of other works such as the scripts for The Book of Eli and Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One as well as video game scripts (The Walking Dead) and TV shows (Futurama, Star Trek: Voyager).
Abomination takes us back in time as King Alfred the Great desperately tries to bulwark his kingdom from invading Viking forces. Desperate for a solution, he turns to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has uncovered an ancient secret in the form of a dark magic that could help turn the tide in England’s favor.
Tech Focus - Kickstarter and Inkshare
Eric interviewed a few writers and a filmmaker who were all using Kickstarter to fund their projects. Eric's post. One author, Greg Stolze started 29 Kickstarter campaigns, of which only 3 were not funded.
Greg doesn't spend any money promoting his Kickstarter. Those that support him are people who are already his fans and know about his work.
He has the content ready to go before he launches the Kickstarter campaign, and perhaps this is why he is successful. The funds are to get the work professionally edited, proofing, cover art and ready to distribute to the masses.
Author Stacey Jay took a lot of criticism when she started a Kickstarter campaign for a sequel to her novel Princess of Thorns. The book had sold poorly enough that the publisher wasn't interested in the sequel but there seemed to be enough interest in a self-published second book. The backlash seemed to be in the phrasing of her request: that she'd be able to cover living expenses as a paid author at best or because as a woman she should write for the passion at worst. (source: Stacey Jay, Kickstarter and the Value of Female Creators and KICKSTARTER TAG TEAM POST: WHAT’S ASKING TOO MUCH?)
Inkshares is a literature-specific site where authors can build their novel a step at a time and get feedback from fans throughout the process. To start, authors create a 20-word summary of their work. If there's enough interest in the concept, the author can write a draft that's submitted to the site. It only takes 250 backers to have an Inkshare e-book created and if a work has 1000 backers, Inkshares will produce a paper copy of the book as well.
Inkshares does the marketing, design the cover, publish it, distribute it and get in the hands of the people who ordered it.
Craft Talk - The Story Grid
[00:23:27] Shane Coyne is a 25-year veteran in the publishing industry. During his years as an editor at the Big Five publishing houses, as an independent publisher, as a literary agent, and as a bestselling co-writer and ghostwriter, Coyne created a methodology called The Story Grid to teach the editing craft.
The book is edited by Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, who is Coyne's partner at Black Irish Books.
Here's a video explaining The Story Grid
Writing that Pays
What can you do to make your 1700ish words each day? First, prep:
Use Hiveword.com to plan your characters and scenes.
Use notebooks (moleskin/fieldnotes/cheap paper .... doesn't really matter...just write down your notes!)
You know have 2 months to get your affairs in order. Make it happen.
Finally, you don't need motivation. Cat posters won't help you in NaNoWriMo, you need discipline.
iTunes review by sn-ppc-man.
"Informative and Entertaining"
"Each time I listen to these guys I realize how little I know about the writing technology that is available to aspiring authors. These guys throw a lot of new tech writing information into each episode, but surprisingly it doesn't sound like a laundry list. The show remains entertaining throughout and I've yet to have an episode that didn't keep me engaged. These guys have a great on air personality and despite their adversarial barbs at one another you can tell they are good friends. They are well informed about the tools out there for writers and they are entertaining speakers. What's not to like?"
Shoutout to Lou Yuhasz who followed us on Scribophile. We have a Typehammer group on Scribophile, join us there!