The podcast for wanna-be fiction writers: Award-winning podcast for newbie writers that's been online since 2005! If you're new and unsure how get (and keep!) going in your writing career, this is the show for you. Past shows have guest starred Connie Willis, Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, and so many more!
I talk novel writing and roadblocks and the Hugo ballot.
State of me, state of the show, and much needed feedback. Copyright 2019, Mur Lafferty -- BY-NC-SA 3.5 License -- murverse.com
Recorded from my hotel room at Boskone, I discuss how I'm approaching my new novel.
I talk about some changes coming to the podcast, and then I interview Sherrilyn Kenyon. Remember to email me if you want to win a copy of her book! US only please. murverse.com | BY NC SA Creative Commons
I talk about Save the Cat Writes a Novel, and how useful I find the beat sheet from the system. murverse.com | BY NC SA Creative Commons
It's time for NaNoWriMo, what are you doing to prepare? Here's what I'm up to. https://nanowrimo.org/participants/mightymur
Episode 400, really! It's not a Very Special Episode (TM) but I do think it's important. murverse.com | BY NC SA Creative Commons
Almost to 400, and I still feel like I'm a beginner! Wow.
Back and rambling and OMG I am writing the SOLO novelization!
And I talk about one of the epiphanies I've had after... sixteen years of writing. It's embarrassing.
I have been struggling inside my own head lately, but am trying to get back.
Lordy, I'm behind on feedback! I catch up here. I'll do a Twitter feedback show in the future. I would love some ideas as to what you want to see in episode 400 of I Should Be Writing. Send me your thoughts! ISBW is sponsored by Serial Box! Yes, my publisher for Bookburners, one of my favorite projects I've worked on in the past few years! Get a discount on a whole season of content with the code WRITING18.
In reading a book on luck, I had an epiphany not on luck, but on procrastination. I explore the reason why we may avoid writing, and then I talk to G. S. Denning, author of the Warlock Holmes series.
When your supporting characters' response to personally tragic things in their life is "how will this affect this other person?" then you have a problem. Are you a WorldCon member? Don't forget to vote for the Hugos, AND remember you have the power to go to the business meeting! ISBW is sponsored by Serial Box! Yes, my publisher for Bookburners, one of my favorite projects I've worked on in the past few years! Get a discount on a whole season of content with the code WRITING18.
it's time for the yearly discussion on conventions and etiquette and advice. And then we delve into feedback.
I got some News. I wish I could tell, but I can't even share with you, my lovely supporters. But the news has made my brain and schedule all higgledy piggeldy. So I talk about that. ISBW is sponsored by Serial Box! Yes, my publisher for Bookburners, one of my favorite projects I've worked on in the past few years! Get a discount on a whole season of content with the code WRITING18. HEY- did you know I'm offering transcriptions of both ISBW and Ditch Diggers? They will go up as soon as I get them...more
Should you find a publisher before the book is done? Should you worry about your pen name before you find an agent? What order should things be done in, anyway? Brought to you by Serial Box, the "HBO for ebooks." Get a discount on a whole season of content with the code WRITER18.
I have one resolution this year, and that's to get bored more often. Also, I talk fears, and NBC's The Good Place. I was supposed to have an interview but I just discovered it's crap and I have to re-record. Sorry about that.
I pontificate about Patreon, transcribing the podcasts, and Star Wars (no spoilers). If you want to support on Patreon, by the way, you can do so here. Happy Holidays!
Why is it OK to suck? Specifically, why does stinky writing matter?
Almost November! Are you ready? Maybe this will help. http://www.NaNoWriMo.org http://www.grantfaulkner.com/
NaNoWriMo is in less than a month! AUGH! So we talk prep, and we talk to Nicky Drayden, author of The Prey of Gods (which was a NaNo book!)
When mild depression hits.
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.
WHY should you follow all those writing rules? These are the "story structure" and "no adverbs" and "Give your characters something to do" rules. Can't we all just break the rules and run amok? It's the digital age, we can do what we want!
We talk awards and feedback and I wonder what happened at WorldCon. We will find out when I record again!
I'm coming out of depression land and straight into the crazy that is August that is travel and WorldCon. So here is the podcast for the week of July 24, and the podcast for the week of August 7 is already queued. (Only I say it's for August 14 because calendars are hard) Books mentioned: Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun
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.
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.
I know I know I know I always say these supportive things but sometimes it's hard to listen to myself. Recently 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.
Is Writing Daily a Necessity? A new article has writer Twitter in a froth. It turns out that someone wrote a clickbait article about how if you aren't writing daily, then you might as well quit. This is so, so, so wrong. Did I write daily for a while? Yes. Do I recommend the Magic Spreadsheet for others who want to write daily? Yes. Did it help me and others? Yes. But telling you that you MUST write daily because I did is like saying that since I ran a marathon, everyone must run a marathon else...more
Show Notes: ISBW (and Ditch Diggers) Wiki, a work in progress! Discussions of the magical negro: Further thoughts by Nnedi Okorafor: STEPHEN KING'S SUPER-DUPER MAGICAL NEGROES and Salon: The offensive movie cliche that won’t die Books I recommend: many books by Victoria Lynn Schmidt and Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress
I credit one of the things that is making me consistent lately to taking ADHD meds for the first time. Yay, mental health! Been feeling invisible lately. Not too bad, but it's strange. I can't go into details, but dang, it's not a good feeling. I started a new book! Alasdair Stuart code named it SPACE MEAT DINER for me. I probably will not submit the book under this title. Current wordcount (including proposal parts) 7706. Main Topic: Conflicts! Characters work best with an internal conflict t...more
Don't use adverbs. Show, don't tell. Often blanket terms, what do they really mean, and why should we use them? And what does it mean when someone carefully follows those rules. Recommended book: Nabokov's Favorite Word Was Mauve
I discuss where politics fall within the topic of this show, what I've been up to, some challenges, and some future stuff. Little bit of catching up. Also, it's the last night to nominate for the Hugos!
I usually use the boxing metaphor for writing, but I've been thinking it's more like a relationship. Plus Six Wakes and Bookburners both launched! Then I talk to my fellow Bookburners authors, Margaret Dunlap, Max Gladstone, and Brian Francis Slattery.
I discuss how I try to get work done using Habitica and 4thewords.com. Then talk to Jason Chabot and Kylie Chan!
Some long-awaited feedback gets answered!
Where I've been for the last two months, and two more interviews with Leanna Renee Hieber and Brooke Johnson! (And I hadn't recorded in a while, so the wrong mic is grabbing the audio and I didn't realize till afterwards.) And I've been podcasting 12 years! WOW!
I was lucky enough to talk to Grant Faulkner, the grand poobah of NaNoWriMo! Are you ready for November?
I talked about my continuity issues in my current book, and then talk to JD Horn about his book Jilo. Oh, and did you hear there's going to be an ISBW BOOK? Yeah. There's going to be an ISBW BOOK. Holy crap sticks.
It's another long show as I catch up with my late interviews! Jon Skovron and John Claude Bemis are both here to talk about their books. With two interviews, this one is a long one! Worldcon is this week! Are you going? Come say hi!
I announced it a few days ago that Netflix purchased the option for The Shambling Guides, and I talk more about it here. Then I put two interviews in one show since I'm behind, so you get to hear from Mike Carey and Brenda Cooper!
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.
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.
I've leveled up as a writer, and I interview Dan Koboldt, author of The Rogue Retrieval.
Feedback time again!
LORD GOD it's been two months? SHAME, MUR. SHAME.
As of today, I've been podcasting 11 years. Whoa. I also talk to Raven Oak, one of the authors in the Joy to the Worlds anthology, out now!
It's a feedback time, and so we're gonna talk.
Coming to terms with my fear, and how it’s holding me back. So it’s time to embrace failure.
Haters got you down? Don't let them.
As we look forward two weeks to NaNoWriMo, I have to talk about something very unpopular. This year I challenge you to kill your darlings.
I'm still working on my book. I'm kind of focused, podcasting is hard. BUT we have a Peter Orullian interview! murverse.com orullian.com
What happens when no one believes in you but you? Then we talk to Fran Wilde about her new book Updraft!
Today I talk how my brain sabotages my creative process and I talk to Andrea Phillips about transmedia and her new book, Revision.
ISBW returns with an agent interview this time, and my plea to stop kicking your own ass. And by you I mean me. Jen's podcast, Shipping and Handling.
I'm back with a talk of what's going on, feedback, and a John Chu interview from Boskone! Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)
A short and sweet feedback show about royalties, copyright, and social media celebration! Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)
Sometimes talking about how busy we are is a sense of pride and not something to fix. Maybe we should rethink that. Then I talk to Dora Goss. Ditch Diggers coming tomorrow! Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)
I'm back, with feedback. Important links: List of conventions Online Writing Workshop Critters
I talk about resistance and the book The War of Art, and then interview author Michael Underwood. Links: Younger Gods Michael's site Tor.com Novella Announcement! 2K to 10K My award eligibility post (affiliate links)
First feedback of the year, lots of neat things happening, and we talk covers and memoirs and outlining!
So last week when I was working to put a bunch of audio on my site, I got a bit lost and didn't manage to actually post ISBW. Too many shows going on right now, I guess. So, uh, here is my Happy New Year post, and #342 that I recorded today will go up on Friday.
I'm doing the wacky thing of taking some time off this holiday season, no writing, little recording, and no stress thinking about writing and recording. This is a Big Deal. Then we talk feedback! Happy holidays and I will see you in January!
I talk jealousy and show a peek at the new show I'm doing next year, Ditch Diggers. It's still about writing, but it's brutally honest, not clean, and with co-host Matt Wallace. I figured, today being my 10th year anniversary of podcasting, I should unveil something big. If you like it, subscribe! If you don't like it, don't worry, Matt and I won't force you to listen. This will be the first and last Ditch Diggers in the feed. Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)
I say it's #339 but really it's 338. It's feedback time! Obligatory Buy My Book! link: (affiliate)
So glad to have Howard Tayler back on the show. If you don't listen to Howard on Writing Excuses, you totally should.
I talk characterization and stuff, taking from a blog post I read and can't remember the source. If you know the source TELL ME and I will post it here so I am not a total jerk. Support me via Patreon and get access to the archives, the NaNoWriMo podcast, and more!
We talk women authors, pen names, the networking bucket, and what to focus on as a newbie.
I'm back from technical difficulties, ready to talk about NaNoWriMo! Also got the amazing Charlaine Harris as this week's interview. If you want the daily NaNo show, support via Patreon! Reading Now: Dust, by Elizabeth BearWriting (editing) Now: Afterlife Series 6: Stones
Harsh truth about quitting the day job, and more. Hang in there, folks. Keep writing. Support via Patreon I'm reading: Aeropagitica I'm writing: Afterlife Book 6: Stones
I talk about what it means to be a "wanna-be," and then delve into hooks, using Kameron Hurley's The Mirror Empire for example. Fantastic book. Go get it. Then I interview Seanan McGuire, from way back. Relevant links: The Mirror Empire, Seanan's Blog What I'm writing now*: We Need the Eggs: detectives, wetware, and roller derby. Its status is proposal-under-edit-after-agent-comments. PUEAAC, if you will. What I'm reading now: The Mirror Empire *Like, right this second, today. I have many ir...more
We take feedback from email and twitter, talk research, diversity, and platforms and social media. Don't forget to support the show via Patreon!
I am recovering from London, deaths in the family, and deaths in the extended friendship family. I broke my magic spreadsheet chain. It's been rough. LonCon was awesome, though, and I will cover that at some future time.
I have a couple of horses in this Amazon vs Hachette race, and although I will admit I don't fully understand all the details, I will say that I really dislike absolutes. On a brighter note, we talk to Kirsty Logan!
Writing and running and grammar and thanks SO much for pushing the show past the $300 level in Patreon!
This week we welcome Gail Carriger back to the show, and talk about taking care of yourself. Hint- it's not romantic to treat yourself like crap in order to brag that you're not sleeping or drinking too much in order to feel like a "real" writer. Don't forget to check out the Patreon and support the podcast!
Hello new listeners! We have a feedback show for you. Coming soon- interview with Gail Carriger! Don't forget to support my Patreon.
It's time to talk entitlement - readers who expect too much, AND authors/publishers who expect too much. Then we talk to Pip Ballantine.
We talk pen names, editing, and characters.
I am not terribly productive because I'm in a rut. And I didn't say this in the podcast, but RIP Jay Lake. :(
I know, two shows in a week. Crazypants. The biggest thing we talk about is the advice for the sailor who wants to write on his iPad. Storyist is the most popular app, mentioned by a lot of people.
I talk about my skepticism for productivity sites, and then have a LONG talk with my agent, Jen Udden, asking lots and lots of questions. There was wine. And a bit of swearing.
I go through the emails and discuss series, and agents, and iPad word processors. Don't forget to support the site via Patreon!
We take a small detour and host Fran Wilde's first podcast for her blog Cooking the Books. And the interview is with me! How cool is that?
Depression sucks. Many people talk about it. Depression Lies - The Bloggess Depression Part Two - Hyperbole and a Half But paying it forward is nice, as PJ Schnyder is doing at RT Booklover's Convention. The Hugo slate was announced. There are many things to be happy and annoyed about. But the core issue is, read the works, vote as you see fit. And we talk to Adam Christopher, author of the Burning Dark* and long-time listener of the show! You know, at some point you'd think I would get jeal...more
I go through the feedback. Note, I didn't get to all the feeback because I will soon have an interview with my agent, Jen Udden, and will ask her the remaining questions. Hey! Did you know I have a Patreon account? Support me and save puppies from giant hawk attacks! (or just support the show. That works too)
I was delighted to interview my buddy Max Gladstone, and I only held onto the interview for like 3 months. And then realized we got cut off at the end. BUT IT IS A GOOD INTERVIEW DANGIT. I also give my opinions of reading the fine print, told in the perspective of the Amtrak Writer's Residency idea.
From publishers making you write, to how many rejections are too many! In this show we cover what to do at each milestone of rejections. There is no maximum number of rejections you can get before you should stop writing. But you should mark the milestones regardless: 100 rejections: Go to Google and search for your favorite author and see if you can find how many rejections THEY got before they had a sale. This will also test your Google skills, as the search may be difficult. Learn about JK R...more
[If you're here from USAToday.com, welcome!] This episode we discuss how I've been writing out of order, and how lack of confidence creates a bit of a roadblock. Then we talk to Madeline Ashby, the awesome SF writer. Check out her books vN and iD.
Myke Cole has a new book out, finishing his Shadow Ops trilogy! He's a great author and a very giving guy. Ghost Train to New Orleans – Out March 4
I have a book coming out in a month! Time to discuss marketing options.
Recorded early January, I'm just now getting this up. Sorry about that. But I talked to Teri Karobonik, an IP lawyer who got her career idea from a show I did a very long time ago!
I'm back after NaNo stress! Hope you did well! And I talk to Matt Lohr and Diane O'Bannon, co-authors of Dan O'Bannon's Guide to Screenplay Structure.
Did you finish? I didn't! Here's the last episode for all you winners, and 'losers' too!
Some people want to be "pure" when they write, consuming no media, and definitely not things associated with what they are writing. I say PISH TOSH. Wordcount at end of day: 41,675 Words left to write: 8,325 My NaNoWriMo Page Theme music by John Anealio
It's the holidays, things are stressful, and you might be wanting to take some time off. Should you? And sorry about the lack of prompts for the next few eps. I didn't have the energy and then I didn't have the time. Writing prompt- Monsters! Monsters, aliens, vampires, zombies, etc, they all need things to survive. Even supernaturals, if they don't eat, they either get very cranky or very slow/sick. So if your characters comes across a monster, consider its habitat. It didn't come to be in that...more