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Episode 107 of Speculate! — Holly Black Writing Discussion

Welcome to Episode 107 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our triptych of shows on the work of Holly Black with a discussion of some of the writing techniques used in her novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, looking at the benefits of starting a book in media res, how delaying the reveal of a centrally important concept in your novel can give it (and the rest of the plot) greater weight, the value of creating a well-rounded character with a strong moral core, and other writing-focused concepts.  If you like what you see and hear, don’t forget to check back soon when we’ll have our next state of the field show with authors Erik Scott de Bie and Marie Bilodeau.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 100 of Speculate! — Garth Nix and Sean Williams Writing Discussion

Welcome to Episode 100 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we reflect for a bit on the hundred shows we’ve done over the past three plus years before concluding our triptych of shows on the work of Garth Nix and Sean Williams with a discussion of some of the writing techniques used in their novel Troubletwisters; we consider things like layered worldbuilding, methods of designing magic systems, developing bridge characters and creating initial conditions, along with other writing-oriented concepts.  If you like what you see and hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll be interviewing Peter V. Brett and Brent Weeks on new graphic novel projects coming soon from both authors.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 89 of Speculate! — Scott Lynch Writing Discussion

Welcome to Episode 89 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our quadtych of shows on the work of Scott Lynch with a discussion of some of the writing techniques used in his novel The Lies of Locke Lamora, considering things like patience in writing, creating “connective tissue” within a novel, the importance of apparently insignificant details, how to portray the art of the negotiation and other writing-oriented concepts.  If you like what you see and hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll be interviewing Tom Merritt, co-founder and co-host of the Sword and Laser podcast.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 82 of Speculate! — Lauren Beukes Writing Discussion

TheShiningGirlsWelcome to Episode 82 of Speculate! In this episode, Greg and Brad complete their triptych of shows on Lauren Beukes by discussing writing technique, using The Shining Girls as our inspiration. We talk about specificity, of “going with your gut,” of the balance between protagonist and antagonist, and the promises books make. Don’t forget to tune in in the coming weeks when we talk to author D.B. Jackson about the latest installment in his Thieftaker Chronicles.

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Episode 76 of Speculate! — Tim Powers Writing Discussion

Welcome to Episode 76 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we present the final installment of our triptych of shows on the work of Tim Powers with a discussion of some of the writing techniques used in his latest novel Hide Me Among The Graves, looking at the artful use of mystery, creating and fulfilling an implied contract between writer and reader, immersing oneself in the world being created, learning the value of both giving and receiving critiques, and being comfortable with the kind of writer you are–all things represented by and in Tim’s work.  If you like what you see and hear, don’t forget to check back in two weeks when we’ll talk about the joys and sorrows of writing workshops with veteran writers (and fellow Codexians) Cat Rambo and Luc Reid.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 71 of Speculate! — Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm Writing Discussion

InheritanceAndOtherStories

Join Greg and Brad as we talk writing using Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm’s short story collection, The Inheritance & Other Stories, as inspiration. We talk about writing “the other” with low human-oriented reference, altered awareness as story scope expands, character arcs, and more. We also give, and allow us to repeat it here, a huge thank you to all our supporters who gave us a nod in the Hugo preliminary voting. Here’s hoping we make it onto the short list, but either way, we couldn’t have gotten here without your help. Thanks for your comments and for spreading the word as far as you have. We appreciate it very much.

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Episode 64 of Speculate! — Joe Abercrombie Writing Discussion

Red Country

Welcome to Episode 64 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode, our final one of 2012, we conclude our triptych of shows on Joe Abercrombie‘s Red Country with a discussion about some of the specific writing techniques used in the novel, examining aspects of setting, character development, determining the place of a book’s characters in the world they inhabit and the importance of writing what you love.  We conclude with wishes for a happy and peaceful holiday season, never more necessary than in the wake of the horrific tragedy at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut; we pay tribute to the victims at the end of the episode.

If you like what you hear, please spread the word, and thanks for all your support in 2012.  We’ll be back in the new year with new shows examining the speculative fiction genre which we love.  Until then, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!

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Episode 59 of Speculate! – Beneath Ceaseless Skies Writing Discussion

BeneathCeaselessSkies

Welcome to Episode 59 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our triptych of shows on the Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine with a look at a few of the specific writing techniques used in the stories from the two issues we discussed during this series, focusing on ways to establish tone through language, work against reader expectations, use vignettes to engage the reader, and put together surprise endings–ones which don’t have to rely simply on the progression of the plot.  If you enjoy the conversation, don’t forget to check back next week for an interview with urban fantasy authors Amber Benson and Anton Strout.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 54 of Speculate! – Saladin Ahmed Writing Discussion

ThroneOfTheCrescentMoon

Welcome back for Episode 54 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our quadtych of shows on the work of Saladin Ahmed with a look at some of the specific writing techniques used in his debut novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, focusing on narrative pace and character description, misdirection, filling in the world, character development, and cultural portrayals.  If you enjoy what you hear, don’t forget to check back soon for a series of short interviews from GenCon and the Wellspring workshop.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 48 of Speculate! – Ian McDonald Writing Discussion

TheDervishHouse

Welcome back for Episode 48 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our series of shows on the work of Ian McDonald with a look at a few of the specific writing techniques used in The Dervish House, particularly his approach to cinematic writing, evoking all the senses, worldbuilding and atmosphere, using contrasting characters and points of view to establish a (reasonably) objective truth, and not being afraid of science–or even educated guesses about what science might reveal in the future–in writing science fiction.  If you enjoy what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week for our series of short interviews from Origins 2012.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

(Side note:  During the show Brad refers to a roundtable he recently participated in over at SF Signal with a host of SFF luminaries including Elizabeth Bear, Charles Stross and recent Speculate! guest Rob Ziegler, moderated by Jeremy Lassen.  There are a lot of interesting insights to be gleaned from the discussion, and if you find today’s episode interesting we recommend you head here for more.)

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