S2E21 – Twist the Cab Sav, Raven (Anchorhead Part 7)

It’s the second of our mini episodes to tide our listeners over through the summer (and yes, we’re titling these purely to torment Raven). As you may have guessed, we’re back in Anchorhead, where it really is a miracle we haven’t yet died a slow, painful death. But don’t worry – there’s still time!

Previous episodes are below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

We’re also taking suggestions for future adventure games we might be able to play on the podcast. If you have a title in mind, why not drop by our Twitter page and let us know? We’d also love to know if there are any topics you’d like us to discuss in season 3. As ever, we’re open to comments from our listeners, so feel free to get in touch! Let’s just hope the Lovecraftian beasties don’t get us before we have a chance to reply…

S2E20 – Ialda and Friends (Anchorhead Part 6)

Our second season is now officially over, so we’d like to thank everyone who’s listened, commented, taken part in our contest and generally made running this show worthwhile! We’ll be back in September with a whole host of new episodes, but for now, we’ve got a couple of short, bonus Anchorhead episodes to see you through the rest of the summer.

As ever, you can find past installments of our adventure below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Thanks for being with us, everyone, and we’ll see you in September!

S2E19 – Anchorhead (Part 5)

We’re back in Anchorhead this week, where things are once again suitably eerie, and where our strong, independent, Amazonian character continues her journey, all whilst carrying umpteen objects in her unfeasibly large hands. If none of that makes any sense, you clearly need to listen to the previous four episodes! You can find them all here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

This is a shorter episode than some of our Anchorhead endeavors so far, and we’ll be chopping the rest of the story up into similarly bite-size pieces for your listening pleasure. Stay tuned to our Twitter account @wahpodcast to make sure you never miss an episode! There is, after all, hardly any chance at all that our stay in Anchorhead is going to end well…

S2E18 – Current Projects

We’re back, and we’re talking about our current writing projects! With April’s Camp NaNoWriMo behind us (and another in progress already), we sat down to talk about what we wrote for Camp, and everything else we’re in the middle of working on. This is a behind-the-scenes look at what our busy hosts get up to when we’re not podcasting, and a sneak peek at some of the projects we hope to be introducing to the world one day!

We’d also just like to apologise for our recent hiatus. A few technical gremlins got in the way of recording and editing our episodes, but we’ve now got those all ironed out. We’re actually getting very close to the end of season two and our summer break, but we’ve got a couple more episodes for you before that.

And we’d love to know what you’re working on! Find us on Twitter and let us know @wahpodcast or send an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com. We also want to hear your questions or comments on general writing topics, particularly if you’ve got something in mind you’d like us to chat about in season three.

S2E17 – Writing Serial Fiction

As long-time listeners of the show will know, all four of our hosts met through the Guild Wars 2 fan site, Chronicles of Tyria. As a result, we’ve all been writing serial fiction for at least a couple of years, and in this episode, Chase, Nienna and Amy talk about what they’ve learned – and a few mistakes they’ve made along the way!

We discuss our experiences of planning our stories, maintaining structure when writing in installments, and knowing when to go back and edit (or whether to edit at all). We also talk about issues relating to working on a single project for a long time: how do you keep yourself motivated, for example, and how do you know when it’s time to call it a day?

We know this is a subject particularly relevant to fan-fic writers, a category a lot of our listeners fall into, so why not stop by our Twitter page @wahpodcast and let us know your thoughts?

We’d also just like to thank our contest entrants! The prizes have now been sent out, but we’ll be running more contests in the future, so keep an eye out for a chance to show off your writing skills!

S2E16 – Anchorhead (Part 4)

We’re doubling up on Anchorhead episodes this month, as we get ever closer to uncovering the secrets of this strange town. What might our new husband and his family be hiding? What’s been happening in this town for century after century? Just how many objects will our unusually large hands be able to hold this time? The mystery continues!

As ever, to get the most out of this episode, you really need to listen to the rest of the story. You can find the first three parts here, here and here.

On a final note, our anniversary contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered! We’ll be announcing the winner soon.

Want to send us your theories on how the Anchorhead story is going to end? We’ve certainly got plenty of our own (they mostly involve hideous deaths), but we’d love to hear yours. Send us a tweet to @wahpodcast, or an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com. We’d also love to hear your suggestions for similar text-based games we could play in the future. After all, we’re not going to be stuck in Anchorhead indefinitely… right?

S2E15 – Anchorhead (Part 3)

Fear not, listeners! We haven’t forgotten Anchorhead! We’re back there this week, continuing our adventures in this strange little Lovecraftian town. This episode is, of course, best enjoyed having listened to the first two parts of the series, which you can find here and here. Other than that, we suggest you go into this episode with no spoilers and simply enjoy the ride.

Remember, our writing contest is still ongoing, and you now have just ten days to submit your entries! Send them to wahpodcast@gmail.com. Alternatively, if you need to refresh your memory on the rules – and the prizes! – you can find all the details here.

S2E14 – Moist and Pulpy Gods

In today’s episode, we dive into the subject of world-building. This is a vast topic, so we focus on just one aspect that’s particularly important in fantasy: creating and writing fictional religions. Our discussion falls into two main parts. In the first, we talk about the specifics of creating a religion, and how you might integrate that religion into your fantasy world. We cover how your religion might have come into being, whether it’s in competition with others, and how it might fit into the day-to-day life of people in your world.

Once you’ve created your religion, of course, you’re going to want to include it in your story, so we also talk about writing religious characters, how religion might affect the events of your plot, and – a problem usually unique to the fantasy genre – writing gods/deities as actual characters.

And, because world-building is such a huge topic, we’ll back with a follow-up next month, when we’ll be talking about science and technology.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Leave them in the comments below, or come on over to Twitter, where you can find us @wahpodcast.

Remember, our writing contest is open until May 15th. You’ve got a few more weeks to write your entries, and potentially win a whole stack of brilliant fantasy ebooks! Need a reminder of the rules? You can find them here.

S2E13 – Life is Strange Review

We’re back with another in our series of reviews/story chats, talking about the game Life is Strange. A story-based adventure game, Life is Strange gave us plenty to discuss, from its use of place and atmosphere, to the complications of creating consistent dialogue options when time travel is one of the key game mechanics. Primarily, though, we focus on both the characters and plot of the game, including Max and Chloe, the way their relationship shapes the story, and an ending that’s been incredibly divisive among players.

As ever, to get the most out of this episode, we recommend playing Life is Strange first (though in case that’s not an option for you, or to refresh your memory, we do start off by giving a general overview of the plot.) Whether you’re a gamer or not, there’s a lot to learn from Life is Strange – whether that’s what to do or what not to do – about characterisation, about introducing your villains, and perhaps most crucially of all, about not messing with time!

Have you played Life is Strange? What did you think? Has our review piqued your interest – or scared you off entirely? Let us know via Twitter!

Finally, our contest is still running, and now has an extended deadline (we realised our original date was right in the middle of Camp NaNoWriMo, which wasn’t great timing for a lot of writers – including us!). You can find all the details in the contest blog post here.

After Dark #1 – High School Hanky Panky

There are two things you need to know about this episode. One, that it’s completely, 100% off-topic, containing absolutely no writing advice whatsoever. Two, that it’s probably (okay, definitely) NSFW.

Welcome to Words Are Hard: After Dark! In these special episodes, we’ll be taking a more relaxed approach than usual, chatting about all manner of topics other than writing. To start off, we’re reliving our school days – or that’s where we’re starting, anyway. Expect tangents, digressions and plenty of swearing (we did say it’s NSFW!), as we delve into waters we wouldn’t usually touch on the podcast.

This is, of course, a special episode, and we’ll only be recording them occasionally (most likely when one of our hosts has something to rant about). If off-topic shenanigans aren’t your thing, don’t worry! We’ll be back with one of our regular, writing-related episodes in two weeks, when we’ll be talking about the story-based adventure game Life is Strange (now is a perfect time to play it if you haven’t already). Find us on Twitter @wahpodcast to keep up-to-date with that.

We also still have a contest running! See our Twitter or the last post on the Words Are Hard website for details. Remember, you can send your entries, or any questions regarding either the contest or our episodes, to wahpodcast@gmail.com.