After Dark #4 – A Chuck Tingle Four-Way

On this very special day of the year, we clearly had to bring you a very special episode. This week, Nienna and Jalinar have joined us for a series of reviews – but, of course, this being an After Dark episode, these aren’t just any reviews. Welcome to the extraordinary world of Chuck Tingle. We hope you enjoy your stay.

Remember, this is an After Dark episode, which means nothing is off limits. Unlike our usual content, this is definitely NSFW, so please proceed carefully! (If you’re at all familiar with the work of Chuck Tingle, you probably already know why!)

As ever, we have a huge amount of fun recording our After Dark episodes, and we hope you’ll love them too. We’re also open to suggestions for future review topics, and 100% willing to subject our guests to similar works for your listening enjoyment! Send your ideas to wahpodcast@gmail.com, or contact us via Twitter @wahpodcast.

For now, we hope you’ve been thoroughly Tingled. We know we have!

 

S3E10 – Naming a Book

Today we’re diving into a topic that many writers struggle with. You’ve spent weeks, months or even years laboring over your story, and you’re getting ready to release it into the world – but what do you call it?

We’re tackling this particular subject from a slightly different angle to our usual episodes, namely the marketing side of writing. We’ll be talking about everything from the naming conventions of different genres to how you can tie a series together with names that follow a theme. We also talk about why, even as the writer of the story, you might not be the one who ultimately decides its title at all!

This is a different take on a writing topic than you’ll find in many of our episodes, so we’d love to know what you think. What other marketing and publishing topics would you like to see us cover? Find us over at @wahpodcast on Twitter, or send an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com. There are bound to be topics out there that we’ve never even considered, so let us know your thoughts!

S3E9 – Anti-heroes

This week, we’re continuing with the subject of characters who might not be immediately sympathetic to your reader. A few episodes ago, we talked about villains, and included some of our favourite examples. This time, we’re moving on to anti-heroes.

Whilst anti-heroes and villains should evoke different reactions from your readers (one’s a protagonist and one an antagonist, generally speaking), there can sometimes be similarities between the two character types. In this episode, we discuss some more examples, what we enjoy in anti-hero characters, and what separates them from villains, even when – on the surface, at least – they might sometimes act the same way.

We’d love to hear about your favourite anti-hero characters! They’ve been particularly popular in fantasy over the last few years, so there are a whole host of anti-heroes out there to talk about. Why not send us your thoughts to wahpodcast@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter @wahpodcast.

In the next episode, we’ll be diving into a marketing-related topic for the first time on the podcast, so keep an eye out for that!

S3E8 – Writing Dialogue

It’s time for one of our nuts-and-bolts writing episodes! Nearly all fiction will contain dialogue in one form or another, so today Chase and Amy chat about their own approaches to writing it. We talk about topics like knowing the history of your character to make their speech feel more individual, and whether you need to research real-life social groups to get their slang right.

We also cover things we think you should avoid in your dialogue, whether it’s trying to perfectly emulate real speech (pro tip: just don’t), or giving every character an accent in an attempt to make them stand out. Ultimately, dialogue is an important part of your writing, but not one that needs to be agonised over. Quite often, when it comes to dialogue quirks and character voice, less is more!

Want to send us your thoughts? We’re always reachable at wahpodcast@gmail.com, or over on Twitter @wahpodcast.

S3E7 – The Emperor’s Soul Review

As promised in a few previous episodes, today we’re reviewing The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. Sanderson is an author we’ve talked about multiple times on the podcast, so it was great to be able to review one of his shorter works. We talk about all the basics of plot, characterisation and world-building here, but we also touch on where The Emperor’s Soul fits into Sanderson’s larger body of work.

If you want to read the story before listening to our review, it’s readily available in ebook. Many of Brandon Sanderson’s works are truly gargantuan, but this one is actually a novella and is much more bitesize! It’s also a great introduction to his writing if you’ve not come across him before – just one of many aspects we discuss in this episode.

If you’ve read The Emperor’s Soul, what did you think? Whether you’re a Sanderson aficionado or a complete newcomer, we’d love to hear your thoughts over on Twitter @wahpodcast.

S3E6 – The Gift of Fan-fic

Quick warning: this is another of our fan-fic episodes and listener discretion is advised. Contents may be considered NSFW and at the very least will make you snort coffee out of your nose. Proceed with caution!

Ah, the holidays. A time of good food, good company, and truly terrible fan-fiction. Today’s episode features some of our recent favourites, some of which may even be tangentially related to Christmas. We also have a special guest joining us, to make things extra festive.

Here are the stories we chose:

Legolas by laura – a true classic of the fan-fic world, though trigger warnings do apply (and are mentioned in the episode itself)

Home for the Holidays – look, it’s actually Christmas-related!

Harry Potter & The Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash – proving that bots are truly the future of bad fan-fic

And a quick extra link, to accompany that Harry Potter extravaganza: a collection of drawings to illustrate what may very well be one of the greatest stories of our time.

So there you have it: our gift to you, our wonderful listeners. We laughed until we cried whilst recording this one, so we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did! We were also so muddled by the end that we forgot to add our usual contact details, so here they are. As always, you can find us on Twitter @wahpodcast or send an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, or just a very pleasant week if you’re not celebrating, and we’ll see you in the new year!

S3E5 – Authors With Conflicting Opinions

What happens when you enjoy an author’s work, but disagree with their personal opinions? In this episode, we talk about whether it’s possible to read fiction without letting your knowledge of the author colour it – and whether you even want to. If an author is racist, for example, is there any chance their work won’t be, or should you just steer well clear?

We talk a lot about H.P. Lovecraft in this episode, which is where this topic first arose, but we also touch on more recent writers and whether you can enjoy their work even if you don’t personally like them (but their views aren’t particularly controversial).

There’s lots to discuss here and we know every reader is going to have a different opinion, so we’d love to hear from you! Drop by our Twitter page @wahpodcast, send an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com, or leave a comment below. You’ve also got a few more weeks to read The Emperor’s Soul before our review episode – and look out for a special holiday show coming up soon!

S3E4 – Villains

This week’s episode is all about a favourite subject of many writers: villains. In this discussion, we each pick a favourite villain from literature and talk about why we particularly like them. That might be because they’re irredeemably, unashamedly bad, or quite the opposite – they’re a villain, or antagonist, who’s all too understandable to the average reader.

We’d love to hear your favourites, too! We only had time to talk about three characters in this episodes, but there’s a whole world of fantastic villains out there. Let us know over on Twitter @wahpodcast, because this is a subject we’re bound to revisit.

Two quick notes: during December, we’ll be reviewing The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. If you’d like to make the most of the discussion, now is the perfect time to pick up a copy. (It’s only a novella, so you’ve got plenty of time!)

Even more importantly, you should also check out the Chimes zine, mentioned at the end of the episode! All of our hosts have written a story for this GW2-themed zine, and there are a few days left to order your copy. There are 71 contributors altogether, creating a fantastic array of artwork, fiction and even cosplay – and better yet, all proceeds go to charity!

S3E3 – Worldbuilding Science and Tech

Today’s episode is a continuation of a theme we started way back in episode 14 of season 2. In that instance, we discussed worldbuilding the religion for your story, and this time round we’re tackling the opposite side of the coin: science and technology.

We cover topics including how quickly technology in your world might have progressed, scientific aspects that might affect your worldbuilding without you even realising it, and that dreaded word for all SF writers: technobabble.

This is a big subject, and something a single episode can only scratch the surface of. Got something you’d love to hear us discuss in more detail? Let us know over on Twitter @wahpodcast, or via email at wahpodcast@gmail.com. We’ve also got episodes coming up on writing characters (and a very specific type of character – more on that next week!) and a review that we’ll be announcing next time. Stay tuned!

S3E2 – Spooky Recommendations

Chase and Amy are back this week with a whole host of spooky recommendations, just in time for Halloween. We cover books, movies, TV and games, ranging right across the spectrum from mildly creepy to downright terrifying. There should be something for everyone here, just to time to get you in the mood for the season!

Here’s the full list of everything we talk about (save it for later if you don’t want spoilers!):

  • Elidor – Alan Garner
  • I Am Not A Serial Killer – Dan Wells
  • White Crow – Marcus Sedgwick
  • House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
  • Death Note (the original anime)
  • Stranger Things
  • It Follows
  • Limbo
  • Silent Hill 2 & 3

Want to share your own recommendations? Find us on Twitter @wahpodcast and strike up a conversation! We’ll be back next time with the long-awaited follow-up to our first world-building episode. In the meantime, enjoy your Halloween!