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!

After Dark #2 – A Return to Bad Fan-fic

We’re back from our summer break, and we’re kicking off our third season with a return to our readings of terrible fan-fiction scrounged from the darkest corners of the internet. As you might already have noticed, this is one of our After Dark episodes, which means it’s not part of our usual line-up, and it’s also definitely NSFW. Listen at your peril!

Still with us? If you can stand the awfulness (we survived, so we reckon you can too), come join Chase and Amy as they read some truly terrible fiction. We also take requests (yes, we know we might regret that later), so drop us a line at wahpodcast@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter @wahpodcast, with your suggestions for future readings.

Also, there’s this. You might need it later, honest.

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!