S1E7 – Fury Road Review/Story Chat

It’s review time! In this episode, we finally get the whole crew together, for an in-depth discussion of Mad Max: Fury Road. We talk about everything from characterisation, world-building and language use, to pacing, themes and the role of women in action movies.

In case it isn’t obvious, this episode is full of spoilers, so if you haven’t watched Fury Road, we recommend seeing it first – and then, of course, coming back to listen to our discussion!

And yes, it’s official! Nienna and Raven are definitely not the same person – although we’re still a bit hazy on which is which…

S1E6 – Crossing Genres

In tonight’s episode, Chase, Nienna and Amy talk about genre, with a special emphasis on stories that don’t fit neatly into a single category. As well as covering topics such as the purpose of genre (is it only for readers, or useful for writers, too?), we discuss our favourite cross-genre works – including one or two books that have been so influential, they’ve spawned a whole new genre. Ultimately, though, we find it’s better to write what you want to write, regardless of genre constraints – more of that in the episode!

S1E5 – Deus Ex Heart

AKA Questions and Answers, Part 1, in which we get distracted by talking about Captain Planet.

In this episode, Chase, Raven and Amy break the usual podcast schedule for a more informal chat. We take the opportunity to ask one another questions about our writing processes, with topics ranging from the very first stories we remember writing, to favourite books, and trickier questions like why we write and what aspects of storytelling we think we do best.

This is a much more casual episode than any we’ve done so far, but we had a lot of fun recording it, and we hope you enjoy it just as much! If you’ve got any questions you’d like us to answer in a future episode of this type, send us an email at wahpodcast@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter.

S1E4 – Plot Basics

Every story needs a plot, so this week we talk about a few of the basic forms that can take. We start by covering the seven core conflicts a story can encompass (more details below), then discuss the essentials your plot needs to have. This could be as simple as that old adage ‘a beginning, a middle and an end’, but there are other factors to think about, too. Will your story follow a linear progression, for example, and what motivation drives your main character?

Finally, what happens when things go wrong? It’s easy to get bogged down when you’re deep in the middle of your story, whether you’ve lost the thread of your plot, or have mired yourself in too many of them. We talk about ensuring those extra sub-plots serve the rest of the story, and making changes when you’ve written yourself into a corner.

As ever, you can send your comments about this episode, or questions for future ones, to wahpodcast@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter @wahpodcast. Our individual accounts can all be found over at the About page.

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S1E3 – Guild Wars 2 Review/Story Chat

In the first of our regular segment of reviews and story discussions, we talk about Guild Wars 2, the game through which we all met.

Note: this is an in-depth talk about the plot, characters and gameplay of GW2, and we hold nothing back, which means spoilers aplenty. You have been warned!

In this episode, we cover the original story of Guild Wars 2, including character development and world-building, as well as some of the tie-in fiction which was released at the same time as the game. We discuss the ways the GW2 story faltered, as well as the dangers of only revealing key plot information in a completely different medium, but overall this is a game we all love, and feel provides a solid foundation for the rest of the story to come.

More notes: we’ll be covering the further story of Guild Wars 2, including its expansion Heart of Thorns, in a later episode, so look out for that!

As always, you can leave us a comment here, find us on Twitter @wahpodcast, or send us an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com.

S1E2 – Character Creation

In our second episode, we talk about that most fundamental aspect of writing fiction: creating characters. We discuss basics like the importance of characters within a story, how to develop the background and details of your characters – including their names – and our personal approaches to their creation.

There are also pitfalls to watch out for when building your characters, including the dreaded Mary-Sue, often an idealized version of the writer themselves – and just how much of each writer sneaks into the characters they create?

Comments or questions? You can find us on Twitter @wahpodcast, or send us an email to wahpodcast@gmail.com. We’d also like to thank everyone for their kind comments about our first episode, which were very much appreciated. Stay tuned for more in the weeks to come!

S1E1 – Fan-fiction

Welcome to the Words Are Hard podcast!

In our first episode, we start with the topic of fan-fiction. Writing for the Guild Wars 2 site ‘Chronicles of Tyria‘ is how we met, and we all have our own approaches to writing fan-fiction; as well as talking about how we got started in the genre, we discuss how fan-fiction can be a valuable writing exercise for new authors. Not only is it a way to hone your craft, but there are ready-made communities of readers and other writers out there, and that can be a great motivation when you’re just starting out.

Got comments about our first episode? You can send us an email at wahpodcast@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter @WAHpodcast.

We’ll be back with our next episode in two weeks’ time. See you then!