Larry Correia and Steve Diamond team up in a writing podcast that cuts through all the bad advice
Love, love, LOVE the Writer Dojo Podcast.
At first I thought it would be especially good for writer's beginning the craft but there have been some intelligent questions showing this podcast is not all the usual self-pub/writer regurgitation. It's like interviewing two best selling authors that really want to help and know HOW to help writers.
Getting back to basics is never a waste of time, and the first lucky thirteen episodes is a good ramp up to the fourteenth episode known as Supporter Spectacular! (Round 1). When that fourteenth episode hit, I knew that these two authors were going to help more than just "baby" writers.
It's a really great Podcast.
TRIGGER WARNING FOR FLOOFIES
I've been waiting for a class of podcast to give me more than the usual writing advice found anywhere on the internet. But the niche Writer Dojo serves are writers that want to get paid for their writing.
Yes, there is writing advice on the show, but there is also business advice for writers. Scary things like taxes, money and all things many of the floof crowd doesn't want to hear.
What's a floof?
Floof's run from the mention of responsibility.
Floof's get hives because they sat 100 yards from a capitalist.
Floof's generally think money should fly into their hand every time they fart.
Floofies, you've been warned. Thar be dragon's ahead.
The fourth episode titled Outlining vs Discover completely won me over. It was the episode that puts this podcast in perspective.
Larry and Steve talked about the difference of Outliners and "Pantsers".
Screw whoever coined the term "Pantser" (and I mean screw in a not happy ending way).
What sounds more sophisticated?
I outline my novels.
I'm a Pantser.
Who ever continues the term "pantsing" needs a serious brow beating. Pantsing sounds like the red-headed, undesirable, un-adopted, illegitimate, step-child way of writing. Stop it.
Steve Diamond (and I) hate when people call the form of writing without a hardcore, super extended, twenty page outline "pantsing".
I suggest we start a revolution and educate the masses to rename it "Discovery Writing". Because that's really what it is.
THE QUESTION I WANT TO ANSWER
I've listened (audible) and read (print & eBook) Larry Correia and the Larry Correia/Steve Diamond and found their stories wonderfully researched. So I take their advice seriously.
But there's the typical question that was asked in the Supporter Spectacular!
"What should I do if I find I don't have a name for [fill in the blank] while discovery writing?"
Steve and Larry gave the most practical answer and a common one. When a writer comes to a river doesn't know the name, then type "XXX" and continue writing. Don't kittyfoot around. Keep writing the scene.
Yes. Most cases, do the research later.
But I have another unique way.
Hear out my reasoning.
Sometimes I'm DISCOVERY writing along and it hits me. These characters need to cross a river. For whatever reason, but they do.
But I need to name the river.
Instead of putting XXX, highlighting or making a comment to name it later so that this issue can haunt me I do a halfway that will satisfy my fixation AND satisfy the urge to keep writing.
I set a timer so that I don't go off in la-la land of research (which is an enticing fun place) for about 10 minutes.
DISCLAIMER: Take in mind, in a decade past, I used my google foo for evil and profit so I can research fairly quickly and know where to go and what to search for. In harsh words, amateur googlers bewary. Your results might not be as fast as mine.
Oh shoot, I went off topic. Like ya do.
So, I set my timer for 10 minutes because just like going to fairy land returning is easy but don't eat the food.
I research real rivers...
and instead of this hockey puck let me show a real world scenario:
I need a river name.
I set my timer for ten minutes.
In my research I might find a song, American Rivers, a Pinterest board, a Wikipedia entry, but what I find is the "river of blood".
River of blood? Why is it the river of blood?
Come to find out the river of blood is where many bodies have been found!
I learn as much history about it
Now my mind has given me a plot string that will change the story for the better.
And that, ladybugs and germs is the secret!!
Discovery writing sometimes requires research. I think when I get stuck on a name it's because my subconscious is smarter than me. My subconscious KNEW my plot schucked and found the first entry point to latch onto to help my conscious find the right plot.
If I had written "XXX" and made note to look up river names later, I might have found the river of blood, but I'd have written and gone down a plot path that's not as cool as the River of Blood one I found. Thus, I might not change the story for the better because I didn't have the opening to think differently at the time.
Just like Larry and Steve say that writing is never wasted, neither is research. The key is to limit the research time with drafting or risk going off on a tangent.
I allocate research time just as I plan writing time while working on my draft. It's made many of my stories way better.
As a gem among a landmass of podcasts I look forward to Writer Dojo every Wednesday.
Thank you Larry.
Thank you Steve.
Thank you dude who helps Larry and Steve do the podcast.
No floof's were harmed in the making of this article. Not for lack of trying though. Floof's are warned not to read this article. Grammer errors are specifically gone uncorrected so that the unoffical/official copy editors can feel as if they righted a wrong in their OCD, nerve wracking lives for leaving comments that I spelled a colloquialism incorrectly.