All posts by jdsawyer

Questions 240: Series vs. Multi-Volume Stories

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Cheyenne asks:
“I’m finding myself more interested in events in volume 2 of my story, and it’s making it hard to write volume 1. What do I do?”

Resources mentioned:
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Dune by Frank Herbert

Questions 238: Transparent Worldbuilding

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Vega asks:
“What is transparent worldbuilding, and how does it work?”

Resources mentioned:
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Menace From Earth by Robert A. Heinlein
Stories From The Twilight Zone by Rod Serling
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Questions 236: The Mystery Formula

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Cheyenne asks:
“Are there formulas for mysteries? What kinds of mysteries are there–and how can I learn about them?”

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Resources mentioned:
A Ghostly Christmas Present (The Clarke Lantham Mysteries Book 2) by J. Daniel Sawyer
Down From Ten by J. Daniel Sawyer
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Midsomer Murders, Series 1 Midsomer Murders
The Killings at Badger’s Drift (Inspector Barnaby) Caroline Graham
The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple Mysteries) by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
Chinatown
Scream (Collector’s Series)
Halloween
Friday the 13th
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler Film
The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler
And Then She Was Gone by J. Daniel Sawyer
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammet
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers
Stone Cold by Robert B. Parker
Spencer by Robert B. Parker
The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
LA Confidential by James Ellroy
Reservoir Dogs
The Hateful 8

Special episode: More Terrifying Feedback!

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Today, Ed points out that I missed a good technique for opening stories when discussing first stentences, while Cheyenne reveals an ingenious method for cataloging notes, ideas, and thoughts for future use.

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Questions 234: Writing Prompts and Outlines

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Mike asks:
“Is writing from a prompt or a trigger an advanced skill? Will writing to an outline sabotage my development?”

Resources mentioned:
Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues

The Coffee Service by J. Daniel Sawyer

Sculpting God by J. Daniel Sawyer

Writing Into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith

Psycho IV

Questions 233: Unreliable Narrators

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Vega asks:
“What kinds of unreliable narrators are there?”

Resources mentioned:
The Usual Suspects

How to Cheat at Everything by Simon Lovell

Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking by Christopher Hadnagy and Paul Wilson

Psychological Subtleties, vol 1 by Banachek

Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov

Questions 232: Mid-Point Reveals

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Caine asks:
“In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the mid-point reveal works really well. Is this just a stroke of luck, or a deliberate choice? Can one use the mid-point reveal strategically?”

Resources mentioned:

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (BluRay Collection)   (DVD)

Jewel of the Nile