Trying something new for the show, Oliver is sitting down with author Nathaniel Webb to consult him on his latest work-in-progress, a sword & sorcery short story! After a reading of the story so far, and a little getting-to-know-you, you’ll get to listen in on a proper story consult where Oliver will discuss Nat’s story, focusing in particular on his main concern – how to best weave fun worldbuilding and character backstory info into the story itself.
They also discuss how short stories can turn out to be harder than you’d expect, heist story traditions, considering word counts against prospective literary markets, both Howard’s The Tower of the Elephant and Leiber’s The Two Best Thieves in Lankhmar, outlining vs seat-of-your-pants writing, the very legit desire to write a story like one you’ve greatly enjoyed, wanting to show off your worldbuilding, finding nuance in “write to please yourself, not a hypothetical audience”, “Progression Lit”, placing a character geographically not only with description but with placement of that description, weaving worldbuilding into the action, “the portrait shot”, first drafts as essentially very detailed outlines, giving a character’s backstory in the scene where they’re introduced, a motivational poster from Oliver’s grade 10 English class, does a character having a secret create an undesirable distance between them and the reader, “protagonist brain”, and MORE.
Nathaniel’s author site
Nathaniel on Twitter
Check out a sword & sorcery short story by Nathaniel in the latest issue of Whetstone magazine – for free!
The then-latest issue of Tales From The Magician’s Skull that we mention is #6
That The Adventures of Alyx book we chat a bout a bit, with my Goodreads review
The writing book Nat mentions: The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers by Matt Bird
And then we have that combined list of sword & sorcery markets we mention:
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly
Common Tongue Magazine