Voe hits rock bottom, hung high in an iron cage hanging from a post by a major road! How will she get out of this, and what will be left of her?
Among other things, Oliver discusses how to tell when there’s enough “there” there, the difficulties of keeping a story interesting in a “bottle episode” , the difficulties of knowing you want to evoke an author’s style without just doing a bad imitation, and more!
In this story Voe is faced with an important choice similar to one from a previous story, and the decision she makes will echo throughout the entire rest of the novel!
In this outline episode, among other things, Oliver discusses how to tell what’s good or maybe not so good to kick down the road for Future You to deal with, the challenge of avoiding creating bad pastiche, and how focusing on character can really help with figuring out all the other facets of your story.
Oh ho! And thus we enter the third quarter of Oliver outlining Untitled Sword & Sorcery Novel with this novella-length love letter to his favorite Robert E. Howard tale of Conan the Cimmerian, People of the Black Circle.
It’s the one year anniversary show! What have I learned? How have I benefited? What’s coming up next?
Feat. Behind the scenes stuff on my launching this podcast/novel project, and how it’s been this past year, including details on the technical stuff, promotion, the Patreon, a listener question about liking your antagonist more than your protagonist, and more.
Oliver takes you through the end of a friendship in this outline of the final Voe & Tiravam story for the novel. Among other things he discusses an epiphany he had which caused him to look at how his outlining had evolved over this first half of the novel, plotting an emotional journey for the reader, and being reminded of how there are certain things you’re only able to discover in writing prose!
Oliver returns to telling you about that dang novel this podcast is built around, covering the outlining of a nautical tale! In it, Voe and her best friend Tiravam struggle to create meaning in an uncaring universe, try to get paid for stealing a terrible treasure, get sucked into Ye Olde Insult Battles, and more!
Oliver also gets into an outlining snarl which is solved by his trying a whole new method of working out what happens, when it happens, and what the reader learns when it happens.
In three acts, Oliver shares the outlining of this second story in the sword & sorcery novel’s second quarter, an escalating farce built around the theft of a saintly relic from one church within the same religion as the other, who has hired Voe & Tiravam to perpetrate said theft. Ah, if only it were so straightforward as all that…
Oliver covers the joys of finding the piece of research which unlocks your story for you, interesting historical details of medieval relic theft, judging when the tone of an idea you love doesn’t just doesn’t fit with your work as a whole, balancing inspiration against directly imitating a story you love, courtroom drama, juggling lies & secrets, knowing when you’ve figured out enough for now, “horny is great for funny”, and more!
There’s also a listener question, asking Oliver for advice in researching markets for SciFi short stories. In his answer, Oliver mentions The Submission Grinder and Authors Publish. Finally there’s some end of 2021 news, thanks, and announcements!
In this episode Oliver tells you all about how he outlined the origin story for his protagonist’s new friendship, a friendship that would be at the heart of a whole quarter of the novel’s stories.
This involves discussion of consulting others when you’re feeling lost trying to make a vital decision, puppetry (and avoiding obvious metaphors), elements by which two friends might bond, differing attitudes toward killing for your protagonists, what if DUNE’s Bene Gesserit wanted to sell weed, the ol’ “They meet in a tavern…” routine, Beer Street and Gin Lane, Bound 2 (?), using index cards to help keep everything you need in front of you, hitting a major progress point in the novel, and more!
Plus there’s a LISTENER QUESTION, gosh we like those, to do with how far up the line of human history you can set a story (or base the secondary world setting of a story on) and still have it feel like sword & sorcery.
Will Oliver succeed in finally naming his dang fantasy city by the end of the episode??? Oliver takes you through the process that got him to where he felt he knew enough about the fictional city where he’d be setting no less than four of his novel’s stories in. He covers repurposing research from an older project, choosing when and how to shape setting with theme, when he decided a novel wasn’t the story for him to write, figuring out what you need to figure out about a setting/city, feral cities, hyperdense research texts, an interesting lesson he took from his role-playing game hobby that applies here, leaving room for later inspiration, another pertinent Ursula K Le Guin quote, Karl Edward Wagner’s Bloodstone, and more!
Oliver takes you with him through the process by which he designed a new best friend for his novel’s protagonist, a co-protagonist for the next four stories he has to outline, when Voe and this new best buddy will have swashbuckling, thieving adventures loosely inspired by the Fafhrd & Grey Mouser stories of Fritz Leiber!