Welcome to Genre Hustle, your virtual Sci-fi and Fantasy Writing Group. We talk about craft, tropes, publishing, making money by writing, and more. If you’re a writer or reader of speculative fiction, join the conversation and learn with us!
Ep 3.12 - More Writing Greats!
Thanks for joining Genre Hustle for another season! To end the season on a positive note, this week we discuss Writing Greats. It’s always fun to watch strong writing enacted through favorite pieces of fiction and the Genre Hustle crew tackles this from all areas of storytelling from characters to plot to worldbuilding. We talk about watching one scene from multiple points of view, subverting reader expectations, masterful science fiction world building, the pros and cons of orphans, strong protagonists, watching characters ‘level up,’ and watching story structure in action! Works discussed include Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself, Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigades, David Cleden’s The Palimpsest Trigger, Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth, Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman, Marlon James’ Black Leopard Red Wolf, RF Kuang’s The Poppy War, and Dawn by Octavia Butler.
Ep 3.11 - Psychological Sci-fi
This week on the Genre Hustle, we invent a new subgenre of science fiction with guests Cody Sisco and Allison Rose! Psychological science fiction is sci-fi that’s told from a shaky point of view due to a character’s mental state and the way it affects how they understand the world. Science fiction opens up so many possibilities and can make an unreliable narrator that much more intense and interesting. When mental health issues are paired with a dystopia, a surveillance state, a world drunk on technology, or the farthest reaches of medical possibility, conflicts have an ability to multiply from man versus society (as in a typical dystopia) to man versus a number of elements, including self, nature, society, technology, and the supernatural. Our guests Cody and Allison describe their writing process for each of their series, The Broken Earth Series and the Tick Series, and discuss the challenges, opportunities, and lessons for working with the depths of psychology in science fiction settings.
Ep 3.10 - Writing Tools
Writing tools: they’re what writers use to get the job done. This week, we’re here to help you sort through the options for writing, maps, submissions, and other ways to support your writing. Scrivener offers a suite of tools and tricks that can help writers organize ideas, outline, write, and maintain continuity at once. On the other hand, some people might find the learning curve too steep and the tools distracting. Microsoft Word is an old favorite with minimal interruptions and ease of use. Google Docs has the added bonus of its cloud-based storage and accessibility. Since multiple people can work on the same document, it’s ideal for coauthoring, collaboration, and critique. Map-makers have new tools in both Wonder Draft and Inkarnate - though one is a clear favorite of the Genre Hustle Crew! We also discuss voice memos, submission tools, and the role of spreadsheets in your writing. Ultimately, the best writing tools are the ones you use!
Ep 3.09 - Break into Act III
The Genre Hustle crew continues on the journey of the story with Act III. The break into Act III can mirror the break into Act II in important ways. Readers intuitively look for certain cues such as setting changes, pacing changes, a renewal of energy, and a narrowing of antagonistic forces, and writers should respond to these visceral needs. The break into Act III might be when the protagonist’s want becomes their need. It might be right after the Dark Night of the Soul. It might be when the sidekick dies and leaves the main character alone. Only you will know when the right time is for your story, but you should look for ways to challenge both your protagonist and antagonist and find opportunities to bring theme into the conflict. Books mentioned include Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Plot Whisperer by Marth Alderson, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, and the Last Fifty Pages, the Art and Craft of Unforgettable Endings by James Scott Bell.
Ep 3.08 - Interview with Maureen McHugh
In this week's episode, Maureen McHugh joins us and we do a deep dive into her short story, "Under the Hill," in which the question 'What if there were fey at my college?' is answered. We get into how Maureen came up with the story, what inspired her, and what she was hoping to accomplish with the story before jumping into the craft of her choice in point of view and her use of footnotes.
"Under the Hill" is available in the September/October Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine, which happens to be their 70th Anniversary Edition.
Ep 3.07 - Short Fiction
This week is all about short fiction. With standard word counts for short stories decreasing, real estate is extremely important. How do you deliver a satisfying character arc and the right balance of plot and world building and keep it under 7,500 words? Deciding what to leave out is as important as deciding which details to maintain, or how close to the conflict the writer chooses to enter the piece. But if short stories are so challenging, why write them? The crew discusses all the wonderful benefits of getting experience in short fiction, especially for novel writers. It’s an opportunity to try new techniques and experimental forms, you can explore more focused questions than in a full novel, and the revision process is much easier! With the advent of e-books and podcasts, the market for short stories has never been stronger, so listen in for tips and tools on how to get your story out there. Books and collections discussed include Sarah Pinsker’s The Court Magician, Knee Deep in Grit, edited by Adrian Collins, and Ursula K. LeGuin’s Steering the Craft.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Informative and Fun...
Excellent podcast for some thoughtful observations and commentary on the nuts and bolts of fiction writing in general, and sci-fi in particular. The podcasters, four men and one woman, are delightful to listen to, and know what counts to tell a story.