The RoundTable Podcast

One of my favorite writing podcasts is the The Roundtable Podcast where the hosts (Dave and Brion) and a weekly guest host (usually a pro or experienced writer) help a guest writer workshop his/her story idea. It is so much fun to listen to them brainstorm plot, characters, and "what if's". I am repeatedly surprised and pleased with some of the suggestions and ideas that have come out of the discussions. And there have been many times when I want to talk back to the podcast and bring up a concern or ask a question, only if I keep listening, someone else usually says exactly what I was thinking.

I've also been impressed with the level of respect, positivity, and professionalism the hosts utilize to make sure the guests feel welcome, comfortable, and open to the new ideas. If you've ever been involved in a workshop, you know that it can be incredibly hard to hear feedback, and you can come away feeling like a loser instead of inspired. I can't know how each writer has felt after presenting their ideas, but as a listener, I think the hosts do a awesome job, and I'm always inspired.

Roundtable has a great format. On Fridays, Dave and Brion interview the weekly guest host, and on Tuesdays we hear the workshop episode with the guest writer's story idea. Recently, Dave and Brion interviewed Seanan McGuire, whose October Daye series I love. They asked on Twitter if anyone had any questions for her, and I did! Dave asked the question, and Seanan answered it. And she really gave me something to consider as well.

My question: How do you keep characters from going stale in a series while at the same time kicking their ass in each book?
I asked the question because much of the advice for writing bestsellers and building a large fanbase, at least in genre fiction, is to write a series. And as I mentioned, Seanan's October Daye series is one I really like. While most of the short story ideas I have turn into novels, I have yet to conceptualize a series instead of a solo novel. For me, right now, writing a series seems unfathomable. I say that, however, without having actually finished a full novel draft. Maybe that will change once I get to the other side.

Anyway, go listen to Seanan's interview, my question hits around the 7:30 mark, and then check out the workshopping episode. There's quite a series of archives you can dive into as well. I've been listening since the beginning and have found all of them valuable.

[Excerpt first published on DeniseGanley.com]



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