Let's just say we have a new and improved version of the theme song today. Then stick around for a discussion of the guys' progress, John's experience rereading Lord Of The Rings recently, and even a little about alternative story telling media like video games. 
Published 02/25/20
Published 02/25/20
The guys discuss their magic systems thus far, and how they're integrating them into their stories at this early stage. Sure, this podcast is all about avoiding excessive worldbuilding, but there inevitably comes a time in the story plotting process when you need magic to do its thing...which means you have to know what that thing is, at least in general terms. How do you integrate your magic system into your story without using it as a crutch to simply get characters out of bad situations...
Published 02/04/20
The guys give an update on their work from the past week and then dive into a listener-submitted excerpt of writing, illustrating with practical examples many of the points from their top ten list last week. They point out some good things and some things to bear in mind in making revisions. If you'd like VIto and John to have a look at something you wrote, feel free to send it to us at their email address: [email protected]! They'll of course ask permission if they want to use it on the...
Published 01/28/20
John dedicates his lunch break in a parking garage to your entertainment and delight once again today. Enjoy the soothing sounds of the rain and sirens in the background as he submits his list of the top ten writer tips for beginners for Vito's appraisal. They cover showing, not telling, using more sensory data than just sight, harnessing a reader's imagination rather than over-describing, and so much more! Seven more to be precise. Check out our website for the blog version of the list!...
Published 01/21/20
The boys are back! Again! Babies and airplanes couldn't keep us away forever, and the guys are here once more to bring you their take on storytelling, fantasy, magic systems, world building, plotting, and so much more. Not even technical difficulties could prevent our intrepid heroes from ranting for 25 minutes about Mary Sue characters, internal vs external motivations, and plans for the next phase in their writing! 
Published 01/14/20
The guys discuss their plans for getting back to their stories after some time away. Both of them intend to zoom out a bit and use their discovery-written chapters as a foundation to plot out the rest of the story in general terms. They plan to keep the outline pretty broad instead of ultra-specific in order to avoid paralyzing themselves with the urge to perfect their plots. They discuss how discovery writing from scratch actually leads to less paralyzation than plotting the story in great...
Published 09/03/19
The guys get back into the swing of things after knee surgeries, babies, and forest fires did their darndest to keep them from continuing their project. After a quick update, in which Vito discovers what ASMR is, they discuss a listener-submitted chapter and the proper use of exposition (or "telling") in writing, and when it might actually be ok.  
Published 08/27/19
Despite knowing that one ought to start a story focused on the characters' status quo before dropping the plot on their heads, the guys discuss how difficult it is to do this in practice. How does one let the story breathe in the opening chapters, introducing the reader to the lives the characters lead before stuff starts blowing up? Vito has found that this may be the source of his constant stalling after only a few scenes. The characters need something other than the overarching plot to...
Published 07/30/19
In this episode, the guys introduce three simple life lessons. 1. Don't buy snacks in bulk 2. Everything is terrible and you shouldn't even try 3. Don't do bad things Can you tell which was John's?  The actual topic today was writing scenes that have more than one plot thread or story arc that they serve. If you often find yourself stuck after finishing a scene, floundering for what comes next, you might benefit from today's discussion.
Published 07/16/19
Vito tries to surprise John with a fun intro but it goes horribly wrong and the guys have to settle for the dull doink of disappointment. Today, they discuss how to keep dialogue interesting and flowing without turning into a wall of indented dullness. To cap it off, they talk about how to give and take feedback on unfinished work. What's useful to point out and when should you take or ignore someone's feedback?  Speaking of feedback, someone made John's day by actually leaving an Itunes...
Published 07/10/19
The guys talk about Vito's new sci-fi generation ship idea for a book series. Where do you start in a series like this? How do you avoid getting stuck on researching planet masses, tidal locking, and the effects of microgravity while still writing a believable, compelling story? How do you write advanced technologies when you're a simple musician/pilot-in-training/author who knows very little about science or engineering? They also talk about how to write a romantic interest character without...
Published 06/25/19
John's trucking away with his story with ten chapters in the bag. Discovery writing is really suiting his storytelling style so far, with the discovery-written first draft acting as the "outline" of sorts for future revision. Before, the guys both spent so much time agonizing over a point-by-point plot outline that they knew they were going to change when it came to writing the prose. But now that pressure is gone and the ideas are flowing. Vito finally made some progress as well in between...
Published 06/18/19
Today's episode is a bit of a tangent factory as Vito was punch-drunk from studying airplane things all day/jet lagged from flying across the country yet again and John is baby crazy and getting the evil eye from his dog, but the guys had a good time getting back to the podcast today. They discussed their recent re-reading of The Name of The Wind, the Redwall series, a potential cliche John wants to use in his story, and Vito's idea for a world-ship sci-fi series he plans to develop during...
Published 06/04/19
On this week's episode, Vito tries vainly to pull coherent thoughts from his sleep-deprived brain and John goes on a rage-fueled tirade before the guys answer a listener question about how to stay focused while world building. 
Published 05/07/19
Today, John talks about a scene that spontaneously flew from his fingers, but had to trim a bit because it didn't quite fit the tone/focus of his story. When you're discovery writing in particular, sometimes, ideas burst upon you and it's important to both let the ideas flow and to harness them for the purposes of the story you're trying to tell rather than letting them sidetrack or distract you. Vito talks about some of the difficulties he's been facing because the idea he's been pursuing is...
Published 04/30/19
The guys answer another listener question about writing combat scenes. Also, they get on a little bit of a tangent talking about the new Star Wars trailer, rhinoceroses that are actually star fighters, and the obvious advantages of projectile weapons...
Published 04/24/19
The guys give a brief update on their progress (John's got 8 chapters in the bag!) and then delve into a fan email asking about dialogue. Specifically, how can you use your dialogue to distinguish your characters from one another? At the same time, how do you avoid being expository or too "talky" in your dialogue? They discuss useful tips like "casting" your characters, goal-based dialogue and much more! 
Published 04/17/19
A technical difficulty ruined last week's episode but the guys go over some of the things they wanted talk about last week as well as some things John ran across in his writing this week. Topics include a listener question about time-hopping plots, how much emotional conflict is too much, and what tropes might the guys be unwittingly using in their stories?   
Published 04/02/19
Vito recovers from his Jamison-and-Guinness-induced stupor following St. Patrick's Day and John talks about cool stuff like multiple point of view characters (including his super awesome torturer character), taking a step back to plan the next chunk of the story, and focusing the tone of your story. If you like the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, then I think you'll know what we're talking about. 
Published 03/19/19
Vito's a little under the weather with half a voice, John's having a baby (well, his wife is), and the boys are interviewing a fellow homeschooler, musician, and writer as their first ever podcast guest! It's a topsy turvy, super fun time as they compare writing styles and processes. How do you get past the beginning of the story? When do you dig in and world build things like magic systems? How do you keep your momentum going through more than 115,000 words? All this and much more on the...
Published 03/05/19
Today is a bit of a grab bag of topics, but it's all great stuff. The guys eventually get to talking about protagonists and why they find theirs worth writing about. They also discuss things like changing the beginning of your story without going back and rewriting it, letting your characters misbehave, asking questions about your world and characters in order to discover more about them, and a lot more. 
Published 02/26/19
The guys briefly summarize their progress this week and then dive into something that might present a challenge to discovery writers, particularly new ones like them: villains. It'd be easy to just tailor the bad guy to your hero, create them solely to oppose what the protagonists is trying to accomplish, but there is a lot more narrative traction you can get out of your antagonist if you're paying attention. 
Published 02/19/19
Today, the guys talk about how to give helpful feedback on work that isn't done yet, especially when they're part of a discovery written story. What should you focus on when critiquing a friend's unpolished draft or chapter in order to help them move forward and without throwing a wrench in their creative flow? Discovery writing continues to be just what the doctor ordered in the journey toward a completed first draft. If you're following along with your own work, and would like a fresh set...
Published 02/12/19
The guys talk about how listening to audiobooks (The Witcher and The Name Of The Wind) this week has helped fuel their writing, particularly given their current emphasis on discovery writing. They also discuss how improvisational writing allows them to focus on pinpointing characters and relationships while plotting led them to simply using characters as pawns in the machinations of some malevolent, micromanaging deity (i.e. the author). 
Published 02/05/19