…and it’s writing.

A tipsy discussion of writing craft. Writers D.C. McNaughton and Avery Ames imbibe a few drinks while they review and revise their old (and often cringey) writing. Each episode focuses on a particular aspect of craft and features a themed cocktail pairing.

Ep 010: Pitch, Please

October 18th, 2021

In this episode, DC and Avery discuss best practices for pitching your work, both online and in-person, as well as thoughts on pitch events in general. How to find your story's hook and show it off as sparkly as it can be. We also take a look at a few of Avery's pitches and break down some common pitch mistakes.

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Ep 009: Short Fiction with Crystal L.Kirkham

October 4th, 2021

In this episode, Avery interviews author Crystal L. Kirkham about everything short fiction, from drabbles to flash fiction to novellas.

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Ep 008: Love & Hate: Passion vs Obligation

September 19th, 2021

Today, D.C. and Avery discuss the love and hate aspect of writing. How do you keep the passion alive when your love for a story starts to wane? And when it comes to deadlines, how do you trudge through the parts of the process you hate in order to meet them?

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Ep 007: Dos and Don‘ts of First Present

September 6th, 2021

First-person Present Tense is often hated, but why? In this episode we chat about the reasons many dislike it, but also the ways it can be useful. We share excerpts from our writing that illustrate possible ways to tackle some common pitfalls of this tense/POV combo, as well.

 

CORRECTION:
Toward the end of the podcast while discussing Howl's Moving Castle, Avery incorrectly refers to Sophie as the middle child instead of the eldest. Sorry, that drink was a strong one, whoops.

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Ep 006: Was-ing the Was-es Part 2

August 9th, 2021

It's aliiiive! In this episode, we discuss how to bring your stale, lifeless writing back from the dead by swapping out the verb "was" for more varied phrasing, and embellish this week's writing snippet with silliness.
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Ep 005: Was-ing the Was-es Part 1

July 26th, 2021

Let's get rid of some was-es! In this episode, the task of revising passive voice drives both D.C. and Avery to their editing limits (while sharing a good laugh).

So what is Passive Voice, exactly? When is it bad, and (hot take) when is it sometimes a GOOD thing? We polish up a sample of Avery's old writing on-air to demonstrate.

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Ep 004: My Kingdom for a Critique Partner

July 11th, 2021

Everyone says you need betas and Critique Partners, but finding them sometimes feels like the proverbial needle in a haystack. So where can you actually track them down? Join us for a conversation about critique partners and betas -- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Now featuring Avery's hot new single: "The Technical Issues Song" (Comcast Remix)

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Ep 003: Setting a Scene

June 26th, 2021

D.C. and Avery discuss the techniques we use to set a scene, including D.C.'s "lizard in a box" theory on character and setting.

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Ep 002: Ye Olde Show vs. Tell

June 13th, 2021

Avery and D.C. discuss the classic writing advice "Show, Don't Tell" while revising an old snippet of Avery's writing and enjoying some old-fashioned cocktails. Plus, everything is better with pizza.

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Ep 001: Holy Adverbs, Batman!

May 29th, 2021

We've all heard the warning about too many adverbs, but they're not always a cardinal writing sin. In our inaugural episode, D.C. and Avery will share a drink and revise an old snippet of Avery's writing with an eye on adverbs. Which ones can stay and which can be tweaked?

Episode 1 Cocktails:

Too Many Adverbs:

1.5 oz Gin
½ oz Elderflower
½ oz Lime
¾ oz Lemon
¾ oz simple syrup
Splash of seltzer

Shake all except seltzer with ice, then top with the seltzer.

Adverbs, Revised:

2.5oz gin
1.5oz lemon
1 oz honey syrup 
Top with club soda

Excerpts for Episode 1:

Before:

The creature’s claws gripped my ankle tightly as I was nearly through the window. It screamed loudly as it gave my leg a violent tug. I fell back jarringly against the outside wall and my leg twisted in the ghoul’s grip. Its deadly-sharp talons tore through my trousers and the light suede boots I wore, to rip open the flesh beneath. My head hit the stone wall hard, and my vision flashed blood red and virulent green with the pain. I cried out harshly in pain and terror, scrabbling against the stone futilely. The creature’s deadly grip on my ankle and leg was the only thing holding me as I dangled precariously upside down, halfway out of the window.

 

After:

The ghoul clutched my ankle, and gave my leg a violent tug as I scrambled through the window. I tumbled against the outside wall, and the talons tore through my trousers, ripping open the flesh of my twisted leg. My head struck the wall, and my vision flashed crimson. I cried out in pain, scrabbling against the stone to find purchase.

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