The Dead Robots' Society

Writers on Writing


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This week the Dead Robots try and get caught up by talking about their recent creative endeavors. They discuss things they’ve learned, problems they’ve come across, and what happens with the fires burn low. And then, in the second half of the show, they finally review the book “On Basilisk Station” by David Weber. We hope you enjoy.

Also, our next book to discuss is the new horror novel, “The Strain,” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Justin describes it as “Outbreak” meets “Salem’s Lot,” and he hopes everyone loves it as much as he does.

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  1. Really enjoyed this episode guys. The whole extended “what have we been up to” part of the show went well for me. It’s interesting to listen to the round table creative process. Wouldn’t mind a middle ground catch up on creative endeavors – longer than usual but shorter than this one was – say, about once per month or so. Fun.

    As far as the book goes, I used to be a big David Weber fan and “On Basilisk Station” was the book that brought me there. Infodump seems to be a favourite tactic of his and while it does get better, it never goes away. He seems unfortunately in love with his own make believe technology to the point where, in later books, he can interrupt a battle sequence for a 4-page description of why the engines/missiles/mines they’re using now are better than the ones they had just a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed the early Honor books but by the time I reached “Ashes of Victory”, I’d lost interest. Feels to me like he’d fallen into the Robert Jordan trap. I’d actually recommend some of his non-Honor stuff above the last couple of Honor titles I read – the Starfire or Dahak titles in particular.

    “The Strain” is well outside my normal tastes, but I may read along so the discussion makes more sense when it comes.

    Thanks for another interesting episode.

  2. It is our pleasure, Lance. We’ll definitely have to get more in depth with what we’re working on from time to time. Once per months sounds about perfect.

    Also, if you do read “The Strain,” I hope you like it. I know I sure did, but horror is probably my favorite genre to read.

  3. I also really liked the project update. It’s nice to hear what other writers are doing and what struggles they are working through to get their stories written.

    I wish you guys success on your current projects.

  4. Great episode. Enjoy hearing how all of you are progressing.

    First, I am shocked to hear Terry and Ryan are not submitting work. Get some stuff out there, my friends!

    Second, I had to offer a counter position to something Terry said. He tossed out the advice to write only what you are passionate about. I would counter that for a beginner, this is a path to almost certain failure. For someone more experienced, who has tried many things and found what works for them it’s perfectly valid. However, I have watched dozens of aspiring writers stop writing over the years, and writing only what they are passionate about is one of the habits that led often to failure and almost never to success.

    I posted an article “Two good ways to kill a writer” on my blog discussing this further. Anyone interested can find that at:

    Here is a summary of my advice:

    The two habits of failed writers:
    — Write when you feel like it.
    — Write what you are passionate about.

    The two habits of successful writers:
    ++ Write every day, no matter what.
    ++ Work each project until it is finished.

    Two more for the advanced class:
    ++ Submit finished work until it sells.
    ++ Hone your craft with short stories, when they start selling, move up to novels.

    Keep up the great podcast!



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