The Dead Robots' Society

Writers on Writing


This week the Robots are joined by listener Michael Brudenell to discuss the topic of experience. How much does it factor into writing, how much should it, and how do we writers get more of it? Enjoy!

Michael’s website

During this episode we also talked about Dan Sawyer’s THROWING LEAD

This week’s promo – Fullcast Podcast



  1. This was a great episode, gentlemen. I’ve been wrestling with this particular subject for quite some time now, and I think you guys helped me come to a conclusion that works for me. Life Experience FACILITATES good writing and storytelling, but is not necessarily an active ingredient in it. I’ll elaborate. John Grisham’s background allows him to use legal jargon and give us an intimate view into his world, but if he didn’t know how to plot, characterize, and build suspense, we wouldn’t be talking about him in the first place. His concrete skills as a fiction writer made The Firm possible; his life experience made The Firm great (even though he begs to differ these days).

    Someone said that speculative fiction is about how these elements affect the human experience, and that was a beautiful point-one that I do my best to keep in mind. Oft times us genre writers, aspiring (me) or otherwise, can fall into the habit of giving these speculative elements the spotlight. It’s understandable. Magic and technology are sexy, but the human experience is the thing that I must focus on.

    I recently finished The Age of Miracles by Karen Thomson Walker. It’s not genre fiction, more like literary fiction. It has one speculative element that provides the backdrop for the story… just one! The Earth’s rotation is slowing down and the days and nights are getting longer, but it focuses on young Julia, and how her family is being torn apart by it. It is not speculative fiction by far, but it was the best book I’ve read in a year, and it taught me a huge lesson that this episode only reinforced-Focus on the people.


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