A Story About a Show About Stories

I’ve been thinking about stories a lot the past few years, ever since I decided I wanted to give writing a try. Not just about them, in an entertainment sense – that I’ve been doing my entire life – but deeper. What makes a story tick? What’s the difference between the stories I liked and the ones I loved? The ones I enjoyed and forgot and the ones I’ll remember for the rest of my life?

Fortunately, I’ve always had a great sounding board when it came to talking about stories – my friend Sean “Day[9]” Plott. From those first few scenes I tried (Remember Raven, Sean? And yes, I had a character named Raven and yes, he was a dark-haired mysterious sorcerer who, frankly, was probably a bit emo if you got to know him), Sean was there to bounce ideas off of, to let me know how things ‘felt’. Now, Sean might try to tell you he doesn’t read much and he doesn’t really know fantasy or some such nonsense, but I’ve never met anyone with a stronger intuition. His internal bar is set high and proper, and when he goes “I dunno,” even if I don’t get it, I listen to it.

Anyway, Sean did his own thing, which a few people have heard of, and I did mine, which, well, a few less people have heard of, and we kept talking about stories and generally having a good time. This year I really tried to up my game story-telling wise while trying to create my first publication-quality novel. That meant  attending a couple workshops, SuperStars and David Farland’s Novel Revision workshop. There, I got to hear about storytelling from some real masters. David Farland, in particular, could be the world’s fore-most expert on the subject. Check out my workshop trip report for more there.

David made a point that really stuck with me – there was plenty of materiel out there if you wanted to learn more about writing. But there was very, very little (he argued really only one text) if you wanted to learn about story-telling. ‘A-ha’, I think. A gap. But how to fill it? I didn’t really want to write a book on storytelling- nor, frankly, did I feel qualified to.

On the other hand, I really love talking about it. And I always thought, whenever Sean and I talked of the subject, I learned something new. Not to mention they were a lot of fun.

So I wrote up a proposal; a show. Sean and I talking stories. No pretentions, no “here’s the secret’, just two guys trying to figure out what the heck makes the stories we love so special.

And after a few months of planning, discussion, and working around Sean’s omg-wtf-crazy schedule, we produced our first episode.

I’m thrilled to announce the debut of that show, called Why We Like It.Each episode, Sean and I will pick a story from not only novels but film, television, video games, or graphic novels, and talk about it. In the first episode, we take on George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones.

Yeah, we try to analyze it a bit. But mostly, we have a lot of fun, and I bet you will too. If you have any feedback, thoughts, questions, accolades, or monetary awards you wish to shower up on us for our brilliance, shoot us an email at WhyWeLikeIt@gmail.com or even leave a comment here.

Hope you enjoy the show!  🙂

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12 thoughts on “A Story About a Show About Stories

  1. Guuuuuuuuuuuuys!
    Talk about DRESDEN FILES! I have not read the books myself, but was curious from you 2s’ tweets about it… talk about how you got interested in it and why you think it is worth it.
    Thanx! 😀

  2. Jared says:

    Absolutely love the show, very interesting insights so far in the first episode, and definitely neat to get a writer’s perspective, when looking at another author.

  3. Only 15 minutes in, and I have to go to work now, but already feeling like this is gonna be a good series.
    It doesn’t really fit the theme, but I especially would like you to cover Magic in one episode, as hearing Sean’s story about the event you guys went to has rekindled my interest in that game in a big way!

  4. Mary VP says:

    Really enjoyed the show! It reminded me a lot of me and a couple of my college friends talking about our favorite books so much that we recently decided to start a book club. Even though I never made it past the third book in the series, I did really love Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings. I was also really excited about the direwolves. And unlike Sean, I also really like Arya (that whole girl with a sword thing appeals to me as a girl who wishes she had a sword).

    I’m excited to see what other stories you talk about!

    And I love how your cat stole the show for a bit. It’s amazing how good at that cats are. I know mine loves to walk in front of the computer whenever I’m skyping.

  5. brandon says:

    Hi Tristan just want to say I really liked this episode as I am a huge Game Of Thrones fan and Starcraft as this is how I found it. I thought a lot of your analysis was spot on. Just wanted to say I hope you do an episode on Storm of Swords in the future after it airs on TV. For extremely obvious reasons I think it would be well worth talking about .

    I also think Breaking Bad would make for an incredible show as I think there is enough analysis to be done on the characters that you could talk for days and days. If you haven’t seen it I think you would definitely enjoy it.

    • brandon says:

      Just wanted to point out that you spent quite some time talking about how the white walkers were in the very beginning of the book and then not mentioned for a while after that. Mance Rayder was also mentioned being the king beyond the wall and how Ned was thinking about marching against him in the first page of Brans first chapter. Another thing closely related that we actually don’t even hear again until the next books . Another thing I find quite interesting is that very few people with power in Westeros take that threat seriously and that tells us Ned was one of the few who did but he died before he could do anything about it. Which adds even more significance to his death.

  6. Andrew says:

    Hey I really liked this episode it was pretty awesome. I think you guys did such a great analysis of the Book and Show.

    Your description of Littlefinger as an amateur was interesting to me. Early on he most certainly comes off as an amateur but I feel he gets better as the series goes on. His scheme with Sansa and how he is planning to reveal her and have her installed as heir of Winterfell seems somewhat clever though I don’t think it will work out.

    I was also wondering what forums you were referring to in the show because I have been looking for a good forum about fantasy series and have been unsuccessful in finding one.

    BTW tell Sean that Arya is awesome and he probably doesn’t think so because he has yet to read up on her becoming an assassin and killing people.

    Great episode I look forward to more.

    –Andrew

    P.S. If you haven’t read The Name of the Wind go buy the book and read it immediately you can thank me later.

  7. […] I started to produce the first writing I’d consider in the neighborhood of publishable. I did an awesome webshow with my friend Sean. I switched from QA to tech writing at work. Internally, I improved my […]

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