What do you get when you have two people who practically live to write talking about their craft, their passion for writing, the process of writing and what resources they draw upon to infuse the written word with the sort life and meaning that compel the reader to pay attention? Well, you get a conversation between DC McAllister and our own Dave Carter — one that we think you’ll find enjoyable.

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There are 25 comments.

  1. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    T’Pol appreciation week continues! I look forward to listening.

    • #1
    • February 24, 2018, at 2:53 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Vectorman Thatcher

    Dave and D.C.,

    The Parkland Town Hall fiasco reminds me of the book Lord of the Flies, where a group of boys on a deserted island regress to savagery. When rescued by adults, they were shamed about their behavior. Unfortunately, the CNN reporters have the same mental makeup of the boys, and have no shame.

    The Lord of the Flies was required reading when I was young, and I doubt youth read that book today.

    • #2
    • February 24, 2018, at 4:07 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Lance Member

    I found this painting piece by DC on Twitter when I heard it mentioned… I quickly replied to it, my first tweet in years, before hearing her say she had to turn her notifications off.

    • #3
    • February 24, 2018, at 4:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Dave Carter Contributor

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    T’Pol appreciation week continues! I look forward to listening.

    Hey Mike, I confess ignorance here. What’s a T’Pol?

    • #4
    • February 24, 2018, at 5:26 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Dave Carter (View Comment):

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    T’Pol appreciation week continues! I look forward to listening.

    Hey Mike, I confess ignorance here. What’s a T’Pol?

    T’Pol is a character from the series Star Trek: Enterprise (played by Jolene Blalock) whom Denise resembles. In return, from time to time she calls me Jonathan (after Jonathan Archer, portrayed by Scott Bakula in that same series.) Kind of an inside joke that started between us five years ago on here on Ricochet.

    • #5
    • February 24, 2018, at 5:43 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Dave Carter Contributor

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    Dave Carter (View Comment):

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    T’Pol appreciation week continues! I look forward to listening.

    Hey Mike, I confess ignorance here. What’s a T’Pol?

    T’Pol is a character from the series Star Trek: Enterprise (played by Jolene Blaylock) whom Denise resembles. In return, from time to time she calls me Jonathan (after Jonathan Archer, portrayed by Scott Bakula in that same series.) Kind of an inside joke that started between us five years ago on here on Ricochet.

    Ah, okay! I didn’t see the series. I kinda tuned out after Next Generation. I made it so, I guess.

    • #6
    • February 24, 2018, at 5:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. D.C. McAllister Inactive

    Lance (View Comment):
    I found this painting piece by DC on Twitter when I heard it mentioned… I quickly replied to it, my first tweet in years, before hearing her say she had to turn her notifications off.

    Lance, thank you so much! I’ll go and comb through my notifications, but I’ve been deluged with insanity. I’m so glad you liked the painting. ;))

    • #7
    • February 24, 2018, at 7:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. D.C. McAllister Inactive

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    Dave Carter (View Comment):

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    T’Pol appreciation week continues! I look forward to listening.

    Hey Mike, I confess ignorance here. What’s a T’Pol?

    T’Pol is a character from the series Star Trek: Enterprise (played by Jolene Blalock) whom Denise resembles. In return, from time to time she calls me Jonathan (after Jonathan Archer, portrayed by Scott Bakula in that same series.) Kind of an inside joke that started between us five years ago on here on Ricochet.

    I don’t deserve the compliment but I do wish I had her fierce logic at times. :)

    • #8
    • February 24, 2018, at 7:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. D.C. McAllister Inactive

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    Dave and D.C.,

    The Parkland Town Hall fiasco reminds me of the book Lord of the Flies, where a group of boys on a deserted island regress to savagery. When rescued by adults, they were shamed about their behavior. Unfortunately, the CNN reporters have the same mental makeup of the boys, and have no shame.

    The Lord of the Flies was required reading when I was young, and I doubt youth read that book today.

    Yes, very much like Lord of the Flies. “What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?”

    • #9
    • February 24, 2018, at 7:19 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Just finished listening to the podcast. I especially enjoyed the discussion about the actual process of writing. When I began writing my doctoral dissertation five years ago, a friend of mine who is a published (and Hugo-nominated) military sci-fi writer gave me an invaluable bit of advice: establish a pattern of writing. That is, set aside a specific time, whether it’s in the middle of the day or late at night, to do nothing but write. And I did so. The entirety of my dissertation was written over the course of two months between 11pm and 5am, where there was almost complete silence at the apartment complex where I lived. Absent that advice, I don’t think I’d have completed it so quickly.

    • #10
    • February 24, 2018, at 9:04 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Lance Member

    D.C. McAllister (View Comment):

    Lance (View Comment):
    I found this painting piece by DC on Twitter when I heard it mentioned… I quickly replied to it, my first tweet in years, before hearing her say she had to turn her notifications off.

    Lance, thank you so much! I’ll go and comb through my notifications, but I’ve been deluged with insanity. I’m so glad you liked the painting. ;))

    No need. We achieved a connect here. Best Avette Bros performance…Laundry Room on NPRs Tiny Desk Concert Series.

    • #11
    • February 24, 2018, at 9:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Dave Carter Contributor

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    Just finished listening to the podcast. I especially enjoyed the discussion about the actual process of writing. When I began writing my doctoral dissertation five years ago, a friend of mine who is a published (and Hugo-nominated) military sci-fi writer gave me an invaluable bit of advice: establish a pattern of writing. That is, set aside a specific time, whether it’s in the middle of the day or late at night, to do nothing but write. And I did so. The entirety of my dissertation was written over the course of two months between 11pm and 5am, where there was almost complete silence at the apartment complex where I lived. Absent that advice, I don’t think I’d have completed it so quickly.

    Excellent advice that was, too. I did that religiously when I was on active duty and had a set schedule. Much more of a challenge now that some days I wake up at 6AM and others at 3Am, and still others at 8AM,..with 12-14 days being the norm.

    Interestingly, years ago I found that my mind was most alert from about 8PM until the wee hours of the morning. Now it’s 180 degrees the other direction, with the neuron popping like Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn in the morning instead. Odd how that works, but I try to capitalize on the times when I know I’ll be most alert.

    • #12
    • February 25, 2018, at 5:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Arahant Member

    This podcast was extremely rich in ideas.

    D.C., if you’re thinking science fiction and fantasy characters need to express themes, it may be why you have trouble writing it. Just write stories about people. Sure, they may be elves or dwarves or aliens. You might ask yourself, “How different are they? What difference does their heritage make? Can they connect on the ‘human’ level?” But in the end, it still comes down to:

    • What problems do they have to overcome?
    • How do they overcome them?

    One of the best guides to writing alternative history science fiction is packed into H. Beam Piper’s “Crossroads of Destiny.”

    • #13
    • February 25, 2018, at 6:48 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher

    Spike Jones had a girl band, you know.

    • #14
    • February 26, 2018, at 7:52 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. dajoho Member

    Great podcast Dave & DC. @ the 1:10 point you both cite it being easy to take a stand in a crowd without responsibility but in a small community being accountable for what you say and what you do on a personal level is where the rubber meets the road. Not to mention the human condition and treating people like the complex beings we all are. I, for one, cannot get enough of this type of talk. As my granddaughter would say “goo shob.”

    • #15
    • February 26, 2018, at 5:55 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Dave Carter Contributor

    dajoho (View Comment):
    Great podcast Dave & DC. @ the 1:10 point you both cite it being easy to take a stand in a crowd without responsibility but in a small community being accountable for what you say and what you do on a personal level is where the rubber meets the road. Not to mention the human condition and treating people like the complex beings we all are. I, for one, cannot get enough of this type of talk. As my granddaughter would say “goo shob.”

    Thank you!! What’s a goo shob? I disconnected from popular culture a long time ago (as if that needed to be said).

    • #16
    • February 26, 2018, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. dajoho Member

    It’s my 4 year old granddaughter saying “good job.” 😀

    • #17
    • February 26, 2018, at 7:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Dave Carter Contributor

    dajoho (View Comment):
    It’s my 4 year old granddaughter saying “good job.” 😀

    In that case,…it’s perfect English!

    • #18
    • February 26, 2018, at 7:38 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. D.C. McAllister Inactive

    Arahant (View Comment):

    This podcast was extremely rich in ideas.

    D.C., if you’re thinking science fiction and fantasy characters need to express themes, it may be why you have trouble writing it. Just write stories about people. Sure, they may be elves or dwarves or aliens. You might ask yourself, “How different are they? What difference does their heritage make? Can they connect on the ‘human’ level?” But in the end, it still comes down to:

    • What problems do they have to overcome?
    • How do they overcome them?

    One of the best guides to writing alternative history science fiction is packed into H. Beam Piper’s “Crossroads of Destiny.”

    Thank you. That might very well be part of it –plus my talent at world building is somewhat lacking. :)

    • #19
    • February 27, 2018, at 9:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. D.C. McAllister Inactive

    dajoho (View Comment):
    Great podcast Dave & DC. @ the 1:10 point you both cite it being easy to take a stand in a crowd without responsibility but in a small community being accountable for what you say and what you do on a personal level is where the rubber meets the road. Not to mention the human condition and treating people like the complex beings we all are. I, for one, cannot get enough of this type of talk. As my granddaughter would say “goo shob.”

    Thank you! These are themes we all need to be discussing and living.

    • #20
    • February 27, 2018, at 9:21 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. Arahant Member

    D.C. McAllister (View Comment):
    Thank you. That might very well be part of it –plus my talent at world building is somewhat lacking. :)

    One of the best science fiction movies I have ever seen is The Man from Earth. It’s eight people talking in a cabin in the woods. The whole bit of “world-building” is based on a simple premise. What if there were a man born back in the caveman days who had some special mutation that made him heal faster and survive diseases and stay young forever? Now, a movie is more of a short story to novella, rather than novel-length fiction, but if the writer of that can get away with it for an entire movie, so can you.

    In my alternative history series, I do a lot of world building, but most of it the readers will never see or know or experience. The stories I write as part of the series focus on little things. How does a man deal with the fears he has for his family? How does a man confront his own fears and failures? How does a man who does not have enough fear keep from getting everyone around him into trouble? How does a man who is bored with life find new purpose? The larger story emerges from all the smaller stories of the individual characters, just as history emerges from our lives and actions. As with some of my behind-the-scenes information, you’ll never see my grandfather’s name in a history book. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t there and part of the history. It’s just that the historians never focused on his life. As a writer of fiction, you are the historian of imagination. All of those characters are out there living their lives, and all that you can do is focus on the stories that will be more interesting to readers. You’re doing that in writing fiction already.

    So, what makes science-fiction and fantasy different? The main difference is that you’re focusing on the small stories of either non-humans or humans interacting with non-humans. Would the fact that an elf is practically eternally youthful make a difference in their outlook on life? Would they never really grow up? Would they be frivolous? Or would they have a different perspective, as Michael Talbot used for his vampire book The Delicate Dependency, written because he remembered past lives so that he had a longer-term outlook than one lifetime? Or, in alternative history science fiction, what difference would it make were something to have happened differently in history? How would people’s lives be different because of it? How would people behave on the Internet if dueling were legal and cowardice stigmatized?

    Focus on the small and let the story grow. Just try to answer one question and forget the characters who represent themes.

    • #21
    • February 27, 2018, at 10:42 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Percival Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):
    In my alternative history series, I do a lot of world building, but most of it the readers will never see or know or experience.

    At least until your heirs and assigns publish your notes and discarded drafts in a naked play for cash.

    • #22
    • February 27, 2018, at 11:17 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Percival Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):
    So, what makes science-fiction and fantasy different? The main difference is that you’re focusing on the small stories of either non-humans or humans interacting with non-humans.

    One major suspension of disbelief versus several such.

    • #23
    • February 27, 2018, at 11:18 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Arahant Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    So, what makes science-fiction and fantasy different? The main difference is that you’re focusing on the small stories of either non-humans or humans interacting with non-humans.

    One major suspension of disbelief versus several such.

    Exactly. Don’t try to do too much.

    • #24
    • February 27, 2018, at 5:22 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Percival Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    So, what makes science-fiction and fantasy different? The main difference is that you’re focusing on the small stories of either non-humans or humans interacting with non-humans.

    One major suspension of disbelief versus several such.

    Exactly. Don’t try to do too much.

    You can kind of get interstellar travel for free, but anything past that puts you at the limit.

    • #25
    • February 27, 2018, at 6:00 PM PDT
    • 1 like