The First Million Words (podcast episodes)
Ever wanted to track down your favorite author and beg for writing advice? That's what we do...for you. Listen every week as we cover writing tips from the pros to help reach the first million words, and beyond.


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February 2018
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Michael J Sullivan was kind enough to talk to us again. This time about dialogue. He answers all questions on the importance of not being annoying and not trying to mirror how people actually speak in real life. Visit Michael's site, if you'd like to hear more of his thoughts on writing, and follow him on Twitter @author_sullivan. Then Ben and Guillermo reflect on dialogue, talk about stoner goblins and redneck trolls, review Space Battles, and remember some uncomfortable things from their past. Follow us on Twitter @FMWPodcast and join us next week when we finish up our interviews with Michael and talk about exposition. Write!

Direct download: 01-08.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 4:27pm EST

The guys discuss making a good character with Michael J Sullivan. We talk about names, development, and what it takes to write a good lady character (if you're a dude). We may even get a little off topic and talk about some MMORPG's that we've played. Find Michael's website here ( and on Twitter here (@author_sulivan). Enjoy!

Direct download: 01-07.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 4:53pm EST

Michael J Sullivan stops by to discuss his Riyria Revelations series and what it took to get them out to the world (and it's a good thing he did, these books are awesome). This episode runs a little long because Ben and Guillermo just kept asking so many questions, and Michael was gracious enough to answer them all (subjects like outlining, editing, finishing, having an awesome wife...) Find Michael's website here at and follow him on Twitter @author_sulivan. Join us next week for our in-depth discussion on Characters. Write!

Direct download: 01-06.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 12:31am EST

Ben and Guillermo discuss all the things they've learned this month, and what's in store for next month. And, maybe, get just a little bit off topic. Enjoy. Write! (Oh, and here's the link for the Brandon Sanderson lectures poted on YouTube:

Direct download: 01-05.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 1:40am EST

It's the end of Bryan Thomas Schmidt month! How bitter-sweet. Bryan and the guys talk about what you should keep in mind when planning out the future (whether you're writing Sci-Fi or Fantasy). And, maybe we get distracted a little bit near the end. Don't blame us. Remember to check out Bryan at all these places:, @BryanThomasS, #sffwrtcht, and Space Battles! Ben and Guillermo chat for a bit afterwards, but we're saving some information for the next episode. You'll have to tune in to find out.


Direct download: 01-04.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 4:36pm EST

Bryan Thomas Schmidt stops by for a third time to talk about Discovery Writing (aka pantsing/gardening). And, maybe we get a little side-tracked talking about certain other topics. Visit Bryan on the web ( and on Twitter (@BryanThomasS). Don't forget to check out Space Battles, the new Sci-Fi Anthology edited by Bryan (here). Then the guys catch up and chat about nerdy, writer stuff and announce our upcoming schedule of shows (listen to find out). Follow us (@FMWPodcast), like us (The-First-Million-Words), and...Write!

Direct download: 01-03.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 9:35pm EST

Ben and Guillermo discuss inspiration with Bryan Thomas Schmidt (author of The Worker Prince, editor of Space Battles). How do you keep track of your story ideas? Where do they come from? When should you transition from idea to story? Find out in our conversation with Bryan. Then they talk about what they've been doing the past week: not a whole lot, it turns out. Also, check out the Hugo nominations for this year (special congrats to Mur Lafferty, John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman and Sf Signal). Here's a link to Bryan's blog that might help, and here's John Scalzi's short story he did for April 1st, enjoy. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  Write

Direct download: 01-02.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 12:06am EST

Bryan Thomas Schmidt Interview

Our interview with Bryan Thomas Schmidt, author of The Worker Prince. We talk a lot about editing, sticking to a schedule, and getting it done. You can find Bryan at: on Twitter at @BryanThomasS and Wednesday nights at 9ET during #sffwrtcht (@sffwrtcht). Then we talk about our boring projects from the previous week. Guillermo wrote about a Cyber-Wereshark from Hell, and Ben submitted a Sword and Sorcery Noire to a magazine (wish us luck). Follow us on Twitter: @FMWPodcast @Ben_J_L @GVelez80 and like our Facebook page. Write!

Direct download: 01-01.mp3
Category:Podcast Episodes -- posted at: 12:30am EST