Workshop Episode 55 (Guest Host: Patrick E. McLean)

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 55, with Patrick E. McLean and Patrick Lewis Patrick E. McLean – author of “Unkillable” and “How to Succeed in Evil” and founder of Good Words (Right Order) – returns to apply his unique insights and experience towards helping Ryan Stevenson and I workshop a delicious tale served up by writer, and vocal performer Patrick Lewis. Patrick brings a SciFi tale of corporate corruption, betrayal, all centered around a really sweet caper. It’s Ocean’s Eleven set in the far future and you know we’re gonna have some fun exploring the intricacies of complex characters, crossed motivations, and making everything works out in the end… which is, or course, where everyone finds the huge stack of Literary Gold for the taking! (and if you feel like your stack of writerly goodness could be a little higher, check out Patrick’s Showcase Episode!)

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Workshop Episode 55 (Guest Host: Patrick E. McLean)

Produced by Lucie Le Blanc

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

Check out this and all our episodes on iTunes and on Stitcher Radio!

Patrick is making amazing stuff…

  • He contributed heavily to the story told in the upcoming post-apocalyptic role-playing video game “Wasteland 2” game (due out in October 2013)
  • New content is in development at Good Words (Right Order)
  • There are stories in development, and ideas peculating… stay in front of it all at Patrick’s Website


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Comments (5)

I kept thinking one thing:

It’s not a shadowrun until you’ve been screwed twice.

BTW, have you seen “Ronin” with Robert De Niro?

Hey a thought occured to me when you guys were talking about the girl with the mindmap. What if slick is not just an “artist from the old school” but he is actually an artist from the old school. Because these kids who are runnin down the biz don’t know what there doin he gets involved. Also because he is from the 21st century he is the one feeding the girl old tv to get his kicks.


Wonderful story you have here. I quite like the idea that Slick and Co. will continue to have adventures after they deal with McDougal.

Here are some thoughts in no particular order:

How did Slick lose his son? Perhaps making him sick and in need of expensive treatment would work. I wonder if keeping it simple would be better. How about if Slick and his son are estranged? Maybe he treated his son like he treated his employees. This will also color his relationship with Casey and Bon

When Slick teams up with Casey and Bon he can’t treat them like employees. He can’t bark orders at them or transfer them to another department. He has to be a role model and a leader. He has to look out for them.

Why does Slick go to the party? If Slick is involved with the pirate contract, that justifies his going to the party.

It also makes sense that if the caper ruins McDougall’s contract with the pirates, the pirates would target Slick for punishment.

Maybe the party isn’t the sales pitch. Maybe it is the celebration of the product launch. At the party McDougall fires Slick in a humiliating fashion.

Slick is middle-aged. That is a dangerous time for a corporate manager. Slick has accumulated a lot of benefits. He may have reached salary cap. He has been using the company insurance plan for a lot those middle-aged physical issues. He filed an expensive claim for his son. Perhaps McDougall has planned to replace Slick with someone younger and cheaper.

Up until now, Slick has cooperated to protect his pension, salary, and benefits. Now he has nothing to lose.

Why is he fired? Perhaps the contract is finished. Whatever product or program the pirates commissioned has been completed.

Patrick McClean recommended reading the Dortmunder novels by Donald E. Westlake. I would recommend watching the fine movie, The Sting, starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman.

Finally, I think the crux of the story is Slick’s growth. His relationship with Casey and Bon should be some sort of redemption for him.

Good luck with your project.

Hey all. Thanks for the feedback.

I’ve had a while both since the show went out and since to think about these characters and their plight and… well… as they say, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum.

The character of Slick, while he didn’t start this way, gradually turned into having all the characteristics of a “proto character” that’s been running around in my head for longer than this run on sentence. Should edit; can’t be bothered. I started on a story for this guy that began with him at his rock bottom, not talking, failed suicide, institutionalized, all his problems laid bare. I know, have always known, what happened to the kid and why this proto character took it so hard. And I thought it was – it had a weird hook about how the guy got agency but I had a hard time throwing legs under a thing with that kind of weight up front. It seemed to me to be too heavy.

And, it seems that I was 180 degrees of wrong about that. I’ve also come to the conclusion that space, while cool, is not necessarily where I need to write. At least not right now and on a bigger project.

Lastly this had me look at my “finished” project, ‘The Strange’ and give it another edit. This work has taken the time away from making the website anything but a shell (you might have noticed) and has canned my trip to Balticon. Gotta get the work done first.

So this project is going to look very different than what was pitched, but I got a ton out of the workshop and your comments so far. Thanks to Dave, Ryan and Patrick for the help and the opportunity. See you around the internet, all.

Patrick Lewis

Wow… you GO Patrick! It sounds like – if nothing else – the workshop kicked some new perceptions loose that have given you a clearer handle on the story you want to tell. That’s all to the good from our perspective. Mission accomplished! 😀

And there’s nothing in the books that says the story written needs to look like the story workshopped, right? As long as one inspired the other, we’ve all done our job (and you still get knighted). 😉 Looking forward to seeing the final run on this one, man. I just bought Ocean’s Eleven because of this workshop (well… that and I LOVE a good caper flick), so there’s lots of sparks being struck. Carry on!

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