Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 12: Theme

For the first time in eleven episodes, we have a “normal” one. No special guests, no special locations, and no new format tricks. This episode grows out of Howard’s ignorance – remember back in Episode 10 when Howard called “can of worms” on “theme?” Well, we open the can for this entire episode.

What is theme? Is it something the author must consciously include? Is it something the reader must successfully identify? How can writing to a particular theme help your work? How can it hurt? How can writers avoid thematic pitfalls?  We discuss examples from other writers, and from our own work (especially Brandon’s.)

This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by Dave Farland’s Novel-Writing Workshop.

Writing Prompt: Write a short story that has no theme. No deeper meaning. Nothin’.

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Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 11: Talking Publishing and Writing with Dave Wolverton

Dave Wolverton joins us for a third and final episode, and the Writing Excuses team pumps him for information before letting him escape. We find out why he uses two names (David Farland and Dave Wolverton), how to name characters, and why writers don’t jump between genres much. Dave discusses the state of the genre-fiction publishing business, and prognosticates a bit on its future.  As a special treat, Dave explains how he broke into the industry, so be the first to listen to that bit and get a leg up on everybody else with this proven (and slightly bloody) strategy.

Writing Prompt: Juan and Gregorio Watanabe are in medieval England–and they belong there.  Explain why.

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Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 10: The Boring Parts

Dave Farland, aka Dave Wolverton again joins the Writing Excuses team, and helps us discuss boredom. Specifically, we cover how to deal with it, how to go about writing those “boring parts” that come between the exciting bits that fuel your writing passion.

We talk about skipping ahead, switching viewpoints, following the pain, and trying to do this in a first-person narrative. And for an episode that claims to be about the “boring parts” this one is fairly action-packed. 

Finally.

Writing Prompt: Kill the main badguy in every chapter.

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Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 9: Romance, with Dave Wolverton

This week (and for the following two weeks) the Writing Excuses crew is joined by author Dave Wolverton, who also writes under the name David Farland. This week’s topic? ROMANCE. What can four adult males possibly have to say about the subject? The answer: We tell you absolutely everything we know in just sixteen minutes and fifty-one seconds. And there was time left over in there to stick in an advertisement.

This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by Rokit Fuel. That ad Howard recorded was powered in part by two bags of the stuff. They sent us samples, and we plowed through them like a tornado through a trailer park.

 

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And now, the Writing Prompt: Your character walks into a room and sees three people whom he or she could end up with. You don’t know which one it will be. Keep the reader guessing (and interested!)

Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 8: The Three Act Structure with Bob Defendi

With Brandon still mysteriously missing, Professor Bob Defendi returns to take Dan and Howard on a magical journey through the three-act format: every step, every element, every nuance of this very common and very helpful writing structure. The only way you could conceivably learn more is in a magic school bus, and frankly we don’t think that’s very likely.

This week’s episode is brought to you by Bob’s podcast audiobook Death by Cliché, by Robert J. Defendi. No matter how hilarious you think this is going to be, it’s actually more hilarious than that.

Writing Prompt: Plot out a three act structure for a current project or a new one.

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