All posts by Howard Tayler

Writing Excuses 7.39: Death

Death! DEATH!!

Let’s talk about killing characters.

Howard starts by relating a time when he did it poorly, and why he feels like it didn’t work. Brandon discusses the academic, clinical aspect of the matter, and how he in particular handles planning (or not planning) for character death. Dan talks about the email he gets about page 267. Mary talks about the differences between deaths in the various genres in which she writes.

There’s lots more. If characters risk death in your writing, this ‘cast will certainly affect their odds for survival.

Play

Find a way to kill a character. Then write it in three ways: sad, heroic, and accidental. As an alternative, take a story you’ve already written, and write a different ending so that someone dies instead of living, or lives instead of dying.

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, by Mignon Fogarty, narrated by the Grammar Girl herself

Assorted Administrivia: Hugo Nominations, WordPress Upgrade, and Superstars Seminar

First and foremost: a close examination of the rules for Hugo Nominations reveals that Writing Excuses Season 4 is eligible to be nominated under the “Best Related Work” category. If you attended WorldCon in Melbourne, or if you already have your Renovation membership, you’re eligible to do some nominating. So, for your consideration, Writing Excuses Season 4. It ran from January 2010 through August 2010, and the full content is available online at this site. The easiest way to surf it all is to use the date widgets over in the right sidebar. But for heaven’s sake don’t do it all in one sitting. Those episodes probably add up to at least nine full hours of us not being that smart because you’re in a hurry.

Secondly: We just performed a WordPress upgrade, and upgraded the plugins we use as well. If you see weirdness, let us know so we can figure out what we broke. (And by “we” we actually mean “Howard.”)

Third: This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we’ll be variously attending (Dan and Howard) and presenting (Brandon) at the Superstars Writing Seminar in Salt Lake City. We hope to record a few interview episodes while there, because the list of presenters for that event is pretty stellar.

Writing Excuses Nominated for 2010 Podcast Award for Education

It has just come to our attention that Writing Excuses has been nominated for the 2010 Podcast Awards: The People’s Choice under the Education category.

If you are a “people” and would like to make Writing Excuses your “choice,” visit podcastawards.com and vote! You may vote once every 24 hours from now until December 15th, which might mean this is “The Fanatically Devoted Or Maybe Automated People’s Choice,” but this is the World Wild Web, and that’s how things seem to be done.

We, of course, are honored to have been nominated, and are pleased to see so many other quality podcasts similarly honored. May the best botnet win!

Writing Prompt: Imagine a future in which political elections are now voted by botnet. Give us a story in which this is actually the best of all possible democracies.

See Writing Excuses Live This Saturday!

This Saturday, July 31st, from 5:00pm until 8:00pm Brandon Sanderson, and Dan Wells and Howard Tayler will record two or three episodes of Writing Excuses in front of a live audience. Dan will give one lucky attendee an advance copy of the Mr. Monster, coming out this October from Tor.  There will be much book signing and even some book sketching, as this will also be the launch party for Howard’s latest book, Schlock Mercenary: Resident Mad Scientist.

Join us at Dragons and Fairy Tales in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Bring your stumpers, too, because one of the ‘casts will be devoted to audience Q&A.

We will sign books that you bring with you, but thoughtful, classy readers always buy something there at the shop to help support the event.

Dragons and Fairy Tales is located at 3535 Ranches Pkwy, Eagle Mountain, Utah.You can find it on google maps and get directions.