Category Archives: Career and Lifestyle

These episodes talk, at least in part, about how to manage your career as a writer, and how to keep writing.

Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 20: Marketing 101 for Creators

Howard takes the moderatorial lead on this episode in which he, Brandon, and Dan are joined by Rob Wells for a discussion of marketing.

What is marketing? What’s the difference between marketing and PR?  What’s the difference between a marketing manager and a publicist? How can knowing this help a creator position his or her work? We’ll answer these questions and more…

Writing Prompt: Come up with 25 words that distill everything you want to say about your next work.

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Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 19: Do Creative Writing Classes Help

Brandon and Dan met during a creative writing class at Brigham Young University, and Brandon went on to get a Master’s Degree in the field. Howard has no formal training in the field. This begs the question… do creative writing classes help? Are they worth the time?

Short answer: Yes, but maybe not in the way you were expecting.

We discuss not only the formal education aspects of creative writing, but also the value of informal education — attending conventions and sitting in on panel discussions about the craft.  If you are looking to become a professional writer and are pondering your education options, this podcast is a must-hear. A must-listen-carefully, even.

Writing Prompt: Fore! In this case, a golf metaphor. But not a pun. Please.

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Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 18: World Building Governments

Let’s get back to world-building, and dig into a tough one: government. In this case we’re talking about government as part of the backdrop, rather than political intrigue as part of the plot. Are you going to create a monarchy, a democracy, or perhaps some crazy, experimental sort of rigidly constitutional representative republic? City-states? Confederations? Empires? What’s it going to be, and (more importantly) why?

Oh, and how do you do it right?

Writing Prompt:  Create a government by starting with “Colon Cleansers,” and then taking two steps back to create something unique.

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Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 17: Website Marketing for Authors

Our producer Jordan Sanderson joins us for this week’s installment, in which we likely make all kinds of enemies among the authorial community by exposing the many things they’re doing wrong with their websites.

The fact that you, fair listener, are here reading content on our website shows that you have fine taste in these things, and trust us to lead you right. And we will! We’ll do you proper on blogging, domain names, hosting, connecting with fans and editors, and taking care regarding your rants.

Writing Prompt: Write a story about the worst website ever.

Liner Notes: It should be pointed out that John Ringo‘s website has come a long way since Howard last looked at it. Good work, John!  We also mentioned websites from George R.R. Martin, David Farland, John Scalzi, and of course Brandon Sanderson. Brandon also mentioned holaservers.com. Congratulations, Earl!

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Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 15: Knowing When To Begin

When do you know when you’re ready to begin? What does that question even mean? Apparently Brandon gets asked it a lot, though, so he posed it for the group. How do you know when that story in your head is ready for you to start writing it? Or maybe, how do you know you’re ready to start writing that story that’s up in your head? Or perhaps, when do you know when in that story in your head you should begin writing it, assuming you’re ready?

Confused yet? If you’re ready to begin listening, we’re ready to begin making more sense.

Writing Prompt: Write an ending, and start your book with it.

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Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 14: Writing Habits

We get asked a lot about our writing habits. So your Writing Excuses hosts spend the whole ‘cast discussing their schedules, their work environments, and the things they do to make themselves more productive while keeping themselves creative. Peace and quiet? Clothing? Distractions? Pants? We answer these questions and more. Will any of this work for you? You tell us! The comments are a great place to discuss.

Howard mentioned PeopleWare, by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister. You can buy it here.

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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 6: Endings

Episode 6, recorded live at Dragon’s Keep opens with monkey noises and greeting-card pith, and ends with… well, we’ll just let you listen. Is it a storybook ending? What IS a storybook ending? What is a whiz-bang ending? Is the ending the ending, or is the ending followed by a denouement? How important is a good ending?

Writing Prompt: Take whatever you’re working on right now, look at the ending you have planned now and then come up with two other endings and write all three.

This week Writing Excuses is brought to you by Geek at Play Studio.

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