Welcome to Writing Excuses Season 4, featuring new, shorter episode titles! Also, if you don’t count the bonus episodes or the Parsec Award Acceptance Speech, this is our 100th Episode! Brandon kicks this off by asking “What does Howard do that’s funny?” and then by categorizing the sorts of things he finds Howard doing. Obviously … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.1: Types of Humor
If you want to write a good, heroic hero, this is the podcast for you. We’re not necessarily talking about the archetypical, classically-defined, capital-H “Hero” in this podcast, though. We’re talking about what makes readers stand up and cheer. And yes, this can be applied to the archetype, but let’s not digress. We talk about … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.2: Heroism
How do you avoid letting other people’s work creep into your own? We’re all influenced by the media we partake in whether we admit it or not. How much of those influences should we allow into our own work? How do we control that? As we engage the topic, we admit that sometimes we want … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.3: How to Manage Your Influences
We’re going to wade into a recent e-brouhaha, but it’s not going to be the Amazon vs Macmillan one. No, this is the one where Dean Wesley Smith argued that authors do not need agents. But you don’t need to read that to appreciate this ‘cast. So… do you need an agent? This depends on … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.4: Agents. Do you need one?
Roll for initiative, folks! Brandon, Dan, and Howard all play tabletop role-playing games, and sometimes even play together. The question of the hour (well… quarter-hour) is “how can these games help your world building, storytelling, and anything else having to do with good writing?” If this ‘cast doesn’t make you want to play RPGs with … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.5: Roleplaying Games as Tools for Story Telling
This episode was recorded live at Life, The Universe, & Everything 28, The BYU Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy, and features, among other things, our largest audience ever. Oh, and James Dashner, our friend and the author of The Maze Runner. It also features what has to be our roughest start ever. We don’t get … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.6: Pacing with James Dashner
Recorded live at LTUE 2010, here’s a high-energy Q&A session with the Writing Excuses crew and our special guest James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner. We cover outlining vs. discovery writing, the return to the hairy palate, education for writers, killing people, whether or not we want a bagel, pragmatic approaches, authors who don’t inspire … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.7: Q&A with James Dashner
Jessica Day George joins the Writing Excuses crew for a discussion of editors…
Jessica Day George joins us again, this time to tell us how to write men. Brace yourselves for the bandying-about of generalities, for painting with broad brushes, and for assorted other potential points of offense! Let’s say, for a moment, that you’re not a man. How do you go about writing men? Now let’s turn … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.9: How to Write Men, with Jessica Day George
Jessica Day George joins the Writing Excuses crew again, this time for a discussion of writing for young adults, and maybe for teens, or even middle-grade readers. This isn’t a podcast about rigidly defining the boundary between the YA and middle-grade genres, though. That’s publishing. We’re talking about writing. If you enjoyed last week’s discussion with … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.10: Writing for Young Adults
Brandon, Dan, and Howard brainstorm as Producer Jordo reads headlines.
Epic podcast! Except it’s only fifteen minutes long… because you’re in a hurry, and we’ll tell you how to write an epic.
How to write multiple viewpoints effectively, using the tool for the right reasons and avoiding pitfalls.
A brainstorming session fueled by New Scientist’s “13 More Things We Don’t Understand” article.
A discussion of art and design elements and how they work with the stories we write.
What’s the fourth wall? What happens when you break it? Should you be breaking it at all?
Sandra Tayler, Dawn Wells, and Kenny Pike take over the ‘cast with some coaching from Dan (and heckling from Howard) to talk about what it’s like to live with an artist. We cover the ups and the downs, and share embarrassing anecdotes because we know you want to hear them, and we’re not afraid of … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.17: Living with the Artist
Forget “Anxiety of Influence.” Let’s talk about how to borrow, beg, and outright steal from pop culture, history, and mythology.
How to approach discovery writing, with your hosts Brandon, Dan, and Howard
Some new strategies for getting yourself published. Obviously we guarantee exactly none of them.
L.E. Modesitt and Robison Wells join Brandon and Dan for a discussion of “practical” fantasy. Recorded live at CONduit in Salt Lake City.
Live from CONduit in Salt Lake City, L.E. Modessit Jr. and the Writing Excuses crew answer questions from the audience.
Janci Patterson and Robison Wells have both sold books very recently. Brandon and Dan put them on the spot and ask how they did it.
James Dashner and Julie Wright join Brandon and Dan at CONduit in Salt Lake City, and may end up wishing they hadn’t. Brandon throws sets of story concepts at the crew, and asks them to quickly frame serious stories with a solid settings and cool characters. The first set of story elements: Church accountant contact … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.24: Random Storytelling
James Dashner and Julie Wright talk covers, titles, and first lines with Brandon and Dan.
“How do we avoid writing stilted dialog?” asked Brandon adverbially.
What do you do when, halfway through the book you’re writing, you realize it needs to be completely rebuilt? More importantly, how do you figure this out in the first place? This podcast came about as a result of a question from a listener, but the question was specific to “what if you find out … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.27: Major Overhauls to Broken Stories
Brandon, Dan, and Howard start at the ending and work their way backwards for your enjoyment.
Brandon, Dan, and Howard demonstrate line-editing on an ancient manuscript.
How to build a future setting for your novel by extrapolating from the present, working backwards from the story you want to tell, and getting those to meet in the middle.
A practical, example-filled look at tuning up rough dialog.
Recorded live at Dragons & Fairy Tales in Eagle Mountain, Utah, this episode features the work of several brave souls who submitted their first paragraphs to us for critique. We are not American Idol — we’re not out to rip these to shreds. We offer constructive criticism, highlight the good we find, and point out … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.32: First Paragraphs
Recorded live at Dragons & Fairy Tales, this episode is for anybody who has a novel or two (or more) sitting in the bottom of their trunk. What are the best ways to re-use old material you’ve set aside? We talk about rewriting entire novels, repurposing plots or characters, and moving stories from one place … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.33: Trunk Novels
The last of our three recorded-live episodes is also the last episode of Writing Excuses Season 4. We took questions from the audience, and answered them with ABSOLUTE APLOMB. Questions asked include: How did we, as beginning writers, manage to write while holding down day-jobs and/or going to school? What is the process for getting … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.34: Q&A at Dragons & Fairy Tales