We’ve talked about point of view before, but only in general terms: this time we delve into third-person limited in detail, explaining how to use it and when to use it and why. We apologize for the lateness of the post, and the lameness of this episode description: this is what happens when all three … Continue reading WE 5.1: Third Person Limited
Special guest Bree Despain of the Dark Divine trilogy joins us for a ‘cast on character quirks. A character quirk, avoiding the tautological definition, is something that makes your character memorable. We talk about good quirks, bad quirks, and how to tell the difference. We also laugh a lot because it was late and we were … Continue reading WE 5.2: Character Quirks
Bree Despain joins Brandon, Dan, and Howard for a discussion of writing in the 1st-person
Suspense! What is it? What isn’t it? What is the relationship between suspense and mystery, and for that matter horror, humor, and adventure? This ‘cast is chock full of pithy quotes, useful advice, and anecdotal examples.
Brandon, Dan, and Howard discuss “Write what you DON’T know.”
Fast-paced Q&A with Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler
- A.A. Milne,
- Anne McCaffrey,
- Charles Stross,
- George R.R. Martin,
- Greg Bear,
- Jay Lake,
- Larry Niven,
- Lois McMaster Bujold,
- Mary Sue,
- Melanie Rawn,
- Patrick Rothfuss,
- Silhouette Test,
- Stephen Baxter,
- Stephen R. Donaldson,
- Victor Hugo
Brandon, Dan, and Howard discuss Flash Fiction in less time than it took you to read this excerpt.
Melodrama. What is it? What do people mean when they say something is too melodramatic? Usually they do NOT mean “it’s too much like a classical melodrama,” but it helps if we start with that definition: a melodrama is a story in which each character only expresses one emotion, and/or only has one trait. When … Continue reading Writing Excuses 5.7: Avoiding Melodrama
What are the excuses you make when you’re not writing? Brandon, Dan, and Howard examine these, and offer advice for getting the writing done anyway.
John Brown joins us this week for a discussion of plot threads specific to characters. These can be the main plot thread, interesting sub-plots, or just things that shape characters. Sometimes they’re things we do deliberately, and sometimes we discovery-write our way into these arcs. We talk about how we do this, and how we … Continue reading Writing Excuses 5.9: Character Arcs
The now cancer-free John Brown joins us again, this time for a discussion of the creative process. John has presented a seminar on this subject in the past, the focus of which is to teach people to unlock their creativity. At the core of this is the problem-solving we all engage in at some point. You … Continue reading Writing Excuses 5.10: John Brown and the Creative Process
Brandon, Dan, and Howard field questions about doing bad things to characters, soliciting feedback, creature design, and outlining.
We sta … …ising but inev… … pendently wealthy, tha… [NO CARRIER]
John Brown joins Brandon, Dan, and Howard for a discussion of second novels, sequels, and the trick to doing it again.
Scott Westerfeld joins Brandon and Howard for a discussion of the visual components of novels.
Scott Westerfeld joins Brandon and Howard for a discussion of Steampunk.
Brandon, Dan, and Howard each offer sage advice to their earlier selves.
Late last season we took a look at Brandon’s first novel and did some line-editing and critiquing. It was so much fun we decided that Dan needed to take a turn in the dunking booth. He totally gets wet. In the course of dunking Dan we cover beginnings, descriptions, character development, pacing, and viewpoint as … Continue reading Writing Excuses 5.16: Critiquing Dan’s First Novel
Brandon, Dan, and Howard critique some tagless dialog submissions.
Brandon, Dan, and Howard discuss avoiding unnecessary offense as writers.
Brandon, Dan, and Howard give examples of making, keeping, and breaking promises to your readers.
Brandon, Dan, and Howard critique some dialog-only writing exercises from listeners.
Mary Robinette Kowal and Eric Flint join Howard and Dan for a discussion of Alternate history – what, why, and how.
Mary Robinette Kowal and Dave Wolverton join Dan and Howard for a discussion of movie considerations and formulas.
Mary Robinette Kowal and Dave Wolverton again join Dan and Howard, and this time we’re talking about holidays in fantasy and science-fiction. This ‘cast was recorded at Superstars Writing Seminars, and Moses Siregar III of Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing captured us on video as we recorded. What sorts of things result in holidays? Historically we … Continue reading Writing Excuses 5.23: Life Day!
Kevin J. Anderson discusses author productivity with Brandon, Dan, and Howard.
So, you want to write a Star Wars book? Kevin J. Anderson joins Brandon, Dan, and Howard to tackle writing in other people’s universes.
Sherrilyn Kenyon tells us all how to make readers fear for the characters in her books.
Sherrilyn Kenyon joins Brandon, Dan, and Howard for a discussion of persevering as a writer.
David Farland and Tracy Hickman discuss electronic publishing with Dan and Howard.
We were fortunate enough to record two episodes with Tracy Hickman and Dave Wolverton at Life, The Universe, and Everything XXIX. In this second installment these masters of the craft school us on the subject of rewrites.
Dan and Howard are joined by Larry Correia and Robison Wells, and with the enthusiastic support of a live audience at LTUE they discuss writing action.
Sarah Eden and Robison Wells join Dan and Howard at LTUE to talk about writing romance. Sarah writes in the romance genre, but we’re not focusing on the genre — we’re talking about writing romance within the context of whatever else we might happen to be putting on the page. We lead with how to … Continue reading Writing Excuses 5.31: Writing Romance
We begin our discussion of Urban Fantasy with a discussion of definitions, which quickly devolves into an argument over what we are actually supposed to be talking about. Moving right along, we explore what sorts of things we find in an Urban Fantasy, and what sorts of rules these stories usually abide by. Dan tells … Continue reading Writing Excuses 5.32: Urban Fantasy
Brandon, Dan, and Howard discuss what an alpha reader is, is not, and where one might find these marvelous creatures.
Let’s talk about bibles. Specifically, story bibles. What are they, why do we use them, why might we NOT use them, and what tools are working for us? Howard again plugs wikidpad, which he converted Brandon to, and which Dan Wells just couldn’t bring himself to love. Dan uses several different Open Office files. The … Continue reading Writing Excuses 5.34: Story Bibles
Brandon, Dan, and Howard brainstorm an urban fantasy set in a big-box store in Park City, Utah.
Saladin Ahmed, Nebula- and Campbell-award nominee joins Brandon and Howard for a discussion of setting — specifically, setting an epic fantasy in something besides the traditional, Western European middle ages.
Jim Hines suffers abuse from Howard and Brandon as the three of them discuss parody, satire, and humor in front of a live audience at Penguicon.
John Scalzi joins Brandon and Howard for a discussion of dialog and how genre fiction writers can learn to do a better job with it.
Tom Smith joins Howard and Brandon at Penguicon for a discussion of Filk and some delightfully improvised music.