Category Archives: Theory and Technique

Writing Excuses Episode 21: Humor

Enough of this highbrow literary crap–make with the funny! Or, if you’re Howard, do both. In this this episode we talk about why to write humor, how to write humor, how to recognize humor in others, how to steal from learn from what they do, and, in the end, what makes things funny in the first place.

This week, Writing Excuses is sponsored by The Well of Ascension: Book Two of Mistborn Mass Market Paperback by Brandon Sanderson, which is good but really not all that funny.

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Writing Excuses Episode 18: Q&A at Conduit

While at CONduit, we recorded three episodes of Writing Excuses in front of an audience, and this is the first of those. In this episode we have Dan Willis join us as we take questions from the crowd. The four of us discuss voicing characters, naming things, writing Act II, and how you set about finishing your book.

Oh, and for all of you who have complained that fifteen minutes is not long enough… we ran clear out to 17:30 on this one. Enjoy!

Liner notes:

You can find Dan Willis’ website here: http://www.dansrealm.com/Dans_Realm/Home/Home.html

Orson Scott Card’s Essays on naming:

http://www.hatrack.com/writingclass/lessons/2003-03-05-1.shtml and http://www.hatrack.com/writingclass/lessons/2003-03-05-2.shtml

And this week, Writing Excuses is sponsored by The Well of Ascension: Book Two of Mistborn Mass Market Paperback by Brandon Sanderson.

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Writing Excuses Episode 17: This Sucks and I’m a Horrible Writer

The Writing Excuses crew tackles writer’s block again, this time approaching the “This Sucks And I’m A Horrible Writer” mindset. Dan relates his Neil Gaiman anecdote, Brandon explains why he’d written so many books before getting published, and Howard throws down the gauntlet on neverending Chapter One revisions. If you’re stuck because you think your current book sucks, this is the podcast for you.

This week from our sponsor Tor, check out Escapement by Jay Lake.

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Writing Excuses Episode 16: Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard

Howard kicks this off with his own sure-fire cure for Writers’ Block, “BIC HOK:” Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. The Writing Excuses team takes off from there, discussing the different kinds of Writers’ Block, and how to overcome each of them. We cover free-writing, re-reading and reviewing, and focusing on your motivations for writing… and for NOT writing, which is often the heart of the problem.

This week from our sponsor Tor, check out Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

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Writing Excuses Episode 9: Sci-Fi Sub-Genre

This week we continue our discussion on Science Fiction with a discussion of various Sub-genres, why they’re different, and what you can do to make sure you know your audience.

Sub-genres covered: Space Opera, Military, Hard SF, and Cyberpunk.

Sub-genres not covered: Dystopia, Steam-punk, and whatever it is Philip K. Dick writes.
Ad: Tor Book Of the Week Keeper Of Dreams

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Writing Excuses Episode 7: Villains

Are flaws necessary for villains? What traits make for a really good (err… evil?) villain? What’s the difference between Sauron and Gollum? (“That’s the LAST time I send you out shopping for Gollums, son…”)

Liner Notes: The Evil Overlord List, a handy reference for tropes to avoid (or, as the case may be, exploit…)

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