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Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 27: Mixing Humor with Drama and Horror

A Monday without Writing Excuses is kind of like a Tuesday without Writing Excuses, only far less aggravating.

With Brandon once again by our side(s), we venture once more into the realm of humor: this time, specifically considering how to blend humor with decidedly unhumorous elements such as drama and horror. Why do humor and horror go so well together? How can you make something funny without losing the powerful character drama? And how did we possibly get through this episode without mentioning “Shaun of the Dead,” which combines humor and horror and drama more brilliantly than anything in recent memory?

Writing Prompt: Make the most inappropriate joke you can, but make it appropriate.

Once again, Writing Excuses is brought to you by, and this week we’re trying something new: homework! Sometime in January we’ll spend an episode examining “The Hero with A Thousand Faces,” by Joseph Campbell, so this is your warning to study up. You can read your own copy, borrow one from the library, or sign up for a free trial Audible membership and get, through our special deal, an audio copy for free:


Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 25: The Business of Writing Comics

Dan and Howard are again joined by Jake Black, who writes comics (and some other things) for a living. Jake tells us how he got into the business, and we talk about how this might be applied to other folks. But you can’t do it exactly the way he did it because they’ve bricked that entrance up.

Writing Prompt: Our superhero gained his superpowers by writing technical articles for Wired…

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Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 20: Plot- vs. Character-Driven Fiction

Larry Correia, whose debut novel Monster Hunter International hit the market this summer, joins us for a discussion of plot-driven vs. character driven fiction. We start with a definition of terms and a discussion of the battlefield. Then we dive into the nuts and bolts of how to write what it is you want to be writing.

This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by Audible. Head over to for a free audio book and a 14-day trial. And at our recommendation, try out Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Writing Prompt: Come up with a plot-driven story, and then try to make it good with boring characters.


NaNoWriMo: Day 15

The halfway point: by the end of today you should have 25,000 words. How are you doing? Are you ahead? Behind? Are you completely and utterly delighted by the exciting world of writing, and you want to do it more and more every day for the rest of your life? Me too.

Also: we are pleased to announce the existence of the (fan created) Reading Excuses forum, a message board designed for you to meet and coordinate with other writers, to share your work, and to give comments. We (Brandon, Dan, and Howard) are not going to police this, it’s purely a sandbox for your guys to play in. Enjoy!

NaNoWriMo: Day 10

We’ve had just over a week of work: how’s it going? Week two is a lot harder than week 1, and might actually be the hardest of all, because the fun stuff is over and the work has begun, and you’re still thousands of words away from finishing. Tell us all about your victories, your setbacks, and your grandiose plans for the coming days of writing.

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

November 1 is the first day of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The basic idea is to write an entire novel of 50,000 words or more completely during the month of November. It’s a fantastic program, a great way to get yourself writing, and comes with a vast, ready-made support group. How many of you are doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are you writing about? How can the rest of our Writing Excuses community help?