Our podcast today will be available this evening, and we are very sorry for the delay. This is a prime example of “doing the unpopular,” but since we don’t have a good reason it’s also a prime example of “doing the unpopular in such a way that it doesn’t work at all.” So, you know, it’s an object lesson? We’re only trying to help? We’ll get it posted this evening, and all will be right again.
As a writer it’s sometimes difficult to decide between doing things the readers want, and things that are right for the story. But as Dan says, writers can get away with doing things to readers that readers would never do to themselves.
Beware! This podcast contains spoilers for The Lord of the Rings, Return of the Jedi, and Serenity (the statute of limitations should have passed on all of these) as well as for the current week of Schlock Mercenary.
This Week’s Episode is brought to you by one of our favorite causes, “Buy Dan Bacon.” Mmmm, bacon.
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.
Writer Eric James Stone joins the Writing Excuses crew for our third Conduit installment. We tackle questions from the audience again (except for when Brandon throws a question AT the audience, which still had Mike Stackpole in it.)
Are plot twists necessary? How does the web change the market for writers? How do you make protagonists as interesting as the villains are? How much should you charge for your work?
We ran a little long on this one. “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we can’t count to fifteen without getting to eighteen first.”
This week’s episode is sponsored by Hold on to Your Horses, by Sandra Tayler
Michael Stackpole, author and podcaster, joined us at CONduit, and the four of us tackled plot twists in front of a live audience. Whether you write from a solid outline or discover your plot as you go, we’ve got tricks and tools for you. We talk about “surprising yet inevitable,” the fine art of making our characters miserable, and the importance of foreshadowing (but not telegraphing) the twist.
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!
You can find Dan Willis’ website here: http://www.dansrealm.com/Dans_Realm/Home/Home.html
Orson Scott Card’s Essays on naming:
And this week, Writing Excuses is sponsored by The Well of Ascension: Book Two of Mistborn Mass Market Paperback by Brandon Sanderson.
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.
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.