Writing Excuses Episode 28: Writing for Webcomics with Phil and Kaja Foglio

This is the first of five episodes recorded on location at WorldCon 66 in the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Brandon, Dan, and Howard are joined by Phil and Kaja Foglio, and we discuss writing for webcomics… no, wait… writing for “sequential picture-assisted storytelling.”

Phil and Kaja are the creators of Girl Genius, the web’s foremost hunk’ o’ steampunk — and we here at Writing Excuses are big fans. During our short time together they help us understand the nuances of creating Girl Genius pages, writing to the outline of the story, and crafting their dialog. The Foglios (and Howard) have a little bit of advice for folks looking to start their own webcomic, too.

(Mmmmm…. Grizzly Bear Soup!)

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Writing Excuses Episode 27: World-Building Religion

The Writing Excuses team sits down to talk about religion as a world-building device: your characters probably believe in something, so what is it? How does it affect their lives? How does it change their thoughts and motivations (and swear words)? And when you’re developing a fake religion, how do you avoid religious bias and keep from offending people? Is it best to develop something completely new, or make a few changes to a real Earth religion?

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Develop a religion where people worship something that no one would ever worship in our world. And it can’t be silly.

Writing Excuses Episode 26: Horror

What is horror? Why is it scary? HOW is it scary? Forced by their grandfather’s will to spend an entire night in his spooky mansion, our podcasters gather to discuss the nuts and bolts of what horror is (and isn’t) and how it works behind the scenes. Here’s a hint: as with pretty much everything else in writing, the secret comes down to compelling conflicts with engaging characters. Be warned: Howard is going to say something scary, so don’t listen to this podcast alone and/or in the dark.

This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by something close to Dan’s heart.

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A descent into madness written from the first person point of view. You are going to descend into madness, your writing will become gibberish or something horrible will happen, and then Brandon will scream.

Please Don’t Throw Yourselves From Tall Places

Writing Excuses is undergoing a complicated technical overhaul on the back end (by which we mean that Jordo, our techmonkey, is moving to a new house and has very patchy computer and Internet access). This is slowing us down, but we promise that there will be an episode available tonight. Sorry. It will all be cleared up soon, and we shouldn’t have many more problems in the future.

Thanks for your understanding.

Join Us at WorldCon!

August 6-10, all three of your favorite writing excusers will be at WorldCon in Denver, Colorado. In addition to seeing us on panels and signings and in the massive dealer’s room, you can also join us for a number of podcasts that we will be recording live, right there, with an audience and some really awesome guest speakers. It will be, without hyperbole, the highlight of your entire life. Offerings of bacon are welcome, but not required.

For those of you unable to join us, rest assured that the traditional schedule of podcast postings will continue apace. Huzzah!