Tag Archives: Criticism

Writing Excuses 5.20: More Dialog Exercises

The rules: Write dialog with no dialog tags and no narration. Write it in such a way that we get character, conflict, and setting. We did this a few weeks ago, and have more examples from you, our daring, sharing listeners!

We ran waaay long this time, but it’s okay because we spent a bunch of time reading the submissions. After each reading we discuss what went right and what went wrong, and what to learn from it.

Lots of principles come out of this, including avoiding Maid-and-Butler dialog, how to write natural banter, how to establish a character with that character’s voice, and how dialog-only, “white-room” pieces just can’t tell certain types of stories effectively.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Empire of the East, by Fred Saberhagen, narrated by Raymond Todd

Writing Prompt: Brandon decided to read the first two paragraphs of Empire of the East to us, because it’s all dialog and seemed to fit.

Special Guest Appearance: Howard’s pants. We haven’t heard from them in almost a month. They’re back.

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Writing Excuses 4.32: First Paragraphs

Recorded live at Dragons & Fairy Tales in Eagle Mountain, Utah, this episode features the work of several brave souls who submitted their first paragraphs to us for critique.

We are not American Idol — we’re not out to rip these to shreds. We offer constructive criticism, highlight the good we find, and point out where improvements could be employed.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett, which Howard loves because of the risks the author took.

Writing Prompt: You’re writing in your journal for the first time in ten years, and the last ten years included the invasion of Earth.

That Thunder You Can Barely Hear: It was really, really loud. And funny.

This episode of Writing Excuses has been brought to you by Audible.

Visit http://AudiblePodcast.com/excuse for a free trial membership*.

*Note: From the Audible website, here are the terms of the free membership. Read the fine print, please!

Audible® Free Trial Details
Get your first 14 days of the AudibleListener® Gold membership plan free, which includes one audiobook credit. After your 14 day trial, your membership will renew each month for just $14.95 per month so you can continue to receive one audiobook credit per month plus members-only discounts on all audio purchases. A very small number of titles are more than one credit. Cancel your membership before your free trial period is up and you will not be charged. Thereafter, cancel anytime, effective the next billing cycle. Any unused audiobook credits will be lost at cancellation.

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Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 8: What Star Trek Did Right

As we did with The Dark Knight and Watchmen (the comic, not the movie), once again we turn our searing critical insight on a major work of successful storytelling talk about what they did right. If you loved the new Star Trek movie, or even just kind of liked it, we’ll tell you what the writers did to achieve that; if you hated it, we’ll show you some things you can learn from it anyway. If you haven’t seen it, well, I think it goes without saying that this is a spoilerific spoiler episode full of spoilers. Listen at your own risk.

This episode of Writing Excuses is brought to you by Stacy Whitman, a fantastic freelance editor beloved by all three Writing Excuses hosts. She does fantastic work on all manner of fantastic writing (including Howard’s recent project with Tracy Hickman, XDM: Extreme Dungeon Mastery. If you’re looking for a good editor, she’s fantastic.

Writing Prompt: Spock-a-doodle doo!

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Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 5: How to Take Criticism

How do you take criticism? How do you react, if you even do react? Does criticism cause you to change the way you work? Criticism can come from your peers in a writing group, from editors sending you rejection letters, and from those one-star Amazon reviewers who are out there looking for something to hate.

In this episode we provide anecdotes from other authors including Patrick Rothfuss and Kevin J. Anderson, and share our own experiences about criticism we’ve gotten and how we’ve responded to it.

This episode of Writing Excuses is brought to you by XDM: X-Treme Dungeon Mastery, by Tracy and Curtis Hickman, and illustrated by Howard Tayler. Pre-orders for XDM open on Wednesday, July 1st.

Writing Prompt: Write a story about a critic who is the hero.

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