You are going to love this episode. Seriously.
Brandon throws an idea at Dan and Howard, and then we spend 15 minutes expanding on that idea as if we were going to base a story around it.
You people who keep asking where we get our ideas? You’re asking the wrong question. Ideas are easy to come by — everybody has them. The right question is “how do you turn an idea into a story?”
This podcast skips to the important part of answering the question: demonstration. Enjoy!
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Your writing prompt: Bugs are now magical. Ohcrap.
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And here we are, at the final episode of Writing Excuses, Season 2. As promised, this episode is going to be super-useful to new writers, but it’s going to be extra-super-useful to one new writer in particular, Brandon’s nameless friend who listened to 9 hours of Writing Excuses podcasts and is now too overwhelmed to write.
Have you ever wondered why we only ‘cast for 15 minutes (give or take, usually give, but still…) each week? It’s because you’re not supposed to be sitting there at the computer listening to hours upon hours of advice. You’re supposed to be writing.
For this next fourteen minutes and forty-seven seconds we explain how to make that happen.
Writing Prompt: Write a story about Brandon’s friend Nameless
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When do you know when you’re ready to begin? What does that question even mean? Apparently Brandon gets asked it a lot, though, so he posed it for the group. How do you know when that story in your head is ready for you to start writing it? Or maybe, how do you know you’re ready to start writing that story that’s up in your head? Or perhaps, when do you know when in that story in your head you should begin writing it, assuming you’re ready?
Confused yet? If you’re ready to begin listening, we’re ready to begin making more sense.
Writing Prompt: Write an ending, and start your book with it.
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Like all right-thinking people, we loved The Dark Knight–but because we are also writers obsessed with the craft of storytelling, we liked it for very specific, very nerdy reasons. Join us as we take a journey through What The Dark Knight Did Right: strong characters, excellent dialogue, a layered plot that blended perfectly (and unexpectedly) with the central themes, and more.
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Pull out an old piece of writing from the last year or so. Pick a dialogue scene and try to take each piece of dialogue up a half of a notch, evoking a little more character. The outcome or conclusion of the dialogue scene should remain the same.
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.
How much research do you do? Howard’s answer: “Just enough to get by.” In this podcast we talk about why we research, how we research, and when we feel like we’ve researched enough. We also discuss hiding a lack of knowledge, and finding ways to get by without doing truly exhaustive research. Listen closely and you’ll learn why you’ll never be able to know enough, why the epic fantasy horse is a lot like a motorcycle, and whether or not one of us really needs therapy.
This week’s Writing Excuses Book of the Week: Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson
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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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How do you make your novel better? Sometimes you have to cut out the part you like best. Don’t believe me? Before I posted this I had attached an image of a chimp wearing a tux.
Brandon’s Deleted Scenes
Howard’s Original Time-Travel Outline
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