Tag Archives: Plot

Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 8: The Three Act Structure with Bob Defendi

With Brandon still mysteriously missing, Professor Bob Defendi returns to take Dan and Howard on a magical journey through the three-act format: every step, every element, every nuance of this very common and very helpful writing structure. The only way you could conceivably learn more is in a magic school bus, and frankly we don’t think that’s very likely.

This week’s episode is brought to you by Bob’s podcast audiobook Death by Cliché, by Robert J. Defendi. No matter how hilarious you think this is going to be, it’s actually more hilarious than that.

Writing Prompt: Plot out a three act structure for a current project or a new one.

Play

Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 7: Using Writing Formulas with Bob Defendi

Howard, Dan, and guest Bob Defendi open this episode with some high literary humor. Bob fills in for Brandon as we discuss formulas writers use in crafting stories. But how do we prevent those stories from feeling formulaic? Can the formulas themselves help? We discuss (at a high level) the three-act format, the hero’s journey, the romance, the two-act format, try-fail cycles, and others.

This week’s episode is brought to you by the podcast audiobook Death by Cliché, by Robert J. Defendi. We didn’t plug it very hard in the episode itself, but oh, MAN you need to listen to it. Howard hasn’t laughed that hard in a long time.

Play

Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 6: Endings

Episode 6, recorded live at Dragon’s Keep opens with monkey noises and greeting-card pith, and ends with… well, we’ll just let you listen. Is it a storybook ending? What IS a storybook ending? What is a whiz-bang ending? Is the ending the ending, or is the ending followed by a denouement? How important is a good ending?

Writing Prompt: Take whatever you’re working on right now, look at the ending you have planned now and then come up with two other endings and write all three.

This week Writing Excuses is brought to you by Geek at Play Studio.

Play

Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 4:View point, Plot Twists and Being a Part-Time Writer with Eric James Stone

Eric James Stone joins us for our final Mountain-Con episode. This Q&A covers writing part-time (and Dan disqualifies himself from answering this question in future episodes), setting deadlines for yourself, writing plot twists, and providing character description within that character’s viewpoint.

Play

Writing Excuses Episode 34: What The Dark Knight Did Right

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.

Play

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.

Writing Excuses Episode 30: Talking Revision with Moshe Feder

Last week we talked to an editor, this week we talk to OUR editor: Brandon’s and Dan’s editor at Tor, Moshe Feder. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about how an author and editor work together to help make a book the best it can possibly be. We also talk a lot about revision in general, which is one of the least-liked but most important tasks in the writing process.

Play

Writing Excuses Episode 22: Doing The Unpopular

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.

Play

Writing Excuses Episode 20: More Q&A from Conduit

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.”

Liner Notes:

Eric’s Website

Bob Defendi’s Website

Anthology Builder

http://www.ralan.com/

This week’s episode is sponsored by Hold on to Your Horses, by Sandra Tayler

Play