Writing Excuses Episode 7: Villains

Are flaws necessary for villains? What traits make for a really good (err… evil?) villain? What’s the difference between Sauron and Gollum? (“That’s the LAST time I send you out shopping for Gollums, son…”)

Liner Notes: The Evil Overlord List, a handy reference for tropes to avoid (or, as the case may be, exploit…)


Comment Moderation back on

They say it takes one person to ruin it for the rest of us and in this case it’s cheap pharmaceuticals to blame, we’ve been getting too much spam lately so I’m turning back on comment moderation.

If you’ve already got a comment on the site you should hopefully have your comments auto-published, I’m not sure how this works but it probably helps to have your e-mail and website in the form.

For the rest of you please bear with us. Even those of us WITHOUT real jobs (Brandon and Howard, represent!) are quite busy, which means that comment approval will probably come in bulk once or twice a day.

Writing Excuses Episode 5: Heroes and Protagonists

What makes a good hero? Why is Dirk Pitt so cool? Why do people like Superman? And why does Howard-with-a-chest-cold start to sound like Barry White? Some of these questions are answered in this episode while others are better left unexplained.


Howard repeatedly invoked John August’s blog post about heroes, protagonists, and main characters. Here it is.