Writing Excuses on CD: Your Fondest Dreams Made Real

Q: How can I possibly get even more Writing Excuses in my life? The podcast is right there, on the Internet, ready to be clicked and/or downloaded at any time of the day or night, as many times as I want, and yet still it is not enough. I must have more. In delicious strawberry and guava flavors, if possible.

A:  Well, you are both weird and lucky, because Writing Excuses is now on CD! This fantabulous new collection features the entire first season, including all 35 episodes (yes, next week’s is already on there).

Q: That does indeed sound awesome, but I want even more than that. I want super-rad stuff I can’t get anywhere else.

A: Done and done: how about a selection of goofy bonus episodes, and a bunch of other exciting files? Not only do you get the full Writing Excuses experience in one convenient disk, you also get to hear outtakes, behind the scenes discussions, and random musings we thought were cool enough to record forever.

Q: Now you’re talking my language, but I want EVEN MORE than that. You’re writers, for crying out loud–I want to read some writing.

A: Then you will be pleased to learn that this disk includes a whole bunch (i.e., some) original manuscripts, chief among them a special sneak-preview of Dan’s book: chapter 1 of the not-available-for-several-more-months book I Am Not a Serial Killer. It’s the ultimate must-have for any Writing Excuses fan!

Q:  I am now officially more excited about this than I ever thought possible. Where and how can I obtain this glorious CD?

A: Travel to the four corners of the Earth, from the heart of the Sahara to the depths of the Paris Catacombs; from the vast reaches of the Amazonian jungle to the peaks of the Himalayas, collecting from each place a magical stone visible only in the first rays of morning sun. Build from them a necklace steeped in ancient power and, thus adorned, visit http://poddisc.myshopify.com/products/writing-excuses-season-1 and give them ten bucks.

Q: I’ll go now, and take all of my friends with me!

A: Don’t tell the others, but you’ve always been our favorite listener.

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.


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 33: Side Characters

Just as no burger is complete without its fries, no protagonist is complete without his sidekick, or his mother, or his entomologist, or whatever side character you decide to give him. This week we talk about why side characters are important, and how to do them well.

Liner Notes

Elantris Mad Prince Deleted Scenes

Dan’s Bunny Book (AKA Blacker Darkness) (Word 2003 format)


Bring a side character from the future, bring them back to the past and write a story about them.

This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by Schlock Mercenary: The Teraport Wars  by Howard Tayler

Writing Excuses Episodes 32: Talking Exposition with Patrick Rothfuss

In this, the last of our WorldCon 66 episodes, Brandon, Dan, and Howard interview Name of the Wind author Patrick Rothfuss. We discuss exposition, and how not to bore people as you move them through the learning curve. We start by covering some “don’ts”  – including the essay, the police-artist sketch, and the thesis statement.

And then we work into the “do’s” – show-don’t-tell, focus on character, and don’t write stuff the readers don’t care about.

   This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by Schlock Mercenary: The Teraport Wars  by Howard Tayler


Writing Excuses Episode 31: Talking RPG and Game Writing with Steve Jackson

One of the biggest areas of professional creative writing these days is game writing, and who better to talk to about it than Steve Jackson–yes, THE Steve Jackson. We start off trying to talk about game adaptations, and the challenges they present for writers, but then we devolve into a more straightforward discussion of writing for games.

This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.


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.