By Howard Tayler | December 7, 2010 - 1:57 pm - Posted in Site News

It has just come to our attention that Writing Excuses has been nominated for the 2010 Podcast Awards: The People’s Choice under the Education category.

If you are a “people” and would like to make Writing Excuses your “choice,” visit and vote! You may vote once every 24 hours from now until December 15th, which might mean this is “The Fanatically Devoted Or Maybe Automated People’s Choice,” but this is the World Wild Web, and that’s how things seem to be done.

We, of course, are honored to have been nominated, and are pleased to see so many other quality podcasts similarly honored. May the best botnet win!

Writing Prompt: Imagine a future in which political elections are now voted by botnet. Give us a story in which this is actually the best of all possible democracies.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 at 1:57 pm and is filed under Site News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. December 7, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    1vote down 8 votes to go.

    Forwarding task to peons.

    Posted by ioMu
  2. December 7, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

    I voted Writing Excuses FTW!

    Best of luck, gentlemen.

    Posted by Mike
  3. December 7, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

    I’ve only just recently found writing excuses – and love it here. Truly – a treasure of knowledge for writing enthusiasts. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. I’ll be voting.

    Posted by Marzee
  4. December 7, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

    Voted. You guys deserve it.

    Posted by Nico
  5. December 8, 2010 @ 1:41 am

    That is cool. There are a few things that really haven’t been addressed on the podcast. One is the development of a unique magic system. How does one go about devising a magic system? (at least I don’t believe so.) Another thing is dialogue. I think my narrative, and imagery is not bad when I am in the zone, but my dialogue is atrocious. I will be the first to admit it. The third thing I would really love to see is to show us more the stages some writers have gone through as they have written through out the years. For instance I would be interested in the differences between the early drafts of the way of kings, and what we have in our hands now. I LOVED the way of kings by the way. Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors now. I really look up to him. Since I live in Provo I will have the opportunity to meet him some time.

    Posted by Kenny
  6. December 8, 2010 @ 8:46 am


    There are 3 episodes that are at least partially devoted to magic. Of particular import is the first one, regarding magic systems and their rules:
    And, of course, if you can get something for nothing, you completely break your world, so even magic needs a cost:
    And, as I recall, this one discusses (among many other things) making your world believable given what your magic system allows. (For instance, having Mistborn’s Allomancers makes security a really important issue, and brings up an entire economy based on distribution of “pure” metals and alloys.) I’d listen to it again to be sure, but I have an exam starting in just under an hour, so I don’t really have the time.

    As for dialogue, you’re right, there really isn’t a general podcast for it(or if there is, it’s not categorized properly). Here’s a list of what they have:
    The one on Stilted Dialogue is particularly of note for poor dialogue writing – that kind of thing was my biggest issue (well, that and I tend to have characters who are sufficiently taciturn to make a rock look outgoing by comparison).

    And the last one, I can’t really help you. I’m not sure, but Brandon might still have the full set of drafts of Warbreaker up on his website. I can’t say I really paid too much attention to that promo, since I prefer to buy books and read from the paper rather than read off a screen. It’s not Way of Kings, but it would show what changes happen when in the editing process.

    Posted by Rashkavar
  7. December 8, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    Congratulations! Alas, I am blocked from voting from work, but will try to remember to when I get home.

    And your writing prompt is too frightening for me to even contemplate.

    Posted by Laurie
  8. December 8, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

    Congratulations on the nomination, good luck.

    I think botnets controlling the election process might be a good idea. They can’t be any worse than humans. Maybe they will vote for themselves and through humans out of the government completely…

    Posted by Oletta
  9. December 8, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

    ” . . . political elections are now voted by botnet.”

    I thought the prompt was supposed to be fiction. ‘

    Posted by Derby
  10. December 9, 2010 @ 12:58 am

    Congratulations! I will be your fanatically devoted automaton for this event.

    Posted by Mary Robinette
  11. December 9, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    I can see one advantage of botnet voting. Those lacking the intelligence to drive and chew gum at the same time will get one vote, while those with the intelligence necessary to create a bot get more votes. I’d also suggest that publicly available bots be flagged as invalid voters, so you’d have to make your own bot, though detecting the difference would be tough. Also, the more efficient your bot, the more votes it will process, so thus the more efficient bots, likely made by those of greater intelligence, would be weighted more.

    I know it’s kinda elitist to say that smarter people should get more votes, but it’s better than giving someone who votes for a politician because their platform is well thought out and actionable equal say as the one who votes for them because they like the person’s hair, or because they have one of the most attractive politicians in recent history running as their VP. Besides, if we go back to the original democratic ideals of Ancient Greece, only “citizens” were allowed to vote, and that category was limited partially by degree of education received (slaves in their world were not the abused people we think of today thanks to more recent applications of the concept). Of course, I have to admit they had some problems, such as male-only votes, but, for a society that’s over 2000 years old, their system was still fairly impressive.

    Posted by Rashkavar
  12. December 9, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    Another day, another vote.
    3 down. 6 to go.

    This is hard work.

    Posted by ioMu
  13. December 12, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

    I just got an email from Itunes and Brandon’s ‘The way of kings’ is listed among the best books of the year in the advertisement. Very nice!

    Posted by Exlax the Wondrous
  14. December 12, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    You guys have my votes as well. Richly deserved! Thanks for a terrific four and half seasons of writing podcasts.

    Posted by Dale Ivan