By Writing Excuses | June 24, 2012 - 6:23 pm - Posted in Live Audience, Q&A, Season 7, Theory and Technique

Recorded live at Utah Valley University, here’s another Q&A episode from the LTUE Symposium!

The questions:

  • What was Brandon’s plan with Mistborn and the themes regarding establishment?
  • Why does Kelsier shrug so much? (This leads into a fun discussion of “tells.”)
  • How do you know when to stop a chapter? What about expanding it?
  • How do you make your prose more transparent?
  • How do you decide who and what to cut?
  • What do you do to filter out the extraneous ideas that come while you’re writing?
  • What can collaborators do in order to create a single “voice” for the book?
  • What’s the best way to tackle a long back-story?
Want answers? You’ll just have to listen…

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Partials, by Dan Wells, narrated by Julia Whelan

Writing Prompt: From Earl K. Hill, our cameraman: tell a whole story from the view of the sidekick.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, June 24th, 2012 at 6:23 pm and is filed under Live Audience, Q&A, Season 7, Theory and Technique. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. June 25, 2012 @ 9:06 am

    There was mention of this podcast being recorded on video – Is there a link to the video somewhere?

    Posted by Lita
  2. June 25, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    I believe the link to the video is available by right clicking the word “video” within the audiostream itself. You may need to scrub backward or forward to get the click entry point just right. Hope this helps.

    Posted by DJ Stipe
  3. June 25, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    Honestly, I have no idea where it is. Once somebody finds it, I’ll post a link.

    Posted by Howard Tayler
  4. June 25, 2012 @ 11:36 am

    Hey guys, I’ve just discovered your show and really love it. I’m currently enjoying your Dark Knight episode and how you deconstructed the film. I was wondering if you could talk about Prometheus in a future episode, since I feel there’s a lot to discuss about the structure of Ridley Scott’s latest masterpiece. Thanks!

    Posted by John Amor
  5. June 25, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

    RE: “What do you do to filter out the extraneous ideas that come while you’re writing?”
    Yes, I, too write down almost every idea I have. 😀 But I tend to still end up coming up with way, way too many ideas to make each have its own book. So I’m trying to give each story a dozen minor side-stories that intersect, which SHOULD give the story a feeling of depth…

    Also, on your earlier dare, I did a flashback to a mirror scene in a prologue. 😀

    And that writing prompt sounds great! In fact, it’s almost word-for-word what I’ve been planning to someday do with a video game!

    Good podcast!

    Posted by Robinton
  6. June 25, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

    […] Wizards’ World War (s.2) Dispatch 23: Snowdonia…. Posted by ralfast on June 26, 2012 in Urban Fantasy Tweet of the Day: Writing Excuses 7.26: Q&A at UVU part 2 […]

  7. June 26, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

    Dang – you hit all three of my main gesture Tells – nodding, blinking AND shrugging. I also do a lot of smiling and waving. And a lot of ups, downs, alongs and follows. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. And yes, I have a long list of things to search on – and it’s growing longer as I find other words. (You didn’t even get into crutch words – I seem to use fierce and ornate a lot).

    Thanks – I enjoy these random questions ‘casts. Loved the flashback not-t0-do’s at the end. ^_^

    Posted by Laurie
  8. June 26, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

    And for those who prefer text to listening, we have…

    a transcript!

    Posted by Mike Barker
  9. June 28, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

    What great timing! As soon as you got to the part about tells I instantly knew what was mine was, I’d already been thinking about it, and then Dan mentioned “nodding” and I was clapping in my car. It’s comforting to hear we all have the same problems to overcome.

    Posted by Jeff Whitaker
  10. June 29, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

    For a good laugh, google “Writing Excuses.” They have “people associated with Writing Excuses” in the sidebar and Dan Wells looks like a super model or something.

    Posted by Jon
  11. July 1, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    Oh yeah, there’s an actor with the same name… which I guess is why Our Dan Wells calls himself TheDanWells on Twitter.

    Posted by Jonathon Side (Jace)
  12. July 1, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

    And for the twitterless, if you want to propose topics for the podcast, go over here…

    Posted by Mike Barker
  13. July 2, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    Thanks, Mike!

    Posted by Robinton
  14. July 10, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    Sorry, I’m a little late to the party on this one – I loved Brandon’s discussion on tells. Seems like my characters nod and shrug too. Will have to fix that.
    And I think it was Mary who brought up characters “seeing” things – seems like my characters do that too, so am fixing that as well.