Season 03 Archives

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 2: Keeping it Real with Aprilynne Pike

This episode was recorded live at CONduit in Salt Lake City with special guest Aprilynne Pike. Our topic: How do we “keep it real” when writing speculative fiction? What does that even mean? (Okay, it means making the stuff that exists in real life seem real.) Short answer: Research. We talk about how we go … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 2: Keeping it Real with Aprilynne Pike

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 3: Stumping Howard at Conduit

Howard here… I’ve learned that it’s a really bad idea to run out for a bio-break between podcasts. When I returned to the packed panel room I could tell that everyone’s attitude towards me was subtly different. It wasn’t until we started recording that I realized Brandon had turned our Q&A panel into a “Stump … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 3: Stumping Howard at Conduit

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 7: Genre Blending

You’ve seen it done… “Zombie Apocalypse in Space.” “Perry Mason in the Armed Forces.”  It’s genre blending, where the author takes themes prevalent in two different genres and combines them to create something new. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. We call down a few examples of both, and offer you listeners the sage advice … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 7: Genre Blending

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 9: Conventions You Should Be Attending

As genre-fiction writers we attend a lot of conventions. As aspiring genre-fiction writers you probably want to be attending conventions. But which ones should you spend time and money on, and what should you plan to do while you’re there? We start by categorizing conventions – literary conventions, anime conventions, media conventions, conferences and trade-shows. … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 9: Conventions You Should Be Attending

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 10: The Dos and Don’ts of Attending Cons

Last week we discussed what kinds of events that you, the aspiring author, should be attending. This week we cover what you should and shouldn’t be doing there. And we start with some don’ts. The word of the day? “Booth Barnacle.” If last week’s ‘cast was a little long-winded, this one is downright rambling, coming … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 10: The Dos and Don’ts of Attending Cons

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 15: Writing Process Q&A, with Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal joins us again, live at WorldCon 67 in Montreal! This time we fell back on that tried-and-true “Questions from the Audience” format, so the topic is pretty much what the audience asks for on the fly. If the questions were all over the map, our answers require a new school of cartography. … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 15: Writing Process Q&A, with Mary Robinette Kowal

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 16: The Anti-Mary Sue Episode

John Brown, debut author of Servant of a Dark God, joins us for this discussion of  the avoidance of self-insertion. In polite company we call this the “Mary Sue,” because it’s difficult to say “self-insertion” in polite company, much less with a straight face. In broader terms, what we’re covering is voice, and how to … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 16: The Anti-Mary Sue Episode

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 17: Characters & Worldbuilding Q&A with Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary is back! We still had a Mary Robinette Kowal episode from WorldCon 67, and now you have it too! We take questions from the audience, and then answer them. Here are the questions: What do you do if your characters revolt and start to take over the story? When you became a writer what … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 17: Characters & Worldbuilding Q&A with Mary Robinette Kowal

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 18: How To Not Repeat Yourself

John Brown rejoins us for this discussion of  repetition. How do we, as writers, avoid repeating ourselves? We’re not just talking about the literal re-use of words and phrases here. We’re interested in avoiding the re-use of themes, character arcs, and plotlines.  Forget the problems Howard might have coming up with a new joke… he … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 18: How To Not Repeat Yourself

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 19: Emotion in Fiction with John Brown

John Brown joins us again, and tells us that fiction “is all about guiding an emotional response in a reader.” We begin with a discussion of depression, which John (like many of us) had to deal with. He tells us about the paths for emotional response, and how a beginning writer can end up in … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 19: Emotion in Fiction with John Brown

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 20: Plot- vs. Character-Driven Fiction

Larry Correia, whose debut novel Monster Hunter International hit the market this summer, joins us for a discussion of plot-driven vs. character driven fiction. We start with a definition of terms and a discussion of the battlefield. Then we dive into the nuts and bolts of how to write what it is you want to … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 20: Plot- vs. Character-Driven Fiction

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 21: Pitfalls of Self Publishing with Larry Correia

Larry Correia is either the guy who did everything wrong and then broke into publishing anyway, or he’s the exception who proves the rule. He self-published Monster Hunter International, and then got picked up by Baen Books. If you’re considering self-publishing, this is the podcast for you. This week’s episode of Writing Excuses is brought … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 21: Pitfalls of Self Publishing with Larry Correia

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 22: Idea to Story

You are going to love this episode. Seriously. Brandon throws an idea at Dan and Howard, and then we spend 15 minutes expanding on that idea as if we were going to base a story around it. You people who keep asking where we get our ideas? You’re asking the wrong question. Ideas are easy … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 22: Idea to Story

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 23: How to Write Without Twists

Question: Can you write a good book without a plot twist? Better question: is it a good book if your readers predicted what was coming? Best question: is a podcast about predictable prose itself predictable? No, seriously… the best question is “how can we use predictable, formulaic plotting effectively?” We actually answer that one. Writing … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 23: How to Write Without Twists

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 24: Writing Comics with Jake Black

Jake Black fills in for Brandon “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author” Sanderson this week, and that’s perfect because Jake writes comics and Brandon doesn’t. So mostly this is Dan holding Jake’s and my feet to the fire. We’ll talk about the business of writing comics next week. This week it’s more nuts-and-bolts, and we … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 24: Writing Comics with Jake Black

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 25: The Business of Writing Comics

Dan and Howard are again joined by Jake Black, who writes comics (and some other things) for a living. Jake tells us how he got into the business, and we talk about how this might be applied to other folks. But you can’t do it exactly the way he did it because they’ve bricked that … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 25: The Business of Writing Comics

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 26: NaNoWriMo

Dan, Howard, and Jordo descended into the basement at Dragon’s Keep where members of the local NaNoWriMo chapter were attempting to bolster their word-counts for the day. We talked to them about National Novel Writing Month, and about the things that were getting them stuck. Good times! Writing Prompt: Kill one of your characters with … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 26: NaNoWriMo

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 27: Mixing Humor with Drama and Horror

A Monday without Writing Excuses is kind of like a Tuesday without Writing Excuses, only far less aggravating. With Brandon once again by our side(s), we venture once more into the realm of humor: this time, specifically considering how to blend humor with decidedly unhumorous elements such as drama and horror. Why do humor and … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 27: Mixing Humor with Drama and Horror

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 28: World-Building Gender Roles

Is there a disconnect? Brandon specifically introduces the episode as “World-building political correctness,” but the title here says “World-Building Gender Roles.” And then Brandon goes on to blame Howard for picking the title. There is, in fact, a disconnect. Oh the mirth! Howard was imagining a slightly wider scope for the ‘cast, but Brandon focused … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 28: World-Building Gender Roles

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 30: Unreliable Narrators

This episode totally would have updated earlier if I’d only known sooner that it was ready to go. Jordo says he emailed me early this evening, but if he HAD then you’d have been listening to this by 8:00pm Sunday. So… how much of that do you believe? Is the Narrator lying to you, or … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 30: Unreliable Narrators

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 31: Tragedy

Tragedy. It’s just TRAGIC. Tragedy is also one of the classical forms that writers need to know how to work within. Why? Well… because the Greeks thought we should be forced to have strong emotional responses to literature. Writing Prompt: Write a delightful story about happy, cheerful anthropomorphic creatures who all die horribly. This episode … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 31: Tragedy

Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 32: Collaboration

For starters, let’s clear the air. Yes, the first episode of the new year is also the last episode of Writing Excuses Season 3. And yes, we’ll be getting Season 2 and Season 3 on CDs pretty soon here. Collaboration! This is one of our all-time most requested topics, and we’re covering it now because … Continue reading Writing Excuses Season 3 Episode 32: Collaboration