Season 04 Archives

Writing Excuses 4.1: Types of Humor

Welcome to Writing Excuses Season 4, featuring new, shorter episode titles! Also, if you don’t count the bonus episodes or the Parsec Award Acceptance Speech, this is our 100th Episode! Brandon kicks this off by asking “What does Howard do that’s funny?” and then by categorizing the sorts of things he finds Howard doing. Obviously … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.1: Types of Humor

Writing Excuses 4.4: Agents. Do you need one?

We’re going to wade into a recent e-brouhaha, but it’s not going to be the Amazon vs Macmillan one. No, this is the one where Dean Wesley Smith argued that authors do not need agents. But you don’t need to read that to appreciate this ‘cast. So… do you need an agent? This depends on … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.4: Agents. Do you need one?

Writing Excuses 4.5: Roleplaying Games as Tools for Story Telling

Roll for initiative, folks! Brandon, Dan, and Howard all play tabletop role-playing games, and sometimes even play together. The question of the hour (well… quarter-hour) is “how can these games help your world building, storytelling, and anything else having to do with good writing?” If this ‘cast doesn’t make you want to play RPGs with … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.5: Roleplaying Games as Tools for Story Telling

Writing Excuses 4.6: Pacing with James Dashner

This episode was recorded live at Life, The Universe, & Everything 28, The BYU Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy, and features, among other things, our largest audience ever. Oh, and James Dashner, our friend and the author of The Maze Runner. It also features what has to be our roughest start ever. We don’t get … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.6: Pacing with James Dashner

Writing Excuses 4.7: Q&A with James Dashner

Recorded live at LTUE 2010, here’s a high-energy Q&A session with the Writing Excuses crew and our special guest James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner. We cover outlining vs. discovery writing, the return to the hairy palate, education for writers, killing people, whether or not we want a bagel, pragmatic approaches, authors who don’t inspire … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.7: Q&A with James Dashner

Writing Excuses 4.9: How to Write Men, with Jessica Day George

Jessica Day George joins us again, this time to tell us how to write men.  Brace yourselves for the bandying-about of generalities, for painting with broad brushes, and for assorted other potential points of offense! Let’s say, for a moment, that you’re not a man. How do you go about writing men? Now let’s turn … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.9: How to Write Men, with Jessica Day George

Writing Excuses 4.10: Writing for Young Adults

Jessica Day George joins the Writing Excuses crew again, this time for a discussion of writing for young adults, and maybe for teens, or even middle-grade readers. This isn’t a podcast about rigidly defining the boundary between the YA and middle-grade genres, though. That’s publishing. We’re talking about writing. If you enjoyed last week’s discussion with … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.10: Writing for Young Adults

Writing Excuses 4.17: Living with the Artist

Sandra Tayler, Dawn Wells, and Kenny Pike  take over the ‘cast with some coaching from Dan (and heckling from Howard)  to talk about what it’s like to live with an artist. We cover the ups and the downs, and share embarrassing anecdotes because we know you want to hear them, and we’re not afraid of … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.17: Living with the Artist

Writing Excuses 4.18: How to Steal for Fun and Profit

Forget “Anxiety of Influence.” Let’s talk about how to borrow, beg, and outright steal from pop culture, history, and mythology.

Writing Excuses 4.24: Random Storytelling

James Dashner and Julie Wright join Brandon and Dan at CONduit in Salt Lake City, and may end up wishing they hadn’t. Brandon throws sets of story concepts at the crew, and asks them to quickly frame serious stories with a solid settings and cool characters. The  first set of story elements: Church accountant contact … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.24: Random Storytelling

Writing Excuses 4.27: Major Overhauls to Broken Stories

What do you do when, halfway through the book you’re writing, you realize it needs to be completely rebuilt? More importantly, how do you figure this out in the first place? This podcast came about as a result of a question from a listener, but the question was specific to “what if you find out … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.27: Major Overhauls to Broken Stories

Writing Excuses 4.30: Worldbuilding the Future

How to build a future setting for your novel by extrapolating from the present, working backwards from the story you want to tell, and getting those to meet in the middle.

Writing Excuses 4.32: First Paragraphs

Recorded live at Dragons & Fairy Tales in Eagle Mountain, Utah, this episode features the work of several brave souls who submitted their first paragraphs to us for critique. We are not American Idol — we’re not out to rip these to shreds. We offer constructive criticism, highlight the good we find, and point out … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.32: First Paragraphs

Writing Excuses 4.33: Trunk Novels

Recorded live at Dragons & Fairy Tales, this episode is for anybody who has a novel or two (or more) sitting in the bottom of their trunk. What are the best ways to re-use old material you’ve set aside? We talk about rewriting entire novels, repurposing plots or characters, and moving stories from one place … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.33: Trunk Novels

Writing Excuses 4.34: Q&A at Dragons & Fairy Tales

The last of our three recorded-live episodes is also the last episode of Writing Excuses Season 4. We took questions from the audience, and answered them with ABSOLUTE APLOMB. Questions asked include: How did we, as beginning writers, manage to write while holding down day-jobs and/or going to school? What is the process for getting … Continue reading Writing Excuses 4.34: Q&A at Dragons & Fairy Tales