Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 1: Q&A on Setting and Characters at Mountain Con with John Brown

You didn’t think we’d just keep going with the same old stuff forever, did you? Well, actually we are, but now we’re calling it Season 2. This season begins with a series of episodes recorded at Mountain Con in Layton, UT, each of them rife with wisdom and wonder.

This week Writing Excuses is brought to you by the Writing Excuses Season One Collection on CD.

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Writing Excuses Episode 35: Voice, Tone and Style

Everyone says you can’t teach style–each writer just has to figure it out on his or her own.  Well, we here at Writing Excuses have never met an ultimatum we didn’t immediately challenge, so today we take it head on. Can you teach style? Can you learn tone? What makes each writer’s voice unique?

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Take a scene and write it as Dan would write it, then write it as Brandon would write it, and then write it as Howard would write it.

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.

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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)

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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

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