By Writing Excuses | January 6, 2013 - 4:38 pm - Posted in Career, NaNoWriMo, Q&A, Season 8

We’re back for 2013 and Season 8, so let’s start it off by answering all your questions! That’s right, it’s time for a fast-paced, lightning round of microcasting! It’s like eight very, very short podcasts in one.

  • Why do some authors only ever come out with one or two books?
  • What’s your process for writing fast under artificial deadlines (NaNoWriMo)?
  • How do you avoid getting bogged down in explanation?
  • What happened to your Hero of a Thousand Faces episode? (Whoops! See below.)
  • Are there concerns or pitfalls regarding the use of metaphors and similes in genre fiction?
  • What are some pitfalls to writing short stories?
  • How do you write sex scenes? (Note: This particular question resulted in an entire episode back in Season 7. Shanna Germain to the rescue!)
  • Have any of you included original poems in your work?

Whoops! We lock-stepped this episode to the release of A Memory of Light, but we ALSO locked it to air after our Hero of a Thousand Faces discussion. Crass commercialism trumps continuity! You’ll get the hero’s journey next week.

Incidentally: If you’re eligible to nominate things for the 2013 Hugo Awards, here’s a list of the things we’ve done which are eligible.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time, Book 14, by  Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading.

Writing Prompt: What does SFPA stand for?

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By Writing Excuses | November 29, 2012 - 8:21 am - Posted in NaNoWriMo, Season 7

Brandon and Mary are back to offer you some last-minute help.

Are you stuck? We have a tip to get you un-stuck.

Is it being difficult? We will help you approach the difficulty differently, in a way you are certain to hate (and thank us for later.)

Sure, there are only two days left, and this was originally recorded to air while you still had a week, but don’t use our lateness as an excuse for slacking off. Slack ON!

Need additional motivation! writtenkitten.net!

By Writing Excuses | November 14, 2012 - 7:33 pm - Posted in Bonus, Guest, NaNoWriMo, Season 7

Week two is over. You might be asking yourself if it’s worth it. Is it worth it?

Hey! Dan Wells and his brother Rob are here to tell you why this is worth it.

And then, in the spirit of distracting you, they tell you about their pop-culture podcast, Do I Dare To Eat a Peach?

By Writing Excuses | November 8, 2012 - 8:52 am - Posted in Bonus, NaNoWriMo, Season 7

You’re doing NaNoWriMo, right? Well, Brandon and Mary took time out from World Fantasy to record this special message for you. Is it a pep-talk? Sage advice? Or is it just a pronunciation pointer? You decide! But don’t take long. You need to be writing.

Two minutes and forty-eight seconds long, because it’s NaNoWriMo, we’re ALL in a hurry, and hopefully this minimizes the distractions.

By Writing Excuses | March 11, 2012 - 6:43 pm - Posted in Business, Career, Editing, Genre, Plot, Q&A, Season 7, World Building

It’s again time for us to do a Q&A by any other name!

  • Is it better to include romance, horror, SF, or other genre elements to flesh out a story, or should the story stand alone?
  • Any tips for developing an idea without getting caught in Worldbuilder’s Disease?
  • Any NaNo WriMo tips? (yes.)
  • What did you to do build an audience before you got published and famous and stuff?
  • How do you create sub-plots without overshadowing the main plot?
  • What are the most important things you learned as writers during 2011?
  • How do you stay motivated (especially during editing) when it seems like everything you wrote is crap?

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Persuasion, by Jane Austen. Note that there are lots of available recordings. We recommend something unabridged, like the version linked here.

Writing Prompt: Listener Bill Housely provided this one—a lone woman who runs an orbital refueling post makes first contact when some aliens arrive in desperate need of fuel.

This episode of Writing Excuses has been brought to you by Audible.

Visit http://AudiblePodcast.com/excuse for a free trial membership.

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Get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial. After the trial, your paid membership will begin at $14.95 per month. With your membership, you will receive one credit every month, good for any audiobook on Audible.

Cancel anytime, effective the next monthly billing cycle. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be charged. Check out the full terms and policies that apply to Audible membership.

By Writing Excuses | November 30, 2011 - 4:00 pm - Posted in PSA

You might not be done, but November is. How do you feel about this? Here’s Howard’s take on your success or your failure, delivered with some inspirational lyricism from Jonathan Coulton.

(If you need further inspiration, please enjoy “A Talk with George” as Jonathan Coulton intended. And read the blog entry.)

By Writing Excuses | November 23, 2011 - 12:08 pm - Posted in PSA

This your third week of NaNoWriMo, and Dan’s here to tell you your wordcount should be at around 38,000. He also tells us how NaNoWriMo helped him write faster and keep to a schedule, and that you (yes YOU) are awesome.

By Writing Excuses | November 16, 2011 - 5:32 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

Mary Robinette Kowal finished her first published novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, as a NaNoWriMo project, and she’s here to offer some words of encouragement to those of you currently participating in November’s most authorial of pursuits.

You have her permission to write badly. Yes you do.

By Writing Excuses | November 9, 2011 - 8:35 am - Posted in PSA

Brandon is here to give you a pep-talk!

Good luck, NaNo writers!

By Writing Excuses | November 1, 2010 - 8:52 pm - Posted in Bonus, PSA

This bonus episode is what happens when there are two things we want to plug, and we decide to try and blend them in a single PSA.

Here’s the Amazon link for the paperback release of John Brown’s first novel, Servant of a Dark God. There is no Amazon link for going out and voting, but what if there were?

There. There’s your writing prompt: “Election services offered online via an Amazon link.”

Since NaNoWriMo is already a day old, we hope you don’t still need a writing prompt. You’re out of excuses. Now go write.