Season 4. Forced by their grandfather’s will to spend an entire night in his spooky mansion, our podcasters gather to discuss the nuts and bolts of what horror is (and isn’t) and how it works behind the scenes. The intimate interaction between characters is part of how we define the characters, how we understand who they are as they go on to do the stuff that the story is about. Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas … Continue reading 11.49: Elemental Ensemble, with Michael Damien Thomas →. It’s time to start digging in to the elements themselves, beginning with the Element of Wonder. Brainstorm some story ideas, looking at what happens to them when you mix those genres up with the ensemble element. Writing is its own reward. Take two scenes, each with a different conflict—a logistical one, and an emotional one—and blend them into a single scene. Create a story that focuses on the behind-the-scenes folks. →, Steve Diamond joins us for our third and final Elemental Horror episode as we field your questions about this particular building block. How do I give … Continue reading 11.52: Elemental Ensemble Q&A, With Claudia Gray →, A Million Worlds With You, by Claudia Gray, narrated by Tavia Gilbert, Writing Excuses 11.1: Introduction to Elemental Genre, 11.11: Self Publishing in 2016, with Michaelbrent Collings, 11.12: Idea as Subgenre, With Nancy Fulda. (Note: When we say “two weeks ago” over and over, that’s just bad math. Writing Excuses 11.1: Introduction to Elemental Genre. Here are some notes I took after listening to Writing Excuses. Rebecca McKinney joined us on stage at LTUE to address all this. Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch joined Howard and Dan at GenCon Indy to talk about fantasy food, and how we engage our readers’ appetites with our fiction. The sixth annual Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat makes a triumphant return to the Caribbean Sea! * *Heartfelt lessons about … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 23: Viewpoint →, How much research do you do? Javelin Rain, by Myke Cole, narrated by Korey Jackson, Trina Marie Phillips joined us at Phoenix Comic Con to talk about her work as a futurist. wikidPad Home Page. ... 2021 11:01 pm. [Whoo!] Then begin removing the ones that characters would not notice. And … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episodes 32: Talking Exposition with Patrick Rothfuss →, 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. People get drawn in to a book because of the first line. Brandon, Dan, and Howard are joined by Phil and Kaja Foglio, and we discuss writing for webcomics… no, wait… writing for “sequential picture-assisted storytelling.” Phil and Kaja are the creators of Girl Genius, the web’s … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 28: Writing for Webcomics with Phil and Kaja Foglio →, So what exactly does an editor, do, anyway? We also discuss hiding a lack of knowledge, and finding ways to get by without doing truly exhaustive research. Writing Excuses The Transcripts. Here are some notes I took after listening to Writing Excuses. It comes from Season 1, Episode 4. My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk, narrated by John Lee. This becomes your framework for a mystery, which you’re essentially outlining in reverse. Spoiler Alert! We’re giving all that a wide miss by adding an adjective, and defining a new term: Elemental Genre. Hurray! It’s a great opportunity to learn more about how an author and editor work together to help make a book the best it can possibly be. Pick a city and write what you think it will look like in the year 2045. Can you put a traitor into an ensemble story? ), Robin Hobb joined us at GenCon Indy for a discussion of characterization and differentiation. Now, how do you balance your life so that you can make the jump to writing full-time? New podcasts are published weekly on Sundays. Our voices, however, are not the ones our listeners should be hearing on the subject. … Continue reading 11.17: Elemental Adventure Q&A →. Season 15: Topics You Asked About! The topic is about submitting to editors. The Writing Excuses team sits down to talk about religion as a world-building device: your characters probably believe in something, so what is it? Three days late for the beginning of NaNoWriMo 2016, here’s a bonus episode about maps. Look to your left and that’s your object. villain? Take your notes from the rom-com homework two weeks ago, and build a different relationship onto those beats. It’s not two podcasts that both talk about tense and viewpoint, it’s two totally different podcasts that share a title for some reason. Develop a religion where people worship something that no one would ever worship in our world. Writing Excuses Season 10, the podcasted master-class, continues with this exploration of that critical second step: what do do once you’ve got an idea that has story-legs. Can you learn tone? Are flaws necessary for villains? What do we mean when we use “drama” as an elemental genre? In our first Elemental Issue episode we asked you to read a magazine. Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damien Thomas, Michael R. Underwood has talked to us about hand-selling books before, but that was about pitching to agents and editors. Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels, by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan, Live from Phoenix Comic Con, Gama Martinez joins us for a discussion of casting your book. Howard’s answer: “Just enough to get by.” In this podcast we talk about why we research, how we research, and when we feel like we’ve researched enough. Describe it using those cool point-of-view tools that evoke wonder in the reader. Deadline time. If you haven’t listened to the Writing Excuses podcast, you should know that it’s not only useful to writers. They are: A word count at rest tends to remain at rest. Grab a romantic comedy of some kind. Strangers, by Michaelbrent Collings, narrated by Jeffrey Kafer, Nancy Fulda is back for our second episode on the Idea elemental genre. So… your career is … Before I posted this I had attached an image of a chimp wearing a tux. We discuss some good crossover examples, and how some of the … Continue reading 11.33: Crossover Fiction, with Victoria Schwab →. In this episode we explore using the element of adventure as an ingredient in something that has far more than adventure going on in it. Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal, and also narrated by Mary, Humor is present as an element, at least to some degree, in a substantial amount of the media we consume. Michelle Lyons McFarland, Monica Valentinelli, and Shanna Germain join Howard and Dan at GenCon, and talk about the craft of world building for role playing games. Writing Excuses, Season One. This is the process by which you create a cast of characters for your story ahead of creating the story itself, allowing you to stay ahead of your default decisions for who will step into the scene next. Bluescreen, by Dan Wells, narrated by Roxanne Hernandez, Steve Diamond joins us again to talk horror, this time about using elemental horror as part of our stories’ elemental ensemble. And why does Howard-with-a-chest-cold start to sound like Barry White? The City of the Future, edited by Trina Marie Phillips, “Talking about humor is the least funny thing you can do.” —Howard Tayler You have been warned! Here are the questions we selected from your submissions: If I want to make peanut butter terrifying without being silly, how do I do that? How do you use each appropriately in your writing? Take something you’ve written, and gender-swap it. How do we use that to add depth to our story? Prune the “sequel” down to nothing between a pair of “scenes,” and force your characters to move directly from a problematic success (“yes, but”) or a disastrous failure (“no, and”) into the next crisis. Revolutionary Writing, a course from Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due, DongWon Song, literary agent with HMLA, joins us for a Q&A on the elemental genre of “Issue.” Here are the questions, which were submitted by the attendees at WXR ’16: Can only certain people tackle certain issues in certain stories? So this is what you wanted to know! Modesitt, Jr. joined us at LTUE for a world building discussion centered around the way the environment informs the story. Our unconscious biases are not just the things that we consider to be “just the way things are,” or “common sense.” They’re the things we don’t even see, much … Continue reading 11.22: Examining Unconscious Biases, with Shannon Hale →. Write a monologue from the POV of a member of that magazine’s target audience. We might have been hungry at the time. This week we talk about why side characters are important, and how to do them well. Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas … Continue reading 11.51: Ensemble as a Sub-Genre, with Lynne M. Thomas →. You haven’t missed an episode.) What are the common mistakes that writers make when they start dressing their characters? Look at what your character knows they need, and then remove that knowledge. All the transcripts. Season 13: Character. Writing Excuses Talks to an Astronaut, with Special Guest Kjell Lindgren : In two weeks, Episode 11.44 will be a Project In Depth on this book, so if you want to do the homework, now’s a good time to start. Writing Excuses Retreat 2019 Scholarships! Give us an adventure while the exposition happens. Happy Halloween! Write down the arguments in favor of the side you disagree with, but don’t use strawman arguments. Are plot twists necessary? Season 8. Key Points: This season is going to be organized around topics taken from questions from the audience. Here are the questions: How do you add humor to a serious story without breaking the tension? You’ll arrive back in Houston again on October … Home. We begin in Houston, TX, on September 13; we’ll visit Cozumel, Georgetown, and Falmouth, and end up back in Houston again on September 22. This is the first of five episodes recorded on location at WorldCon 66 in the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Part 1 was Viewpoint. Season 5. Take three stories (books, films, whatever) you love, and explore the emotional impact those stories have on you. In this episode we’ll talk about how … Continue reading 11.38: The Elemental Relationship as a Sub-Genre →. Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and mastered by … Continue reading 11.12: Idea as Subgenre, With Nancy Fulda →. Everyone says you can’t teach style–each writer just has to figure it out on his or her own. Find a way for them to tell that joke “in character,” in their style. Check your bookshelf, and the first book that catches your eye is your genre. Take an ensemble cast, and write each member’s position on a given issue. What do they love? No audio version available yet. It comes from Season 1, Episode 12 and Season 1, Episode 13. Dan: And I’m Dan. Season 7. Take one big idea from each of two of your favorite books, and mash them up for something new. (Note: When we say “two weeks ago” over and over, that’s just bad math. This is an index of my transcripts of the Writing Excuses podcasts. And when you’re developing a fake religion, how do you avoid religious bias and … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 27: World-Building Religion →. Outline a story in which your character must choose to do something horrific. Sometimes you have to cut out the part you like best. For us, Elemental Drama focuses on one character’s transformation, and how that transformation affects everyone around them. You’re a writer, and the writing is almost paying the bills. Modessit, Jr. →. Or at least, … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 15: Costs and Ramifications of Magic →, Howard kicks this off with his own sure-fire cure for Writers’ Block, “BIC HOK:” Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard. Adherence to a fifteen minute limit is not absolute, and Writing Excuses frequently runs to about 20 minutes. The word “genre” has a lot of weight to it. Women Destroy Science Fiction! How do you recover when a relationship starts to feel forced? Schwab, joined us in Phoenix to talk about crossover fiction—in this context the term means books that target a given demographic but which have a much broader appeal, or books which straddle the line between age demographics. We start off trying to talk about game adaptations, and the challenges they present for writers, but then we devolve into a more straightforward discussion of writing for … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 31: Talking RPG and Game Writing with Steve Jackson →, In this, the last of our WorldCon 66 episodes, Brandon, Dan, and Howard interview Name of the Wind author Patrick Rothfuss. What makes a good hero? Become a patron of Writing Excuses today: Get access to exclusive content and experiences on the world’s largest membership platform for artists and creators. … Continue reading 11.26: Elemental Mystery Q&A →. Write about a non-player, non-heroic character (say, the NPC who cleans the alley behind the tavern) in your setting. The four of us discuss voicing characters, naming things, writing Act II, and how you set about … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 18: Q&A at Conduit →, Michael Stackpole, author and podcaster, joined us at CONduit, and the four of us tackled plot twists in front of a live audience. This week we continue our discussion on Science Fiction with a discussion of various Sub-genres, why they’re different, and what you can do to make sure you know your audience. Modesitt, Jr, narrated by Robert Fass, Let’s be adventurous. Nancy Fulda joins us to talk about the Elemental Genre of Idea, and how to write stories driven by a sense of fascination. With Michael’s help, we cover some specific sales techniques, guidelines for convention displays, and strategies for bookstore appearances, with an … Continue reading 11.50: Hand-Selling Your Book to Potential Readers, with Michael R. Underwood →. Discover along with Howard the magic world of person, tense, and omniscience, and how you can use them to tell your story. Think of an emotion that contrasts, or foils, the primary emotion in the thing you were working on for the homework two weeks ago. Brandon: I’m Brandon. We start by covering some “don’ts” – including the essay, the police-artist sketch, and the thesis statement. The Shootout Solution (Genrenauts Episode 1), by Michael R. Underwood, Lynne M. Thomas joins us to continue our discussion of the Elemental Ensemble, which is one of our favorite elemental tools. Everfair, by Nisi Shawl, narrated by Allyson Johnson, Steven Barnes joins us to tackle Elemental Issue, round two, in which we look at how to address it as a sub-element. We talk about our various approaches to this, many … Brandon: This is Writing Excuses! It is mostly useful to writers. Look at professions with a front-person, and with behind-the-scenes staff. This time around he’s talking about placing your product in the hand of your customer, the reader. Writing Excuses Episode 11: The Business of Writing. These are the rules/tricks that we use to keep ourselves on task. But I think it’s also of interest to readers who’d like to know how stories work. It adds interest, emotion, and lots of plot possibilities to everything from sense of wonder to the hard-hitting issue. Force the character to figure out WHAT they need. Take your favorite piece of media that is NOT primarily an adventure, and look for the places where elemental adventure is used. In the MICE quotient, are mysteries all “Idea” stories? If you find problems with this index or the transcripts, please let me know at mbarker at computer dot org! The Internal Editor. Arguments about whether a particular work is, or is not, part of a given genre are long, and tedious. It comes from Season 1, Episode 11. We also talk a lot about revision … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 30: Talking Revision with Moshe Feder →, One of the biggest areas of professional creative writing these days is game writing, and who better to talk to about it than Steve Jackson–yes, THE Steve Jackson. Bands of Mourning, by Brandon Sanderson, narrated by Michael Kramer, Gama Ray Martinez joins us at LTUE to field questions on the Element of Wonder, which were submitted by members of our audience. When do you not use a cliffhanger? Season 11: Elemental Genres. Elemental Genre becomes particularly useful when you start blending the elements for sub-plots, character arcs, or even mash-ups. It is an educational podcast that helps novelists/writers. How do we, as writers, get the most out of them? Take a book or film that you enjoy, and write down every mystery you see. and with that out of the way… What is the driving force that gets readers to turn pages in a book that is primarily a work of humor? Here’s a hint: as with pretty much everything … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 26: Horror →. Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert … Continue reading 11.47: Issue as a Subgenre, with Steven Barnes →. Are there stages of … Continue reading 11.09: Q&A on the Element of Wonder →. In the first of our series on genres, we discuss why people write Sci-Fi, what you need to know to write Sci-Fi, and how much we all love unicorns. We talk about lead in Roman plumbing, water lilies in Las Vegas sewers, and coal power in the British Empire, and how these examples can help us more effectively use the environments in our … Continue reading 11.15: The Environment, with L.E. What’s the difference between Sauron and Gollum? But as Dan says, writers can get away with doing things to readers that readers would never do to themselves. So… your career is your business. Over-apply one type of humor with each rewrite, and take note of how the scene changes. Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says there will be "no excuses" if his team lose their fourth semi-final in 12 months. This is Writing Excuses, Evolution of a Career. The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale, narrated by Cynthia Bishop, Our exploration of elemental genres continues with the sense of “I want to do that.”. Season 6. Figure out how your characters’ entry into these places will change the places, your characters, and the story. HOW is it scary? It’s not just for heists. Season 12: Structure. [Brandon] This is Writing Excuses, Writing Secondary Characters, with Charlaine Harris, Live from GenCon! Mary: I’m Mary. After listening to 15.11 (Digital is Different) I finally hit that unsubscribe button. We decided to end the season with a discussion of endings. We talk about how to use wonder at smaller scales, how to create it with context, … Continue reading 11.08: Wonder as a Subgenre →. Write a character sketch of them. How does it affect their lives? What’s the difference between a conference and a convention? What traits make for a really good (err… evil?) It’s a short journey, as quests go, but we’ll all learn a valuable lesson about writing–and about ourselves. Your best friend. Take one of your favorite triumphant moments from a something you’ve read or watched, and rewrite it so that this triumph is the false victory that makes everything worse. Let’s foreshadow the failure state: look at something you’ve recently written, and then go back and insert a character who represents the failure state that your protagonist must avoid. Season 14: Worldbuilding! Focusing on elemental drama can be tricky. Podcast: Writing Excuses Tagline: “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Format: Generally, four published writers discuss a topic about the writing craft or industry in fifteen minutes, more or less. What are the … Continue reading 11.43: Elemental Drama Q&A, with Tananarive Due →. How do you avoid making the wonder stale? Pair this with another subgenre. I Am Princess X, by Cherie Priest, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal, Let’s get this out of the way up front: in the syntax of elemental genres, the phrase “the element of thriller” is clunky. Pick your favorite idea from the brainstorming exercise, and then work your way forward, plotting out the consequences, and work your way backward, plotting the reasons. zipped the folder up and slapped it … What draws the reader forward? We begin with the difference … Continue reading 11.44: Project in Depth, GHOST TALKERS, by Mary Robinette Kowal →, (and because we’ve mentioned that one recently…), Your Psychic Powers, and How to Develop Them (1920), by Hereward Carrington. Why do people like Superman? And I Darken, by Kiersten White, narrated by Fiona Hardingham, Greg van Eekhout joined us at Phoenix Comic Con for a live-audience Q&A session about Elemental Relationship writing. Because a wordcount at rest tends to remain at rest…. This week’s Writing Excuses is brought to you by Schlock Mercenary: The Teraport Wars by Howard Tayler, 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. Here are the questions: Can you fit an ensemble into a short story? The Elemental Issue is similar to the Elemental Idea, but the type of idea being explored is a point of social conflict, like racism, teen pregnancy, or corporate greed. If you’re stuck because you think your … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 17: This Sucks and I’m a Horrible Writer →, While at CONduit, we recorded three episodes of Writing Excuses in front of an audience, and this is the first of those. Well, we here at Writing Excuses have never met an ultimatum we didn’t immediately challenge, so today we take it head on. Homework! Brandon, Howard and Dan discuss where their ideas come from and Howard tells us a little too much about his love of Pepsi. We explore the emotional components that readers seek from horror, and then drill down into the ways that we can create those reactions in our readers. Here they are! Wonder as Subgenre. 11.15: The Environment, with L.E. Write something that you’ve never tried to write, genre-wise. Episode 11.04 of Writing Excuses was about Newton’s Laws of Writing (or, rather, Howard Tayler’s Laws of Writing). Let’s move beyond simply being cooks, and strive to become chefs. [Brandon] I've been in one of her anthologies. Navah Wolfe, an editor at Saga Press, joined us to talk about the manuscripts she would really like to see. Brandon’s Deleted Scenes Howard’s Original Time-Travel Outline. Frasier (/ ˈ f r eɪ ʒ ər /) is an American television sitcom that was broadcast on NBC for 11 seasons, premiering on September 16, 1993, and concluding on May 13, 2004. Look at some of the elemental genres we’ve already discussed. Make note of where and why, and consider what the story would have been like without that element present. Sub-genres not covered: Dystopia, Steam-punk, and whatever it is Philip K. Dick writes. You are going to descend into madness, your writing will become gibberish or something horrible will happen, and then Brandon will scream. Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho, narrated by Jenny Sterlin. Solar Express, by L.E. It is an educational podcast that helps novelists/writers. What happens when a character refuses to learn, refuses to overcome their flaw(s)? Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert O’Brian, narrated by Barbara Caruso, Per our Elemental Genre theme, this week we further explore elemental mystery. Some of these questions are answered in this episode while others are better left unexplained. What types of mysteries can fit well as sub-plots? Welcome to 2021, and Season 16 of Writing Excuses. When is humor necessary … Continue reading 11.35: Elemental Humor Q&A with Victoria Schwab →. This year we’re dividing the year into “master classes” or “intensive courses.” We’re kicking it off with Brandon’s episodes, which are all about the business of writing, and the first of those is this one! Authors writing Elemental Issue stories raise questions for the readers. … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 10: Pacing →, So… you’re ready for the big-time. : Lightspeed Magazine Special Issue, Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels, 11.Bonus-02: Horrifying the Children, with Darren Shan, The Shootout Solution (Genrenauts Episode 1), Project in Depth (“The Mother of All Crunchy”), 8.42: The Internal Heckler vs. List the clues that would be present. Sit down with your manuscript or outline, and in the margins, add notes about the emotions you’re trying to evoke with each scene, and where in the scene it’s supposed to happen. Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, and Brandon Welcome to 2021, and Season 16 of Writing Excuses. Stacy works there as an editor, and helps us understand the submission process, including acting like a professional, doing your research, following submission guidelines, and all sorts of things NOT to do with your submissions. He begins by stressing the importance of truly understanding the craft of writing—every professional writer needs this—and then talks turkey about Kindle Direct, Bookbub, formats and lengths, output, available resources, publicity activities, … Continue reading 11.11: Self Publishing in 2016, with Michaelbrent Collings →. Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal, narrated by the author. The instructions are here, and you’ll follow them by filling out something that looks like this casting sheet. Gail Carriger joins us to talk about her Convention Survival Kit, which is full of things most of us wish we’d known to pack with us years ago. Someone has to make a pitch when they are very, very drunk. Come up with a fantasy fuel that has extreme, but unintended consequences. ... 4-11 - Brainstorming From Headlines Why is Dirk Pitt so cool? Elemental mystery can be found in any work in which our curiosity is what keeps us turning pages. The topic is about the business of writing. LINER NOTES: Howard repeatedly invoked John August’s blog post about heroes, protagonists, and main … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 5: Heroes and Protagonists →. Identify that, and begin exploring it as a sub-plot. [Mary] Season 13, Episode 11. Page updated. You are likely to find reasons like toddler trouble, age, illness, time, little knowledge, to creativity blocks still making headlines in the writing community as the biggest launchers to writing excuses. Imagine an individual in that group, and ask yourself what that person is going to do, and why. 11.21: Q&A on Elemental Horror, with Steve Diamond, 11.22: Examining Unconscious Biases, with Shannon Hale, 11.28: Impostor Syndrome, with Alyssa Wong, 11.31: Futurism, with Trina Marie Phillips, 11.33: Crossover Fiction, with Victoria Schwab, 11.35: Elemental Humor Q&A with Victoria Schwab, 11.37: Casting Your Book, with Gama Martinez, 11.38: The Elemental Relationship as a Sub-Genre, 11.39: Elemental Relationship Q&A, with Greg van Eekhout, 11.41: The Editor’s Wish List, with Navah Wolfe, 11.Bonus-01: Characterization and Differentiation, with Robin Hobb, 11.43: Elemental Drama Q&A, with Tananarive Due, 11.44: Project in Depth, GHOST TALKERS, by Mary Robinette Kowal, 11.Bonus-03: Some Books Have Maps in the Front, with Maurice Broaddus, Mur Lafferty, and James Sutter, 11.45: Elemental Issue, with Desiree Burch, 11.46: Colonialism, with Steven Barnes, Tempest Bradford, DongWon Song, and Shveta Thakrar, 11.47: Issue as a Subgenre, with Steven Barnes. We consider some examples of blended-with-thrill stories, and then drill down a bit and look at how we can incorporate this in our own work. Here’s the last episode of Writing Excuses Season 6! This podcast contains spoilers for The Lord of the Rings, Return of … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 22: Doing The Unpopular →, You’ve heard about viewpoint, but do you really know what it means? We can write character relationships—parent/child, buddy-cop, romance, and others are cheesy ideas saved in head... Because you ’ ve got tricks and tools for you Mays, L.E a story in which your knows... The reveal may also reveal the Elemental relationship as a Subgenre → one of try-fail! Stories you could tell, using that Idea as the core elements make! With Robin Hobb → character arcs, or is not, part of a wearing. Fuel that has extreme, but we ’ re working on listeners should be hearing on the.! Primarily an Adventure, and we ’ ve written, and ” approach one! 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