And when you’re developing a fake religion, how do you avoid religious bias and … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 27: World-Building Religion →. Season 13: Character. Make a list of cool set pieces that people could visit. How do you know when your setting of high school kids solve supernatural mysteries becomes cliché? In preparation for next month, and Elemental Issue, define both sides of an issue about which you’re passionate. Key Points: This season is going to be organized around topics taken from questions from the audience. We also discuss hiding a lack of knowledge, and finding ways to get by without doing truly exhaustive research. We’ll also yak for a while about the differences between Superman and Gandalf, which makes us, if nothing else, huge nerds. 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. 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. The word “genre” has a lot of weight to it. Make note of where and why, and consider what the story would have been like without that element present. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson, narrated by Robertson Dean, Shannon Hale joins us at LTUE for a live-audience session in which we explore gender biases, and extrapolate from there to our many other unconscious biases. Take an expository scene, and set it during something exciting. All the transcripts. 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. The word “genre” has a lot of weight to it. Season 4. Write two different “this meets that” pitches, once with a focus on the emotional heart, and once with a focus on set dressing. Sanderson variation: Every word you write is worthwhile. 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 →. Look at professions with a front-person, and with behind-the-scenes staff. Your best friend. 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. We talk about our various approaches to this, many … Season 2. Take your notes from the rom-com homework two weeks ago, and build a different relationship onto those beats. Some of these questions are answered in this episode while others are better left unexplained. Arguments about whether a particular work is, or is not, part of a given genre are long, and tedious. … Continue reading 11.45: Elemental Issue, with Desiree Burch →, Read a magazine, ads and all, that is outside your personal cultural context, or realm of interests, Extreme Makeover, by Dan Wells, narrated by Brian Troxell, Our listeners have been asking for an in-depth, “crunchy” episode on colonialism, and related issues like cultural appropriation, for a couple of years now. You haven’t missed an episode.) zipped the folder up and slapped it … Are plot twists necessary? Season Eleven will not be engaging in those arguments. Brandon, Howard and Dan talk about how to start a book and what’s important about the first line. 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. Shadowguard, by Gama Ray Martinez, narrated by Adam Verner. How do you keep your artistic side from accusing you of selling out? Take an ensemble cast, and write each member’s position on a given issue. Homework! Season 3. Last modified: 9/16/11. What are the common mistakes that writers make when they start dressing their characters? The sixth annual Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat makes a triumphant return to the Caribbean Sea! Hurray! The Wright Brothers, written and narrated by David McCullough. We started with this one because “sense of wonder” is a term that gets used to describe what makes some science fiction stories work. Dan: And I’m Dan. Think of an emotion that contrasts, or foils, the primary emotion in the thing you were working on for the homework two weeks ago. Then take the scary line and create two separate short stories using it. 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. We start by covering some “don’ts”  – including the essay, the police-artist sketch, and the thesis statement. The topic is about submitting to editors. Welcome to 2021, and Season 16 of Writing Excuses. 11.48: Elemental Issue Q&A, with DongWon Song, 11.Bonus-04: Fantasy Food, with Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch, 11.49: Elemental Ensemble, with Michael Damien Thomas, 11.50: Hand-Selling Your Book to Potential Readers, with Michael R. Underwood, 11.51: Ensemble as a Sub-Genre, with Lynne M. Thomas, 11.52: Elemental Ensemble Q&A, With Claudia Gray, 11.2: How To Get The Most Out Of A Conference, with Kathy Chung, plenty of other books  from Mary on Audible, 11.05: Writing and World Building for Role Playing Games, 11.07: The Convention Survival Kit, with Gail Carriger, The Shootout Solution: Genrenauts Episode 1, Women Destroy Science Fiction! The Internal Editor. We begin in Houston, TX, on September 22; we’ll visit Roatan, Belize City, and Cozumel; and then we’ll end up back in Houston again on September 30. Season One Index Season Two Index Season Three Index Season Four Index Season Five Index. Credits: This episode was … Continue reading 11.25: Elemental Mystery is Everywhere →. Because nothing says “keep writing” like “hey, let’s draw a map now!” Dan and Howard were joined by Maurice Broaddus, Mur Lafferty, and James L. Sutter, who wanted to talk about maps. Credits: … Continue reading 11.37: Casting Your Book, with Gama Martinez →. 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? (Note: When we say “two weeks ago” over and over, that’s just bad math. There are a plethora of reasons writers give for letting excuses take over their work. What makes each writer’s voice unique? Season Eleven Index Season Twelve Index Season Thirteen Index Season Fourteen Index. It comes from Season 1, Episode 11. Season 8. Take one big idea from each of two of your favorite books, and mash them up for something new. And by “discussion,” what we really mean is “we ask Robin all the questions.” We learn about Robin’s process for creating characters, wrapping stories around them, and making these characters distinctly different from each other. Writing Excuses 11.1: Introduction to Elemental Genre. It comes from Season 1, Episode 4. Describe it using those cool point-of-view tools that evoke wonder in the reader. … Continue reading 11.17: Elemental Adventure Q&A →. 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. But as Dan says, writers can get away with doing things to readers that readers would never do to themselves. 11.15: The Environment, with L.E. Take some of the humor types, and rewrite a scene several times. This week’s episode is a Project in Depth discussion focusing on Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Why is it scary? Whether you write from a solid outline or discover your plot as you go, we’ve got tricks and tools for you. Identify that,  and begin exploring it as a sub-plot. 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. [Brandon] We are so happy to have Charlaine on the podcast. You’re a writer, and the writing is almost paying the bills. Create a crime scene where you know what’s been done, and who has done it. 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. In this episode we’ll pick at the ubiquity, and look at the many different ways in which character change can be featured, and what sort of tools we have at our disposal to make this happen … Continue reading 11.42: Elemental Drama as a Sub-Genre →. Lost Stars, by Claudia Gray, narrated by Pierce Cravens. Put a mystery into whatever it is you’re working on. Mary: 15 minutes long. 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. In this episode we have Dan Willis join us as we take questions from the crowd. Season 14: Worldbuilding! 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 →. Are there stages of … Continue reading 11.09: Q&A on the Element of Wonder →. Mrs Roosevelt’s Confidante, by Susan Elijah McNeil, narrated by Susan Duerden, We talk a lot about “raising the stakes” in our writing. Liner Notes: We mentioned some resources for … Continue reading 11.19: Fashion for Writers, with Rebecca McKinney →. Nancy Fulda joins us to talk about the Elemental Genre of Idea, and how to write stories driven by a sense of fascination. Applications Are Open for the 2018 Writing Excuses Retreat Scholarship. Brandon, Howard and Dan discuss where their ideas come from and Howard tells us a little too much about his love of Pepsi. Discover along with Howard the magic world of person, tense, and omniscience, and how you can use them to tell your story. How do you recover when a relationship starts to feel forced? How do you keep your artistic side from accusing you of selling out? 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. Futurism, for those unfamiliar with our use of the term here, is related to science fiction, but it remains rooted in existing technology and trends, then seeks to be predictive in useful ways. The landscape continues to change, and Collings is fully engaged in it. What makes a good hero? Sitemap. Experiment with the placement of chapter breaks, new questions, and big reveals, and work on each of these methods as a way to satisfactorily encourage that page turn. Here’s the last episode of Writing Excuses Season 6! 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. Part 1 was Viewpoint. Brandon’s Deleted Scenes Howard’s Original Time-Travel Outline. Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says there will be "no excuses" if his team lose their fourth semi-final in 12 months. Season 8. 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) … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 34: What The Dark Knight Did Right →. Force Multiplication: Schlock Mercenary Book 12, by Howard Tayler, Travis Walton, Sandra Tayler, and Natalie Barahona, with an introduction by Mary Robinette Kowal, For our third Elemental Humor episode Victoria Schwab joins us as we field questions taken from our audience at Phoenix Comic-Con. He describes the thesis/antithesis approach, and we move then to logical frameworks, and how to avoid making our stories dogmatic. This is the frame of mind that many successful writers suffer from, in which they worry that they’re not really good enough at writing to be enjoying their success. Think back to your own childhood, and write up one of your young fears into a story. This season's focus will acting like a classroom for their master class format. [Mary] Season 13, Episode 11. : Lightspeed Magazine Special Issue, edited by Christie Yant, Mystery may well be the most common element in use, at least in some form or another, across the many bookshelf genres comprising “fiction.” We discuss the driving force of elemental mystery, how to evoke those feelings in the reader, and the importance of being able to write mystery effectively. Remember, elemental drama is basically “character change.” A great many stories use character change in some way—it’s almost ubiquitous. Modesitt, Jr, narrated by Robert Fass, Let’s be adventurous. Take a step further on some element of your story. [Charlaine] Thank you. 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. Which is available to read here by Zen Cho, narrated by Adam Verner the rule of,!, narrated by David Stifel, how do I move beyond the “ yes, but unintended.! 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