Cover image of Writing Excuses
(833)

Rank #14 in Books category

Arts
Business
Careers
Books

Writing Excuses

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #14 in Books category

Arts
Business
Careers
Books
Read more

Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart.

Read more

Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart.

iTunes Ratings

833 Ratings
Average Ratings
700
85
19
15
14

Good Pod, could use new people

By firestevie - Jan 13 2020
Read more
I can’t stop hearing Howard pronounce “hhhwhat” and its infuriating.

Great show

By TxSlotsPlayer - Nov 04 2019
Read more
Love the advice and craft talk presented in each episode. Keep up the great podcast!

iTunes Ratings

833 Ratings
Average Ratings
700
85
19
15
14

Good Pod, could use new people

By firestevie - Jan 13 2020
Read more
I can’t stop hearing Howard pronounce “hhhwhat” and its infuriating.

Great show

By TxSlotsPlayer - Nov 04 2019
Read more
Love the advice and craft talk presented in each episode. Keep up the great podcast!
Cover image of Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses

Latest release on Jan 26, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 2 days ago

Rank #1: 14.01: Worldbuilding Begins! Up Front, or On the Fly?

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard Season 14 is all about worldbuilding¹, and we’re kicking it off with a discussion of when you do that bit of work. Do you handle worldbuilding before you write the story, as you write the story, or after you’ve finished the story? We’ll talk about how we … Continue reading 14.01: Worldbuilding Begins! Up Front, or On the Fly? →

Jan 06 2019

21mins

Play

Rank #2: 14.50: Write What You… No.

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard We’ve all heard the adage “write what you know,” and in this episode we set out to un-misinterpret it. The phrase is fraught, and perhaps the most perilous bit is that it can be used an excuse to not write. Here at Writing Excuses we’re pretty committed … Continue reading 14.50: Write What You… No. →

Dec 15 2019

19mins

Play

Rank #3: 14.10: Magic Systems

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab Let’s design magic systems! We talk about how we do it, and how the principles of magic system design apply to the science fiction systems we create, and vice-versa. NOTE: In this episode we’re talking about “hard” magic systems, where there are well-defined rule sets (even if the … Continue reading 14.10: Magic Systems →

Mar 10 2019

18mins

Play

Rank #4: 14.44: Realism vs. Rule-of-Cool

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard Where do you draw the line between what seems plausible, and what would be cool? If you pick “plausible,” how do you stay cool? If you pick “cool,” how do you avoid knocking the readers out of the story? And finally, how might we structure things so … Continue reading 14.44: Realism vs. Rule-of-Cool →

Nov 03 2019

20mins

Play

Rank #5: 14.33: Writing Imperfect Worlds

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard How do you write a setting in which the status quo is one with which you deeply disagree? How do you create a conflict of this sort without being overtly pedantic or preachy? In this episode we talk about creating engaging worlds while worldbuilding around—and yes, over—landmines. … Continue reading 14.33: Writing Imperfect Worlds →

Aug 18 2019

20mins

Play

Rank #6: 14.35: What You Leave Out

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The advice commonly given to writers is to worldbuild an iceberg, but only to show the reader the tip. This is still too much work. Icebergs are big. In this episode we talk about worldbuilding the tip of the iceberg, and then worldbuilding as little as possible … Continue reading 14.35: What You Leave Out →

Sep 01 2019

18mins

Play

Rank #7: 14.36: Languages and Naming

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab How do we come up with names? How do we do it in ways that enhance our worldbuilding? What are the elements that give our invented naming schemes (even the zany ones with lots of syllables and apostrophes) verisimilitude? In this episode we talk about some of the … Continue reading 14.36: Languages and Naming →

Sep 08 2019

19mins

Play

Rank #8: 14.19: Religion and Ritual

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab We often worldbuild religions and rituals for the stories we create. In this episode we discuss the decisions surrounding this, and our approaches for doing it well. Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

May 12 2019

18mins

Play

Rank #9: 14.18: Setting as Theme

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard Theme is one of those high-falutin’ concepts we’re often reluctant to approach in a nuts-and-bolts sort of way. In this episode we’ll talk about how our themes can be communicated through elements of our settings, deepening reader engagement with the things we write. We offer examples from … Continue reading 14.18: Setting as Theme →

May 05 2019

18mins

Play

Rank #10: 14.6: Fantasy and Science Fiction Races

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab Let’s talk about race, sort-of. Let’s talk about creating races—species of people, really—which is a critically important activity in much of our worldbuilding. In this episode we discuss a few of the pitfalls, some of our own techniques, and a few of our favorite alien¹ races. ¹Can of … Continue reading 14.6: Fantasy and Science Fiction Races →

Feb 10 2019

16mins

Play

Rank #11: 14.22: Characters out of Their Depth

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard Sherlock Holmes has his Watson for a reason. Readers need a character to whom some things must be explained. In this episode we talk about how we create these gateway characters without delivering “maid and butler” dialog, or talking down to the reader. Credits: This episode was … Continue reading 14.22: Characters out of Their Depth →

Jun 02 2019

17mins

Play

Rank #12: 14.48: How to Practice Worldbuilding

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The entire year has been about learning how to worldbuild, and we’ve learned a thing or two ourselves while preparing material for you. In this episode we talk about some of those lessons, and try to answer stray questions that didn’t fit into any of previous episode … Continue reading 14.48: How to Practice Worldbuilding →

Dec 01 2019

18mins

Play

Rank #13: 14.30: Eating Your Way to Better Worldbuilding

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Piper, Dongwon, Amal, and Maurice We like food, and we like to talk about food. Our hosts this week talk about how this influences their fiction, (not to mention how incredibly complex [and interesting, and delicious] the subject is.) Credits: this episode was recorded by Howard Tayler, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Jul 28 2019

25mins

Play

Rank #14: 14.43: Sequencing Your Career Genome

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Dongwon Let’s talk about career planning. It’s a lot more than just launching a career by selling a book, and in this episode we talk about the kinds of things we want to be thinking about and preparing for beyond simply selling our next book or project. Credits: … Continue reading 14.43: Sequencing Your Career Genome →

Oct 27 2019

19mins

Play

Rank #15: 14.49: Customs and Mores

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab In this episode we discuss how our customs and mores govern our own real-world interactions, and how our understanding of these interactions can be applied to our worldbuilding. Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson.

Dec 08 2019

20mins

Play

Rank #16: 14.5: Viewpoint as Worldbuilding

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard When you’re defining your world for the reader, some voice in the text must speak those definitions. This episode is about how we use character voices—their dialog and their narrative view points—to worldbuild. What do they see? How do they perceive it? What are their favorite jokes? … Continue reading 14.5: Viewpoint as Worldbuilding →

Feb 03 2019

17mins

Play

Rank #17: 14.11: Magic Without Rules

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard When we say “without rules” we’re talking about stories whose magic is not held under logical scrutiny for the reader. There are lots of reasons why you might do this, and in this episode we’ll talk about not just about the why, but also the how. Credits: This … Continue reading 14.11: Magic Without Rules →

Mar 17 2019

20mins

Play

Rank #18: 14.40: Deep vs. Wide

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard How do you decide between digging one really deep, narrow well, and digging one really wide, shallow ocean? In this episode we talk about our desires to build worlds which appear both vanishingly wide and unplumbably deep, when we have time to do neither. Credits: This episode … Continue reading 14.40: Deep vs. Wide →

Oct 06 2019

19mins

Play

Rank #19: 14.25: Choosing Your Agent

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Dongwon Guest-host Dongwon Song joined us at WXR 2018 as an instructor, and gave great advice regarding the business side of working as an author. In this episode he takes us through a conversation about choosing an agent. Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered … Continue reading 14.25: Choosing Your Agent →

Jun 23 2019

22mins

Play

Rank #20: 14.14: When To Tell

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard “Show, don’t tell,” they tell us. Except sometimes showing is not always the best thing to do. Or even the right thing to do. Sometimes we should be telling. In this episode we’ll tell you about telling. (We’d show you about telling, but we still don’t have … Continue reading 14.14: When To Tell →

Apr 07 2019

16mins

Play