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Rank #22 in Books category

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Writing Excuses

Updated 10 days ago

Rank #22 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

896 Ratings
Average Ratings
745
93
24
14
20

The best podcast on the craft of writing

By NancyInBlue - Apr 22 2020
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I’ve been listening for years, and have yet to stray! This is a must listen if you’re a sci-fi or fantasy author.

Absolutely loving this podcast!

By Erik Slader - Jan 27 2020
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This is a great resource for both aspiring and professional writers.

iTunes Ratings

896 Ratings
Average Ratings
745
93
24
14
20

The best podcast on the craft of writing

By NancyInBlue - Apr 22 2020
Read more
I’ve been listening for years, and have yet to stray! This is a must listen if you’re a sci-fi or fantasy author.

Absolutely loving this podcast!

By Erik Slader - Jan 27 2020
Read more
This is a great resource for both aspiring and professional writers.
Cover image of Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses

Latest release on May 24, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 10 days ago

Rank #1: 15.15: Dialog

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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard Listener questions drove this episode, and there are only two of them but they were pretty good drivers.  Here they are: Is it a problem that all my dialog ends up as logic-based debates between characters? What can I do to create more variety in my dialog … Continue reading 15.15: Dialog →

Apr 12 2020

17mins

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Rank #2: 14.44: Realism vs. Rule-of-Cool

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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

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Rank #3: 14.50: Write What You… No.

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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

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Rank #4: 15.14: Agent Query Trenches

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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The title of this episode comes to us from listener questions along the lines of “what do you do when you’re ‘in the trenches’ querying agents?” Our answers, predictably, have almost nothing to do with actual trenches. Credits: This episode was recorded by Joseph Meacham, and mastered by … Continue reading 15.14: Agent Query Trenches →

Apr 05 2020

21mins

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Rank #5: 14.18: Setting as Theme

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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

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Rank #6: 15.06: Prose and Cons, with Patrick Rothfuss

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Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, Howard, with special guest Patrick Rothfuss How do you write beautiful prose? How do you set about telling a story with words that sing (and dance, and tell jokes) instead of just conveying information in word-sized chunks? In this episode we talk about how we do it, and how writers … Continue reading 15.06: Prose and Cons, with Patrick Rothfuss →

Feb 09 2020

25mins

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Rank #7: 14.48: How to Practice Worldbuilding

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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

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Rank #8: 14.35: What You Leave Out

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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

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Rank #9: 15.07: Creating Chapters

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Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard How do you create chapters? What are the rules for carving your manuscript into numbered chunks? Is chaptering part of your outline, is it something you discover while you write, or is it something else entirely? In this episode we talk about how we do it, and how we … Continue reading 15.07: Creating Chapters →

Feb 16 2020

19mins

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Rank #10: 14.33: Writing Imperfect Worlds

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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

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Rank #11: 15.02: Writing Between the Lines

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Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard Victoria Schwab, who also writes as V.E. Schwab, joins us this year, and in this episode she helps us cover that deep concept of “theme,” and how we as authors can state our themes without coming straight out and stating them—writing our themes “between the lines.” Credits: This episode … Continue reading 15.02: Writing Between the Lines →

Jan 12 2020

19mins

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Rank #12: 14.22: Characters out of Their Depth

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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

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Rank #13: 14.19: Religion and Ritual

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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

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Rank #14: 14.43: Sequencing Your Career Genome

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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

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Rank #15: 14.36: Languages and Naming

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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

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Rank #16: 14.27: Natural Setting as Conflict

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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard In this episode we stories with the “Person-vs-Setting” structure. These are stories where nature fills the role of antagonist, and may also be what governs the pacing, and the delivery of key emotional beats. Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Jul 07 2019

19mins

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Rank #17: 14.24: Political Intrigue

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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard Political Intrigue stories are less about “politics” (as colloquially defined by pop culture) and more about mysteries. Per Mary Robinette, they’re often like heists of information. The word “politics” here is used in its purest sense: POWER. In this episode we talk about how we worldbuild for … Continue reading 14.24: Political Intrigue →

Jun 16 2019

17mins

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Rank #18: 14.49: Customs and Mores

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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

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Rank #19: 15.10: Evaluating Ideas

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Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard We’ve talked in the past about how ideas are cheap, and that it’s execution upon those ideas which is what really matters. In this episode we’ll talk about how we evaluate things over there on the side of the equation where things are cheap and plentiful. Because while … Continue reading 15.10: Evaluating Ideas →

Mar 08 2020

20mins

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Rank #20: 14.20: Allegory in Fiction

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Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard What is an allegory, anyway? This episode probably won’t settle that question, but we did manage a discussion on how to use our stories to teach things, or be stand-ins for things, and to do it in the ways that allegories and/or parables might. We talk about … Continue reading 14.20: Allegory in Fiction →

May 19 2019

17mins

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