Cover image of Writing Excuses
(777)

Rank #13 in Books category

Arts
Business
Careers
Books

Writing Excuses

Updated 4 days ago

Rank #13 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

777 Ratings
Average Ratings
651
83
15
14
14

Great show

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

Hwhat a great show!

By massremoval - May 12 2019
Read more
Hwhen you are looking for great writing advice, look no further ;)

iTunes Ratings

777 Ratings
Average Ratings
651
83
15
14
14

Great show

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

Hwhat a great show!

By massremoval - May 12 2019
Read more
Hwhen you are looking for great writing advice, look no further ;)
Cover image of Writing Excuses

Writing Excuses

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

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

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: 13.45: Next Level Narration

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Amal, and Maurice Narration is that stuff which tells your story, but isn’t dialog. It’s the voice of your narrator, and it might be multiple voices depending on how you’re handling point of view. In this episode we’ll talk about the things you can do to challenge yourself and level … Continue reading 13.45: Next Level Narration →

Nov 11 2018

21mins

Play

Rank #3: 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 #4: 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 #5: 13.49: How to Finish

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Amal, and Maurice Last week we talked about character death. This week we talk about other, less fatal ways in which a character story can be finished, and how we, as writers, can tell when we’re done with a character arc. Credits: This episode was recorded by Andrew Twiss, and mastered … Continue reading 13.49: How to Finish →

Dec 09 2018

19mins

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: 14.11: 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 #9: 14.02: Geography and Biomes

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab Mahtab Narsimhan joins us this year for a dozen episodes on worldbuilding, and this week we’re talking about geography and biomes. These pieces of our settings can be central to the stories we tell, but they can also be backdrops, and the story purposes they serve may determine … Continue reading 14.02: Geography and Biomes →

Jan 13 2019

18mins

Play

Rank #10: 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 #11: 13.48: Character Death and Plot Armor

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The characters we create are not all destined for long lives. Sure, some are, but a great many of them are on paths that will end in an abrupt fatality of one kind or another, and in this episode we’ll talk about how we choose which characters to … Continue reading 13.48: Character Death and Plot Armor →

Dec 02 2018

20mins

Play

Rank #12: 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 #13: 14.31: Cultural Setting as Conflict

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab In this episode we talk about how to put characters in conflict with their setting, and how to structure our work so that these conflicts arise organically rather than feeling mandated by plot. Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and master by Alex Jackson

Aug 06 2019

19mins

Play

Rank #14: 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

Rank #15: 14.20: Allegory in Fiction

Podcast cover
Read more
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

Play

Rank #16: 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 #17: 14.34: Author Branding

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Dongwon Authors have brands whether they want to have them or not. It’s a simple principle of marketing, and the better we understand that principle, the better able we are to control how it affects our careers. In this episode we talk marketing, and freely use terms like “relationship … Continue reading 14.34: Author Branding →

Aug 25 2019

23mins

Play

Rank #18: 14.28: Warfare and Weaponry

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Dan, Howard, and Mahtab How do you write about warfare in your stories when you’ve never fought in a war? How do you describe brilliant tactics when you’re completely untrained in military movements? How can you portray the emotions of someone on a battlefield without having been on a battlefield yourself? In … Continue reading 14.28: Warfare and Weaponry →

Jul 14 2019

18mins

Play

Rank #19: WX 14.13: Obstacles vs. Complications

Podcast cover
Read more
Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Margaret, and Howard What’s the difference between an obstacle and a complication? Margaret Dunlap takes the lead on this episode for us, giving us the tools we need to create ‘impediments to main character progress’ which will drive our stories across page turns (and commercial breaks) in compelling, twisty ways. … Continue reading WX 14.13: Obstacles vs. Complications →

Mar 31 2019

16mins

Play