Mrs Roosevelt’s Confidante, by Susan Elijah McNeil, narrated by Susan Duerden, We talk a lot about “raising the stakes” in our writing. 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. Come up with a fantasy fuel that has extreme, but unintended consequences. 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? Here are the questions: Can you fit an ensemble into a short story? This week’s episode is a Project in Depth discussion focusing on Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal. 15.02: Writing Between the Lines. [Brandon] I've been in one of her anthologies. … In this episode we discuss some stylistic tools for applying humor  to our work, and how these tools can best be employed. Listen closely and … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 24: Research →, We are pleased to present the second half of “Viewpoint and Tense,”  which, as we all know, is Tense. 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! For us, Elemental Drama focuses on one character’s transformation, and how that transformation affects everyone around them. Modessit, Jr. 11.19: Fashion for Writers, with Rebecca McKinney. Members. Swan Song, by Robert McCammon, narrated by Tom Stechshulte, We have processed the applications, read the submissions, and made the extremely difficult decisions, and the dust has cleared to reveal the four incredible scholarship recipients for this year’s Writing Excuses Retreat. What do they love? 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. 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. The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, edited by Navah Wolfe (available October 18th, 2016. Now, how do you balance your life so that you can make the jump to writing full-time? No audio version available yet. They are: A word count at rest tends to remain at rest. [Charlaine] Thank you. Here are the questions: What is your favorite way to establish relationships? 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. Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson, narrated by Sanjiv Jhaveri. This episode runs … Continue reading 11.46: Colonialism, with Steven Barnes, Tempest Bradford, DongWon Song, and Shveta Thakrar →. We’ll also yak for a while about the differences between Superman and Gandalf, which makes us, if nothing else, huge nerds. Focusing on elemental drama can be tricky. Season Six Index Season Seven Index Season Eight Index Season Nine Index Season Ten Index. Find a cool idea, and then brainstorm twenty stories you could tell, using that idea as the core element. Take a book or film that you enjoy, and write down every mystery you see. 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. Dan relates his Neil Gaiman anecdote, Brandon explains why he’d written so many books before getting published, and Howard throws down the gauntlet on neverending Chapter One revisions. Take the “yes, but; no, and” approach on one of your try-fail cycles. Write a monologue from the POV of a member of that magazine’s target audience. Liner Notes Elantris Mad Prince Deleted Scenes Dan’s … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 33: Side Characters →. Can you learn tone? Bring a side character from the future, bring them back to the past and write a story about them. 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. 3. How does it change their thoughts and motivations (and swear words)? Describe it using those cool point-of-view tools that evoke wonder in the reader. Part 1 was Viewpoint. Episode 11.04 of Writing Excuses was about Newton’s Laws of Writing (or, rather, Howard Tayler’s Laws of Writing). Rebecca McKinney joined us on stage at LTUE to address all this. Check your bookshelf, and the first book that catches your eye is your genre. Create a crime scene where you know what’s been done, and who has done it. If you haven’t yet read Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal, this episode will spoil great swathes of book for you. Cast your book! The word “genre” has a lot of weight to it. 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. Pair this with another subgenre. Three days late for the beginning of NaNoWriMo 2016, here’s a bonus episode about maps. 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. Season 3. Welcome to 2021, and Season 16 of Writing Excuses. Season 2. It’s time to start digging in to the elements themselves, beginning with the Element of Wonder. Season 9. What makes each writer’s voice unique? Ordinarily we don’t encourage people to write to the market, but Navah asked specifically for the opportunity to tell our listeners what she’s looking for. We find the elemental relationship in all kinds of stories that are not fundamentally about relationships. Season 11: Elemental Genres. If you haven’t listened to the Writing Excuses podcast, you should know that it’s not only useful to writers. wikidPad Home Page. How do we use that to add depth to our story? Take one big idea from each of two of your favorite books, and mash them up for something new. Season 12: Structure. Hurray! If you’re new to Writing Excuses, or if you’re just curious about some of the terminology we use, let us break it down for you. We might have been hungry at the time. * *Heartfelt lessons about … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 23: Viewpoint →, How much research do you do? villain? Finding the right voices has not been easy, but it has been worth it. The landscape continues to change, and Collings is fully engaged in it. It comes from Season 1, Episode 11. Brainstorm some story ideas, looking at  what happens to them when you mix those genres up with the ensemble element. Solar Express, by L.E. 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. Make a list of cool set pieces that people could visit. Homework: Research conventions and conferences in your area. In this episode we look at the thriller element as part of a story whose principal driver is one of the other elemental genres. It is an educational podcast that helps novelists/writers. … Continue reading Writing Excuses 11.1: Introduction to Elemental Genre →. Is there a perfect length? Season 13: Character. How do you manage your time? 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. The show aims to cover a single writing-related topic in each podcast, in a format short enough to be listened to on a morning commute or during a lunch break. Spoiler Alert! Sometimes you have to cut out the part you like best. Writing Excuses, season eleven: ‘Elemental Genre’ Filed under Found on the Web. Let’s map Newton’s Laws of Motion onto writing. How do you balance between two mysteries in the same story? Write something that you’ve never tried to write, genre-wise. [Mary Robinette] Because you're in a hurry. Credits: This episode was recorded by … Continue reading 11.Bonus-01: Characterization and Differentiation, with Robin Hobb →. People get drawn in to a book because of the first line. In elemental relationship stories the primary page-turning driver is the relationship between two or three characters ¹. If you find problems with this index or the transcripts, please let me know at mbarker at computer dot org! Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says there will be "no excuses" if his team lose their fourth semi-final in 12 months. 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. Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features! 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. Practice your cliffhangers! Why is Dirk Pitt so cool? Describe the same outfit from two different point of view characters. Have a world-weary character, one who is not in awe, and find ways to help the reader experience wonder despite being in the POV of a character who is not. Take an ensemble cast, and write each member’s position on a given issue. 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. In this this episode we talk about why to write humor, how to write humor, how to recognize humor in others, how to steal from learn from what they do, and, in the end, what makes things funny in the … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 21: Humor →, As a writer it’s sometimes difficult to decide between doing things the readers want, and things that are right for the story. Over-apply one type of humor with each rewrite, and take note of how the scene changes. What’s the difference between a conference and a convention? 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. 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.” 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. : 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. Credits: This episode was … Continue reading 11.25: Elemental Mystery is Everywhere →. 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? Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas … Continue reading 11.51: Ensemble as a Sub-Genre, with Lynne M. Thomas →. Announcing (…drum roll…) the 2016 Scholarship Winners! Beware! Write down the arguments in favor of the side you disagree with, but don’t use strawman arguments. Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard Victoria Schwab, who also writes as V.E. But we’ll say it anyway. Writing Excuses 11.1: Introduction to Elemental Genre. Identify something about your location that would provide, in an alternate universe, a source of magic unavailable in other locations. Liner Notes: We mentioned some resources for … Continue reading 11.19: Fashion for Writers, with Rebecca McKinney →. Imagine an individual in that group, and ask yourself what that person is going to do, and why. Liner Notes: we mentioned Episode … Continue reading 11.23: The Element of Mystery →. 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. 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? Pull out an old piece of writing from the last year or so. 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! Find an element that perhaps you’ve taken for granted, and turn it into something fascinating. What is your personal line between horror and “gore-nography?” … Continue reading 11.21: Q&A on Elemental Horror, with Steve Diamond →. Brandon: This is Writing Excuses! 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 outcome or conclusion of the dialogue scene should remain the same. Give us an adventure while the exposition happens. Take a fun, sci-fictional technological idea, and ask yourself who stands the most to gain, and the most to lose if it comes to pass. So… your career is your business. Writing Excuses Retreat 2019 Scholarships! 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. We promo’d Word Puppets, by Mary Robinette Kowal, narrated by Kate Baker, but the audiobook does not appear to be available as of this writing. ), Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear, narrated by Jennifer Grace, Michael Damien Thomas, co-publisher and co-editor-in-chief of Uncanny Magazine, joined us for a discussion of the elemental genre that contains most of the stories we refer to as “heists.” It’s all about a well-rounded cast in which the group relationship is what’s pulling us forward. Ramp up the tension! Other versions are available here, and of course there are plenty of other books  from Mary on Audible. “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay,” by Alyssa Wong, which is available to read here. 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 →. Season 14: Worldbuilding! Writing is its own reward. Deadline time. 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? Imagine someone is a serial art collector AND a serial artist killer. Sanderson variation: Every word you write is worthwhile. Elemental mystery can be found in any work in which our curiosity is what keeps us turning pages. It comes from Season 1, Episode 4. … Continue reading 11.28: Impostor Syndrome, with Alyssa Wong →. You’ll arrive back in Houston again on October … Put a mystery into whatever it is you’re working on. (Note: When we say “two weeks ago” over and over, that’s just bad math. 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.”. 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. To writing excuses season 11 and Retreat makes a triumphant return to the elements themselves, beginning with the of! And conferences in your Writing will become gibberish or something horrible will happen, and humor! Weeks ago, and Season 1, episode 12 and Season 16 of Writing Excuses episode 10: →. Of magic unavailable in other locations change their thoughts and motivations ( and words! Then horror taken for granted, and why, and the humor last. Third Elemental drama focuses on one of your customer, the reader talks horror with in... 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