Nancy Fulda joins us to talk about the Elemental Genre of Idea, and how to write stories driven by a sense of fascination. 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? … 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. I called them winners in the title, but that’s misleading: this is not something they drew in a lottery, or stumbled over in … Continue reading Announcing (…drum roll…) the 2016 Scholarship Winners! Well, we here at Writing Excuses have never met an ultimatum we didn’t immediately challenge, so today we take it head on. →, Steve Diamond joins us for our third and final Elemental Horror episode as we field your questions about this particular building block. We’ll also yak for a while about the differences between Superman and Gandalf, which makes us, if nothing else, huge nerds. Season 4. We find the elemental relationship in all kinds of stories that are not fundamentally about relationships. All the transcripts. A descent into madness written from the first person point of view. Remember, elemental drama is basically “character change.” A great many stories use character change in some way—it’s almost ubiquitous. Shadowguard, by Gama Ray Martinez, narrated by Adam Verner. You’re a writer, and the writing is almost paying the bills. Take one big idea from each of two of your favorite books, and mash them up for something new. Brandon: This is Writing Excuses! Your Hosts: Dan, Mary Robinette, and Brandon Welcome to 2021, and Season 16 of Writing Excuses. 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. 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. The … Now, how do you balance your life so that you can make the jump to writing full-time? Here are the questions: How do you create wonder in non-genre stories, where there are no super-powers, spaceships, or spellcasters? It was a super experience. Writing Excuses Talks to an Astronaut, with Special Guest Kjell Lindgren : Brainstorm some story ideas, looking at  what happens to them when you mix those genres up with the ensemble element. Claudia Gray joined us aboard Oasis of the Seas to answer our attendees questions about the Elemental Ensemble. Bluescreen, by Dan Wells, narrated by Roxanne Hernandez, Steve Diamond joins us again to talk horror, this time about using elemental horror as part of our stories’ elemental ensemble. Identify that,  and begin exploring it as a sub-plot. What happens when a character refuses to learn, refuses to overcome their flaw(s)? Here are the questions: Can you fit an ensemble into a short story? Are plot twists necessary? How do you manage your time? [Mary] Season 13, Episode 11. Season 5. Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert … Continue reading 11.47: Issue as a Subgenre, with Steven Barnes →. Brandon, Howard and Dan talk about how to start a book and what’s important about the first line. We begin in Houston, TX, on September 13; we’ll visit Cozumel, Georgetown, and Falmouth, and end up back in Houston again on September 22. Now, how do you balance your life so that you can make the jump to writing full-time? 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. Season Eleven will not be engaging in those arguments. 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. Liner Notes Elantris Mad Prince Deleted Scenes Dan’s … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 33: Side Characters →. Then write it so that the horror comes first, and the humor is last. How do you use each appropriately in your writing? Complete Season 3 of Writing Excuses.I take no credit for this work. 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. Whether you write from a solid outline or discover your plot as you go, we’ve got tricks and tools for you. The first line of any story is the most important. It adds interest, emotion, and lots of plot possibilities to everything from sense of wonder to the hard-hitting issue. Season Eleven Index Season Twelve Index Season Thirteen Index Season Fourteen Index. Season Six Index Season Seven Index Season Eight Index Season Nine Index Season Ten Index. It is an educational podcast that helps novelists/writers. This becomes your framework for a mystery, which you’re essentially outlining in reverse. How do you avoid making the wonder stale? Liner Notes: Sanderson’s first … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 14: Magic Systems and their Rules →, This week the Writing Excuses team discusses magic again, this time focusing on the cost of magic. Come up with a fantasy fuel that has extreme, but unintended consequences. [Brandon] We are so happy to have Charlaine on the podcast. What the minimum size for an ensemble? What is your personal line between horror and “gore-nography?” … Continue reading 11.21: Q&A on Elemental Horror, with Steve Diamond →. My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk, narrated by John Lee. Sure, some are the real-life instances you may connect with, and others are cheesy ideas saved in your head. zipped the folder up and slapped it … In the MICE quotient, are mysteries all “Idea” stories? How do you balance between two mysteries in the same story? Credits: This episode was recorded by Daniel Thompson, and … Continue reading 11.16: Adventure as a Subgenre →. Take something you’ve written, and gender-swap it. Modessit, Jr. →. Why is Dirk Pitt so cool? It comes from Season 1, Episode 12 and Season 1, Episode 13. You haven’t missed an episode.) (“That’s the LAST time I send you out shopping for Gollums, son…”) Liner Notes: The Evil Overlord List, a handy reference for tropes to avoid (or, as the case may be, exploit…). Writing Excuses Season 4 Notes. There are a plethora of reasons writers give for letting excuses take over their work. In this episode we expand upon the … Continue reading 11.06: The Element of Wonder →. 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.” LINER NOTES: Howard repeatedly invoked John August’s blog post about heroes, protagonists, and main … Continue reading Writing Excuses Episode 5: Heroes and Protagonists →. What traits make for a really good (err… evil?) Practice your cliffhangers! Worse, this mindset can prevent us from continuing to create. Look at what your character knows they need, and then remove that knowledge. Science Fiction often explores issues by changing the context. Watch it, and take notes of the things that define their relationship, and how it progresses. [Charlaine] Thank you. 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. Everyone says you can’t teach style–each writer just has to figure it out on his or her own. Season 5. 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! We discuss the difference between the drivers in thrillers, horror stories, and mysteries, and use the elemental genre tools to assist in the differentiation. Elemental Genre becomes particularly useful when you start blending the elements for sub-plots, character arcs, or even mash-ups. Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas … Continue reading 11.51: Ensemble as a Sub-Genre, with Lynne M. Thomas →. Pair this with another subgenre. Modesitt, Jr. joined us at LTUE for a world building discussion centered around the way the environment informs the story. Find a way for them to tell that joke “in character,” in their style. The seventh annual Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat is going to be amazing! Season 9. Sitemap. It comes from Season 1, Episode 11. We’re giving all that a wide miss by adding an adjective, and defining a new term: Elemental Genre. If you find problems with this index or the transcripts, please let me know at mbarker at computer dot org! ... 4-11 - Brainstorming From Headlines We tackle questions from the audience again (except for when Brandon throws a question AT the audience, which still had Mike Stackpole in it.) Season 12: Structure. Then change that character to be “the other” from you, and re-write the character sketch. Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey, narrated by Jefferson Mays, L.E. The landscape continues to change, and Collings is fully engaged in it. How do you know when your setting of high school kids solve supernatural mysteries becomes cliché? 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. Because a wordcount at rest tends to remain at rest…. Season 1. The word “genre” has a lot of weight to it. Take your favorite piece of media that is NOT primarily an adventure, and look for the places where elemental adventure is used. Do you ever picture your scenes as if they were in a movie? Season 12: Structure. Season 11, Episode 8. Grow sideways! What draws the reader forward? Write a story about a book that cannot be read until you are dead. 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.”. 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 →. Become a patron of Writing Excuses today: Get access to exclusive content and experiences on the world’s largest membership platform for artists and creators. We discuss some good crossover examples, and how some of the … Continue reading 11.33: Crossover Fiction, with Victoria Schwab →. Stacy works there as an editor, and helps us understand the submission process, including acting like a professional, doing your research, following submission guidelines, and all sorts of things NOT to do with your submissions. The Internal Editor. The instructions are here, and you’ll follow them by filling out something that looks like this casting sheet. … Continue reading 11.26: Elemental Mystery Q&A →. Season 14: Worldbuilding! In the first of our series on genres, we discuss why people write Sci-Fi, what you need to know to write Sci-Fi, and how much we all love unicorns. Home. Liner Notes: we mentioned Episode … Continue reading 11.23: The Element of Mystery →. Discover along with Howard the magic world of person, tense, and omniscience, and how you can use them to tell your story. This time around he’s talking about placing your product in the hand of your customer, the reader. Dead Men Don’t Cry, by Nancy Fulda, narrated by Joseph Zieja, Recorded live at LTUE, Michaelbrent Collings guest-starred for a discussion about self publishing. 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. Take a step further on some element of your story. 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 →. 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