Writing Excuses podcast

Writing Excuses

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

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

 

#891

Writing Excuses 5.33: Alpha Readers

Brandon, Dan, and Howard discuss what an alpha reader is, is not, and where one might find these marvelous creatures. Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

17 Apr 2011

20 MINS

20:37

17 Apr 2011


#890

16.24: Worldbuilding for Games

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, Cassandra Khaw, Dan Wells, James L. Sutter, and Howard Tayler Worldbuilding is one of our favorite topics, and it&#39;s a domain in which game design and novel writing share a lot of territory. In this episode we talk about how much we love it, and how much we enjoy letting other people love it enough to do the heavy lifting for us. Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

13 Jun 2021

21 MINS

21:12

13 Jun 2021


#889

19.25: From the Classroom to the Page

Learning is great, but how do you translate it into doing without getting overwhelmed? What is the difference between learning in the classroom and executing when you&#39;re on your own? Marshall, our incredible recording engineer, just finished an MFA program. Congrats, Marshall!! On today’s episode, we gril Marshall in order to understand his takeaways from the program. Specifically, we are interested in how he takes everything he learned in the classroom and turns it into actionable things he’s doing on the page. We talk community, motivation, and how to consistently make time for your writing.  Thing of the Week: The Fall of the House of Usher, TV show created by Mike Flanagan Homework: Take a turn being the teacher– how would you teach a group of people about a concept you’re struggling with in your own work, and what homework would you give them to better understand it?  Close Reading Series: Texts & Timeline Next up is Character! Starting July 7, we’ll be diving into three short stories by C.L. Clark. These are all available for free through Uncanny Magazine.  Character: “You Perfect, Broken Thing,” “The Cook,” and “Your Eyes, My Beacon: Being an Account of Several Misadventures and How I Found My Way Home” by CL Clark (starting July 7)  And a sneak peak on the rest of the year…  Tension: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark (starting September 1)  Structure: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (starting October 13) Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

23 Jun 2024

25 MINS

25:50

23 Jun 2024


#888

19.28: A Close Reading on Character: Internal vs External Identity

Today, we’re focusing on C.L. Clark’s  [“The Cook,”] (https://www.uncannymagazine.com/article/the-cook/) as we explore external and internal expression. We chose this story because it&#39;s a remarkably physical and touchable story with myriad sensory details. While the audience gets very little information about what Clark’s characters are thinking, you can still understand their internal landscapes by what they seee and notice. How do these external indicators help us understand the internal worlds of the characters?  We mention two infographics during the episode– “Intersections of Self (Trauma Points)&#34; and “Axes of Power.&#34;  These are available on Patreon (they’re posted publicly, so anyone can view them!) Feel free to use them in your own writing, and let us know if you find them helpful!  Thing of the Week: “Bodies” (on Netflix)  Homework: Pick a major character in your story and write two short summaries of the character arc, one using your original motivation and goal, and a second with a different motivation but the same goal. Liner Notes:  Sandra Tayler&#39;s new book, Structuring Life To Support Creativity. Preorder your copy today at sandratayler.com!  And help fund Mary Robinette Kowal’s Silent Spaces, a collection of short stories on Kickstarter here:  [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mary-robinette/silent-spaces?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=silent%20spaces%20] (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mary-robinette/silent-spaces?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=silent&#43;spaces&#43;) (Or go to kickstarter.com and type in “Silent Spaces”)  Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were DongWon Song and Erin Roberts. Our guest was Arkady Martine. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

14 Jul 2024

24 MINS

24:24

14 Jul 2024


#887

19.27: A Close Reading on Character: An Overview and Why We Chose C.L. Clark's Stories

Today we introduce our next close reading series—we’re focusing on character through the lens of three of C.L. Clark’s short stories: [ “You Perfect, Broken Thing,”] (https://www.uncannymagazine.com/article/you-perfect-broken-thing/) [“The Cook,”] (https://www.uncannymagazine.com/article/the-cook/) and [“Your Eyes, My Beacon: Being an Account of Several Misadventures and How I Found My Way Home”] (https://www.uncannymagazine.com/article/your-eyes-my-beacon-being-an-account-of-several-misadventures-and-how-i-found-my-way-home/) . They are all hyperlinked above and available online for free through Uncanny Magazine.  We are so excited to shift our focus to short stories! We love the compressed form, and C.L. Clark’s stories exemplify the freedom that exists within the genre itself. They masterfully combine light world-building with deep character development. We’re excited to dive into each story over the next five episodes, ending with an interview with C.L. Clark!  We recommend reading these short stories ahead of time, but this episode is fine to listen to as a primer for why you should read them!   Thing of the Week: [Monster of the Week] (https://evilhat.com/product/monster-of-the-week/) (a tabletop role-playing game) AND Sandra Tayler&#39;s new book, Structuring Life To Support Creativity. Preorder your copy today at sandratayler.com. Homework: Write the sentence &#34;[Character] is someone who....&#34; with different endings for an entire page. Read them over and pick one that surprises or intrigues you, then write a short scene showcasing that trait. Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were DongWon Song and Erin Roberts. Our guest was Arkady Martine. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

07 Jul 2024

23 MINS

23:45

07 Jul 2024


#886

19.26: Bringing Falconry into Writing

Today we are joined by the incredible falconer Krista Hong Edwards. Krista was kind enough to take our hosts out with her falcons, and we had the most amazing time! Krista sat down with us to talk about falcons, literature, and much more. Check out our liner notes (below) for all of the texts we reference!  Thing of the Week: [Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey: A Novel Book by Kathleen Rooney] (https://bookshop.org/p/books/cher-ami-and-major-whittlesey-kathleen-rooney/14618539?aid=99681&ean=9780143135425&listref=book-of-the-week-season-19) Homework: Look up your local falconry club and see if you can attend their next event! Liner Notes:  See more of Krista, her falcons, and her mission on Instagram at [@kristafeather] (https://www.instagram.com/kristafeather/) and [@feathersforthought] (https://www.instagram.com/feathersforthought/) [My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George ] (https://www.kardsunlimited.com/young-adult/p/my-side-of-the-mountain-trilogy-by-jean-craighead-george) [“The Goshawk” by T.H. White] (https://www.nyrb.com/products/the-goshawk) [“H is for Hawk” by Helen McDonald] (https://groveatlantic.com/book/h-is-for-hawk/) [“Untethered Sky” by Fonda Lee] (https://www.fondalee.com/books/untethered-sky/) To find Krista’s Articles: Hawkchawk Magazine & Pursuit Falconry  Close Reading Series: Texts & Timeline Next up is Character! Starting July 7, we’ll be diving into three short stories by C.L. Clark. These are all available for free through Uncanny Magazine.  Character: “You Perfect, Broken Thing,” “The Cook,” and “Your Eyes, My Beacon: Being an Account of Several Misadventures and How I Found My Way Home” by CL Clark (starting July 7)  And a sneak peak on the rest of the year…  Tension: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark (starting September 1)  Structure: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (starting October 13)  Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Krista Edwards, Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, and Erin Roberts. Our guest was Arkady Martine. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

30 Jun 2024

27 MINS

27:49

30 Jun 2024


#885

19.24: An Interview on Worldbuilding with Arkady Martine

We&#39;ve spent the last month talking about &#34;A Memory Called Empire, and now, we are so excited to welcome the author, Arkady Martine, to the show! On today&#39;s episode, we talk with Arkady about the origins of her novel, and dive into how she navigated the dense and intricate world-building. Arkady gives us advice on what not to do, where to look for your first ideas, and what her writing process looks like.  Thing of the Week:  “The Shamshine Blind” By Paz Pardo Homework: Using the character and the story you are currently working on, look at the nearest building you can see out your window, and describe it from their point of view. What does that say about the world that you are in and the world that they are in?  Close Reading Series: Texts & Timeline Next up is Character! Starting July 7, we’ll be diving into three short stories by C.L. Clark. These are all available for free through Uncanny Magazine.  Character: “You Perfect, Broken Thing,” “The Cook,” and “Your Eyes, My Beacon: Being an Account of Several Misadventures and How I Found My Way Home” by CL Clark (starting July 7)  And a sneak peak on the rest of the year…  Tension: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark (starting September 1)  Structure: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (starting October 13)  Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were DongWon Song and Erin Roberts. Our guest was Arkady Martine. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

16 Jun 2024

35 MINS

35:43

16 Jun 2024


#884

19.22: Technology and Identity (A Close Reading on Worldbuilding)

The imago technology lies at the heart of this novel thematically and narratively. How does this technology create a world, delineate Mahit&#39;s culture from Teixcalaan, and ask enormous questions about identity and empire? Thing of the Week: “Rotten” (Documentary Series available on Netflix) Homework: Come up with three technological or magical approaches that would raise questions about what it means to be you, to be an individual. Take one of these, and then write a scene wherein two characters argue about it. For those of you just joining us, here&#39;s what our close reading series has covered, and what lays ahead! Close Reading Series: Texts & Timeline Voice: This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar (March 17)  Worldbuilding: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (May 12)  Character: “You Perfect, Broken Thing,” “The Cook,” and “Your Eyes, My Beacon: Being an Account of Several Misadventures and How I Found My Way Home” by CL Clark (July 7)  Tension: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark (September 1)  Structure: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (October 13) Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

02 Jun 2024

26 MINS

26:02

02 Jun 2024


#883

19.21: Language as a Tool (A Close Reading on Worldbuilding)

What cultural and worldbuilding information is embedded within the smallest of word choices? Today, we dive into three specific sections from throughout Martine’s “A Memory Called Empire”:  the word for empire, assimilation and naming, and learning the word for bomb. We unpack how Martine uses language to establish important principles of how the world works.  Thing of the Week:  [The Gilded Age - Created and Written by Julian Fellowes  Julian Fellows (on HBO Max) ] (https://www.hbo.com/the-gilded-age) Homework: Write a scene that describes a fictional piece of literature— whether that&#39;s a poem, a song, or a story— that means something to the people in the story you’re telling. Here’s a link to buy your copy of “A Memory Called Empire” if you haven’t already: https://bookshop.org/lists/close-readings-season-19 Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

26 May 2024

27 MINS

27:34

26 May 2024


#882

19.20: How to Make Worlds Feel Big Without Overwhelming the Reader (A Close Reading on Worldbuilding...

How do you use language and scale to focus your writing? Today, we think about scale and movement across vast spaces. What do characters’ movements tell us about empires and also—force? We talk about Martine’s incredible work establishing an empire across time, not (just) space. We read aloud some of Martine’s writing, and try to understand exactly how they work, and what they’re doing to build the novel’s world.  A refresher on why Worldbuilding is essential and some working definitions of how we want to talk about it. After the break, we discuss why we chose this book and highlight what it does well. As always in our close reading series, we distill each text’s elements into approachable steps for you to take in your own writing.  Thing of the Week:  Softboiled eggs in an instant pot: 1.5 cups of fridge-cold water. Add 2-6 eggs onto the little trey. Pressure cook for low on one minute, and then release the pressure after 90 seconds. Remove the eggs (use tongs!), and put them in a bowl of fridge-cold water for one minute. Now, try them! If thye’re too runny, then for your next bath, increase your wait time for pressure release by 5 seconds. If they’re too firm, reduce the wait time by five seconds. That one variable: how long you wait before releasing pressure, is the only one you need to worry about. (Does this resonate with our study of worldbuilding? Maybe? DM us on Instagram and tell us what the metaphor or analogy is for you! @writing_excuses )  Homework: Take one of your works in progress, and write three paragraphs, each describing a different kind of scale:  1. A scale of time 2. A scale of place/ space 3. Emotional scale (fear, joy, ambition, sadness) Here’s a link to buy your copy of “A Memory Called Empire” if you haven’t already: https://bookshop.org/lists/close-readings-season-19 Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

19 May 2024

27 MINS

27:38

19 May 2024


#881

19.18: How to Build Fictional Economies

Sometimes we know the action and themes of your story, but you don’t know how to build an economy that supports those. Well today, we explain just how to do that! What are some questions you can ask yourself about the worth of certain goods and services in the world you’re building? What would a post-scarcity world look like and ask of your characters and how would it shape their wants? We loved recording this episode, it brought up so many interesting questions for us, and we hope it does the same for you!  Thing of the Week:  [Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle] (https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250874658/buryyourgays) Homework:  Come up with three catch phrases that someone who grew up in your economy would know. For example the difference between “There ain&#39;t no such thing as a free lunch” vs. “See it, fix it.” A Reminder!  That starting next week (May 12th!), we&#39;ll be focusing on Worldbuilding and reading A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. If you’re going to buy this book, we have this bookshop link available for you to do so! (If not, go support your local library!) [https://bookshop.org/lists/close-readings-season-19] (https://bookshop.org/lists/close-readings-season-19) Sign up for our newsletter:  [https://writingexcuses.com] (https://writingexcuses.com/) Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Max Gladstone, Amal El-Mohtar, Mary Robinette Kowal, and DongWon Song. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson. Join Our Writing Community!  [Patreon] (https://www.patreon.com/WritingExcuses) [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/writing_excuses/) [YouTube] (https://www.youtube.com/@WritingExcusesPodcast) [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/WritingExcuses) [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/WritingExcuses) Support this podcast at — <a rel='payment' href='https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content'>https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content</a>Advertising Inquiries: <a href='https://redcircle.com/brands'>https://redcircle.com/brands</a>Privacy & Opt-Out: <a href='https://redcircle.com/privacy'>https://redcircle.com/privacy</a> ... Read more

05 May 2024

26 MINS

26:36

05 May 2024