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Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and DanWells discuss writing techniques in a fast-paced, 15-minute format.

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15.26: Taking the Chance, with David Weber

Your Hosts: Brandon, Howard, and Dan with special guest David Weber David Weber joined us at NASFIC to talk about the importance of risking failure on any path (especially a writer’s path) to success–whether you’re risking rejection in the submission process, or the possibility that the book you write won’t be the amazing thing you’ve … Continue reading...

15.25: Using the MICE Quotient for Conflict

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard The MICE quotient is a tool for categorizing story elements—Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event—and we’ve talked about it quite a bit in the past. When a listener asked how we might use the MICE quotient to create, inform, manage, and otherwise help us “do” conflict in our stories, … Continue reading...

15.24: Keeping it Fresh, with Jim Butcher

Your Hosts: Brandon, Howard, and Dan, with special guest Jim Butcher Jim Butcher joined us at NASFIC for a discussion about how we can keep long-running serials engaging after numerous books. Credits: this episode was recorded before a live audience by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

15.23: Serialization

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Lari, and Dan, with special guest Jenn Court Let’s talk about serials. Jenn Court, whose work includes lots of  writing for TV (IMDB link), joins us for the discussion. What are the elements that get us, as readers or viewers, to come back for episode after episode, and how do we, … Continue reading 15.23: Serialization →

15.22 Writing For Children, with Shannon and Dean Hale

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with Shannon and Dean Hale Shannon and Dean Hale join us again, this time to discuss how to effectively and convincingly write for¹ children. Children have their own unique sets of expectations for the books they read (as do their parents), and in this episode we talk about … Continue reading 15.22 Writing...

15.21: Writing About Children, with Shannon and Dean Hale

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, and Dan, with Shannon and Dean Hale Shannon and Dean Hale join us to discuss how to effectively and convincingly write about¹ children. We cover dialog tools, point-of-view elements, stakes, and character ‘quirks’ that can help signal to the reader that a character is a child. Credits: This episode was recorded …...

15.20: Mental Wellness and Writing

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard In this episode we’ll be talking about the things we do to stay creative, productive, healthy, and happy. For the purposes of this discussion, “mental wellness” is not about coping with mental illness, it’s about self-care. Liner Notes: Here’s the gridded lifestyle tracker for the homework, lifted directly...

15.19: As You Know, This Episode Is About Exposition

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard “As you know, Bob…” is the trope-tastic line we use to refer to expository dialog which has no function beyond exposition. We get lots of listener questions about how to use dialog for exposition without making it feel like we’re using dialog for exposition. And as Bob already … Continue reading 15.19:...

15.18: Finding a Community, with Shauna Hoffman

Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, and Lari¹, with special guest Shauna Hoffman Many Writing Excuses listeners (especially WXR alumni) already know Shauna Hoffman. She joins us to talk about how to deal with the fact that we, as authors, often feel isolated. The listener question that sparked this episode: “How do you keep the pressure … Continue reading...

15.17: Asexual Representation

Your Hosts: Dan, Tempest, Mary Robinette, and Howard Generally speaking, asexuality is a sexual orientation or identity typified by the absence of a desire to have sex. It’s *way* more complicated than that, however, and in this episode Tempest helps us unpack it so that asexual characters can be written more effectively. Liner Notes: Want to … Continue...

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