Posted in For Writers

A writing class with some of my favorite people

The Writing Excuses podcast is doing something different this year. Instead of random topics of discussion (many of which I’ve found useful), they’re structuring the year’s podcasts like a master class in writing. Starting with “Where Do You Get Your Ideas” (last week) and “What Do I Do Now?” this week. Instead of a writing prompt at the end of each podcast, there’s a writing exercise. Each podcast, as usual, stands on its own, but I’d strongly recommend starting with the first one of the year this year because the exercise for this week builds on last week’s exercise in an interesting way. If you’re not interested in anything this organized, but just want random interesting discussions on writing, dig through their archives on the Writing Excuses website. You really can’t go wrong. (For those of you who aren’t already familiar with the podcast those “favorite people” referenced in the title of this post are: Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor, Dan Wells, and Mary Robinette Kowal. Listen to a few years of podcasts and they’ll be some of your favorite people, too!)

Posted in For Writers

Why We Love Imaginary People

I’m trying to catch up on podcasts, but one I never fall behind on is Writing Excuses. It’s fun and helpful. The most recent podcast is one that may be of interest to readers and bookworms as well as writers. It’s an interesting discussion about why we get so attached to books and more specifically, characters. The Writing Excuses authors are joined by Cory Doctorow for the discussion. Writing Excuses: Neurobolics of Characters

As I continue to play catch up on podcasts, I may post a few more podcasts. Some good stuff in my podcatcher. 🙂

Posted in For Writers

NaNoWriMo: A Fast Start

At the end of day one, I was almost a day ahead!
At the end of Day One, I was almost a day ahead!

This is typical of me: I post some big numbers in the early days. Then I’ll settle down to good numbers with a few big days here and there. Big numbers in the early days are excellent because they insulate you against bad days later on. I’m not unusual in posting big numbers at the beginning. Some people start even faster than I do! It’s easier to post big numbers at the beginning because there’s this story in your head that’s just been waiting to get out. It’s also not uncommon to post big numbers near the end because the goal is so close that you’re highly motivated to push for it.

Now I just need to settle down and write thousands of words today. And the day after that, and the day after…

I’ hope your writing is also going well! 😀



Posted in For Writers

NaNoWriMo Prep: 7 Point Story Structure Video Playlist

Yesterday I again roamed barefoot through Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook for inspiration. Today I watched Dan Wells’ on Story Structure again (YouTube playlist embedded below) and compared my rough outline to his points and comments. (It’s becoming an annual pre-NaNo ritual.) If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year and trying to wrangle your ideas into some sort of order before the madness begins, this is a good little overview of story structure. It’s one talk, given at a writers symposium, divided into 5 entertaining ten minute videos. (The intro material is horribly out of date: Dan Wells is probably best known for his Partials young adult series, not to mention The Writing Excuses podcast.) There’s a tiny menu button on the upper left that allows you to play the individual videos if you don’t have time to Play All at one sitting.