58 episodes

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

Writing Excuses Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 78 Ratings

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

    17.2: It Was a Promise of Three Parts

    17.2: It Was a Promise of Three Parts

    Your Hosts: Howard Tayler, Kaela Rivera, Sandra Tayler, and Megan Lloyd



    The title of this episode comes to us from the first paragraph of The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss—a novel which delights us with turns of phrase and evocative prose from beginning to end.



    We're continuing our exploration of "promises as a structure" by looking at the promises made by the prose of your first line, first paragraph, and first page. What does your first line say about the rest of your book? Did you mean for it to say that? Is your first line writing checks that your later chapters can actually cash?



    Liner Notes: We did an eight-episode master class on first lines, pages, and paragraphs with DongWon Song. It begins with 16.27.



    Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson

    • 20 min
    17.1: Genre and Media are Promises

    17.1: Genre and Media are Promises

    Your Hosts: Howard Tayler, Kaela Rivera, Sandra Tayler, and Megan Lloyd



    The genre of your story is making promises to the reader, and the medium upon which your story is told makes promises too.



    In this episode we talk about the expectations set by various mediums and genres, and how we can leverage those to ensure that we deliver a satisfying story.



    Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson



    Liner Notes: The entirety of Season 11, The Elemental Genres, is a deep-dive on this stuff.

    • 19 min
    16.52: Structure is a Promise

    16.52: Structure is a Promise

    Your Hosts: Howard Tayler, Kaela Rivera, Sandra Tayler, and Megan Lloyd



    The structure you're using for your story isn't just helping you organize your plotting. It's telling the audience what's going to happen. Story structures make promises to audiences, and these audience expectations are, in large measure, outside of our control.



    In this episode we talk about the expectations set by various story structures, and how we can make sure we use our structures to satisfy our audiences.



    Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson



    Liner Notes: We've done episodes on the M.I.C.E. Quotient, Seven Point Story Structure, The Hollywood Formula, and many, many more of the structures mentioned in this episode. We haven't done any on Kishōtenketsu, but we probably should!

    • 20 min
    16.51: Promises are a Structure

    16.51: Promises are a Structure

    Your Hosts: Howard Tayler, Kaela Rivera, Sandra Tayler, and Megan Lloyd



    Our next 8-episode intensive is all about promises and expectations. Our guest hosts are Kaela Rivera, Sandra Tayler, and Megan Lloyd. They're joining us to talk about how the promises we make to our audiences, and the expectations they bring with them, are a structural format. In this episode we introduce the topic, and talk about some apex examples of success and failure in this area.



    Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson



    Liner Notes: Here's the story of The Tropicana Packaging Redesign Failure

    • 21 min
    16.50: Worldbuilding Finale: Making Deliberate Choices

    16.50: Worldbuilding Finale: Making Deliberate Choices

    Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Fonda Lee, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler



    Here at the end of our 8-episode intensive series on Worldbuilding we discuss stepping away from the defaults, the clichés, and the tropes, and choosing every element deliberately. There's nothing inherently wrong with the tropes. We're just suggesting that they be included only after deciding we actually want them.



    Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson

    • 18 min
    16.49: Magic and Technology: Two Sides of the Same Coin

    16.49: Magic and Technology: Two Sides of the Same Coin

    Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Fonda Lee, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler



    Magic and technology are tools that we, as writers, use to tell interesting stories, and they're very, very similar tools. In this episode we'll examine some ways in which both magical and technological elements can be used in our stories.



    Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
78 Ratings

78 Ratings

generousgardener ,

Brilliant

This is my favourite writing podcast: there are so many episodes; they cover so many topics and ideas; they always have interesting guest writers; they all write different types of fiction so there is always variety and range in their discussions. This is the perfect podcast for every type of writer.

InkleDoodle ,

Not what it was…

Was a huge fan and avid listener of this once excellent and informative podcast. Absolute gold in the first 10-11 seasons but once Brandon’s involvement seems to wane it becomes less informative and a lot less useful as a teaching tool. Later seasons are more politically charged and sadly no longer as useful a tool for an aspiring writer. More recently I have found myself turning off mid episode and they are only 15 minutes long! Hopefully there will be a return to form because this was a fantastically useful and very well put together podcast previously.

Anne On E-mouse ,

Second binge listen-through

I’ve listened to all the episodes twice. Not only are they informative, but I find so much inspiration as the presenters talk. Their collective experience is awesome, and the guest panelists always add to the mix. One day I want to get on one of the cruises!!

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