706 episodes

Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler discuss writing techniques in a fast-paced format. A weekly podcast about the craft and business of writing.

Writing Excuses Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 1.2K Ratings

Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, Erin Roberts, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler discuss writing techniques in a fast-paced format. A weekly podcast about the craft and business of writing.

    19.07: NaNoWriMo Revision with Ali Fisher: Intention

    19.07: NaNoWriMo Revision with Ali Fisher: Intention

    For our second episode in this three-part series on revising your NaNoWriMo novel—or any other larger project you have—we are diving into intentions with Tor editor Ali Fisher. We asked her how she helps writers figure out what their books are about, and how she helps set intentions for revisions.
    Ali talks with us about how its important to be kind to yourself -- and your writing-- during the revision process. She also gives us advice for how you, as a writer, can lean into what you do well.
    Homework: 
    From editor Ali Fisher: write down what you like best about your book. Find a spot in your book where you can incorporate that element where it isn't now.
    Thing of the Week: 
    I Will Not Die Alone by Dera White, illustrated by Joe Bennett
    A Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an Escape by Joe Pera; illustrated by Joe Bennett

    Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, and Ali Fisher. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.
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    • 25 min
    19.06: NaNoWriMo Revision with Ali Fisher: Length

    19.06: NaNoWriMo Revision with Ali Fisher: Length

    Ali Fisher, editor at Tor Books and member of the podcast Rude Tales of Magic, joins us for a three-part series on editing.
    First up: length! How do you edit your work—whether it's a book or a short story or a novella? Maybe you wrote a draft during NaNoWriMo, maybe you didn't-- either way, we want to help you figure out how to make your writing the perfect length.
    Homework: Find two scenes next to each other from your writing. Remove the scene break and write bridging text between the two of them instead. Then, find a different scene that has that bridging text, and cut it into two different scenes so that you are removing it and creating new signposts. See what this does to length and your perception of the pacing.
    Thing of the Week (from Ali Fisher): Infinity Alchemist by Kacen Callender
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    Credits: Your hosts for this episode were Mary Robinette Kowal, DongWon Song, and guest Ali Fisher. It was produced by Emma Reynolds, recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.
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    • 27 min
    19.05: LIVE Recording - Revisions with Mahtab Narsimhan

    19.05: LIVE Recording - Revisions with Mahtab Narsimhan

    Some writers love revisions and some would rather scrub the toilet than revise their writing. On this episode, we are joined by author Mahtab Narsimhan, who many will recognize as a host from past seasons! Mahtab talks with our hosts about how she thinks about revisions. How do you revise your writing? What is the difference between revising and rewriting? Mahtab describes her favorite techniques and provides tips to make it more manageable. 

    Homework Assignment from Mahtab Narsimhan:

    Take the first 3 chapters of your finished draft and distill it by 1) Chapter 2) Scenes 3) Key plot points per scene 4) POV 5) Setting 6) Time of day/timeline 7) How many pages per scene and/or chapter. 

    Thing of the Week: 
    Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

    Liner Notes: 
    The Revision Template that Mahtab mentions is a free resource on our Patreon! You can find it at www.patreon.com/writingexcuses

    Sign up for our newsletter: 
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    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.
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    • 20 min
    19.04: LIVE Recording - Pacing with Guest Fonda Lee

    19.04: LIVE Recording - Pacing with Guest Fonda Lee

    Pacing is one of the most subjective and difficult aspects of storytelling to get right. What is pacing? How do you know what the right pace is for a story, and what techniques can you use to speed up or slow down your narrative?

    Homework Assignment from Fonda Lee: 
    Take a page of a work-in-progress project and experiment with the pacing. Ideally, this should be a page with some dialogue or tension between characters. First, try to speed it up: cut description, be tight with dialogue, move the scene quickly. Then do the opposite: rewrite the scene but this time slow it down. Include more context, character interiority, exposition, and scene building. Compare the two versions. Which serves your story better?

    Thing of the Week: 
    The Book of Witches

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    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! 
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    • 19 min
    19.03: Behind The Scenes with our Producer and Recording Engineer

    19.03: Behind The Scenes with our Producer and Recording Engineer

    A few months ago, we were on a cruise ship in Alaska recording podcast episodes for 2024!

    This live recording features a Q&A with cruise attendees, who were given the opportunity to ask questions to Marshall Carr, our audio engineer, and Emma Reynolds, our producer. In this episode, we talked about the benefits of MFA programs, astrology, and how to continue learning without being overwhelmed. 

    Homework from Emma Reynolds: 
    What homework would you give yourself as a writer today? What homework would you have given yourself a year ago? Let us know your answers on instagram, tag us @Writing_Excuses and we'll repost you!

    Thing of the Week from Marshall Carr: 
    A Necessary Chaos by Brent Lambert

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    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! 
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    • 22 min
    19.02: Q&A Episode with WX Core Cast

    19.02: Q&A Episode with WX Core Cast

    We have a LIVE podcast recording from September 2023, when we were hosting one of our writing retreats on a cruise ship in Alaska! (To learn about our next WX Retreats, check out: https://writingexcuses.com/retreats/ 
    Or apply for our scholarships by January 31 at https://writingexcuses.com/scholarships/
    This episode features questions from our writers, and those who attended our 2023 WXR Cruise to Alaska! We answered questions about success, what happens after you’re a NYTimes bestseller, and how you can record your own audiobook. 

    Homework: 
    Go listen to the most recent episode of the podcast Just Keep Writing. 

    Thing of the Week: 
    Just Keep Writing is a podcast cohosted by Marshall, our incredible recording engineer. It’s a podcast for writers, by writers, to keep you writing. The podcast focuses on building community and lifting marginalized voices. Learn more at justkeepwriting.org, or listen wherever you get your podcasts!

    Sign up for our newsletter: 
    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
    Instagram
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    Facebook
    Twitter


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/writing-excuses2130/exclusive-content

    Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

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    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

KerrieFaye ,

My first & still my favorite writing podcast!

10 out of 10! Highly recommend!

Zyneth ,

A Masterclass

Almost everything I know about revision and editing I learned from Writing Excuses; my novel out on query would not be this polished without everything I learned from this podcast.

PC Nottingham ,

They got me published!

Every spat of writer’s block, every rejection, and every frustration, all of it became manageable because I kept getting reminders of Brandon, Howard, Mary Robinette, Dan, and guests going through those same hurdles while giving practical advice.
And now I’m working with my publisher to push out two series.
There are not enough words of gratitude I could ever muster.
Do what they tell you and you’ll get on your own path to publication!

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