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
    • 4.7 • 1.1K Ratings

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

    First Page Fundamentals: The Haunting of Hill House

    First Page Fundamentals: The Haunting of Hill House

    Your Hosts: Dongwon Song, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler



    In this episode we explore the first page of The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson, with the goal of learning how to build  good first pages for own own work.



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



    Liner Notes: here is the 1st paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House, for reference.

    No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

    • 21 min
    16.29: Building Trust

    16.29: Building Trust

    Your Hosts: Dongwon Song, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler



    How do we build trust with our readers? What does that even mean? In this episode we discuss ways in which we let our readers know what they can expect from the book they're holding, and how we set about getting the to trust us do deliver on those expectations.



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

    • 17 min
    16.28: Common First-Page Mistakes

    16.28: Common First-Page Mistakes

    Your Hosts: Dongwon Song, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler



    Let's have a frank, and possibly painful discussion about the ways in which the first page can go wrong. It may seem like hackneyed writing advice, but rules like "don't start with the main character waking up" are rules for a reason.  In this episode we'll talk about those reasons, and why it's so unlikely for books which break them to succeed with readers.



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

    • 18 min
    16.27: Nobody Wants to Read a Book

    16.27: Nobody Wants to Read a Book

    Your Hosts: Dongwon Song, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler



    Our controversial episode title comes to us via John Schwarzwelder, and it points up nicely the importance of today's topic, which is first lines, first pages, and how we set about convincing people (who may or may not want to read a book) to read OUR book.



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

    • 18 min
    16.26: Working With Teams

    16.26: Working With Teams

    Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, Cassandra Khaw, Dan Wells, James L. Sutter, and Howard Tayler



    Our series of game writing episodes draws to a close with a discussion about working with teams. This last skill set, these ways in which you learn to excel at collaborative projects, is often far more important than any of your other skills.



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

    • 21 min
    16.25: Breaking Into Game Writing

    16.25: Breaking Into Game Writing

    Your Hosts: Mary Robinette Kowal, Cassandra Khaw, Dan Wells, James L. Sutter, and Howard Tayler



    So, after all this talk about designing games and writing for games, it's time to address the big question: how does one go about getting a game-design/game-writing job?



    It's a competitive field, and there are no easy answers, but we do have some hard answers for you. And some homework...



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

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

edbrooks93 ,

My favorite writing podcast

I started listening to this cast in 2016 and it is still my go to. At the time, I had abandoned writing fantasy because it wasn’t “important” or “literary” enough. This podcast—these writers—helped me pursue my first love again.

If you’re new and don’t write genre, there’s plenty here for you, too. The episodes are short and helpful, and the cast will become your friends.

MikeyM28 ,

Why do they talk like that?

No human voice actually sounds that stilted. Why are they all over-enunciating everything? Is it a rich people thing? You can just talk in your regular voice on a podcast

Docedward ,

Used to be great...now is the Mary show

I used to get so much value and information for writing out of this podcast. It used to be a wonderful conversation and dialogue. And I really liked it when Mary joined and I hoped for a more balanced and diverse panel. But now... there are for guests as Mary teaches. Just gotta be honest. The spark is still there. Have some internal crucial conversations and it will be even better!

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