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  1. Writing Excuses

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    "This is Writing Excuses! Fifteen minutes long because you're in a hurry and we're not that smart!"

    Out here in the vast wilderness of the Internets an intrepid browser could probably discover an infinite amount of professional advice on any given topic. Naturally, much of the advice is sarcastically quotation-marked "professional" at best, and you can only filter out so many of the crazies by analyzing whether or not it looks like they used Geocities-izer to make their site before you stumble across someone that has the pretense of actual knowledge.

    So, gentle listener, how does one divine true and authentic information from the Intertrons in a safe and timely manner, without running the risk of clicking on a site that once seen, cannot be unseen?

    First you read my reviews. And then you go listen to Writing Excuses.

    Hosted by bonafide authors Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells along with verifiable web-comic creator Howard Tayler, this podcasts is a veritable font of useful information for writers. A quick-fix of advice and opinion from the viewpoints of established authors who are willing to share their experience in podcast form. I believe the audience intended for this podcast is new or unpublished authors, but I think a writer of any level could gain some usefulness information out of Writing Excuses.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site
    ...honestly, the main site is all you need. Each host has links to their own blogs, you can find the iTunes and RSS feeds right on the front page.

    And why not, here's the Wordle you get for the Writing Excuses website:

    Wordle: http://www.writingexcuses.com/
    Can't say they're not consistent when it comes to mentioning their sponsor.

    Episode Length: Fifteen minutes on average. Occasionally longer, depending on how verbose the hosts are feeling about a particular topic.

    Release Schedule: A new episode is released every Sunday.

    Each episode focuses on one particular topic that relates to writing in some way. Example topics from previous episodes are:

    The Anti-Mary Sue episode
    Trimming
    How to Write Without Twists
    Plot-vs. Character-driven Fiction

    Look at those topics! They're positively brimming with...topicability.

    Each host in turn will share their ideas and experiences, and do their best to show how their information can be utilized by the listener. Their approach is friendly and welcoming; this is the kind of podcast that, could it be worn, would be your favorite hoodie from college. Brandon, Dan and Howard work together to host the majority of the episodes, but there are frequent guest hosts who are in turn harnessed to give a fresh view.

    The hosts will touch on both the creative and business ends of writing, which will be much appreciated by aspiring authors. It is not enough to know how to write a story, or even how to edit it and make it presentable to editors, but how, where, when to submit, how to approach editors and publishing houses, what to expect after you actually write something! It is refreshing to see a creative task explained and examined with reason.

    Content Rating: Clean. They may occasionally drop a very tame swear word. Or mention monkey poo.

    Unintentionally Good Part: Writing Excuses Episode 632. Trust me.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: This podcast is niche-niche-nichy. Even for aspiring authors, the advice generally pertains to only the science fiction/fantasy genres, so this podcast will attract only a very specific audience.

    Drinking Game: Have a brass monkey every time they use a monkey as a plot device in their writing prompt.

    Writing Prompt: A secret organization has implanted a device into your head that records your every thought for a live-steaming podcast. Go!
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