mbarker: (Burp)
Writing Excuses 5.17: Dialogue Exercises

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/12/27/writing-excuses-5-17-dialog-exercises/

Key Points: Make your characters identifiable from their dialogue alone. Make sure there's a sense of the world, the setting, and action. If you use dialect, do it sparingly, but be consistent. Word choice, sentence length, verbal quirks, social position -- any and all of these can be used to differentiate your characters. And don't forget the interplay of the characters, too.
talk, talk, talk... )
[Brandon] So we'll go ahead and do a writing prompt. Dan?
[Howard] Ha, ha!
[Dan] Oh, man. Okay. You are walking down a back alley and you meet Jason from Dragonmount and he's getting all uppity about how he had a great writing sample. What do you do to him?
[Brandon] Okay. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
Writing Excuses 5.10: John Brown and the Creative Process

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/11/07/writing-excuses-5-10-john-brown-and-the-creative-process/

Key points: How do you get ideas? Everyone can be creative. When you have a problem, you ask questions, and you come up with answers -- that's creativity. An important part is asking the right questions. To get answers, be on the lookout for zing! Then ask questions, and answer them. Immerse yourself in situations that interest you, and look for tools there. Ask the right questions. For story, think about character, setting, problem, and plot. Look for combinations. Be on the lookout for zings, ask specific questions, then come up with solutions. Make lists and see what's interesting. What are the worst ideas I can think of, and how can I make those ideas really attractive? How can I transform this scene? How do you develop ideas? Ask the right questions. Look for conflicts, look for interest. Look for defining moments. How do you know when to start writing? Freewrite, and see if it's ready. Watch for the click. Watch for the spin. Try to tell it to someone.
an idea-packed session awaits your click... )
[Brandon] All right. A person gets... this is going to be our writing prompt, officially. A person gets surgery so that they can imitate He Who Does Not Sleep. Why? This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
[John] All right.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 32: First Paragraphs

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/08/15/writing-excuses-4-32-first-paragraphs/

Key Points: conflict and tension are good. Be careful of personification. Voice is OK, but get to scene and setting soon. Action! Sensory experience! Clarity. Put backstory in dialogue, action, and setting. Make sure we know who the viewpoint character is soon.
actual 1st paragraphs... )
[Brandon] We're going to go ahead and end with a writing prompt, which is what Dan said. You're writing in a journal, and you haven't written it in 10 years. Then you say, "Oh, man, OK. What happened? Earth got invaded. Well, let's start from there." Do this story, but do it silly. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write. OK, and we're out.
[Dan] Yeah.
[Applause]
[Howard] Don't stop recording, there's applause.
[Brandon] Louder, louder.
mbarker: (Me typing?)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 25: Mating Plumage

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/06/27/writing-excuses-4-25-mating-plumage/

Key points: mating plumage -- book covers, titles, first lines. Marketing people are the ones who think of books as products. Covers mean a lot, but you may not have much control. Titles need to grab readers, make them wonder what it's about and guess at it. A title should make people want to find out more. First lines, too, should draw the reader in, make them wonder. Zingers, conflict, question, character, tone...
What's under here? )
[Dan] James, give us a writing prompt?
[James] Brandon and Julie go on a safari and get attacked by monkeys.
[Dan] All right. There you go. You are out of excuses. Now go write.
mbarker: (Burp)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 24: Random storytelling with James and Julie

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/06/20/writing-excuses-4-24-random-storytelling/

Key points: Worldbuilding, but also characters and conflicts. Change and conflict go together. Empathy for a character comes from something bad that you understand and want to see alleviated. Who will the readers want to root for?
random tails? )
[Brandon] OK. Well, excellent. We are out of time. I would like to thank our guest stars. Thank you very much.
[James] You're welcome.
[Julie] Any time.
[Brandon] This is been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
Writing Excuses Season Four Episode 11: Jordo Tries to Stump Us

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/03/21/writing-excuses-4-11-brainstorming-examples/

Key points: Push the words, ring variations on their meaning, try interpreting it literally or metaphorically, what happens next, why would this happen? Combine it with something else. Is it like something else? Where's the conflict? Who hurts?
brainstorming in public? )
[Howard] What have we got for a writing prompt?
[Brandon] Writing prompt is the very next thing Jordan was going to say.
[Jordo] New Zealand woman sells souls to the highest bidder.
mbarker: (Smile)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 23: How to Write without Twists

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/11/01/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-23-how-to-write-without-twists/

Key points: Simple surprises and obstacles are not plot twists. Watching engaging characters overcome real problems is satisfying. Watching characters make progress is satisfying. Stories without twists often have strong setups with very clear conflicts and high stakes. Even stories with major plot twists often have straight-forward subplots.
The Peppermint Twist? )
[Brandon] Let's do a writing prompt before this spirals completely into insanity.
[Jordo] Is it going to be Jane Austen and Diehard?
[Brandon] No.
[Dan] No?
[Howard] It can't be Pride and Prejudice and zombies, either, because that's been done.
[Dan] It's going to be Sense and Sensibility and terrorists.
[Brandon] You have lots of excuses why you are not going to write, but we're going to pretend you don't. Thanks for listening. This has been Writing Excuses.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 20: The Difference between Character Driven and Plot Driven Stories

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/10/11/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-20-plot-vs-character-driven-fiction/

Key Points: What is driving the story -- who the characters are or what events are they involved with? What draws the reader in -- how does this end or who is Sally? Both kind create tension in readers, and require conflict. Is the climax a confluence of events or a character decision/change? When the characters' internal moments and the plot's external moments all line up, that's thrilling. Does the plot revolve around a discovery, a decision, or an action? Strong characters make plots interesting. Make your characters strong enough to carry the story.
serendipity hides here )
[Brandon] I think that's a great note to end on. Larry, we want you to give us a writing prompt. Just off the top of your head. I'm putting you on the spot. This is what happens. A writing prompt for our listeners.
[Larry] Come up with a plot driven story and try to make it good with boring characters.
[Dan] Ignore all the advice we've just given you.
[Howard] We've just made them run laps for no reason.
[Brandon] Someone's already done that. His name is Dan Brown.
[Larry] Oh. Burn. Snap.
[Howard] You can get Dan Brown's stuff on audible.com.
[Brandon] Yes, you can. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.

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