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: (Default)
Writing Excuses 5.16: Critiquing Dan's First Novel

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/12/19/writing-excuses-5-16-critiquing-dans-first-novel/

Key Points: Avoid discontiguities. Stomp out the cliche that all fantasy starts with a long, dry, boring description. Character before things! Punch it up and show us a character's viewpoint. Consider your genre, but put the promise of the story as early as possible. Start the story where it starts, and don't tell us all the stuff you wanted to tell us, just start it and go. You don't have to fill in everything. One telling detail beats pages of prose. Evoke plot, character, and setting. Make each sentence do multiple things. When you rewrite, make decisions. Consider your pace, and rearrange information as needed.
Between the bindings... )
[Brandon] All right, Dan. I'm going to let you give us our writing prompt.
[Dan] Our writing prompt?
[Howard] And remember that time travelers may be reading this writing prompt for last week.
[Dan] May be reading this right now? Okay. This is... take an idiomatic expression and literalize it. So, for example, the crack of dawn... a world in which dawn actually cracks, visibly or audibly. Then describe that going on. Not as a pun, but as world building information.
Final jokes )
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 Three Episode 22: Idea to Story

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/10/25/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-22-idea-to-story/

Key Points: To turn an idea into a story: Look for the points of conflict. Look for the boundaries -- what kind of story is this? Consider plot, setting, characters. What is the ending? How will you resolve the story? Look for characters who are in pain. Check old ideas that didn't get used yet. Brainstorm interesting ideas -- set pieces, events, twists, interesting stuff.
the nuts and bolts )
[Brandon] We're out of time. But let's go ahead and give you the writing prompt which is the same idea that we used at the beginning.
[Howard] Insects have in some way evolved defenses against all of the poisons that we use to kill them and many of the chemicals that would work to just kill anything because they have somehow developed magic.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (ISeeYou2)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 12: Subplots

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/08/16/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-12-subplots/

Key points: Subplots are secondary plots. They can flesh out other characters, make the world feel more real, keep the tension high, and introduce elements as foreshadowing for the main plot. They can also provide quick accomplishments for a sense of progress. Be wary of subplots being more interesting than the main plot. How many subplots? It depends on your genre and skills, but don't overload the reader. Subplots feel real when they advance character, the main plot, or reveal setting.
plenty of words about subplots )
[Dan] Here's our writing prompt. By odd happenstance, Brandon and I are wearing the same T-shirt today. Well, two different instances of a similar T-shirt.
[Howard -- choked laughter] Thank you.
[Dan] It is from an explosives company. We all know why we are both wearing the same T-shirt, but your prompt is to write a story about why we are wearing an explosives and blasting T-shirt.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (BrainUnderRepair)
Writing Excuses Season 2 Episode 1: Q&A At Mountain Con with John Brown

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2008/10/12/writing-excuses-season-2-episode-1-qa-on-setting-and-characters-at-mountain-con-with-john-brown/

Key Points: Setting drives characters who drive plot. Getting the right visual details can be as simple as looking at a picture while writing, although lush minimalism and studying masters also helps. When characters deviate from the plot, you need to consider why, and decide whether to go with it or bring them back to the plan.
chunky! )

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