Tag: Writing Excuses
So I don’t often post really good podcast episodes mostly because I listen to my podcasts in the car and it is hard to write internet posts in the car. Most of the other drivers don’t appreciate it for some reason. Lots of car horns, let me tell you.
But today I am breaking that rule for Writing Excuses. Writing excuses is one of my favorite podcasts about writing, offering incredibly useful tips and advice for aspiring authors and wannabe writers. Plus the podcasts are only fifteen minutes long, because I’m in a hurry (and they’re not that smart)!
Which brings us to the episode I feel you should listen to. This is by far not a typical episode but it is a hilarious one and even if you aren’t attempting to become a writer it is well worth listening to.
This episode will go over common (and maybe not so uncommon) writing excuses. It offers us such jewels as:
[Brandon] You know, what I think helps with a writer who wants to write epic fantasy, really? I really think… You know Tolkien took 20 years to world build. You’re not as good as Tolkien. Let’s be up front with that. So I think maybe 40 years is about as much time as it…
[Dan] 40 years if you’re exactly half as good as Tolkien. Which is still a little arrogant of you, frankly.
On occasion we hear about when an author goes ballistic. Usually about reviews or sometimes about how a publisher treats them. We rarely hear about when an author stays classy in the face of obvious annoyance. Well unless you’re reading this article right now.
Let me introduce you to Mary Robinette Kowal. I am not one of her readers, although that might change in the future, but I am one of her listeners, as she recently joined one of my favorite writing podcasts Writing Excuses where she has proven herself very capable of offering advice and knowledge regarding writing.
Unsurprisingly she is an author of several books of which the most recent one, Glamour in Glass, had a printing error. The printer somehow omitted the first line of the novel. Does she rant and rave to the net? No. She takes the problem, stays classy, and turns it into something even better: A way to advertise her new book and interact with her fans.
Her blog post regarding the subject discusses the first lines of books in general, offers an interactive pop quiz, and then proceeds to enumerate a list of ways readers can correct their novels including asking her to pen the initial line herself if one attends a signing of the book. How awesome is that? The list also includes digital stickers, a digital book mark, a free signed bookmark with a self-addressed & stamped envelope (SASE), a temporary tatoo with a SASE, and the best part, she is selling a t-shirt with the missing first line. And of course you could read the first line on the webpage itself, if you wanted, or just start with the second line!
Despite Glamour in Glass being the second in a series, I’m tempted to purchase it. For those of you who don’t know, book collectors often see more value in a book that has a miss printing than perfectly bound books. I make no assumptions or assertions regarding Mary Robinette Kowel’s bibliography’s future worth but it does add some appealing value, aside from the story within.
So aspiring authors out there, take notes. This is how you handle someone else’s mistake of your work and turn it around into something awesome. Don’t believe me? Mur Lafferty, author and creator of my other favorite writing podcast, I Should Be Writing, agrees with me.
Word Count: 1,054
Today’s writing session was significantly less productive. It only took me an hour to write a thousand words but the writing kinda dragged. It took me a little while to get into it. So when I got to my word count I stopped. Why try and force it if I’ve gotten my word count? Speaking of which, I don’t want to spoil it here so read down below.
Word Count: 100,711
One hundred thousand words! I have written one hundred thousand words! Woooo! That is WAY TO MUCH! No seriously. For one entire story that isn’t even an epic, I’ve written far too much. So much needs to be cut. I’m almost of the opinion I just need to start over but that’s likely a fallacy. I need to re-read what I’ve written, edit it, glean ideas and perhaps re-write my plot and see what I can save. No point in re-writing if I can just edit it.
Today’s scene was a planning scene. I had a really good section of description which was fun to write but I had to do a bit of editing as I realized I was defining stuff that really needed to be more detail in the next chapter when the people do stuff. I also had to think up some “bad” ideas on the fly for people to reject before they came up with the good idea. Coming up with bad ideas is hard but likely I remembered a Writing Excuses that talked about the concept, which helped me realize what exactly I was and what I needed to be doing.
Going to be quick tonight. I’m writing based upon a prompt from one of my favorite writing podcasts, Writing Excuses. This one is from Season 5, Episode 33.
“I know some people have said that rooms get colder when there are-” Charley turned away from the thermostat he had just turned down to fifty-five degrees, focusing his attention on the pair he had invited into his home with a slight frown to his lips.
“A common misconception, Mr. Williams. It’s actually a juxtaposition of that belief,” Clara Munson interrupted as she helped her partner take off his brown coveralls. The two were dressed in a similar fashion to the iconic characters from the movies that they supposedly shared a profession with except that they had no nuclear reactors strapped to their backs. Nor had any women asked him if he was the master of anything lately. Charley did, however, have a grown man stripping down to his boxers in the living room.
Charley took a few sideways steps towards the windows and then said, “I’ll just shut these curtains too.” The curtains were drawn but it did not dim the room very much as the afternoon light showed through the mostly sheer curtains. He lifted his hand to his chin as he surveyed the stuff scattered across the room. The pair had come with their own supposedly specialized equipment but none of it looked futuristic or even useful. A wash basin, two box fans, a cooler, a blanket, and a box of tissues. The woman, whose name was Carla Munson, was filling the wash basin with water and then set it in the middle of the room in front of the man.
“Good idea. Thank you. The less the light interferes, the better.” Billy Munson, the now mostly naked man, pulled over a chair from the dining room to the wash pan and sat in it. He began pulling off his socks while Clara walked around the room with her hand raised up, carrying one of the box fans. She seemed to find what she was looking for as she set the box fan down and angled it towards Billy before turning it on.
“Of course,” Charley murmured in agreement as if he had a clue what they were doing. Unlike others of their profession who charged hourly rates they only charged a flat fee for their services. It had seemed a good deal. Now he was definitely starting to wonder. If his wife came home from work early to see this… (continue reading…)
Man, do we have some great nominations this year. The Hugo Award is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. The Hugos are awarded each year by the World Science Fiction Society, at the World Science Fiction Convention. Let me go over some of the ones I am excited about.
This actually came as light surprise to me. I am not used to having already read one of the year’s Hugo Award nominees for Best Novel. I’ve written about how the book is awesome. FEED is by Mira Grant, the alter ego of Seanan McGuire and it has a sequel coming out, DEADLINE, on May 31st, a book I am anticipating as much as Ghost Stories by Jim Butcher. So congratulations Ms. McGuire!
Best Short Story
I have not read any of the short stories nominated, however I will be looking forward to Escape Pod in the coming weeks, as they typically make a point of releasing all five Hugo Nominated short stories on as podcasts.
Best Related Work
Speaking of podcasts, Writing Excuses: Season 4, has been nominated for Best Related Work. Created and staring , Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells, the podcast focuses on various topics related to writing and becoming an author while keeping any particular topic under fifteen minuets because, as they say: “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Obviously you’re smart enough to get nominated for a Hugo. Congrats guys!