February 19th, 2011

Smile
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 23: How to Write without Twists

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.
Collapse )
[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.
MantisYes
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 24: Writing Comics with Jake Black

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 24: Writing Comics with Jake Black

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/11/08/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-24-writing-comics-with-jake-black/

Key Points: Comic scripts need to be clear enough in stage directions and dialogue for the rest of the creative team to figure out what's going on. Be prepared to adjust and tweak. Comic characters don't talk a lot -- 20 or fewer words in a balloon. It's a visual medium, and dialogue and captions eat up art space.
Collapse )
[Dan] We are running far over time, so we are going to cut this. Please tune in next week when we will talk about how to get into the business of writing comics, and how to succeed and stay in the business of writing comics. Your writing prompt for today is to write a story -- you can do this as prose or you can do it as a comic script -- in which Superman swoops into a room, kicks something undefined, and then turns into Spiderman.
BrainUnderRepair
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 25: The Business of Writing Comics

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 25: The Business of Writing Comics

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/11/15/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-25-the-business-of-writing-comics/

Key points: Professional relationships and keep plugging. Don't be afraid to try other things, you need a portfolio more than a specialty. Make your deadlines and be easy to work with. And work hard -- it takes passion and love to break into the comics industry.
Collapse )
[Howard] I have a writing prompt.
[Dan] Writing prompt? Let's hear it.
[Howard] Our superhero gained his superpowers by writing technical articles for Wired.
[Dan] Excellent. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Me typing?
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 26: Nanowrimo

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 26: Nanowrimo

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/11/22/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-26-nanowrimo/

Key points: Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, is an opportunity to write 50,000 words in November along with 160,000 other people worldwide. See http://www.nanowrimo.org/ Nanowrimo forces you to write quickly, turn off your internal editor, shut up and write.

What do you do when characters act dumb? If it's in character, fine. If it's not, what information are they missing, what emotions cloud their judgment? Forging ahead is one of the best ways to find an alternate solution. What do you do when main characters digress? Keep writing, and expect to throw away words. Save the good stuff for another book, because there will be other Novembers. What do you do when the pacing changes? If you're comfortable, keep going. You discover aspects of your style by writing. It's possible to have character development in action -- fight scenes can reveal and develop characters. Getting ideas on paper lets you see them and develop them, plus it gives you good practice. Nanowrimo -- keep writing.
Collapse )
[Howard] Katherine, give us a writing prompt that involves a traveling shovel.
[Katherine] On the nano forums, I don't know if any of you all have been there but there's this sort of motif about the traveling shovel of death. One of your characters gets killed with a shovel somehow. You just have to work it into your story.
[Dan] Awesome.
[Howard] There's your writing prompt. Kill somebody with a shovel. No, wait a minute. Write about killing somebody with a shovel. You're out of excuses, now...
[Dan] Kill somebody with a shovel.
[Howard] Go write.
Me typing?
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 27: Mixing Humor with Drama and Horror

Writing Excuses Season Three Episode 27: Mixing Humor with Drama and Horror

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/12/01/writing-excuses-season-3-episode-27-mixing-humor-with-drama-and-horror/

Key points: To blend humor and drama, start with the drama, identify the key points, then add humor. Humor is good while reading, but drama and character make readers come back. When the humor detracts, excise! Be careful about humor that pushes readers out of the story. Make humor fit the character -- don't break characters for a joke.
Collapse )
[Brandon] All right. Howard, we're going to make you do the writing prompt because you're the expert on this.
[Howard] Okay. Take the most intense character tragedy you can imagine for a character that you've already got and find humor in it for another character to point out. Whether or not it's appropriate, find humor in that tragedy.
[Brandon] All right. This has been Writing Excuses. [The podcast cut off at this point. We can only assume that Brandon provided the tag line "You're out of excuses, now go write."]