February 21st, 2011

BrainUnderRepair
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode One: Types of Humor

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode One: Types of Humor

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/01/11/writing-excuses-4-1-types-of-humor/

Key points: there are many different types of humor. Character humor depends on knowing the characters, and can be used in many different kinds of fiction. Cognitive humor depends on the reader filling in the punchline. Consistent character humor reinforces characterization. Physical humor is very subjective. Non sequiturs need good setup. And maybe a little cold medicine.
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[Brandon] All right. This is been Writing Excuses. Do we have a writing prompt?
[Howard] Yes.
[Brandon] All right. Howard?
[Howard] Write something funny using non sequiturs and cold medicine.
[Brandon] All right. You're out of excuses, now go write.
Fireworks Delight
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode Two: Heroism

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode Two: Heroism

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/01/17/writing-excuses-4-2-heroism/

Key Points: Heroism -- the what-makes-you-cheer moments. Sacrifice. "I wish I could have done that." Taking risks. Facing fears. Hard decisions and demonstrations of skill or commitment. Working hard and achieving victory (aka Horatio Alger's rags-to-riches). Some elements include the decision, crises of faith, foreshadowing, the possibility of failure, and the heroic payoff. Consider making it clear that the hero's strengths are not enough -- but he squeaks by on other attributes. Make sure to help the reader believe that the hero might fail. Let the victory have costs for the hero. One person can make a difference, can do incredible things against adversity, but it has costs. That's the heroic concept.
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[Brandon] Vigilante cowboys and vigilante superheroes. We are out of time. Dan, do you want to give us a writing prompt at this time?
[Dan] Yes. I want you to write a scene in which a character makes a noble sacrifice and is not rewarded for it.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now...
[an unknown voice interjects] I say, these marshmallow crackers are the mess...
ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode Three: How to Manage Your Influences

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode Three: How to Manage Your Influences

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/01/24/writing-excuses-4-3-how-to-manage-your-influences/

Key points: we are surrounded by influences, media, people, etc. Being aware of them and conscious of what you select is important. Be conscious of your decisions, what you are doing in your fiction, and why you are doing it. "Create the art you want to create, and then make it good enough that other people like it." There are lots of great things to do, but they don't all belong in your story. Be selective. Readers may know that there is a problem, but it's your job as the author to figure out which knob to turn to fix it, or even if it needs fixing. Consider advice very carefully.
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[Brandon] It's my turn to come up with a writing prompt. I'm going to suggest that you write a story in which you pretend a famous literary figure or historical figure is sitting over your shoulder giving you feedback on it, and you're writing according to what they are telling you to do. So come up with a plot, an outline, and then write your story, pretending that Abraham Lincoln walked in and is telling you feedback as you write. I don't know what that's going to do, but it should be interesting. This has been Writing Excuses that's gone way too long. You're out of excuses and so are we. Thanks for listening.
ISeeYou2
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode Four: Agents -- do you need one?

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode Four: Agents -- do you need one?

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/01/31/writing-excuses-4-4-agents-do-you-need-one/

Key Points: Why get an agent? Expertise in negotiations, contracts, foreign rights, etc. that you don't have. Wider view and experience. Career builder and consultant? A key question: do they have skin in the game? (I.e., are they invested in you or not?) Beware: there is no quality control for agents. Bottom line: everybody doesn't need an agent, but you might.
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[Howard] Write yourself a story about a famous recluse author and his or her agent. The author dies. The agent is now scrambling to keep that career alive without telling anybody.
[Brandon] That's awesome.
[Dan] Very nice.
[Howard] That's skin in the game.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You are out of excuses, now go write.
Burp
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode Five: Role-playing in games as a tool for storytelling

Writing Excuses Season Four Episode Five: Role-playing in games as a tool for storytelling

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2010/02/07/writing-excuses-4-5-roleplaying-games-as-a-tool-for-story-telling/

Key points: Role-playing as a player can help writers understand character motivations. It can help writers learn to wing it. It can teach writers to look for different, clever, non-obvious ways to solve problems. It can help provide a "test environment" for ideas. But beware! Role-playing can be so much fun and addictive that you aren't writing. Also, beware of trying to copy a great role-playing session or game directly into a novel. Role-playing characters, tone, etc. are not always appropriate for a novel. Remember, role-playing games are for fun. Novels need realism.
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[Brandon] There have been plenty of  "you get suck... players get sucked into their role-playing game" sort of books. Guardians of the Flame by Joel Rosenberg did this. It's kind of become a cliche in fantasy. So you're not going to do that. You're going to have role-playing characters get sucked out into our world, and see what happens.
[Dan] Very nice.
[Howard] Roll for initiative.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write. Or play. Whichever you want to do.